Powering the ESP32 from the UV-5R’s battery

A project log for ESP32 AX.25/APRS TNC

A minimal-parts AX.25 / APRS TNC that can pair with a phone.

EvanEvan 06/29/2019 at 23:320 Comments

My original plan was to power the ESP32 from the +V pin on the headset connector. However, I quickly discovered that the +V pin has 10kOhm resistance— certainly not capable of providing the 250mA+ needed by the ESP32 while using WiFi.

Plan B is to use the UV-5R’s battery’s charging contacts on the back:

This little backpack board is using two spring-loaded test pins, plus a 7805. (From what I’ve heard, the onboard regulator may be able to handle more than 5V input, but I’d rather play it safe. Going from 5V to the 8.4V of a freshly charged lithium ion battery would triple the voltage drop and power dissipation requirements of the regulator.)

It’s held in place with the spring-loaded clip on the back of the Baofeng, which happens to be just the right width to fit between the two rows of headers that mate with my ESP32 dev board.