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I'm looking for a shield for my Arduino (or a breakout board that I can adapt for the purpose). It should have these abilities:

  • JST connector for my single-cell battery.
  • Over- and Under-current protection
  • Voltage boosting to 3.3v or 5v level. (preferably 5v)
  • Recharge from USB or external power.
  • transparent switching from battery to external (and back)
  • Battery gauge with low-power alert. (MAX17043G+U or similar)
  • Soft-off so my application can turn itself off.

Of all of these things, it looks like the SparkFun LiPower shield meets the most of them, but it cannot turn off my device. Pololu has a nifty push-button power switch that can turn off the supply by pin input, but I want to cut off the battery too. I've also checked out the Liquidware Lithium Backpack, but it doesn't switch seamlessly from vSupply to vBatt, nor can it turn itself off or monitor the battery level, and it requires ugly wires from one end of my board up over the sides, so is difficult to use with shields.

Has anyone seen anything better?

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You could use the Polulu push-button power switch together with the LiPower shield if you cut the track that joins the two 5V header vias then use the switch to connect them.

As far as I know the design of these shields (with two rows of header vias) is specifically designed with this sort of modification in mind.

I'm not sure what the power-up state of the Polulu switch is - so you may need to push the button on the board in order to turn the power on initially.

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Oh, good idea! Except that you're still potentially draining the battery by powering all of the components on the LiPower shield itself. That will extend the battery life significantly, but with the discharge-bug on the LiPower shield, I'm worried that I could still end up with a useless battery after a few weeks in such a state. –  Eric Falsken Jan 11 '13 at 20:46
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