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I was looking for rechargeable batteries to power a device I was making, however the high costs of chargers and even the batteries themselves made me want to consider other alternatives. I came across a few mobile phone portable chargers which provide enormous amounts of energy (15000+ mAh) and charge very fast despite costing less than £15. I was wondering whether these power banks would be of any use for powering an arduino and a few motors instead of rechargeable batteries. Are there any (operational) differences (apart from the cell chemistry and voltage) in the two?

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    \$\begingroup\$ If your device wants 5V, those power bank things are probably a good choice. You can also run from a USB charger device that puts out 5V (if you have mains power available). \$\endgroup\$ – mkeith Jun 29 '16 at 15:38
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No, there isn't. For most, they are a single Li-Po cell with a built in charging circuit and boost output, with auto cut off. They will boost to 5V typical. There are also larger 12V ones, or ones that can do both.

Some newer ones have auto-shut-off if they don't detect a significant load. That may be an issue. Stick to the dumb ones.

These are ideal for your needs.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for answering! Just confirming, high current draw won't be a problem will it? \$\endgroup\$ – DividedByZero Jun 29 '16 at 15:38
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    \$\begingroup\$ Should be OK up to around 1.5A for a large power bank. Maybe higher. Check the specifications for the power bank device you plan to use. How much current do you want to draw, anyway? \$\endgroup\$ – mkeith Jun 29 '16 at 15:40
  • \$\begingroup\$ Around about 1-2 A at most, less than 200mA most of the time though. \$\endgroup\$ – DividedByZero Jun 29 '16 at 15:42
  • \$\begingroup\$ 2 Amps may be too much for smaller or cheaper ones. \$\endgroup\$ – Passerby Jun 29 '16 at 15:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ Meh, I guess I could decrease the consumption in that case.. Just need to put a few in series now to boost the voltage. Thanks! \$\endgroup\$ – DividedByZero Jun 29 '16 at 15:50

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