I'm working on a quadcopter project using Motors/ESCs, an Arduino DUE and a Raspberry Pi.

I have 4 motors and 4 of these Opto ESCs.

At the moment I have the raspberry Pi plugged into the mains socket, with a USB connected to the Arduino to power it. I also have a 3S Lipo battery powering the ESC/Motors using one this power distribution board.

The red cable from the ESCs/Power distribution board isn't connected to anything.

What I'm wondering - is it possible to use this red cable to provide power to the raspberry pi in place of the mains so that the whole system would be powered by the Lipo battery.

  • \$\begingroup\$ What is the current rating of the bec circuit? Is it cleanly 5v? The pi isn't really designed for battery power. \$\endgroup\$ – Chris Stratton Sep 25 '13 at 13:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ My knowledge of the area is pretty limited, but I was under impression the Opto ESC didn't have a BEC circuit? \$\endgroup\$ – Ger Sep 25 '13 at 13:40

You need to ensure 5V @ 700mA according to the manufacturer.

And, Yes, you can power Raspi from batteries.

From Raspberry PI Faqs

Can I run power Raspberry Pi from batteries as well as from a wall socket?

Yes. The device should run off 4 x AA rechargeable cells, but there may be stability issues as the batteries lose their charge. Using 4 x AA Alkaline cells will result in 6v and it is therefore recommended to use a voltage regulator.

You could use this example too, that power with 3V3 and use a batteries.

  • \$\begingroup\$ In the setup I've described, how would I ensure 5V at 1A? Also where would I actually connect this cable to? Can I connect it using the GPIO pins? buyraspberrypi.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/GPIO.jpeg \$\endgroup\$ – Ger Sep 25 '13 at 14:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Ger The best thing that you could do to connect is making a MicroUSB cable from your circuit, and power normally the Raspi. About to ensure the tension you should use a Regulator like a LM7805 to ensure 5V and 1A. \$\endgroup\$ – Butzke Sep 25 '13 at 14:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ You can power the pi from batteries, but it is not designed for that and is missing most of the features you'd expect from a battery powered system - most obviously but not only the lack of either power saving modes or an expectation of being turned on and off frequently. \$\endgroup\$ – Chris Stratton Sep 25 '13 at 14:13
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Ger take a look at the example that I added. \$\endgroup\$ – Butzke Sep 25 '13 at 14:29
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for this, I might look into a simpler approach, maybe a separate rechargeable USB pack of some sort to power the RPi via the micro USB. \$\endgroup\$ – Ger Sep 25 '13 at 15:03

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