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RockfordDash

Powering RPi Zero through SIO with supercapacitor

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Hello,

 

I have a question regarding supercap scheme. I have built RPi Zero to SIO for loading ATRs with Hias'es "atariserver" and figured I can power RPi through +5V pin from Atari SIO to cut down on a number of cables. I have a new 5V/2A PS for my Atari, and RPi Zero only needs about 100 mA. There's only one problem. RPi takes several seconds to boot, so I don't want to power it down when I power cycle Atari when reset doesn't work. To that end, I thought I'd use super capacitor. I bought one 1F supercap, some Schottky diodes and resistors. This is a scheme I came up with:

 

post-68063-0-13564100-1556256997.png

 

Does it make sense? I know it works, but I don't know if I need to bother with a resistor to limit inrush current. I don't know what supercap can tolerate. Perhaps just a diode + supercap would suffice.

With a 10 ohm R1 it takes about 20s to fully charge supercap, and then RPi can run for about 14 seconds after I turn off Atari. That's plenty of time to power cycle Atari.

 

Thanks,

RD

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What you have there looks ok, but the resistor in series with the capacitor is essential otherwise at switch on

the capacitor would appear as a short circuit, also 4.7 ohms looks a little low for a normal +5V from the SIO.

 

I think the current is limited to 50mA on a standard SIO port unless you have modded it to provide more current.

 

So you need to select a resistor suitable to limit the max current the the +5 can supply, obviously the larger the

resistor the longer it will take C1 to charge.

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$.02 I've had good luck with cheap LiPo batteries off of eBay for general use. Same basic circuit with a LiPo would probably power the RPi for a week.

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Thank you for advice. I'll use 10 ohm resistor to limit charging current.

According to Atari 130XE schematic (https://archive.org/details/Atari130XE_Schematics/page/n7) +5V pin in SIO is connected to power rail through some choke, so I assume I can draw 0.5 A if I have appropriate power supply unit.

LiPos are quite demanding when it comes to storage; they should be partially discharged. Supercap is quite simple to use, has no such reqauirements and should last.

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Hi,

 

Yes, I did build it. I used 10 ohm resistor, 1 F supercap and two Schottky rectifier diodes. RPi Zero W draws about 100 mA and it can run for several seconds (>13s) after I power off Atari.

I use USB power supply rated at 2A to power them.

I can remove stubborn games, turn machine back on and RPi is still there to serve the content. No separate power bricks needed anymore.

 

The one thing I didn't realize is just how big 1 F capacity is. It keeps RPi running fore several seconds, but it also takes about 1/2 a minute to fully charge. Not a big deal, but explains why resistor is important.

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Just a thought here, but what about putting a switch between the capacitor and the RPi? That way, when you want to actually turn off the machine, you can isolate the RPi, leaving the charge in the capacitor there so it'll take less time to fully charge the next time you use it. Might seem a bit of extra faff, but could help if the half a minute charge time becomes an issue.

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One might debate the desk space savings of a 1F supercap, vs an extra wall wart. ;-)

 

I've seen some that are the size of a water bottle or thermos - how big is yours? (Sorry, that sounds bad.... :P )

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Here it is, 1F super capacitor rated at 7.5V:

post-68063-0-56184700-1557707988.jpg

Next to it, standard CR2032 battery to give you the idea how small the cap is.

Technology moves on, this is not an oversized electrolytic capacitor.

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Regarding the switch: I was aiming for simplicity. No need to complicate it further. Just turn Atari on and off, the rest should just work.

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Why don't you just feed the SIO from the power plug internally. Just one wire + you need to cut that pin of the SIO.

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Hi,

 

Thanks very much for the photo, I have some DuPont connectors and a crimping tool, and also some heat-shrink tubing, so I will give it a go if I can find the parts (mainly the super-capacitor). Not having to plug the RPi is a plus as plugs are at a bit of a premium.

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I'm sorry, I messed up connections in the first picture I posted. This is what it actually should be, and it is what I assembled:

 

post-68063-0-03403600-1557897574.png

 

I used 2W 10 ohm resistor, that should be enough. I found all parts on Mouser.com.

 

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I'm surprised no-one has done this to an Atari powered SDrive-Max yet

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This is great. Two questions:

 

1. can you post a bill of materials (hopefully with links)?

2. what are you running on the Pi Zero?

 

Thank you

-Todd

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So, I went looking for how much power an Uno pulls and found this:

http://www.home-automation-community.com/arduino-low-power-how-to-run-atmega328p-for-a-year-on-coin-cell-battery/

 

Powering an uno for 4 years from a 9V battery. (now, that doesn't include the sdrvie screen, but still...)

 

Might be worth looking at for someone more knowldgable about these things than me!

 

-Todd

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So, I went looking for how much power an Uno pulls and found this:

http://www.home-automation-community.com/arduino-low-power-how-to-run-atmega328p-for-a-year-on-coin-cell-battery/

 

Powering an uno for 4 years from a 9V battery. (now, that doesn't include the sdrvie screen, but still...)

 

Probably be easier to grab a USB battery pack, the lipstick looking ones would give you almost 3 times the amount of power of a 9 volt.

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Given that it only needs to be kept alive to survive a reboot, a battery is probably a bad choice, a super capacitor has much longer lifespan and many many more charge/discharge cycles.

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I think this approach works with RPi Zero, because it runs on 3.3V. I suppose it uses step down converter and happens to work with a range of voltages from 3.3V to 5V, which is a key here. Super cap doesn't charge fully (b/c of the diode) and then it slowly discharges and voltage drops.

 

On RPi I run AtariServer: https://github.com/mikekov/AtariServer

 

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