COMPLETE Pi UPS upgrade

Discussion in 'Guides, Mods, and Upgrades' started by Sarah Nicholson, Jun 13, 2016.

  1. Sarah Nicholson

    Sarah Nicholson Well-Known Member

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    I've been using OctoPrint for a while on my old printer, which like the BigBox has the Pi running off a stepdown convertor to supply 5V to the Pi from the printer's PSU, meaning that the Pi is switched on and off with the printer. I like the convenience of only having to switch one thing on, and only having one power socket (my house is from that era in English construction where someone decreed that one power socket per room was more than enough, thank you very much....) . However this comes with the drawback that you have to remember to shutdown the Pi nicely from Octoprint, and if you forget, or need to kill the printer in an emergency, the Pi is shut down in an uncontrolled fashion with the risk of corrupting the SD card.

    I'd been looking into possible solutions while waiting for my BigBox to arrive, and eventually settled on this little gadget: http://www.modmypi.com/raspberry-pi/breakout-boards/pi-modules/ups-pico. It sits on top of the Pi and monitors the incoming power, switching to powering the Pi via a LiPo battery if the mains is unavailable, and then shutting it down safely and cleanly after a configurable period. When the mains is connected, it automatically keeps the battery charged. I have it set to run for 2 minutes, which is long enough that it won't shut down unnecessarily if I briefly cycle the power for any reason.

    So far I've had it up and running for a few days and it all seems to be working as expected and doing the job, so no more stressing over forgetting to shut down OctoPrint.

    Here it is sitting happily in the 'basement' of my BigBox, doing its thing:

    [​IMG]

    One quick note if anyone is interested in going down this route, my preorder BigBox was supplied with a Raspberry Pi 3, but the current version of the Pico UPS was designed for the Pi 2 and comes with a 'reset pin' which won't work with the Pi 3, fortunately this is easily resolved with a little soldering.

    Solder a single 90 degree header pin onto the Pi 3 in the RUN socket (between the USB ports and the GPIO connector):

    [​IMG]

    Solder another 90 degree header pin onto the Pico UPS in place of the reset pin:

    [​IMG]

    Link them up with a short length of cable with a female connector on each end:

    [​IMG]

    All done:

    [​IMG]
     
    Paul Begley, Pierce, Stefan and 6 others like this.
  2. Old_Tafr

    Old_Tafr Well-Known Member

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    by gum lass.......what a brilliant idea :D
     
  3. gearmesh

    gearmesh Well-Known Member

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    Excellent work Sarah!
    That is a great idea. I will order the hat this week.
     
  4. Alex Stevenson

    Alex Stevenson Well-Known Member

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    This is something I definitely need to add. Thanks for sharing!
     
  5. Pierce

    Pierce Well-Known Member

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    Great idea! Have put my name down for when they get back in stock :)
     

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