New video by Michael; The Factory | Battery Powered Projects Made Easy

New video! Battery powered projects are hard. Power management seems like an endless rabbit hole of optimisations, esoteric datasheets and mind bending measurements. That’s why power-timers are awesome. This week in #TheFactory we reveal the name of our new line of hardware, and show off our Power Timer prototype which takes the hard work out of power management for battery powered projects. We also take a look at a new SD card module with some neat DFM hacks, and talk about improvements we’re making to a less-than-perfect protoboard.

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    Hi Michael,
    I only just learnt about power timers from the video, thank you.
    I’ve been putting together ESP32 as home temperature dataloggers sending data via MQTT and graphing on a server.
    I really wanted to setup a solar powered data logger and learnt a little about solar charging 18650 and powering off that. Still haven’t put into the yard yet as now struggling with waterproofing.

    Could the TPL5111 be used in some sort of solar charged 18650 with a ‘power path - aka load sharing’, where the microcontroller could be in constant use during good daylight (charging mode) amd then revert to TPL5111 interval on mode when operating off the battery.

    I really like the power timer idea for extending battery life. Looking forward to the Makerverse unit. A Makerverse solar charger with power path and overvoltage protection from solar panel and low voltage protection would be a nice Maker friendly product.


    Hey @Peter152717 - a solar power manager is on the to-do list!

    I’m unsure what the solution would look like for your proposed project, but it’s likely possible. The constraint we’re working against is that if the TPL5110 does not receive a done signal, it will power cycle anyway for a few milliseconds at the end of the timer duration. TPL5110 datasheet

    Perhaps the solution is a bypass transistor. While the sun is good your microcontroller can bypass the power timer. With inadequate sunlight, the bypass transistor is off and the power timer dominates.


    Hi Michael,

    I only learnt about power paths from watching AndreasSpiess youtube channel #383 Cheap and simple Solar Power for our small Projects (ESP32, ESP8266, Arduino)

    I further googled power paths and came across the source that Andreas credited, EEVBlog - Solar powered LIPO charger with power path

    I was trying to figure where I could insert the ‘power timer’ into the circuit. I’m guessing (just a hobbyist) that the output of the op amp could be used to detrmine if the power is from the solar panel or from the battery.

    I guess I will have to breadboard it and test it.


    I’ve found out over the past week that power paths and load sharing are actually an application of the Ideal Diode ORing controller.

    Using ideal diodes for reverse battery & current protection

    There are quite a few devices for everything from low voltage/current situations to high current for automotive applications.

    This one seems a better solution then the op-amp comparator mosfet implementation of an Ideal Diode.
    How to Add a Diode ORing or Battery Backup Circuit Using the MAX40200 Ideal Diode

    I only added this to the post as it has taken me a while to understand all of this. Hopefully someone else ill get value out of the links

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