Powering arduino nanno or raspberry pi zero w with coin battery


I am wanting to figure out if I can power a adu o nano or raspberry pi zero using a coin / disk battery that activate vibration disc similar to Shaftless Vibration Motor 10x2.0mm | POLOLU-1638 | Core Electronics Australia

My idea is to have a vibration disk thr mcu and battery mounted to the back of my steering wheel so the vibrator motor is activated from the mcu in certain situations to vibrate the steering wheel as a driver alert.

Using battery eliminates the drama of having power wires attached that need to accommodate 360 degrees turning of steering wheels

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Hi Claudio,

I can give you some advice on calculating the power supply requirements and any regulators that may be required for those devices but you will need to be sure that attaching this device to the back of a steering wheel doesn’t violate any of the Australian Design Rules for vehicles or the modification could see you getting fined and defected, or worse injured.
If this is for a driving simulator setup then you’re probably in the clear :grinning:

First some back of the napkin math, A Pi Zero needs a 5.1V supply with a recommended current supply of 1.2A (with USB peripherals) and a typical consumption for just the board of 150mA.

The most powerful coin cell that’s widely available is the CR2032 which delivers 3V nominally and maxes out with a continuous current of 3mA. An Arduino nano will use less power but just the chip alone with no devices drawing power from it uses 19mA and will still need a 5V supply, so a regulator is also required to boost the voltage up.

You might be able to get this to work with a low power microcontroller instead of a single board computer like the Pi Zero, but larger batteries will be needed, at least a pouch cell.

What do you need the microcontroller to do and interface with? That might help narrow down some more power saving measures, perhaps a Pi Pico instead of a Pi Zero would be a better fit for your project.

I think I mentioned in my first post even providing a link to the product which was the vibrating haptic disc

That’s the whole purpose of the project to be able to have the disk vibrate in certain situations and the signal to vibrate the disk Uber triggered bye a Bluetooth data sent from my Bluetooth connected peripheral so basically the objective is to be able to attach the vibrating peptic disc alo along with the necessary battery and other hardware so I did a Bluetooth value can be sent to the hardware and then Wallis that value is present the haptic vibrate vibrate is attached to the back of the steering wheel that should vibrate the steering wheel to load the driver I thought I had explained that in my initial post but maybe I hadn’t I trusted butterflies I’m trying to achieve and I welcome your advice input

Claude Raiola

Hi Claudio,

Thanks for providing the extra information about what you were trying to accomplish.
The shaftless vibration motor you have linked cannot be run from a coin cell battery, it needs far too much power.

As I said in my previous message the smallest batteries that might be able to power that motor and a microcontroller would be a lithium pouch cell.

This project is going to require quite a bit of wiring and may not be safe to connect to the back of your steering wheel.

Since you wanted to communicate with Bluetooth you will need more than a standard Arduino Nano.
Either of these microcontrollers include Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) capability and are better suited for interfacing with an app on your phone.


You’ve mentioned a large amount of wiring wouldn’t not be possible to have the solution in a single enclosure with one of the bulge you mentioned a vibrating disc other form a vibrating small micro motor and the battery the battery would ideally need to be re-chargeable so the closure has a USB socket as obviously the battery at some point become flat and the need to be re-charge but a drain on the bench you would need to be such that the battery would last a month if not longer and then simply be plugged into a USB to recharge it I didn’t visage that the enclosure able to be detached from the base to allow it to be taken inside and recharged Altan Li swapped over for a fully charged one wall sealer one is put on charge and I am open to much smaller is

Hi Claudio,

I don’t understand most of your last message, could you please rephrase that?

For us to be able to give you the best advice possible we need as much information as possible about what you are trying to accomplish and what your requirements are. This project will likely involve a lot of careful design work to avoid being dangerous to you while driving the car. A poorly setup battery project left in a hot car can easily become a fire hazard and it’s not worth the risk.


I have tried to explain what I am trying to achieve

  • have a haptec vibrating device placed on back to steering wheel that is battery powered connected to and mcu with ble so the master ble peripheral well send comments to the mcu as required tgst will cause the haptic vibration device to activate.the above would be pladdd inside a small enclosure

The battery would either need to be replaceable or rechargeable given at some point the battery would drain from use. If it were a rechargeable battery the above enclosure would be ably to be removed from the back of the steering wheel to have it connected to power to recharge the battery.

Sorry the above is as clear a description that I can offer.

Hi Claudio,

Rather than modifying/adding to the steering wheel is there another way you could interface with someone?
The design laws Trent mentioned wouldn’t be the only governing rules here either, I imagine Uber would have some strict terms as to what else you are allowed to concentrate on other than the road (like many things if you misuse something it can become deadly - a car is inherently dangerous already).

I’d definitely check out @John74406 's speedo for some idea’s he’s done an excellent job of the whole project: GPS speedo design in the making

PS: any kind of 2.5 GHz wireless radio will use some pretty decent amount of power, most small batteries are physically limited to how much juice can be delivered.

A less intrusive dash mounted system might be the way to go :smiley:

Hi All
Claudio originally asked if a coin type battery would operate his list of components.

I believe the short answer to this question is NO.

The thread seems to have digressed a bit.

Liam. How did Uber get into the conversation ???
Cheers Bob

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Hi Bob,

There was a brief mention here:

Good point about the topic digressing, I think this might be a rare instance where the wireless power modules might be useful.


My apologies the message was typed as I was dictating to siri I had no idea it incorrectly referenced UBER as UBER has no relevance to the topic

My apologies for complaining about introducing irrelevant topic of UBER when I unintentionally referenced it in the initial post

Please forward this to your support team leaders so they are aware of above and it was not your team going off on a tangent introducing unrelated topics to the discussion when I had accidently reference the topic

strong text

Hi Claudio,

A lot of your posts in this thread are very difficult to understand, I’d recommend reading your posts before submitting them as Siri is not doing a good job and is scrambling your messages.

I think Claudio200676 has described what he wants adequately. The answer is no, it can’t be driven by a coin cell. If the device is self contained then it will have to have a bulky battery to supply the necessary current and to last for any length of time.

My question is why do it this way? If it was a good idea, I would guess that a manufacturer would have tried it, and some vehicles would have it. Perhaps it isn’t already used because a driver is used to having various vibrations feeding back through the steering wheel and so it gets ignored because it feels like running over a corrugated road or something similar.

There are alternatives. Some vehicles are fitted with sound systems that can accept a bluetooth signal that overrides whatever the sound system is doing, and alert the driver to, for example, an incoming phone call on a hands free phone. Or a stronger haptic feedback could be built into the seat - could be bigger and more powerful and be powered by the car battery. Visual cues are likely to be either too distracting or too easily missed.

Whatever method is used, the normal development path is to create a prototype to test the idea, before designing the final device. The prototype could be just a haptic device attached to the steering wheel powered by some wires to a switch that a passenger operates. This would determine what works to alert the driver effectively. Then design the microprocessor bluetooth etc. device once it is known what haptic device works and its power requirements.

Hi thanks for the clarification that my initial explanation was clear and specific enough I have already addressed all the issues you’ve raised over the journey of the Proto type solution of a product I have been designing for the last 12 months the idea of the haptic vibration on the steering wheel has come about due to audible sounds through speakers for the purpose that I’m designing temperature in annoying to passengers so I have actually gone through the complete development cycle process over more than 18 months in terms of conceiving designing prototyping etc I do appreciate that you were aware of that given the specifics of the question I asked so I do thank you for your input and suggestions