Zero LiPo Pi3 Charger

I am interested in ordering a bunch of these:

However, I understand that this is NOT a charger. I also note that you recommend the Adafruit chargers/Boosters - so can you show me a technical setup how I can run the Zero LiPo AND the charger at the same time, i.e. I want the battery ALWAYS permanently connected. I do not want to remove the connection.

Is there a way to solder a charger onto the Zero LiPo and plug a micro USB charging cable into one side and on the other side the battery gets charged via the Zero LiPo and the Zero LiPo in turn provides power to the Pi3?

OR do you have another board that does charge the battery and supply battery power to the Pi3?

Hey Hanno,
Check out this product from Adafruit. It’s a Powerboost module that gives you the capability to charge and use your LiPO battery simultaneously.

1 Like

Hi Aidan,

Thanks for the quick reply. I have one of those. The issue I am having with it is :
a) I read in some forums that it does not have a safe shutdown mode (like the Zero LiPo supposedly has), and I am afraid of corrupting my SD card. Is that true - are there scripts or workarounds?
b) There is no on/off switch
c) It connects back to the micro USB, which requires an (unnecessary?) cable connection - I heard different things - some say connecting power through the GPIO is okay, others say a cable running to the microUSB is safer?

-> Plus your answer raises the question - why buy a Zero LiPo if the Powerboost 1000C is this and more?

Please help me decide. :slight_smile:

1 Like

Hi Hanno,

Standby current is 20uA when disabled (power and low batt LED are off). Checkout the Adafruit tutorial for this product and hopefully you’ll see why this is such a popular module for LiPo’s.

→ Plus your answer raises the question - why buy a Zero LiPo if the Powerboost 1000C is this and more?

The Zero LiPo is a Pimorni product, and the PowerBoost is an Adafruit product. They are both popular devices, although they are quite different by design.

1 Like

Just to chime in on powering your Pi via the GPIO pins, my advice? Don’t! Whilst technically possible, there is no protection whatsoever against voltage or current issues. Not to mention accidently connecting something incorrectly, even a small voltage spike will at best burn out a couple of GPIO pins, and at worst, destroy your board.

I don’t quite understand the issue of ‘safe shutdown’ on the power supply side. If you remove power in any way, you risk SD card corruption. The best way to shutdown the Raspberry Pi is via the Operating System.


My 2 cents :slight_smile:
For the system to safely shut down you would need a battery monitor to watch the voltage. If it dips below the minimum charge for a safe lipo level you would want a script to trigger a safe shutdown of the Pi. The only issue would be once the battery is charged you would have to turn it on again somehow.

1 Like