Gumstix has released a new board that lets you power a Raspberry Pi Zero computer with a pair of AA batteries, allowing you to use it without plugging the tiny computer into a wall jack or a bulky battery pack.

The Gumstix Raspberry Pi Zero Battery Board also adds motion sensors to the Raspberry Pi thanks to a 3-axis accelerometer and 3-axis gyroscope.

One down side? With a price tag of $50, the battery board costs ten times as much as the $5 the Raspberry Pi Zero computer it’s designed to power (or five times as much as a WiFi-enabled Raspberry Pi Zero W).

That said, the solution does offer some versatility to Raspberry Pi’s tiny computers. The board supports rechargeable NiMH or NiCd batteries and you can recharge the batteries by plugging a micro USB cable into the Raspberry Pi Zero.

Raspberry Pi’s little computer features a 1 GHz single-core processor, 512MB of RAM, a microSD card reader, a mini HDMI port, micro USB OTG power and micro USB power port, a CSI camera connector, composite video header, and a 40-pin, HAT-compatible header (which is what the battery board connects to.

via LinuxGizmos


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4 replies on “Gumstix Raspberry Pi Zero AA battery board makes the mini PC mobile”

  1. It looks like it takes up all the GPIO pins too – not very useful. Besides it takes less than $10 to add a Li-ion charger circuit, a battery and a 5V boost-converter to your project that would be comparable in size to this, and needs little exprties to put together, while leaving the GPIO uniccupied.

    1. Looking at the closeup of the board, it doesn’t look like many of the GPIO connector pins are connected to anything. Most likely just there for a secure mounting between the Pi and the battery board. On the one hand, I agree that $50 is a tough sell, on the other, the Zero is very much an outlier in terms of cost. It’s just impossible to built a low volume electronic device anywhere near the $5 cost to value ratio of the Zero. But again, yea, $50 is steep, and I agree that a DIY lipo/ion solution can be made easily enough by anyone with basic knowledge.

    2. You don’t need the boost converter if you are not using USB. Everything else runs on 3.3V or less.
      If wifi is enabled all the time the drain is pretty bad on the RPi Zero, even for a 4000mA Li-ion battery.
      People should not expect to leave this on all the time, or run wifi all the time.

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