New PiSugar2 Upgrades the Raspberry Pi Zero Battery Pack with UPS, Real-Time Clock Functionality

Offering up to six hours of runtime, the upgraded PiSugar2 is a fully-functional UPS with RTC-based wakeup for any Raspberry Pi Zero.

Gareth Halfacree
2 years ago β€’ HW101
The PiSugar2 Pro is compatible with the Raspberry Pi 3B/3B+/4B. (πŸ“·: PiSugar).

UPDATE (5/1/2020): The PiSugar team has unveiled a second new design, this time ditching the compact Raspberry Pi Zero footprint of its original PiSugar and upgraded PiSugar 2 in favor of a larger form factor packing considerably more power.

Dubbed the PiSugar2 Pro, the latest model is designed for full-size Raspberry Pi systems including the latest Raspberry Pi 4 Model B and offers a 5,000mAh battery for a claimed 8-10 hours of runtime alongside a "turbo" current output of 6A β€” enough, the company says, to run hard drives and other energy-hungry devices.

The PiSugar2 Pro is now listed on Tindie, priced at $49.99 including battery. Like the PiSugar2, the device includes on-board real-time clock and UPS functionality.

Original article continues below...

The engineers at the PiSugar project have launched a second-generation version of their eponymous compact battery accessory for the Raspberry Pi Zero family of single-board computers β€” and it's called, surprising nobody, the PiSugar2.

The original PiSugar launched last year, combining a 900mAh lithium ion battery with a custom-built PCB designed to mate with voltage test points on the underside of a Raspberry Pi Zero v1.1 or v1.3 β€” providing, the company claimed from its internal testing, up to four hours of active usage per charge.

The PiSugar2 is an evolutionary, rather than revolutionary, upgrade to the concept. Like its predecessor, it houses a lithium-ion battery; rather than simply providing dumb power, though, the PiSugar2 can act as a fully-functional software-driven uninterruptible power supply (UPS).

"PiSugar2 support UPS function," the company explains of the upgraded design. "When the external power supply is powered off, it can maintain the uninterrupted operation of the equipment, and safely shut down when the power is too low." This is handled by a custom "PiSugar Power Manager" application, which is configurable and can be monitored via the network.

The redesign also brings additional functionality courtesy of an on-board real-time clock (RTC), complete with its own battery back-up β€” and can be used to power the Raspberry Pi Zero on at configurable times. A user-programmable button also features, supporting press, double-press, and long-press actuation modes.

The PiSugar2 comes in two variants: The PiSugar2 PowerPack M uses a 900mAh battery and a peak output current of 1.2A, for a claimed 3-4 hour runtime per charge; the PiSugar2 PowerPack L, by contrast, includes a 1,200mAh battery with 2.4A peak output current for a 5-6 hour runtime. Both are charged using an on-board micro-USB port.

The PiSugar2 is available on the PiSugar Tinde store, priced at $39.99 for the PiSugar2 L and $35.99 for the PiSugar2 M. More information is also available on the company's GitHub repository.

Gareth Halfacree
Freelance journalist, technical author, hacker, tinkerer, erstwhile sysadmin. For hire: freelance@halfacree.co.uk.
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