Arduino Power Controller with Texas Instruments’ TPS61240

November 7, 2011

As part of my Arduino Power Controller project, I ordered and received the PCBs for the Circuits@Home boost converter utilizing the Texas Instruments’ TPS61240 chip.  My SMD soldering experience is close to non-existent, but I recently acquired a Hot Air SMD Rework Station from SparkFun.  That made soldering the converter chip possible for a mere mortal.  After building the boost converter module, I built a new Arduino power controller board utilizing the module (picture below).

Power Controller with the TPS61240 Converter

Power Controller with the TPS61240 Converter

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Moose Out My Window

October 18, 2011

Tough to concentrate with these two guys looking in at me…

And, they’re not so nice to the flowers either…

Design of the Extended Battery Life Power Controller for the Arduino

October 9, 2011

In a prior post, “Operating an Arduino for a Year from Batteries”, I presented a strategy for operating an Arduino for multiple months off of batteries, assuming the Arduino is used for relatively infrequent data collection.  The strategy essentially involves shutting off power to the Arduino using a special power controller in between the times when readings are being taken.  In this post I will discuss the design of that custom power controller board.

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Operating an Arduino for a Year from Batteries

October 2, 2011

The Arduino platform is a great product for producing a custom data collection system or controller.  Programming is easy via a high-level language and a simple USB connection to the Arduino board.  Incredible popularity has brought plenty of publicly available code and many add-on boards for interfacing sensors, storage, and wireless communications.  However, most of my projects involve collecting data for multiple months, and access to mains power is often problematic.  Battery-powered data collection is essential, but the Arduino quickly exhausts a battery when attempting to collect data for more than a few days.  This article describes a technique for extending the battery life of an Arduino for many months.

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My Hopes for this Blog

October 2, 2011

Hello!  I enjoy designing and building data collection equipment and software, generally focused on building energy use monitoring.  Through this blog I hope to share some of my solutions to monitoring challenges and hear from others about their designs.  I also am involved in other aspects of the energy-efficient building industry and hope to contribute on those issues as well.