Power beaglebone with batteries, sufficient for usb peripherals ?


I am thinking of powering my beaglebone using a battery cape, like this one from circuitco (http://circuitco.com/support/index.php?title=BeagleBone_Battery)

Will this be sufficient to power a USB webcam and/or a 3G usb modem as well as the beaglebone?

If not, what are the options to power a setup like this (beaglebone plus usb hub plus camera plus 3G modem dongle) that allow it to be mobile ie. not powered by a mains adapter?



If you want USB to work, that's a good (maybe only?) choice.

How much current do your USB webcam, hub, and 3G modem consume? I don't
think it should be a problem, but simply adding up the current
consumption of your devices is a worthwhile exercise.


Slightly offtopic but remember you need more ampage than running off USB to get >300mhz cpu speed reliably.

I also found that with a 2A 12v PSU there still wasn’t enough power for a 2.5" HDD, which was unexpected.

I struggled to find power usage specs for USB webcams and 3G dongles in a cursory look.
There have been some studies at XDA Devs forum regarding how much 3G and camera use in a phone but I don’t know how similar this would be to USB devices. That’s the best guide I can give you right now.

For the sake of simplicity I would much prefer to use an ordinary micro usb plug external power monkey or other USB power boosting device, than to use the beagle battery cape. Something like that would be reusable and easier to find info on how to get it recharging by solar.

I’m surprised no one has written about a solar powered beagle project, or much on this subject anywhere with the new cheap embedded home dev style devices.

AFAIK the beagle is the best for battery power - way more convenient than the Pi but we’re still needing to break new ground to get off the power grid.

If you make any findings or progress regards battery power and the beagle please let us know :slight_smile:


I am powering my beaglebone with LCD7 included and compiling things
with one of these:

I made a cable with USB plug for the powerbank and ordinary powerplug
for the beaglebone.

Works fine...the Powerbank is able to deliver up to 2.2 A at 5 V.

The size of the powerbank is nearly identical with most 2.5" external

Best regards,

jago25 <jago25@gmail.com> [12-11-04 19:04]:

Thanks for all the replies:

I have also not been able to find any information on the power consumption of usb camera, 3G modem and usb hub I am using. WIth a 2A power supply:
(http://www.maplin.co.uk/ac-dc-fixed-voltage-switched-mode-power-supplies-48484) I don’t seem to have any power related problems, so if a battery pack can provide similar power, I should be fine.
I have ordered the battery cape, but it has not yet arrived.

I was thinking of measuring the actual power consumption using this or a similar DIY gadget (http://www.instructables.com/id/USB-Voltage-and-Current-Tester-version-2/).

Would there be an advantage in using a powered USB hub, and power it with something like the ‘power bank’ - as well as powering the beaglebone with a battery cape?

Solar is a great idea…

Just a little bit of background of my project: I am using the beaglebone with ubuntu, and with a webcam and a 3G dongle I want to build a ‘camera trap’ - I use ‘motion’ (http://www.lavrsen.dk/foswiki/bin/view/Motion/WebHome) to detect any movement and then email it via the 3G dongle connection. The software to connect via the 3G modem to the internet is “wvvdial”. All required packages (wvdial, ssmtp, motion, python) were easily installed using aptitude. The wvdial configuration took some time, you need to know the APN and username/password for your provider, and it took some time to find this.

The only step I have not tried yet is to go ‘mobile’ - powering the setup from batteries (or solar?)

Will let you know who it goes.