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Is it worth developing?

Started by TexasStingray, January 28, 2018, 08:10:59 AM

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So, I've been looking at creating a Pi USP Shield, but not sure if the cost to build will be worth it or if there is even any interest.

So, this is an Interest and What's Important post for the Panther PiUPSShield (Battery Backup).

Before I get down into what I would like to know let me describe the basic functionallity of what the Panther PiUPSShield does.

It's main responsability will be to provide power to the raspberry pi in the case of a main power loss and trigger system shutdown,
in order to help prevent a corrupted device due to power loss.

It will have;
   For the main power it will have the ability to be powered by a micro USB jack, or from a Hat like the PiCAP, or an external 5v power source.
   For the battery backup power it will have a micro USB jack.
   For charging the battery backup it will have a standard type A USB jack.
   Solder pad on the back to select which GPIO to use instead of header pins to reduce cost.

It will not include:
   Battery Pack. Is is being designed to use ones like these:
   USB Cables.
If you would be interested in one or more;
   Please post what you would consider is a reasonable price.
   Also rating the features as a "must have" or "nice to have".
   If you think of any features or any other features you think of.

Please note features generally increase the cost due to additional parts required to support the feature.

Features Considering:

1.   Detect power restore and restart system.
2.   Be able to run off higher input voltage.

Thanks for your input


First I will state I have never had a corrupted card during the show because my power doesn't go out much.  This would be a nice option if it was really cheap and easily setup from a coding standpoint on the Pi.  There is no need to have it  do anything but shutdown the Pi.  The Pi will turn on when AC power is restored. 
Price wise you can buy an extra sd card for each Pi for $10 for a backup in case one is corrupted and you can copy the USB drive to a computer.  Thus this board would have to be very very cheap (under $10) because you would already have the cost of a backup battery.  This is my opinion.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk


I have more than a dozen Pi's with FPP and I also have never had a corrupted card.  This is a hobby and things happen.  I am less concerned about this issue than having a whole controller go out.  Losing a controller would kill my show potentially for days.  A corrupted card would kill my show for the time to put a new card in.  For me there is little value in a product like this.  But it is nice to have choices.  Only you can decide if this is something you wish to pursue based on your own interest.
Jim Nealand
Kennesaw, GA all Falcon controllers, all 12v Master Remote Multisync with Pi and BBB P10 and P5


To me, the most important part of something like this would be the part that detects loss of power and tells the Pi to shutdown.  You can already pick up cheap USB battery backups on Amazon that support "pass through" mode where the battery pack can be charging and feeding power to the Pi at the same time.  This handles the UPS portion of the need.  The harder part is telling the Pi to shutdown if input power is lost and possibly disconnecting the Pi from power somehow so the USB battery backup turns itself off.  With a 15000ma USB battery pack, the Pi can run for quite a long time, even longer if it is actually shutdown and not doing anything.  All that being said, I have never had issues either and I have 20-30 Pi's and BBB's sitting around for use and testing.  I think the market would be small for a comprehensive solution, possibly mainly for those with larger or remote displays that are more concerned about a Pi not rebooting because it is out in a park or public display somewhere.

One issue I did think of with some of these pass-through USB battery packs.  The ones I have don't turn themselves back on automatically, I have to press a button to get them to start passing power again.  That could throw a wrench into the works for some users.


I would be interested in something like this (as long as inexpensive and hassle-free).

The main selling point for me, would be a simplified shut-down every night.

It would be nice to just be able to kill all the power, knowing that the Pi's would properly shut down themselves. Right now, I have to run the shutdown for each, wait 30 sec, then kill power.

So for me, this would just be a nice-to-have feature.


This news isn't new, but I'll reiterate.  I'm paranoid due to the situation that I am putting Pis in the field.  4/5ths of the site gets shut down each night via a master power switch.  There is no rhyme nor reason as to the timing.  Just whenever the last visitors get through the gate, see the display, and then leave the back gate.

Having detection of loss of power at the UPS would be the absolute best thing for us.  Being able to shutdown each FPP correctly would allow me to sleep a bit better during the months of November and December - for sure!
Sequencers: Vixen3 and xLights
Players: FPP and xSchedule Controllers:  Renards - SS24/SS16; E1.31 - San Devices E682 - Falcon F16, F4, F48 - J1Sys - DIYLEDExpress E1.31 Bridges.  Much more!

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