Alternative Power supply options
#1
Heard about this product just today and my mind went wild! The first thing I wonder Is whether it will charge with alternate power inputs, such as USB power banks, a biolite stove, solar panels, or a 12V car adapter ( prefer not inverter ).

Let me know if you've tried any of these, how well it works, and any specific details. Thanks!
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#2
(01-26-2020, 01:30 AM)gallomimia Wrote: Heard about this product just today and my mind went wild! The first thing I wonder Is whether it will charge with alternate power inputs, such as USB power banks, a biolite stove, solar panels, or a 12V car adapter ( prefer not inverter ).

Let me know if you've tried any of these, how well it works, and any specific details. Thanks!

Hi there

  So i bought a couple of DC-DC convertors the ones with a nice LED display so i can check voltage and such, so it was easy enough to hook a 12V car battery up and power off that with a home brew jack as well.

  Have tried a couple of power banks with very mixed results, the cheap 10K power banks struggle with the power draw from the laptop, Had a high quality unit (freebie from Microsoft back in the day) that can handle but does get warm.

  Also got one of those in car laptop chargers with multiple tips that works well - but have had to put the DC-DC convertor inline as there was no option for the lower voltage that the PineBook Pro uses.

    Might investigate making my own power bank with some spare 18650 units and an off the shelf charging circuit board, can always 3D print a shell for the unit then.
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#3
I have the same "warmness" issue with my main power bank, but it's the only one I can solar charge with passthrough, haven't tested that yet as it's winter in my area but plan to put it to the test in the spring.

I also have a couple APC battery backups where you can yank the batteries as USB backups, model escapes as I'm not home, but they have a 2.3amp port that will charge the PBP even at 100% usage over usb-c. Mainly how I have been charging it as I have enough to always have a spare in rotation, there don't get warm.
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#4
(01-26-2020, 01:30 AM)gallomimia Wrote: The first thing I wonder Is whether it will charge with alternate power inputs,

It has an USB-C connector that can accept charging.
(It can also charge through the USB-C while turned off. I usually leave it turned off and plugged into my USB-C charger).

So in my experience...

(01-26-2020, 01:30 AM)gallomimia Wrote: such as USB power banks,
Yes, though it's better if the powerbank can supply 2.5A @5V.
Most USB-C can (usual go as high as 3A).
Some USB-A, like the one I'm using, can. Check the specs of the powerbanks. (Some only do 1A)

Otherwise, under load the Pinebook eats battery faster than the powerbank can charge it.
So you won't be able to actually charge the battery, only to slow down the discharge rate.

In that case, you'll need to leaved it idle or turned off for better charging performance.

(01-26-2020, 01:30 AM)gallomimia Wrote: a biolite stove, solar panels,
It depends on the rating of the attached/built-in powerbank. See above 1A vs 2.5A.
(I can't find any information about the biolite stove)

(01-26-2020, 01:30 AM)gallomimia Wrote: or a 12V car adapter

Buy an USB-C adapter that does 3A at 5V
or an USB-A adapter that does 2.5A at 5V ( <- mine works for me ).

(01-26-2020, 01:30 AM)gallomimia Wrote: ( prefer not inverter ).

Keep in mind that, despite being laptop shaped, this thing has the internal of a tablet - it runs on ARM (from Rockchip) and sips power ~12W.
It only uses voltage at 5V (unlike big laptops which require 20V input and charge at 60W (3A) to 100W (4.5A) )
thus going through a power inverter is absolute overkill and inefficient.

Think more like charging a power hungry high end phone or a tablet.
Most portable situation you can dream of will definitely work for charging,
some (as long as the charger can provide the require 2.5 A) will even work for charging+using at the same time.
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#5
Hi, I'm new here. I have a Raspberry Pi UK Adapter with USB C 5.1V 3A output. Can I use this to power up Pinebook Pro?
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#6
(07-20-2020, 08:35 PM)iscmob Wrote: Hi, I'm new here. I have a Raspberry Pi UK Adapter with USB C 5.1V 3A output. Can I use this to power up Pinebook Pro?

Hear that this is a no-PD dummy type power supply, may still work with Pinebook Pro.
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#7
(07-20-2020, 08:35 PM)iscmob Wrote: Hi, I'm new here. I have a Raspberry Pi UK Adapter with USB C 5.1V 3A output. Can I use this to power up Pinebook Pro?
Yes Smile
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#8
What about a 5.2V 3A supply?
Is 5.2V too high or within tolerance?
What is the tolerance?
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#9
(08-10-2020, 07:04 PM)dieselnutjob Wrote: What about a 5.2V 3A supply?
Is 5.2V too high or within tolerance?
What is the tolerance?

The USB specification voltage is 5.00V +/- 5% (max is 5.25V), so a 5.2V charger is fine.

This is actually the voltage I use to charge my PineBook Pro with my custom solar charger (to compensate small voltage losses in the cable and connector):

[Image: tQzzBXu.jpg]
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#10
(08-10-2020, 07:04 PM)dieselnutjob Wrote: What about a 5.2V 3A supply?
Is 5.2V too high or within tolerance?
What is the tolerance?

5.2V is OK, prefer not above 5.5V.
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