Pi zero, Picon zero robot project - wondering about power


#1

Hi,

I’m really keen to buy my first pi for a robot project with my boys. I’m planning a pi zero w + Piconzero differential drive robot with a lego chassis. I’d like to use just a single 4 x recharge AA battery pack to keep size down. Am I on the right lines?!

I assume the 4.8v will do to power the pi zero and the piconzero. But will I get into trouble with the motors? Could a motor thats too big damage the boards? Will it cause the pi to reset? I guess I’m looking for something like 2 x F-130 motors but geared and running on 5v.

I know a single 9v battery would do the trick but I don’t have a charger for those (maybe I should just buy one…)

What do you think??

Thank!


#2

Hi Will, I think you’ll run into trouble if you just run the whole lot from a 4.8v battery. That’s already pretty low for the Pi so any strain on the motors will probably reset it. You should probably run the Pi from a separate USB power bank and just power the motors from the 4.8v battery pack. That way the Pi won’t reset if the motors are under load.
As for a 9v battery, if you mean a pp3 type, they can’t deliver a lot of current and won’t last very long. More AA’s would be better but then you will have to regulate it down to 5v to power the Pi.


#3

Hi

On motor controller topic.
I would discourage using picon zero with motors.
Had two boards:
-one would run burning hot just by switching on external powers supply.
-second would run erratically and keeps crashing(board itself would stop responding to commands from raspberry.

They were both superb as a servo controller (constant rotation) and added python library made python scripting a breeze but to this day I had no luck using it with motors on external power supply.