Zero LiPo + Pi ZeroW + charging option over microusb - need help


Hi everyone,

I recently got a Zero LiPo which is very nice. I am trying to find out how to operate the Pi ZeroW from LiPo battery and also have an option to charge it as well.

Also I have a concern (which has been asked here before- without clear answer) - when ZeroLiPo is soldered and LiPo connected, what happens if I plug the 5VDC microusb?

My goal is to run ZeroW completely from LiPo while solar charger does it’s job during daylight.

Do guys have any schematics maybe? I haven’t find it on google yet. But I am sure I am not the only one who tries to do this kind of thing :)

Thanks, cheers


The Zero Lipo will not charge the battery. You will have to unplug it and plug it into a charger.

There are devices that will do both, and

I have PowerBoost 1000c’s in a couple of my projects. No real complaints other than the 1A limit on output current. I have plans to buy the first one I linked too, as its good for 2A out. Looks a little smaller too.


Hey alphanumeric,

Thanks for quick reply! I was afraid that I need to buy another board but both seem nice. First one is cheaper than the second and if my interpretation is correct it is better?

Having the ZeroLipo without charging availability - is there a workaround for that? using 5v to 4.2v converter or something…



I think the first one is better spec wise. On paper it has better specs. Don’t like the one and only mounting hole though? Or not having an enable pin to turn off the up converter?

I have my powerboost’s setup so I can turn off the up converter, and leave just the battery charger running. It makes it easier on the power supply when recharging the battery. If your going to run your Pi 24/7 then that’s not a worry. You’d never use that disable feature.


There is more to just changing 5V to 4.2 to charge the battery. Just do that and bad things can happen. As in battery on fire. 8(


Would like to avoid that :)
Thanks, do you have schematics and install instructions for pizerow (2 linked products above)?


There are a couple of ways to do it. Plug your power supply into its micro USB, then plug a USB cable from it to the Pi’s Micro USB. That will work for both. The battery can be plugged into the JST connector or its wires soldered to the powerboost boards battery solder terminals. That pretty well your only options for the MP2636 Power Booster.

The Adafruit one has lots of other options. It has all the terminal brought out to solder pads on one side. That lets you do things like this

I used a male header to solder it to a proto pHat. The +5V and ground feed to the Pi and explorer pHat via the GPIO pins. One of those switches grounds the enable pin to turn the up converter off. Just the battery charger part is on. It’s a rover, that is turned off when recharging the battery. You can also just solder wires to the terminals.

It’s hard to see but if you look in the background of that picture you’ll see the powerboost mounted to the case. All connections go to the solder terminals on the board. None of the USB jacks are used. Only the jst jack is used for the battery.


very nice indeed! thanks :)
I found something like this here at home:

do you think this is equivalent with the one you linked? I mean would this also to the job?


No specs listed? That I could see anyway? Hard to say?


sorry no more details :( I know if I plug it into the 5v wall charger its output will be 4.2 volts. no info on Amps yet.