Saturday, March 3, 2018

Beware of Powerbanks with an ESP8266

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During several years I have collected a bunch of powerbanks varying in strength. The grey one and the pink one can supply 2 Amps. The black one can supply 4400 Mah that is no less as 4.4 Amps. I even have a bigger one of 6 Amps which I am using to power an experimental wireless car. Normally however I use them as an extra power supply for my phone.

A few weeks ago I was working on a project using an ESP01 which was going to be a kind of alarm system. The idea was to put the ESP in Deepsleep (more about that in another story) which saves power. Combining this with a power bank would make the project last for a long time on this power source.

Did it work ??? Read on !!!

So what I experienced was that things worked but just for half a minute or so and then the power bank shut down !!!

As long as the ESP was operating in normal mode everything worked fine. But as soon as Deepsleep was activated the powerbank would shut down after a short time. 

It took me a while to figure out what was going on.
The cause is simple.

When the ESP enters Deepsleep mode the power consumption is minimal. In fact it is so low that the Powerbank does not notice. Or perhaps it has a treshold and the ESP is consuming far less then the tresh-hold. Therefore the powerbank shuts down.

Back to normal batteries !!!

Till next time
Have fun

Luc Volders