GPS Shield Picking the proper power

If you have a GPS module hooked up to your Arduino, there's a good chance you're looking to run it on batteries or some other portable power supply. Here are some hints on what you can use and how to reduce power.

You can read my article about batteries and how to pick the best one for your project here

Current power test data: (Please post your own findings to the forums so they can be integrated here)


Power supplies

9V battery
These are easy enough, pair it with a battery clip or holder with a 2.1mm barrel jack and you can simply run the entire system off of this. Most 9V provide about 400mA-hours of current (~5 hours of run time)

A mintyboost will convert 2 AA's (3V) to USB (5V). You can build it 'as usual' and connect it up via a standard USB cable or wire it up directly as shown above so that it will fit into a smaller case. You can use rechargeables or Alkalines. Provides about 2000 mA-hours of current (~20 hrs of run time)

Huge battery pack
This pack will power the whole setup from the DC jack and last at least 10 longer than a 9V

Reducing power requirements

There's three things that use up power in the GPS logger: the Arduino, the GPS module and the SD card

The "log everything all the time" configuration draws about 75mA
The "sleep for 10 seconds between reads but don't turn off the GPS" draws about 65mA
If you are outside where the GPS can get a fix pretty quickly, you can use as little as 10mA on average by logging only once a minute and turning off the GPS between logs.

May 30, 2011 17:32