If you’ve ever tried running a Raspberry Pi off a battery, you’ll have quickly realised that it doesn't last long. The solution is often bigger and bigger batteries and even then you find, it still runs out of power before you know it.
The Sleepy Pi 2 gives a you a helping hand to maximise that battery power and offers you a couple of major things:
The guiding principle is that not every application needs to be on all the time. Traditional embedded systems “sleep” whenever they can (a bit like a teenager…).
Suppose you have a remote camera system that takes a picture every 15 minutes. What does it do for the other 14 minutes? Yep, Drain your battery. What if you could put the Raspberry Pi into a low power mode for those 14 minutes? Would that increase your battery life?
Suppose you had a wildlife camera that captures birds feeding in the day. What happens during the night when you can’t see and there are no birds are feeding? You waste your battery. Imagine if you could shut the system down at dusk and wake up again just before dawn? You wouldn't waste all that energy during the night.
That's where Sleepy Pi 2 comes in and helps you out.
The Raspberry Pi doesn't natively have a low power mode. You can turn a few things off, but fundamentally you’re always running “hot”. What Sleepy Pi 2 does is schedule virtual “sleep” mode by shutting down the Raspberry Pi and then “waking” it when it’s next needed. This can massively extend you battery life.
Alongside helping you maximise your battery life, Sleepy Pi 2 is also a dedicated Arduino that talks to the Raspberry Pi and is the main brains of this show. Write your own code and upload it from the Raspberry Pi - nothing else needed. If you’ve ever wanted to learn Arduino AND Raspberry Pi, look no further…
Where things get really smart, is the fact that the Arduino can keep watch on the environment whilst it’s big brother is sleeping. If it detects something out of the ordinary or an event you are monitoring it can decide to wake up the Big Boy.
Attach whatever sensors you fancy to the Arduino and get monitoring, for example:
Keep track of time even when you are off-line. Want to power up the Raspberry Pi at a certain time or take a timed measurement? No problem. The Sleepy Pi has a Real-time clock (RTC) than can be backed up by a battery and can even sync the clock on the Raspberry Pi.
The Sleepy Pi can measure how much current the Raspberry Pi draws. This can be used to optimise how much power the Raspberry Pi is actually using and optimise it.
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I’ve been happily married to Engineering for nearly 30 years, now. We’ve had some great times together over the years designing cool stuff and raising products, some of which are for sale here on Tindie.
When I’m not being a Maker, I can be found working as a consultant engineer, doing “stuff”. That “stuff” might be Industrial Machine Vision, Ultra-Intensity LED Vision lighting, Laser Tag systems, Test and Measuement, Defence hush-hush…
Personally, I believe in chasing the goal of multiple-disciplined “full-stack” engineering. My progress so far, is professionally working as a software engineer, firmware engineer, hardware designer and mechanical engineer. Still a long way to go!
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