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Mini PC powering with powerbank (Minix)

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#1 powasam5000

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Posted 15 January 2018 - 04:31 PM

Hi all,

I am trying to eliminate a lot of cables from my setup and would like to go the route of mounting everything on the ota. I am looking at a mini pc (most specifically the Minix) and would like to see if anyone is powering this by powerbank? I image remotely from a dark site so my power options are limited to portable. I use two jumpstarters but once again it adds more cables (and is large) so I am looking for a smaller mountable option. I know the intel stick pc can be powered by powerbank ( I think), but I like the amount of usbs and specs of the minix. Any suggestions? Any other mini pc suggestions that can be powered by a powerbank? I am looking for an out of box solution and not something I have to cobble together by splicing wires etc.

 

Thanks

Sam


Edited by powasam5000, 15 January 2018 - 04:31 PM.


#2 james7ca

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Posted 15 January 2018 - 05:00 PM

I've run my Minix for over eight hours using a small 12VDC AGM battery (14Ah). Actually, that same battery powered everything except the camera cooler and the mount (so USB hub, filter wheel, guide camera, imaging camera, focus indicator, USB-to-serial converter, and Minix). I've never run the battery down as far as possible, so you might be able to get 10 to 12 hours on a single charge if you really pushed it. 

 

However, I wouldn't try to mount a battery of this size to the OTA and if the battery capacity is notably lower than the above 14Ah you won't be able to get a long and full night on a single charge (at least not safely or while maintaining a decent rundown voltage on the battery). I've found that 14Ah is almost perfect for an entire night of imaging (although, as I've said that does NOT include the camera cooler or the mount).

 

Some battery technologies can do better than an AGM, lead-acid type, particularly with rundown voltage and weight.

 

Here is an image of the battery I've used, in case you can't tell that is my hand holding the battery.

Attached Thumbnails

  • Minix Battery.jpg

Edited by james7ca, 15 January 2018 - 05:10 PM.

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#3 powasam5000

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Posted 16 January 2018 - 12:55 AM

Thanks for the reply James. Those batteries may be a little too heavy for what im trying to do.  A talentcell may be an option I guess but that looks just as heavy. If those are the minimum for the minix I may have to go the  pc  stick route. I believe those can be ran with a power bank. Was hoping for something with more usb ports. Just to cut the hub out of the picture.


Edited by powasam5000, 16 January 2018 - 12:55 AM.


#4 james7ca

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Posted 16 January 2018 - 05:03 AM

I don't think that the Minix (the Atom-powered version) uses that much more power than the Compute Stick. However, once you power everything and attempt to run for more than a few hours you're going to need a reasonably large battery.

 

That said, I've run a Compute Stick on a battery that isn't much larger than the Stick itself. But, that might only last for a few hours (on either platform). However, the Compute Stick runs on 5VDC and there are a lot of compact batteries in that category that are used for mobile devices (phones, tablets, etc.). Below is one such example (I estimated that the pictured battery could power the Compute Stick and one camera for about 3 hours, or maybe a bit less).

 

In any case, there is a lot more information on powering the Minix in the following thread:

 

  https://www.cloudyni...e/#entry7635197

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  • RavPower Battery and Compute Stick.jpg

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#5 powasam5000

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Posted 24 January 2018 - 02:10 PM

Thanks so much for the image James. Your post gave me confidence to commit to the m3 stick and a large powerbank. I bought this one

 

Powered the stick through a USB-C cable.

 

I tested it out the other day in the house and I was able to run the pc stick for 10-11 hours continuously  with this battery under relatively heavy stress. Hours of windows update (took almost 8 hours to do so) as well as a browser continuously playing youtube videos the entire time (pegged ram almost to 100% and cpu always around 70%)

 

This will work out excellent in the field. I just hope all my usb devices running through the one usb3 port wont cause issues. So far I am very impressed!



#6 james7ca

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Posted 24 January 2018 - 06:32 PM

Okay, I hope it works out for you.

 

I actually have two RAVpower units similar to what you purchased, but an earlier model that didn't have the smart Quick Charge port (you should probably avoid using the Quick Charge port since that is power-managed and it might be confused by the varying power draw from the Compute Stick). My unit has three standard USB type-A ports, only one of which is an iSmart port. Your 3 amp type-C port would probably work best.

 

I'm not sure whether I've tested the runtime on either of these with my Compute Stick, but they work great with my iPad and iPhone and they seem to hold charge (unused) for a VERY long time.



#7 Limmel

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Posted 27 April 2018 - 01:13 AM

Thanks so much for the image James. Your post gave me confidence to commit to the m3 stick and a large powerbank. I bought this one

 

Powered the stick through a USB-C cable.

 

I tested it out the other day in the house and I was able to run the pc stick for 10-11 hours continuously  with this battery under relatively heavy stress. Hours of windows update (took almost 8 hours to do so) as well as a browser continuously playing youtube videos the entire time (pegged ram almost to 100% and cpu always around 70%)

 

This will work out excellent in the field. I just hope all my usb devices running through the one usb3 port wont cause issues. So far I am very impressed!

Thanks for the good info. Recently I bought the same type RP-PB043 as you did. However, when I used a RAVPower USB-C cable (type RP-TPC010) to power my m3 stick, it only lasted less than 1 hour and later will shut down automatically. But If this cable was used with AC Adapter, there is no problem with powering the stick. Then I tried to test the iSmart port to power m3 using a USB A-to-micro USB-to-USB-C cable. Still I can boot the stick normally but cannot run it continuously. I am not sure whether this is related to the quality of my USB-C cable. Any idea of this? Which cable did you use? Can I try the QC port, but James advised some caution when using this port? Thanks.



#8 james7ca

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Posted 27 April 2018 - 06:17 AM

The M3-powered Compute Stick is going to draw more power than one of the Atom-based units. I'm not sure how much difference that would make, but I wouldn't be surprised if the M3 used at least twice the power of the base Compute Stick (or the Minix).



#9 Limmel

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Posted 29 April 2018 - 08:23 PM

James, thanks for sharing your experience. You are right. These two days I also tested if the use of the QC port could keep powering the stick. Up to now, the result obtained is very positive. Particularly yesterday, after the powerbank was fully charged I used a 3.1 USB-A to USB-C cable through the QC port to power the stick, which ran continuously about seven hours without any stops (with about 60% RAM and about 50% CPU on average), until the powerbank ran out. It appears that, however, the type-C port does not work for me if that RAVPower USB-C cable still is used. Later, I will try other USB-C cable to see if it works.




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