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Thread: Off grid computing. Energy efficient screen for a Pi?

  1. #1
    Ashaz's Avatar
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    Off grid computing. Energy efficient screen for a Pi?

    I'm looking for a small and very energy efficient screen for a raspberry pi project. The machine will be run entirely on solar power and powerbanks. So the screen needs to not drink tve battery dry and be rather small-ish.
    I'm looking fir something like ste b&w screen of a trekstor ebook reader. Good res and f-in amazing energy efficiency, but I don't know where to look or what to search for realy.

    Halp?

    I am also looking for sone good keyboard solution that is small and lightweight.

  2. #2

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    Please don't teach me what to do with my pc.

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    Movember 2011Movember 2012 Nordstern's Avatar
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    Belongs in the RPi thread, really.

    If the system is going to run on powerbanks, just how efficient does it need to be? What's the application? Will it use a screensaver? Are the powerbanks designed to be used with solar panels and be charged/discharged daily? I have the official 7" touchscreen and it runs with the RPi off a 2.5A AC adapter.
    Last edited by Nordstern; June 22 2018 at 02:51:27 PM.
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  4. #4
    Ashaz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nordstern View Post
    Belongs in the RPi thread, really.

    If the system is going to run on powerbanks, just how efficient does it need to be? What's the application? Will it use a screensaver? Are the powerbanks designed to be used with solar panels and be charged/discharged daily? I have the official 7" touchscreen and it runs with the RPi off a 2.5A AC adapter.
    Well, it needs to atleast not draw more than the Pi itself. I can run the pi without a monitor for quite a long time on the powerbank in question. (Half a day easily) Not sure exactly how much the average draw is from the pi tho. It will be run as a regular computer with the Pi version of Ubuntu Mate on a hdd. This is currently an old mechanical drive but will probably be switched to an SSD for the sake of power consumption.

    So the 7" doesn't need a separate power suply? it gets it's power through the pi? Have you noticed any impact on the pi's performance? They tend to bog down when they don't get enough amps. That could be a solution then.

    I'm still not sure how I'll solve the input device tho. Idealy I'd want something like my solar powered Logitec K750 (Had it for 8 years and never changed the battery), but smaller and with a trackpad. But I guess a rechargabe solution could work aswell. That just means I need to have a secondary powerbank for recharging when needed. And I think that would be needed anyways to alternate powerbanks between usage/recharge.
    Last edited by Ashaz; June 27 2018 at 11:03:31 AM.

  5. #5
    Movember 2011Movember 2012 Nordstern's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ashaz View Post
    Well, it needs to atleast not draw more than the Pi itself. I can run the pi without a monitor for quite a long time on the powerbank in question. (Half a day easily) Not sure exactly how much the average draw is from the pi tho.
    I have no idea what the touchscreen's power draw is, and I can't find anything in the specs that suggests what it might be.
    It will be run as a regular computer with the Pi version of Ubuntu Mate on a hdd. This is currently an old mechanical drive but will probably be switched to an SSD for the sake of power consumption.
    Don't know why you can't use a microSD card or USB stick, but okay.
    So the 7" doesn't need a separate power suply? it gets it's power through the pi?
    Yes and no. The 2.5A wall adapter is sufficient. It will, however, require another micro USB connection. The stand I use has a splitter, so no worries there.
    Have you noticed any impact on the pi's performance? They tend to bog down when they don't get enough amps. That could be a solution then.
    I was able to run the RPi, touchscreen, and wireless keyboard nub off of a 2.1A powerbank, but I got low power warnings. 2.5A had no problems. The only real performance issue I've had with RPi is that the Bluetooth and Wi-Fi share the same chip and bus. Playing YouTube vids over Wi-Fi and playing sound on a wireless Bluetooth speaker resulted in some stuttering and dropped audio.
    I'm still not sure how I'll solve the input device tho. Idealy I'd want something like my solar powered Logitec K750 (Had it for 8 years and never changed the battery), but smaller and with a trackpad. But I guess a rechargabe solution could work aswell. That just means I need to have a secondary powerbank for recharging when needed. And I think that would be needed anyways to alternate powerbanks between usage/recharge.
    Have you figured out what to do with excess energy when the bank is full and the sun is still shining? Have you figured out a brownout solution for the winter when the sky is overcast and the amount of daylight decreases? And again, are your powerbanks designed to be used with variable current input like solar panels?

    Some stuff in my setup:
    Touchscreen: https://www.amazon.com/Raspberry-Pi-...0107688&sr=8-5
    Case/stand: https://www.amazon.com/Case-Official...V6NQYYBJDR64V0
    Keyboard (no drivers needed, you can find this for $25 on sale sometimes): https://www.amazon.com/Logitech-Wire...=logitech+k400
    Power switch so I don't wear out the connectors: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...hps_bw_c_x_7_w
    Power meter, got this 15 years ago, still works: https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_n...ds=kill-a-watt
    Last edited by Nordstern; June 27 2018 at 02:40:19 PM.
    "Holy shit, I ask you to stop being autistic and you debate what autistic is." - spasm
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  6. #6
    Movember 2011Movember 2012 Nordstern's Avatar
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    I'm also going to ask what your project is, because RPi may be complete overkill if you're doing what I think you're doing.
    "Holy shit, I ask you to stop being autistic and you debate what autistic is." - spasm
    Quote Originally Posted by Larkonis Trassler View Post
    WTF I hate white people now...

  7. #7
    Ashaz's Avatar
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    I'll get back on the rest of the questions. But this part:
    "Don't know why you can't use a microSD card or USB stick, but okay."

    it's quite simple. If you use a pi like a normal computer with just a microSD, it will literally burn out the card. My neighbour had it happen 3 times before we started looking into it and sure enough. there's alot of info about it on the web. They're just not designed for that kind of use.
    Last edited by Ashaz; June 28 2018 at 02:04:05 PM.

  8. #8
    Movember 2011Movember 2012 Nordstern's Avatar
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    So how's the project coming along?
    "Holy shit, I ask you to stop being autistic and you debate what autistic is." - spasm
    Quote Originally Posted by Larkonis Trassler View Post
    WTF I hate white people now...

  9. #9
    Mashie Saldana's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nordstern View Post
    So how's the project coming along?
    Probably ran out of power.

  10. #10
    Movember 2011Movember 2012 Nordstern's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mashie Saldana View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Nordstern View Post
    So how's the project coming along?
    Probably ran out of power.
    (insert PYLONS joke)
    "Holy shit, I ask you to stop being autistic and you debate what autistic is." - spasm
    Quote Originally Posted by Larkonis Trassler View Post
    WTF I hate white people now...

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