Test of Battery operated ESP32 Boards (Olimex, TinyPICO, EzSBC, TTGO)



Which ESP32 boards can be used for our battery-operated projects? How can we distinguish between good and bad designs? And how do these boards compare to the ones tested in earlier videos?
This time I have a global boards selection coming from Australia, Bulgaria, China, and the USA
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Links:
Comparison Table: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1Mu-bNwpnkiNUiM7f2dx8-gPnIAFMibsC2hMlWhIHbPQ/edit?usp=sharing
Diagrams and datasheets: https://github.com/SensorsIot/ESP32-Battery-operated-boards
Boards (alphabetically):
Adafruit Feather Huzzah: https://www.adafruit.com/product/3405
EzSBC IoT controller: https://www.ezsbc.com/product/esp32_bat-battery-charging-pro/
Olimex: https://www.olimex.com/Products/IoT/ESP32/ESP32-DevKit-LiPo/open-source-hardware
TTGO T8 S2 with display: https://s.click.aliexpress.com/e/_9Q9avL
TTGO T8 w/o display: https://s.click.aliexpress.com/e/_9gyi97
TTGO T18: https://s.click.aliexpress.com/e/_AXgarf
Unexpected Maker: https://unexpectedmaker.com/
Battery Life Calculator: https://of-things.de/battery-life-calculator.php

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49 thoughts on “Test of Battery operated ESP32 Boards (Olimex, TinyPICO, EzSBC, TTGO)

  • June 20, 2021 at 1:55 pm
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    Nice overview. Pity that there seems to be no good choice out of these boards. I will stick with my Lolin D32 V1 for now

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  • June 20, 2021 at 1:55 pm
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    AMS1117 be gone!
    …and take your 5mA minimum load and your 5mA quiescent current with you.

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  • June 20, 2021 at 1:55 pm
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    Most good PS designs include a 0.1uF in parallel with the output cap. Sometimes even a 0.01uF as well.
    If you want the best filtering (expensive), use 2x 47uF Aluminum polymer (used in cpu power coupling) in parallel, with a 1mH inductor connecting the 2 positive sides of these 2 caps.
    This would be like killing a fly with a sledge hammer!
    You can also place a 3.3uF aluminum polymer across the Vcc and Gnd on the ESP32 module. The closer, the better.
    I used this last option on a project, and no more crashing.

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  • June 20, 2021 at 1:55 pm
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    Hi, I've been through the issue of the drop despite the capacitor. Isn't related to breadboard resistance, but the effect of the inductance of the connections. You can even use smaller ceramic, if placed at ESP chip pins. Electrolytic ones can't usually compensate for short, big spikes, despite their capacity

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  • June 20, 2021 at 1:55 pm
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    In the table for the ttgo t18 you specified 10V as a max input voltage. How did you arrive at that conclusion? I have successfully fried the ldo on this board by connecting a very small solar panel (max 6-7 V) to its battery charger and having it lying in the sun for a couple of hours.
    Furthermore: the ttgo t18 energy board sells on Ali both from the original manufacturer at 11 euro and from different sellers at half the price. I ordered both for comparisson. The are componentwise identical and the chinese knockoff only differs in its silkscreen type text. Even the chinese copy from each other successfully.
    Nowadays I protect my solar powered boards with a simple zener diode from overvoltage, just like someone else also suggested in the comments below.

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  • June 20, 2021 at 1:55 pm
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    I really never understand why boards are not at least designed for low power consumption! Like putting LEDs that you can not turn off (arduino!)

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  • June 20, 2021 at 1:55 pm
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    Andreas thanks so very much for your recent recommendation of this nordic power profiler 2… it's something i very much will be looking forwards to getting. A great instrument. For these esp32 is an interesting selection, but is also missed out the trigboard by Kevin Darrah in USA, it would have been nice to see how well it compares to these cheaper ones. However the trigboard is more expensive and perhaps its hardware is a little bit more closed in its design than these others IDK.

    BTW fellow youtuber sdg electronics also made very recent video about the capacitors for LDO and is also a small help in regards to educating beginners (blike me!) about these choices. But thanks again also for your take on these subject(s). Very useful

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  • June 20, 2021 at 1:55 pm
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    What about the Beetle ESP32 Microcontroller? It's expensive but it seems to be a great board.

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  • June 20, 2021 at 1:55 pm
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    Andreas, you should check ESP32-S2-DevKit-Lipo from Olimex. It uses LDO from Microchip – MCP1700. The deep sleep current of the board is around 6uA.

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  • June 20, 2021 at 1:55 pm
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    The ESP32 board with the lowest deep sleep current I found was the Pycom WiPy with < 20 uA. It has to be programed with an FTDI cable and had no charging chip on board.

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  • June 20, 2021 at 1:55 pm
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    It's worth repeating the capacitor test with both electrolyitics and ceramic caps together. High esr in the electrolyitics means they font respond fast enough. Ceramics are very quick but low capacity. Tantalum beads are a good compromise but expensive…

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  • June 20, 2021 at 1:55 pm
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    Given most of these will run off a single cell just use a protected cell for low voltage project.

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  • June 20, 2021 at 1:55 pm
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    Thank you for taking the time and effort for making it simple and easy to understand.
    With an great overview of what's on of some of the most popular boards we are purchasing all over the internet.
    A very handy one, thanks you Andreas! Just learned a lot.

    Reply
  • June 20, 2021 at 1:55 pm
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    I gotta say, the more i learn about the ESP32 (mostly from you 😉 ) the more i like this chip. It has some neat features like RTOS, Deep Sleep and the ULP Processor. It also comes with some interesting integrated Libs like ticker. And even the PWM with ledc seems to be more versitile then the good old analogWrite.
    Ordered myself some nodeMCU ESP32's to get started with and do some testing… let's see where this leads to 😀

    Reply
  • June 20, 2021 at 1:55 pm
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    As a owner and a baker of TinyPICO board I'm really proud to see it here. Really useful video as usual! Thanks!

    Reply

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