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Power supply questions



  • Greetings!
    I have built one of the many Retropie NES stations out there, and I'm quite happy with the result. However I have a problem with power capacity at this point which I would like to get second thoughts on.

    At this point I get the yellow bolt of lightning in the top corner (haven't seen any other problems as of yet). The build is based on the following:

    • Raspberry Pi 3
    • Control Block from Petrockblog
    • Power switch and original LED connected to Control Block (2 x 170 ohm resistance to the LED to avoid burnout there)
    • This cable ( http://tinyurl.com/jmpd56d ) to make a solid connection from the Control Blocks powersupply to the shell of the NES.
    • Original controller ports on NES connected to the Control Block
    • A USB converter to use two SNES controllers ( http://tinyurl.com/zgn8cj7 )
    • Two Amiga/C64 joystick converters ( http://www.retronicdesign.com/en/ ) mounted to the shell
    • A wireless USB keyboard with dongle

    I am usually only using the SNES converter + controllers and the rest is just mounted. I do not have a powered USB hub in the build to reduce the need of cables and make a good fit in the NES shell with the stuff I want. And it's really not much connected, just three controllers and a keyboard.

    To power this I use a iPad power block with a standard USB AB cable similar to this ( http://tinyurl.com/hpp9yn3 ), it's about 1m long and of no special quality, just an old printer cable I had around.

    Questions I have are basically -

    Can I find a charger that will run this and get rid of the yellow flash without adding a powered USB hub?

    Will the power supply converter (USB Micro -> USB B) cable give me headaches or should I be fine with it?

    Are the iPad charger a suitable device for the Raspberry? I find conflicting info on this topic when browsing around.

    Would love to hear opinions on this matter!

    All the best,
    Björn Sundberg



  • @Hravnkel In my opinion, no chargers are suitable as they are designed for charging. Some may work depending on quality. My advice is to buy a decent power supply that is rated at 5A. The raspberry pi 3 needs a good regulated supply that can supply 5.1V at 2.5A to operate efficiently. The extra capacity will allow you to connect anything else you can think of. I run an Ipac2, two iBuffalo controllers, LED strips (which are demanding) and a keyboard. There will be plenty of spare capacity at this rating. You don't say what power supply you are running right now? What is the rating of the ipad power block? I think it is 5.1V at 2.1 A, if so it's not enough to do even basic things reliably over prolonged use. The problem with many chargers is that they may contain charging circuitry which could prevent them from behaving as a standard DC power supply.



  • I have had luck with Chargers for the HP 7 Android and HP Stream 7 tablets. Both of those tablets need a solid 2A charger or else they will burn out the supply.

    Honestly though, charges are hit-ot-miss because quality control is so poor on them. Bestbets I have seen anymore are the Official Raspberry Pi Power supply of this CanaKit one from Amazon:
    https://www.amazon.com/CanaKit-Raspberry-Supply-Adapter-Charger/dp/B00MARDJZ4/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1481896582&sr=1-1&keywords=raspberry+pi+3+power+supply



  • @Hravnkel
    I actually did a video on this not too long ago.

    Alternatively you can just run an override script I wrote.
    This will disable the lightning bolt and allow your pi to run in turbo mode....better performance.
    http://eazyhax.com/pitime/Power_Override.sh
    Hope this helps you!



  • Great thanks for good feedback, and I really liked the video there @Shakz.

    I actually got out and bought a better power supply and got rid of the yellow lightning bolt after I read your answers, however I couldn't find one that hosted a USB port rather than a fixed cable with a Micro USB-interface. I have now done a quick-and-dirty attachment of it to the PiNES but I'll try to find a better solution to be able to connect the power via a USB B cable since that will be better for transportation and general look overall.

    However thanks again, I feel the subject is closed and I'll just have to find the proper gadget to handle it. :)

    All the best,

    /Hravnkel



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