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Section 4: Selecting a Power Source

Section 4: Selecting a Power Source

The ArduinoTrack board requires a DC power source in the range of 7.0 to 15.0V. For High Altitude Ballooning, a 2-cell 7.4V lithium-polymer battery pack is optimal, and a 1300mAh pack will generally supply power to track the system for more than 5 hours. If external sensors or actuators are being included, or if additional recovery time is desired, higher-capacity packs can be used. Note than higher voltage packs will NOT extend run time, and will only serve to increase the ambient heat produced by the primary voltage regulator.

Current consumption is generally under 50mA, but may exceed 150mA on transmit with the build-in HX1 transmit module. If using an external transmitter, the peek current will be dominated by the current consumed by the transmit function.

The 5V regulator is capable of regulating up to 1.5A of current to be provided to the external transmitter.

Power for the ArduinoTrack system should ALWAYS be applied via the 2.1mm barrel power connector on the ArduinoTrack Shield, even if the board is being used with a host Arduino. The Shield will back-feed the voltage needed to drive the host Arduino, and there is no need for a second power connection.

Battery Capacity Runtime* 
7.4V Lipo 1800mAh  24 hours 
7.4V Lipo 500mAh 7 hours 


* Approximate runtimes are based on an ArduinoTrack with the onboard HX-1 module, transmitting packets twice per minute.  Many factors can affect your overall battery life including frequency of transmissions, battery condition, temperature, and any other sensors or circuitry that might be attached.