HELP Regarding SmartPower3 Connection with Raspberry Pi 4

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HELP Regarding SmartPower3 Connection with Raspberry Pi 4

Post by george1912 »

Hello to all.

I hope this message finds you well. I am considering purchasing a SmartPower3 for my PhD thesis and would like to inquire about its compatibility and connection process with a Raspberry Pi 4, which is powered exclusively through USB-C.

Before making a purchase, I would like to understand the specifics of connecting the SmartPower3 to a Raspberry Pi 4. My primary concerns are regarding the compatibility and the necessary steps to ensure a safe and effective connection. Specifically, I am interested in knowing:

1. The type of cables or adapters I would need to connect the SmartPower3 to a Raspberry Pi 4.
2. Any specific configurations or settings that must be adjusted on the SmartPower3 for it to work with the Raspberry Pi 4.
3. Guidance on ensuring a stable and safe power supply when using the SmartPower3 with the Raspberry Pi 4.

Your expert advice will greatly assist me in deciding whether the SmartPower3 is the right choice for my needs. I appreciate any information or recommendations you can provide.

Thank you very much for your time and assistance. I look forward to your response and am eager to learn more about the capabilities of the SmartPower3.

Best regards,
George
Last edited by george1912 on Tue Dec 19, 2023 8:13 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Inquiry Regarding SmartPower3 Connection with Raspberry Pi 4

Post by L67GS »

Welcome George, what's the topic of your thesis?

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Re: Inquiry Regarding SmartPower3 Connection with Raspberry Pi 4

Post by mad_ady »

As far as I know, a RPI4 needs 5v 3A, which the SP3 can sustain.
You only need a usb-c cable cut out, and connect vcc/gnd to the SP3.

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Re: Inquiry Regarding SmartPower3 Connection with Raspberry Pi 4

Post by george1912 »

L67GS wrote:
Tue Dec 19, 2023 4:53 am
Welcome George, what's the topic of your thesis?
Thank You for welcome me.
A Self-Adaptive Human Activity Recogntion System. And the SmartPower 3 is to measure the energy consumption of the system.
Last edited by george1912 on Tue Dec 19, 2023 7:50 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Inquiry Regarding SmartPower3 Connection with Raspberry Pi 4

Post by george1912 »

In the image, attached, there is a connection between a Raspberry Pi 4 with SmartPower 3. There is a specific piece connecting the USB-C cable of the Raspeberry Pi4 to the SmartPower 3. Anyone know the name of that piece or something similar?
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Re: Inquiry Regarding SmartPower3 Connection with Raspberry Pi 4

Post by mctom »

Smart Power 3 has voltage output connectors that are called "banana jacks", more precisely the 4mm kind.
But naked wires can also be attached, just like the left hand side port on the picture you attached.

Accessories used for connecting Raspberry Pi 4 on this picture are not for sale by Hardkernel, I'm afraid. But you can easily find them elsewhere.
Here is a banana - USB-A cable: https://www.aliexpress.com/item/1005004844375391.html
And I'm sure you know where you can get USB-A to USB-C cable.

For the most precise measurements, use the shortest and thickest cables you can get. Otherwise they will develop voltage drop and lose some power there.

The official Raspberry Pi 4 power supply works at 5.1V (which breaks the USB standard). Most likely reason being a voltage drop on Pi's protection circuitry.
You can set Smart Power 3 to work at 5.1V, but most likely that won't be necessary.

I also encourage you to switch to Odroid M1 or M1S for your project. They use much less power than Pi4 and have built-in neural processing units, which may vastly increase performance of your application and cut power consumption.
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Re: HELP Regarding SmartPower3 Connection with Raspberry Pi 4

Post by odroid »

The adapter in the picture was made with a 3D printer and manual soldering some plugs and wires.
As mctcom mentioned, the link of banana-to-USB typeA adapter seems to be a very nice alternative.

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Re: HELP Regarding SmartPower3 Connection with Raspberry Pi 4

Post by george1912 »

odroid wrote:
Tue Dec 19, 2023 10:16 am
The adapter in the picture was made with a 3D printer and manual soldering some plugs and wires.
As mctcom mentioned, the link of banana-to-USB typeA adapter seems to be a very nice alternative.
Do you think that something like the cable on the attached image would work?
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Re: HELP Regarding SmartPower3 Connection with Raspberry Pi 4

Post by mctom »

Probably yes, if that receptacle is indeed USB-C and not just something similar. :)
The wires are super thin though, I would find something with thicker and shorter wires.
I mean, it's not a problem to make them shorter at any time. :)
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Re: HELP Regarding SmartPower3 Connection with Raspberry Pi 4

Post by george1912 »

mctom wrote:
Tue Dec 19, 2023 6:09 pm
Probably yes, if that receptacle is indeed USB-C and not just something similar. :)
The wires are super thin though, I would find something with thicker and shorter wires.
I mean, it's not a problem to make them shorter at any time. :)
Thank You for yout reply. Just another question, do you think this could solve the problem of the cable being too thin? This is a 4mm plug.
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Re: HELP Regarding SmartPower3 Connection with Raspberry Pi 4

Post by mctom »

The cable is too thin to carry current for Raspberry Pi, not because it won't fit to Smart Power 3.
mctom wrote:
Tue Dec 19, 2023 8:15 am
For the most precise measurements, use the shortest and thickest cables you can get. Otherwise they will develop voltage drop and lose some power there.
mctom wrote:
Tue Dec 19, 2023 8:15 am
But naked wires can also be attached, just like the left hand side port on the picture you attached.
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Re: HELP Regarding SmartPower3 Connection with Raspberry Pi 4

Post by george1912 »

mctom wrote:
Wed Dec 20, 2023 12:23 am
The cable is too thin to carry current for Raspberry Pi, not because it won't fit to Smart Power 3.
mctom wrote:
Tue Dec 19, 2023 8:15 am
For the most precise measurements, use the shortest and thickest cables you can get. Otherwise they will develop voltage drop and lose some power there.
mctom wrote:
Tue Dec 19, 2023 8:15 am
But naked wires can also be attached, just like the left hand side port on the picture you attached.
Thank you again, and sorry to bother you. I did more research and I found a DC to USB-C adapter. I could use the adapter together with the DC plug cable(5.5mm/2.1mm) included in the SmartPower3 package. Do you think this approach is a valid one to obtain precise measurements?
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Re: HELP Regarding SmartPower3 Connection with Raspberry Pi 4

Post by mctom »

Yes, that may actually work even better.

I would only make sure the polarity matches. By convention, red wire is plus and black is minus. Similarly, the inner contact of barrel jack is almost always plus.
This convention is respected in all ODROID products, but I've seen some that actually use the reverse (such as Boss audio equipment).

Where is a plus contact on the thing you presented isn't known. It should be in the middle on the barrel end, but there's no guarantee, unless the product description says something about that.
Because of that I would test your connections with some low value USB-C device first - just to be super sure.
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Re: HELP Regarding SmartPower3 Connection with Raspberry Pi 4

Post by george1912 »

mctom wrote:
Wed Dec 20, 2023 6:08 am
Yes, that may actually work even better.

I would only make sure the polarity matches. By convention, red wire is plus and black is minus. Similarly, the inner contact of barrel jack is almost always plus.
This convention is respected in all ODROID products, but I've seen some that actually use the reverse (such as Boss audio equipment).

Where is a plus contact on the thing you presented isn't known. It should be in the middle on the barrel end, but there's no guarantee, unless the product description says something about that.
Because of that I would test your connections with some low value USB-C device first - just to be super sure.
Thank you once again. What am I saying is connecting to the previous piece one of dc cables (the barrel end) in this SmartPower3 picture. In that case there will not be any problem, rigth?
Sorry for so many quastions, but I am a software engeneering, so the hardware is out of my confort zone.
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Re: HELP Regarding SmartPower3 Connection with Raspberry Pi 4

Post by mad_ady »

You can check polarity with a voltmeter, set to measure resistence. Resistence between the outer edge of the usb jack and the ring of the barrel jack should be zero.
Also, respect polarity when attaching to the SP3.
And you know what they say: Beware of the software engineer that carries a screwdriver!
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Re: HELP Regarding SmartPower3 Connection with Raspberry Pi 4

Post by mctom »

The only possible problem is that barrel to USB-C thing that you showed us. Probably not, but worth checking like @mad_ady suggested.
Better yet, show us the offer at mauser.pt that you were looking at, maybe they wrote how this thing works exactly.
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Re: HELP Regarding SmartPower3 Connection with Raspberry Pi 4

Post by george1912 »

mctom wrote:
Wed Dec 20, 2023 5:32 pm
The only possible problem is that barrel to USB-C thing that you showed us. Probably not, but worth checking like @mad_ady suggested.
Better yet, show us the offer at mauser.pt that you were looking at, maybe they wrote how this thing works exactly.
This is the only thing they write about the adapter in the website:

Characteristics:

Input plug (male): ø5.5x2.1mm
Output plug: USB-C
Adapter dimensions: Ø 12 x 37 mm

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Re: HELP Regarding SmartPower3 Connection with Raspberry Pi 4

Post by mctom »

Nevertheless you can buy it, in the worst case you will have to swap cables near Smart Power 3.
I'm only talking about a slim chance of incompatibility of this adapter with de facto standard.
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Re: HELP Regarding SmartPower3 Connection with Raspberry Pi 4

Post by george1912 »

Thank you all for your assistance. I plan to present this solution to my PhD supervisor for approval. If he agrees, I will proceed to purchase all the necessary hardware that we discussed here.

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Re: HELP Regarding SmartPower3 Connection with Raspberry Pi 4

Post by george1912 »

I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

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