Battery; Electron stopped running code


‘‘Lithium-thionyl chloride(Li-SOCl ) Battery Packs have higher ESR and drop V more than std LiPo. Early models had low ESR caps in shunt. That temp range does not state loss in V or Ah , it just operates. Boost regulators transform to lower load impedance to make things possibly worse.’’

Is what someone from an Electrical Engineering forum mentioned. I don’t really know enough about this topic to understand what is meant by this. Although the temperatures rarely go below -10C, the absolute lowest I expect to deploy the Particle Electron in is -30C (which may be another issue, as the Electron is specified at min. -20C, so in the long run I may require the E-Series)


The boost regulator has capacitors on it which would help with the sudden voltage drops. You could add more caps if desired.


Just ordered 5 of those, to test. Also considering to get some parallel LiSOCl2 cells. The 26Ah capacity would be amazing.


Looking for forward to seeing how it works out / helps you with better stability.


Official response by battery manufacturer:

  • At -25C, the maximum pulse current of one LiSOCl2 D-cell is 2000mAh
  • At -25C while supplying 800mA, the delivered voltage is 3.1V

Not as bad as I thought it would be. It certainly can deliver the necessary current easily, albeit the voltage is on the lower end (a LiPo-battery at this point already would be considered empty). The lowest temperature we’ve experienced here this winter is about -10C to -15C, but I suppose that was sufficient already to trip up the battery.

So a parallel setup w/ booster should suffice in terms of current supply taking into account some loss in the conversion efficiency (which could be up to 1.3A in this case?), and will deliver the steady 3.6V I need.


3.1v is a dead LiPo and from my testing causes long connection times or no connections.

As the battery ages, and temps drop these numbers will get worse.

The booster is for sure a good move. 2 cells in parallel is also a good move to cut current per cell in half.


Also explains why one of my sensors spent about 2 hours establishing a connection the other day :wink:

I made sure to add a maximum connection time after that.


Tested it, and it outputs a steady 3.60V. Oddly enough however, my connection times actually seem to be much longer and more prone to failing. The battery at room temperature has a peak current of 2A, and the booster allows up to 1A, which should be sufficient for a 3G Electron unit.


What pins do you have the output of the boost regulator connected to?

Do you have any small capacitors laying around there by chance?


Simply cut the JST connector wires of the battery in half, and soldered them on the Booster. So the booster is connected to the Electron with the JST plug. Will continue to monitor this…


I have found the JST connector to be less than ideal and sometimes requires jiggling around for the best connection.

Try connecting the output of the boost regulator to the Li+ and GND pins and see if you get a more stable result.


I have always connected the batteries with the JST connector though, could that also have been to blame for my sensor shutdowns?


Just saying sometimes I have to wiggle the connector to get a battery to fully charge and get the RED charging LED to turn OFF. The JST connector is industry standard connector so it works most of the time for people.

I was just recommending trying out the Li+ pin to see if it makes a difference.

Adding a capacitor to the Li+ and GND pin may help smooth out any instant voltage dips if you’re getting any, it would be easy to add one and see if you continue seeing connection issues.

The batteries you are using will have voltage dip issues as they age so a boost regulator is a good way to avoid that.

Ideally, you would have a scope to log the battery input voltage to the Electron so we know exactly what is and is not going on but right now we have to work with what you have and test different things.


Oh yes, I have the JST-recharging issue a lot too. Happens perhaps a third of the time I try to recharge something.

It seems to be working ok now again so Ill continue to monitor it.


It’s connecting just fine with the JTS > 3.6v Boost Converter > Battery only right

Without looking at the voltage output of the converter under a scope during the connection process I can’t comment on if adding an extra Capicator to help with connection current surges would be helpful or not. I know you don’t want to add anything if it’s not needed.

What is your plan for the first 5 boost regulators you purchased?


@Vitesze How is the boost converter working for you?

That booster converter would work well with boosting 3.2v LiFePo4 Batteries.


Seems to be running fine; I always get a consistent 3.6V output. So I ordered 20 extra of them to test next week and verify that it fixes my issue. My setup is going to include two 13Ah LiSOCl2 batteries.

I’m planning to spend this week working on the uCAM III again. Did you receive yours yet?


Good to hear that!

I have not received the camera yet but should this week. I’ll let ya know when it arrives.


I did a 2-week test with a sensor in a freezer set at -18C. Sensor was set to connect 3 times a day, which sometimes would take 4-5 minutes. The lowest value I got was 3.35V during the connecting (highest 3.56V, so a lot of variability there). From experience, LiPo tends to cut-off at about 3.1 to 3.2V, so taking into account the metal properties of a container and worse connectivity affecting the current spikes when attempting to connect, it seems plausible that the sensors hit a low enough voltage to shut down.


That was without the 3.6v boost regulators correct?