Particle Photon cut off voltage

I want to power my Photon via batteries via the Photon’s vin pin. Is this a good way to power the Photon or should I buy a battery shield?

You can do this as long as you supply the correct voltage. I personally prefer using a portable usb power pack, so that I can power my Photons over usb.

@rpiswag, take a look at the documentation here:


Its a bit problematic to use batteries directly, 3.6V-5.5V means neither 3 or 4 standard batteries are optimal.
3 will be 4.7-3V so you wont get the last 0.6V of useable power.
4 will be 6.25V-4V so too high on fresh batteries.

So it seems you need a regulator to use the full range of standard batteries, if you use 3 you can use a boost type to 5V or a buck/boost to 3.3V(more expensive and more complex circuit), if you use 4 you can use a buck converter to 3.3V instead if you dont need 5V support.

@MORA, not sure how you got 6.25v from four regular batteries producing 1.5V each!

@rpiswag, @MORA’s recommendation of using a buck/boost is good, getting the most from the batteries. For example, THIS unit from Pololu will produce 3.3v from an input voltage of 2.7v to 11.8v. In their description:

- A 3-cell battery holder, which might have a 4.5 V output with fresh alkalines or a 3.0 V output with partially discharged NiMH cells, can be used with this regulator to power a 3.3 V circuit.

- A single lithium-polymer cell can run a 3.3 V device through its whole discharge cycle.

This is just an example and there are variety of great products to chose from. :smile:

They are 1.5V nominal, fresh batteries can be slightly above this by 0.1-0.3V, 6.25/4=1.5625V

@MORA, that represents an “unloaded” voltage. Once loaded, the voltage will drop :smile:

Hmm maybe, I cant test how much current you can put on it before it dropping atm, but heres a 100mA test.

That shows 0.05hours before dropping, with the photon drawing 80mA when running for a few seconds and <100uA during sleep that could be several hours running with a vin slightly over max, it will likely still work and not take damage since the voltage regulator has 6.5V absolute max though…

@MORA, the more reason then to step-up/step-down the battery pack!