The power shield gets very hot!

Hi there. When I ordered my Photon boards, I also ordered a few Power Shields and the 3.7V/2000mAh LiPo batteries. I have the Photon on a SparkFun OLED board, and stack that on top of the headers on the Power Shield. The power supply and battery both plugged into the Power Shield. I noticed earlier tonight when I was moving the setup with breadboard and all that the Power Shield got very hot. It’s to the point where you almost can’t keep your finger on it for more than a few seconds. The actual PCB got that hot! The Photon doesn’t seem to get very hot, and the OLED board doesn’t either. I don’t know what the power consumption is for the OLED, but I can’t imagine that it would cause the Power Shield to get so hot. All parts except for the OLED board are genuine Particle products. The Photon seems to work perfectly well, as does the OLED. Is this a common problem? I was going to use the boards in a clear acrylic box (recycled Apple Mouse box), but with no air circulation and the heat generated by the Power Shield, I’m hesitant to do that. Thanks.

It can get hot when the lipo is charged at high amps. What’s the power source?

Hi @kennethlimcp! It’s a 5V/0.5A USB charger for a bluetooth headset.

Ah this sounds ok. I know it gets hot for sure but to really know if it’s getting way too hot we do need to measure the temperature of the shield :wink:

If i get to that measuring setup i will update this thread with the result!

I will hook up my DS18B20 probe that’s running on another Photon and let it rest on the Power Shield for a few hours :slight_smile:

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@Bluzcat, you may also want to see if the shield heats up if you remove the Photon from it.


Good idea, @peekay123, I’ll try that!

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@peekay123, I tried the power shield with the charger and a LiPo battery hooked up, but without the Photon, and it doesn’t get hot at all.

@Bluzcat, so if it doesn’t get hot without the Photon then you need to look at the Photon power draw or the power supply. The charger you are using is most likely not very good (e.g. noisy power) and I recommend getting a better quality supply rated for 1A (eg. Apple). There are many topics where the choice of supply has affected the performance (or non-performance) of a Photon. Start with that and then we can go from there.


Thanks @peekay123, will do. I’m still in “breadboard mode” with my Photons, and the only thing I had hooked up to it was a Maxbotix ultrasonic sensor which supposedly draws a max of 50mA when it’s active. I probably just grabbed the first power supply I could find :smile:
I have a few 2A power supplies meant for Raspberry Pis. I’ll try with one of those. Thanks.

Good catch @peekay123! When I used a better power supply, the board stays cool. Interesting! Maybe it’s worth building in a sensor for noisy power which causes the power shield to blink the LED and refuse to charge as a safety precaution?

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