Xenon power consumption


I just checked a Boron LTE with a µCurrent GOLD, Powered via 4.00V on Li-Po Connector.
Cloud Connected was 21 mA.
Grounding the EN pin obviously shutdown the Boron and dropped the current to 76 µA (0.076 mA).

Xenon was 29 µA, same setup (4.00V on Li-Po Connector, EN pin Grounded)


Interesting, I was using 3.3v direct to 3.3 pin. uCurrent GOLD is a nicer device than mine so must be correct, I wonder how it was 3000-4000% out though. Looks like I will have to invest in a better peice if kit.
Can you please do some other measurements esp the Argon as it includes an ESP32 and is stating very low working consumption.

This is actually great news and means although not as good as a barebones these are viable with batteries for long periods of time using sleep.


OK so when listening it must have the ESP off or sleeping.


I have a uCurrent Gold as well; I need to test it against the meter I used for the numbers I posted. I’m afraid I might’ve blown it (the uCurrent Gold) up; this will be a good test. Alls I needs is the time to do it :roll_eyes:.


I felt pretty comfortable with my measurements… considering I was close (76 µA) to the Boron Datasheet:

The difference is I applied power to the Li-Po Connector on the Boron.
There are 2 reasons for that:

  1. That’s how it will be powered in a battery application
  2. According to the Boron datasheet: 3V3 PIN: Unlike the Xenon or the Argon, this pin CANNOT be used to power the Boron.


I did the same to my first uCurrent Gold :persevere:

It’s so easy to forget to change the current level when you start testing non Sleep modes. I’m on my 2nd unit now.


Measured with µCurrent GOLD, 4.00V on Li-Po Connector, EN Pin pulled LOW:

Boron LTE  76 µA
Argon      31 µA
Xenon      29 µA

Measured with µCurrent GOLD, 3.34V on 3V3 Pin, EN Pin pulled LOW:

Argon      Wont Shut Down
Xenon      Wont Shut Down

Measured with µCurrent GOLD, 5.00V on USB Connector, EN Pin pulled LOW:

Boron LTE  1.3 mA
Argon      1.3 mA
Xenon      1.3 mA


@ParticleD if you are replacing it then watch this youtube video first as there is one with auto switching and a test where both excellant devices go head to head. Seeing my poor results at measuring I am very tempted.


Hey @Rftop what do you mean by “Wont shut down” The Argon if run off 3V3 pin is supposed to have EN pulled low. I have a better regulator to use with batter so will bypass the one on the board.


@toogooda Ahhh… I didn’t catch that on the Argon Datasheet. The Boron is the opposite, EN pulled low to Disable the device. That makes sense now, since the Boron can’t be powered by the 3V3 Pin.
I’ll re-test. Sorry

[Edit] I can’t test Shutdown current on the Argon when Powered via 3V3 pin, since I have no way to disable the device without available Sleep Modes in the System Firmware yet. As you pointed out, grounding the EN pin is used to disable the on-board regulator (when powered from 3V3 pin) instead of disabling the device (shutdown).


Wouldnt holding thr RST button in effectivly do that, I really just want to know what the dev board overheads are for example any ICs or jelly been components that will drain during deep sleep even when LDO is disabled (or removed ) Thanks mate.


@toogooda, I have no idea

That method results in a higher current that what you are hoping for:

Measured with µCurrent GOLD, 3.32V on 3V3 Pin, EN Pin pulled LOW, Holding down RESET:
Argon 1.15 mA


Thanks @Rftop you have been very helpful.

So my results were not that bad, that is the same result I got originally and yes it is too high for batteries.
My theory which we can’t prove untill we can put it to deep sleep is the following:

  • 4.00V on Li-Po Connector, EN Pin pulled LOW measuring 31 uA for Argon as above effectivly shuts off all power to the rest of the board and is only showing the quiescent power of the LDO and therefore not realistic for working out what the board overheads are Deep Sleep Consumption = CPU + LDO + Other Components.
  • 3.3v on 3v3 pin with EN grounded and RST button pressed gives the boards components and IC’s power but disables the CPU and the LDO, so will show LDO quiescent power + the other components (like lipo protection circuits)
    So my theory is using the dev board in deep sleep will be ~1.1mA + CPU deep sleep + LDO Quiescent power which will be <1.2mA.

In my experience it needs to have a deep sleep of < 0.1MA to make AA batteries viable. however I have always been able to find unessisary components to hotgun off the board like Serial TTL, lLEDs, and LDO.

If using AAs you can remove all the charge and protection ICs also and probably run for months that way.
If using the LIPO then can combine with a small solar panel and accept the higher sleep current.


Nonsequitir here:
What is that meter?? I need that!


The flexibility of sleep nodes that simply do work, and other nodes that augment the mesh network, is the best of both needs. You can trade off higher power consumption for improved communications as needed.


You can find quite a few different versions on Amazon.


Do you have a diagram of how you hooked up the mini Adafruit power meter to the Xenon? I am trying to test the mA drawn from the Xenon with two door sensors hooked up to it. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.


I bought male and female JST connector harnesses from Adafruit, attached them as shown in the pic, and put the meter in-line with the Xenon and its power supply…



Thank you very much for the images. I was way over complicating this!


I performed a few battery tests today on a Xenon running Firmware 1.3.1-rc.1
Current Measured with µCurrent GOLD.

Li-Po @ 3.90V resting, on Li-Po Connector.

Xenon:  Mesh and Particle.connected
8.2 mA @ 3.90V = 32 mW

Xenon:  Sleeping using System.sleep( {}, {}, 600);  
48 µA (0.048 mA) @ 3.90V = 0.19 mW

Xenon:  DEEP Sleep using System.sleep(SLEEP_MODE_DEEP); Req's external wake 
26 µA (0.026 mA) @ 3.90V = 0.10 mW

Direct Drive the 3V3 Pin @ 3.29V, "NO Li-Po"

Xenon:  Mesh and Particle.connected
9.2 mA @ 3.29V = 30 mW

Xenon:  Sleeping using System.sleep( {}, {}, 600);  
47 µA (0.047 mA) @ 3.29V = 0.15 mW

Xenon:  DEEP Sleep using System.sleep(SLEEP_MODE_DEEP); Req's external wake 
338 µA (0.338 mA) @ 3.29V = 1.11 mW

[Edit 08/26/19]: Added DEEP Sleep measurements to above results.
When using DEEP Sleep w/ Xenon: Energy Usage is over 10 Times more using the 3V3 pin verses Li-Po…strange…?

3V3 Pin = 1.11 mW
Li-Po   = 0.10 mW

Mesh Products in deep sleep wake on USB/VIN power state change