Discussion Portable Battery Pack for Wii Portable?

Madmorda

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After doing my research on powering the wii, I have to decide on batteries and came across something I haven't seen yet. The cool part about the custom regulators is that you seem to be able to power it with whatever voltage you want (above 5v I believe). So that means that it's within the voltage range of those rechargeable battery packs you can get for phones. They are common, compact, and have various sizes / shapes / capacities. They also have built in battery indicator lights, a charge protection circuit, and you don't need to buy an expensive smart charger for it. All of this sounds appealing to me.

The only thing I'm worried about is that most of them say they detect the device and change the voltage accordingly. This is a major hiccup because I have no idea what it defaults to when plugged into a random device it can't recognize.

Has anyone successfully used one of these in a portable? Or information on HOW it decides what voltage to output? If I can get one of these to work for a wii portable, it would save time, space, and money.

I have one on hand and will do some testing with it to see if I can figure it out. If I can get any helpful information out of it, I'll post it here. Otherwise, any advice / suggestions you guys have would be super helpful.
 

Aurelio

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I did. Make sure to pick up one that it can output enough current.
Anyway all of them should output 5V by default. Some can output more than 5V if they support QuickCharge outputs, but they use USB D+ and D- pins to detect the device. Just leave them unconnected and you should get 5V :)
 

Madmorda

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I did. Make sure to pick up one that it can output enough current.
Anyway all of them should output 5V by default. Some can output more than 5V if they support QuickCharge outputs, but they use USB D+ and D- pins to detect the device. Just leave them unconnected and you should get 5V :)
Thank you :) That's a huge help. I wasn't able to find much on them except that they vary in voltages which is scary to me since I wouldn't want to damage my project, or have an unpredictable power supply.

Did your phone battery pack drop in voltage enough to shut off the portable before fully depleting? My gcp should've lasted half an hour longer than it did on its battery, which could've been an exaggerated capacity (it was a talentcell pack) or more likely it just dropped in voltage too much since it was really 11.1v to start with and i was using the stock regulator.
 

Aurelio

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Thank you :) That's a huge help. I wasn't able to find much on them except that they vary in voltages which is scary to me since I wouldn't want to damage my project, or have an unpredictable power supply.

Did your phone battery pack drop in voltage enough to shut off the portable before fully depleting? My gcp should've lasted half an hour longer than it did on its battery, which could've been an exaggerated capacity (it was a talentcell pack) or more likely it just dropped in voltage too much since it was really 11.1v to start with and i was using the stock regulator.
Well let's say that that's not the most efficient system, but it works quite well. With a 13400 mAh 3.7v battery pack my Wii portable last almost 4 hours, with a gamecube portable you should get around 2 hours (or a bit more, depending on the screen you use)
 

Madmorda

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So you were running your wii portable off 3.7v not 5? How were you able to power your screen? O.o The lowest I've seen lcds to be able to go off of is 5v. 3.7 would be even better because you wouldn't need to double them up to get to 7.4v
 

Aurelio

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So you were running your wii portable off 3.7v not 5? How were you able to power your screen? O.o The lowest I've seen lcds to be able to go off of is 5v. 3.7 would be even better because you wouldn't need to double them up to get to 7.4v
No, the battery pack is at 3.7V, but the circuit boost that to 5V, from that I then powered everything
 

Madmorda

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Ah okay :) that clears it up. Thanks for all your help, that'll make it much easier to calculate how long my battery life will last.
 

Madmorda

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Just out of curiosity, what amperage did your wiiP draw on 5v?

My gcp drew about 2amps on 12v, which is 24 watts. I know a wii portable will draw less, but most of the battery packs I see seem to output 2.1 amps max, which would be just over 10 watts, which is less than half that of my gamecube. Is it really that much more efficient or do I need to aim high on the output?
 

Aurelio

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Just out of curiosity, what amperage did your wiiP draw on 5v?

My gcp drew about 2amps on 12v, which is 24 watts. I know a wii portable will draw less, but most of the battery packs I see seem to output 2.1 amps max, which would be just over 10 watts, which is less than half that of my gamecube. Is it really that much more efficient or do I need to aim high on the output?
24W? That's quite a lot. From what I remember the GC should draw about 18W.
Anyway I don't remember exactly how much everything draw, but considering also the screen and everything else it should be around 12W, but that's because I've used a big 7" screen which by itself draws around 5W
 

Madmorda

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I fried my first wasp and eurasia went out of stock so I wasn't able to order another one for under $60. I ended up building it with the disc drive which is why the wattage is higher. It was that or leave it unfinished for an unknown amount of time waiting for them to restock. I plan on eventually ordering another wasp and rehousing the gc, but it will need to wait until I can find a case I like.

12w is cutting it awfully close :T that's .3 amps higher than most of the portable batteries I've seen which are 2.1 A max output. I do plan on using a much smaller screen, but I guess I'll have to order the battery last and make do with an awkward temporary power assembly until I get everything all together and can test the amperage.

When I get to that point, I'll report back here the exact current draw and specs. Hopefully I can get it at / under 2 A at 5v but somehow I think that's unlikely. It would really open a lot of those portable batteries up to being usable for this though.
 

Aurelio

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Look for battery packs that have multiple ports. The one I used had two ports and could output 2.4A on each port (theoretically, never trust those specifications)
 

Gman

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When I get to that point, I'll report back here the exact current draw and specs. Hopefully I can get it at / under 2 A at 5v but somehow I think that's unlikely. It would really open a lot of those portable batteries up to being usable for this though.
One of my Wii portables used about 8-9watts at 5v IIRC. I used a backup monitor screen which helps.
 

Madmorda

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One of my Wii portables used about 8-9watts at 5v IIRC. I used a backup monitor screen which helps.
Was that the wiiboy? I'm hoping to do something similar, although I doubt I can get it as small as you did. That was seriously impressive work (both of them)
 

Gman

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Was that the wiiboy? I'm hoping to do something similar, although I doubt I can get it as small as you did. That was seriously impressive work (both of them)
No, it was more of a prototype wii portable for testing how long of a battery life you could get at 5v. It lasted a little over 4 hours with 4x 3400mah panasonic cells. Not bad at all really.
 

Madmorda

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No, it was more of a prototype wii portable for testing how long of a battery life you could get at 5v. It lasted a little over 4 hours with 4x 3400mah panasonic cells. Not bad at all really.
That's a huge help :) I guess I can order a 6 amp one and upgrade it if I can fit more in the case. I think I'm underestimating the wii's battery life. I was looking at a 10 amp capacity battery, but I guess that's more than I really need. I'd be fine with 2 hours as long as I can fit the whole thing in a large pocket or a small carrying case.
 

Gman

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That's a huge help :) I guess I can order a 6 amp one and upgrade it if I can fit more in the case. I think I'm underestimating the wii's battery life. I was looking at a 10 amp capacity battery, but I guess that's more than I really need. I'd be fine with 2 hours as long as I can fit the whole thing in a large pocket or a small carrying case.
I highly recommend using the Panasonic 3400mah 18650s, they are the best batteries to use in a portable IMO.
 

Madmorda

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I highly recommend using the Panasonic 3400mah 18650s, they are the best batteries to use in a portable IMO.
I have considered those, but I'd need to buy a charge protection circuit (not that big a deal) and a smart charger. And then I'd need to wire up a low battery circuit which isn't that difficult, but by the time I've done everything it ends up being more convenient and less expensive to just get a premade battery pack. I'm really drawn to this idea of being able to charge using a usb / micro usb because most people travel with one anyways. I have a pile of them in one of my drawers
 

Gman

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I have considered those, but I'd need to buy a charge protection circuit (not that big a deal) and a smart charger. And then I'd need to wire up a low battery circuit which isn't that difficult, but by the time I've done everything it ends up being more convenient and less expensive to just get a premade battery pack. I'm really drawn to this idea of being able to charge using a usb / micro usb because most people travel with one anyways. I have a pile of them in one of my drawers
Just be mindful about which brands you order from. Battery suppliers are notorious for lying about the specs. And now combine that with a product where you can't even see the cells from the outside, it gets worse.
 

Madmorda

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Just be mindful about which brands you order from. Battery suppliers are notorious for lying about the specs. And now combine that with a product where you can't even see the cells from the outside, it gets worse.
For sure :). I would never order a battery before knowing what cells they used inside and whether they live up to their claims. At the very least, I need to know the dimensions. The main two batteries I'm looking at both have pictures of the internals online so I know what type and how many cells they used. If the wii can for sure be posted under 2amps like your tests prove, then I can go ahead and order one :D
 

Madmorda

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I have two portable battery packs, and I can't seem to get a reading on either of them. Online it says that the outer pins are the v and g. Are you sure the data pins shouldn't be connected to anything?

I have my multimeter set to measure amperage (10A) and I'm touching one lead to pin 1 and one lead to pin 4, but it doesn't read anything. I haven't tried doing this before, so I might be doing something wrong, but when I do the exact same thing to a AAA or AA battery, I get a reading, so I'm thinking maybe it's my pinout. It charges fine when plugged into a usb. Anyone know what I'm doing wrong?
 
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