We know how complicated it is to organize power demand. raspberry pi A project, but this piece by maker Mike Bell takes the idea to a whole new level. steam engine, he managed to power a Raspberry Pi Pico and some accessories. I’ve seen clever power solutions in the past, but none like this one.
alive! I have a steam-powered @Raspberry_Pi Pico! pic.twitter.com/SHlxSl0fYzSeptember 3, 2022
According to Bell, it takes about two to three minutes for the steam engine to bring the water to a boil. Once everything is hot and ready, the Pico can run for about 12 minutes for the water in the boiler to dissipate. The engine has a boiler capacity of 135ml and an operating pressure of 1.5 bar. Heated using Mamod wax fuel tablets that provide a 15 minute burn time.
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Bell had to make some changes to the system design to optimize power consumption. At 5V he was drawing between 9mA and 13mA as both the Pico and the display module are integrated into the setup. Then I decided to connect it to a dynamo that produced about 3.3V, which is an acceptable voltage for the Pico.
The RP2040 processor had to be underclocked to 250 kHz, and the microsecond timer could only read clock speeds above 2 MHz, which caused some problems. To alleviate this problem, Bell programmed Pico to calculate time more slowly by increasing the timer divider.
The engine Bell uses is a Wilesco D6 with an M66 dynamo with LED lights. The display used is a Pimoroni dot-matrix display breakout. Similarly, adjust the dot matrix to reduce the maximum current to the LED from 35 mA to 10 mA. Although this change now lights at a lower brightness, Bell ensures that the content on the display is still readable and necessary to reduce overall power consumption.
This is one of the coolest ways I’ve seen to power a Raspberry Pi. If you want to recreate this Raspberry Pi project, check out the original project thread shared. twitter Follow Mike Bell for more cool stuff in the future.