Single Board Computer and Timed Microcontroller

Discussion in 'Embedded Systems and Microcontrollers' started by encima, Apr 19, 2011.

  1. encima

    Thread Starter New Member

    Apr 19, 2011
    3
    0
    Hi All,
    New to this forum and electronics in general.

    I have a Single Board Computer, which is being powered by a series of AA batteries connected to the board. With constant running, I can get around 9 hours usage.

    The limitations of the board mean that it cannot go into a standby mode. I was wondering if anyone knew of an existing (or guide to make a) solution that would use a timed microcontroller to power the board on at certain times, for a set time?

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. mjhilger

    Member

    Feb 28, 2011
    119
    16
    Microchip has many PIC16xxx, PIC18xxxx devices which can do this. They are exteremely low power and ment to conserve battery power. Your question lacks some detail as to timing desired, but some of the parts have a built in osc designed to keep real time (daytime clock) which can wake the processor. You would have to set it all up such that it would wake itself, then wake/power your single board. These are very cheap parts around $2 - $5. It would require a little effort to program the device for this purpose but not too bad if you don't switch clk speeds (stay at the 32Khz) since you only want it to wake the other board.
     
  3. encima

    Thread Starter New Member

    Apr 19, 2011
    3
    0
    Thankyou very much! I will look into those devices today.

    When you say a little effort, what language would this be in? I assume C?

    Essentially, we want to leave these boards in a room, have the microcontroller use a realtime clock to wake up at, say, 8am for an hour and supply power to the board from the battery pack. Shutting it down after an hour and repeating the process.

    Does that make it any clearer?
     
  4. mjhilger

    Member

    Feb 28, 2011
    119
    16
    A bit, how precisely do you need for the power to come on at 8:00am? Or on time for an hour? You might be able to utilize an off the shelf or kit timer to work for a reasonable price. Do you just need one or many? While this is easy for those of us with access to programmers and experience, you will have a slight learning curve and would have to invest in a programmer of some sort. Microchip has many development kits listed which might fit your needs. There are other kits available as well from other microcontroller manufacturers which would also work.
     
  5. aegistalons

    Member

    Feb 12, 2011
    32
    2
    Just curious what SBC do you have? I'm especially curious that you can run it off a few AAs and get 9 hours out of it constantly running. Also does it need to be running off of a battery pack or can you modify a power adapter to run the SBC as that might be easier than making a prototype circuit and programming.
     
  6. encima

    Thread Starter New Member

    Apr 19, 2011
    3
    0
    Thanks for the replies, I am using an Igep v2 board and a Pandaboard. The pandaboard will have access to a power supply but the Igeps won't.

    An off the shelf solution would be ideal as it needs to be as fool proof as possible! When it comes to programming, that should not be an issue as I am currently undergoing a PhD in Computer Science, admittedly my knowledge in C is nowhere near fluent but I do know a bit.

    Any ideas on what OTS kits would be suitable?

    Thanks!
     
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