UPS Pico experiences? (Do not use: Unreliable)

Discussions about existing Z-Wave device and their usage with Z-Way/Z-Cloud/Z-Box
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pz1
Posts: 2053
Joined: 08 Apr 2012 13:44

UPS Pico experiences? (Do not use: Unreliable)

Post by pz1 » 22 Jan 2016 16:35

Anyone out here who has tested the UPS Pico power backup board in combination with Zway + UZB1 stick on RaspberryPi?
It seems to gracefully shutdown after a powere outage, and reboots after power is restored. It also seems possible to detect if your system hangs.

UPDATE
In the longer term the UPS Pico proved to be unreliable. There seem to be problems with the firmware. I have sent mails and posts to the forum, but they just do not answer.
So my recommendation is NOT to invest in this device
Since 29-12-2016 I am no longer a moderator for this forum

pz1
Posts: 2053
Joined: 08 Apr 2012 13:44

Re: UPS Pico experiences?

Post by pz1 » 25 Jan 2016 12:22

I did install it in the meantime on a RaspberryPi (no Zwave devices connected yet.). Since it is using the UART, I think it won't work with the RaZberry board.
edit: Do make sure you use a 2A power supply
The setup is a bit of an odyssey. The different pieces are not consistently written, and in some places outdated. Their server didn't allow me to wget some files as described in the instruction. Some files changed name. For example the firmware loader.
The product comes without any documentation. You have to get it from their site http://pimodules.com/. In the download section you do find the latest firmwares and all the code you need for the installation. To get full functionality the user needs to solder a "magic connection pin" to the board. That requires a very fine tipped soldering iron, and some soldering skills :)

I performed a successful manual firmware update to version 58 with command:

Code: Select all

sudo python  picofu3.py -v -f UPS_PIco_0x58_18_01_2016.hex
As said I haven't tested yet with Z-Wave devices added. It seems to do what it is supposed to do. I do hope to get fewer crashed SD cards in the future.

If you are going to buy this device, make sure you get hardware version HV1.1 or higher. The initial version is more complex to handle

CopyCat73
Posts: 10
Joined: 19 Nov 2015 12:54

Re: UPS Pico experiences?

Post by CopyCat73 » 26 Jan 2016 02:02

To see if the pi has crashed you don't really need this; the pi itself already has watchdog hardware, see https://www.domoticz.com/wiki/Setting_u ... i_watchdog on how to install it. This way you can auto reboot if anything goes wrong, it makes a home automation setup way more reliable. Also, don't use sd cards for a pi server, get a usb stick instead. I never have any data corruption issues.

pz1
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Joined: 08 Apr 2012 13:44

Re: UPS Pico experiences?

Post by pz1 » 26 Jan 2016 11:41

CopyCat73 wrote:To see if the pi has crashed you don't really need this
Indeed.
However if you are suffering from power spikes or power outages, imho the UPS function is useful. The largest available battery is specified for some 8 hours. That is likely to be less with an active Z-Wave controller I guess.

pz1
Posts: 2053
Joined: 08 Apr 2012 13:44

Re: UPS Pico experiences?

Post by pz1 » 29 Jan 2016 18:06

Make sure you apply sufficiently power to this Pi+UPS. I accidentally connected it to a 1A 5V power supply. The result was that the setup went into a power down start-up loop. I assume that the load current for the battery was too much for it. Reconnecting to the original 2A supply cured the problem

toomuo
Posts: 23
Joined: 01 Jan 2015 20:14

Re: UPS Pico experiences?

Post by toomuo » 15 Feb 2016 07:48

I tried using an adafruit powerboost 1000 with their recommended 2amp power supply and lithium battery.
(about $30 total)
I wanted something to be able to carry the RPi around the house when including wall switches, etc.
Looked good to start with, it kept the raspberry pi running while off wall power, but WiFi and Z-Wave communications totally broke down. Not sure if the power was dirty, or just not powerful enough.
(Running original RPi B)

pz1
Posts: 2053
Joined: 08 Apr 2012 13:44

Re: UPS Pico experiences? (Do not use: Unreliable)

Post by pz1 » 21 May 2016 15:49

In the end UPS Pico did not live up with the promises. I've updated first post accordingly.

Vance
Posts: 1
Joined: 01 Sep 2016 12:07

Re: UPS Pico experiences? (Do not use: Unreliable)

Post by Vance » 02 Sep 2016 09:00

pz1 wrote:
UPDATE
In the longer term the UPS Pico proved to be unreliable. There seem to be problems with the https://www.agilebuddy.com/my-organifi- ... ice-review organifi firmware. I have sent mails and posts to the forum, but they just do not answer.
So my recommendation is NOT to invest in this device
Thanks for saving me some money pz1, what would you recommend in place of the UPS Pico?
Last edited by Vance on 01 May 2017 15:01, edited 2 times in total.

pz1
Posts: 2053
Joined: 08 Apr 2012 13:44

Re: UPS Pico experiences? (Do not use: Unreliable)

Post by pz1 » 02 Sep 2016 10:38

I have no solution for it yet.

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