Finished Product!

Completed

The completed BattLab-One! Capable of capturing uAmps to 500 Milliamps current profiles.  It enables you to determine battery life and do what-if analysis on your battery powered  (IOT) projects.

Added Trigger input

AddedTrigger

Adding the BNC trigger input (shown at right) caused a complete redesign of the board.  The BattLab-One can trigger from a 3 – 5 volt input on a rising edge. It will stop capturing current on the falling edge.

Added USB Isolation

Added_USB_Isolation

Added both data (i2c) and power USB isolation since the BattLab-One is powered by USB.

Software / firmware development

starting_on_the_sw

The application runs on a PC, written in Python.  Firmware for the MSP430 was written in C.  Checkout my github site for the code and schematics.

Added the Main Processor

MSP430_DIP

Put the MSP430 (DIP package right) onto the new PCB.

Half In , Half Out

half_in_half_out

The first BattLab-One PCB! I put all of the front end (current sensor, PSU and other logic) on the board and loaded it in an enclosure.  I still used an MSP430 Launchpad for the main processor (not shown).

Bread-boarding the BattLab-One

breadboardIn my experience building battery powered devices over the past few years, I have realized the process of measuring and estimating battery life can be very labor-intensive.  The process is tedious, with multiple test equipment arrangements to capture current profiles for different firmware states, manual data logging,  and spreadsheets for data input and calculations to get to an estimate of battery life for my device under test (DUT).

I needed a better way, which led me to build the BattLab-One (Battery Laboratory).  My goal was to deliver a design tool that quickly and effortlessly provided an estimate of battery life for my projects, enabling me to spend more time on design optimization and less time on measuring and calculating battery life.

I went through several iterations on the breadboard – I finally decided on the Texas Instruments INA233 for my current sensor.