Computing > Embedded Computing

Low-consumption, portable, battery operated SBC required

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BezITAD:
Hello,

I run a small ITAD business, and I'm trying to go portable. At the moment, I use laptops running linux / dhcpd / tftpd / node.js / mongodb. Basically, network booting equipment using the laptops ethernet and performing maintenance operations via the laptops wifi.

I want to switch the laptop out for an SBC. All it really needs is ethernet and wifi, running an embedded linux image. The main thing is keeping the unit low power and running off a battery. All of this fitting into a nice case if possible and looking presentable.

I've done a lot of searching and I think the closest I have to a working product solution is a Raspberry Pi 3/4B with a PiJuice HAT. Perhaps that PiSugar may also work. The problem with the Raspberry Pi, is it's kind of overkill for the requirements, I don't need any form of output from the unit, it's all going to be API and TTY based maintenance via wifi.

The unit itself is pretty much just going to be serving out a 15mb embedded linux image via ethernet for network booting purposes. On battery power, maybe the wifi could even be turned off and then plugged into power for the maintenance. The main vision I have for this is making it super portable, but I'd love if a single unit was at least ultra conservative on the power consumption.

I see a lot of products out there, and they are definitely overkill. The idea of carrying a big chunky battery around for this is a little extreme, then having a cable from one to the other, not workable. The PiJuice HAT is probably a very convenient way to connect the two up, but the Pi's power consumption is a real let down.

Any ideas? Portability of this product is key, having a stable way to capture data is required here. I basically just want to plug it into devices by ethernet, network boot, obtain data collection via API and JSON Curl.

Marco:
First you say wifi, then you say ethernet ... there's some more compact IoT boards, but then won't have a chunky ethernet connector.

BezITAD:

--- Quote from: Marco on April 27, 2021, 09:53:18 am ---First you say wifi, then you say ethernet ... there's some more compact IoT boards, but then won't have a chunky ethernet connector.

--- End quote ---

It requires both. An ethernet connection to serve PXE images via dhcpd / tftpd. Then the ethernet will be used for API calls.

The wifi will essentially be for maintenance and viewing the data in a node.js / express output.

I've been doing a lot of searching, and it kind of feels like nothing does this perfectly. You can get the wifi / ethernet, but then it's a high consumption. Most modern units are really too high in consumption to be considered for battery operation.

Marco:
How about Shield96 with ATSAMA5D27?

Wake on WiFi is less than ideal for power consumption whatever you do.

BezITAD:

--- Quote from: Marco on April 27, 2021, 10:47:13 am ---How about Shield96 with ATSAMA5D27?

Wake on WiFi is less than ideal for power consumption whatever you do.

--- End quote ---

That definitely looks very low power. Unsure about the security aspects of it. Not a great deal of information available on this board. Will keep reading.

As per the wake on Wifi, well, perhaps on battery could even just disable Wifi. The idea would be to perform an office floor sweep of equipment, one desk at a time, then upload the results to a central API. Having multiple devices for the job, combining the data at the end. Integration with a battery solution is definitely the key, and gaining enough hours on the battery to be convenient.

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