Powering Crickit

On the Crickit HAT, the 5V power plug is next to the 2x20 connector

The first thing you'll learn when making robots is that they use a lot of power. So making sure you have your power supply all worked out is super important. We've tried to make the power supply as easy and safe as possible, so you don't have to worry about damaging your electronics or robot. To do that we made some important design decisions.

How to Power your Crickit

It's really important to read and understand how to power your Crickit!

  • You MUST provide about 4-5 Volts DC power to the Crickit to power the servos, motors, solenoids, NeoPixels, etc.
  • You CANNOT provide this power by plugging the Crickit, micro:bit, Feather, Raspberry Pi or  Circuit Playground into USB. Computer USB ports cannot provide the 2 Amp + required to drive robotics, LEDs, speakers...
  • Power to the Crickit is provided via the 2.1mm DC Jack only!
  • The Cricket has two LEDs to let you know how the power supply is doing. If you see the green LED next to the smiley face, you're good to go. If you see the red LED next to the warning triangle, the voltage is too high, too low or too much current is being drawn.
  • The Crickit power will also power the Circuit Playground Express, micro:bit, Raspberry Pi or Feather so you don't need separate power for your microcontroller board (however, if you want to plug it into USB for programming, that's totally OK too!)

Here's our recommended ways to power the Crickit:

Plug In DC Power Supplies

These get wall power and give you a nice clean 5V DC power option. 5V 2A works for most project with a motor or two...

5V 2A (2000mA) switching power supply - UL Listed

This is a FCC/CE certified and UL listed power supply. Need a lot of 5V power? This switching supply gives a clean regulated 5V output at up to 2000mA. 110 or 240 input, so it works in...

And a 5V 4A supply will give you lots of power so you can drive 4 or more servos, motors, etc. Use this if you notice you're running out of power with a 5V 2A adapter

5V 4A (4000mA) switching power supply - UL Listed

Need a lot of 5V power? This switching supply gives a clean regulated 5V output at up to 4 Amps (4000mA). 110 or 240 input, so it works in any country. The plugs are "US...

AA Battery Packs

On the go? Portable power is possible! Use AA battery packs.

The number of batteries you need depends on whether you are using Alkaline or NiMH rechargeables.

We recommend NiMH rechargeables. For one, they have less waste, but they also perform better than alkalines in high-current draw robotics. So if you can, please use NiMH!

4 x AA Battery Packs for NiMH ONLY

NiMH batteries have a 1.3V max voltage, so 4 of them is 4 x 1.3 = 5.2 Volts. Perfect!

4 x AA Battery Holder with On/Off Switch

Make a nice portable power pack with this 4 x AA battery holder. It fits any alkaline or rechargeable AA batteries in series. There's a snap on cover and an on/off switch which can...

3 x AA Battery Packs for Alkaline ONLY

Alkaline batteries have a 1.5V max voltage, so 4 of them is 4 x 1.5 = 6 Volts. That's too high! Instead we recommend 3 in series for 3 x 1.5V = 4.5 VDC

3 x AA Battery Holder with 2.1mm Plug

Here's another addition to our growing family of AA battery holders. A holder for three (3) AA batteries!...

If you're making a custom battery pack you may want to pick up a 2.1mm DC jack adapter, so you can connect battery pack wires

Waterproof 3xAA Battery Holder with On/Off Switch

Keep your power source safe and toasty in these waterproof 3xAA battery holders. They're just like classic switched battery holders, but designed for survival! The case has a rubber...

Male DC Power adapter - 2.1mm plug to screw terminal block

If you need to connect a battery pack or wired power supply to a board that has a DC jack - this adapter will come in very handy! There is a 2.1mm DC plug on one end, and a screw...

Not Recommended Power supplies

  • LiPoly Batteries - 1 battery is 3.7V, too low. 2 batteries is 7.2V, too high! You could possibly use a 7.2V pack and then a UBEC to step down to 5V but its not recommended
  • Lead Acid Batteries - These are heavy and you'll need a custom charging solution. You can probably get away with a 2 x 2V cell pack, or a 3 x 2V cell pack and then add some 1N4001 diodes to drop the voltage, but it's for advanced hacking!
  • USB Power Packs - In theory you can use a USB to 2.1mm DC power adapter, but power packs sometimes dislike the kinds of current draw that motors have (high current peaks for short amounts of time) So experimentation is key!
This guide was first published on May 16, 2018. It was last updated on May 16, 2018. This page (Powering Crickit) was last updated on Dec 14, 2018.