Configuration

For the configuration we use here Minicom. Minicom is a serial terminal emulator program that any modem user should be familiar with. As the StromPi 3 is configured by a serial console we start a Terminal on the RPi and enter the command line
minicom -D /dev/serial0 -b 38400
This will start Minicom. With the preset parameters in Minicom we now have to enter "startstrompiconsole". This command does not receive any acknowledgement. After pressing ENTER the StromPi 3 console sends us a message. Now we can configure the StromPi 3, which inputs should be used, what should be the primary and secondary source, when the system shuts down and if the system should be automatically restarted.

For a test run in the lab, we setup the configuration as follows:
Time: 14:01:44                                                                 
 Date: Tuesday 01.05.2018                                                       
                                                                                
 StromPi-Mode: Wide -> Battery                                                  
                                                                                
 WakeUp-Alarm: Enabled                                                          
  Alarm-Mode: Time-Alarm                                                        
  Alarm-Time: 14:00                                                             
  Alarm-Date: 01.01                                                             
  Alarm-Weekday: Monday                                                         
                                                                                
 PowerOff-Alarm: Enabled                                                        
  PowerOff-Alarm-Time: 13:10                                                    
                                                                                
 Raspberry Pi Shutdown: Enabled                                                 
  Shutdown-Timer: 180 seconds                                                   
                                                                                
                                                                                
 Powerfail Warning: Enabled                                                     

This starts the RPi every day at 14:00 and switches off again at 13:10 the next day. This is very handy if the RPi is to schedule things and only needs to be active at certain times. The shutdown on failure of the primary power source works well. In this case, the Pi goes down and when the primary power source returns the RPi restarts. The configuration works just as it should.

Setup of the scripts on the Pi

If the scripts are copied and activated according to the instructions, the Raspberry Pi can shut down automatically if the primary power supply fails. It is also possible to automatically synchronize the time and scripts. It appears however that in this area, the scripts could be improved. After some modifications to them, they worked on our test RPi. Since the documentation does not go into detail to directly answer specific questions, it is useful to go to the forum and the FAQs. For the time being, the scripts only perform the simplest operations. With some new firmware features, they will certainly be much more expandable and useful.

More than just a power supply, not quite a UPS

The StromPi 3 HAT falls somewhere between an uninterruptible power supply and a universal power supply for the RPi. The features incorporated into the design provide all the necessary functionality of a UPS backup. A lot of thought has gone into the hardware design and the open source availability of the firmware gives tremendous scope for developers to expand the capabilities of this board. The developers of the product are quick to fix bugs in the firmware or scripts and the source code availability is useful for developers to make their own mods as required. If you are looking for a universal power supply that also has some degree of UPS functionality and are happy to upload the latest firmware updates then the StromPi 3 is a good solution. Those who are looking for just a UPS which can be configured via a GUI, should take a look at the more expensive PiJuice HAT. And as for the original StromPi 3 HAT, which we managed to flash with the wrong file, it was fitted with a new STM32 in the lab and is working fine again.
 
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