The prototype boards arrive and we finished testing them. I’m happy to report that they worked as expected. the 240mA battery charges within 1 hour and with continuous graphics animation running all the time, plus polling the touch-sensor area without any low-power switching and wifi turned off it lasted about 30 hours (non-stop).
With low-power switching I am sure that this can be extended much, much longer.
The LIPO battery pack will come with an extended case, so all that is needed is to take the Piccolino out of the existing case and replace it with the new one (like a hermit crab!).
Another cool thing is that the integrated FTDI chip allows you to program the Piccolino and charge the LIPO at the same time. Once the LIPO is charged, the RED led turns BLUE indicating it’s ready.
The circuit has over-charge and over-discharge protection and charges at 240mA to ensure a long-lasting LIPO battery. You can hack the charger board by replacing the 2 10K resistors with a 1.2K to give you a 1A charge cycle (which will charge the battery in about 10 minutes) but this will eventually degrade the LIPO much quicker – so I suggest that you leave it as it is.
Some pictures of the prototype are below. We’ve modified it a little and moved the battery behind the PCB to allow for a push-on-push-off switch to be added. The final boards should arrive next week, once they do, we’ll place them in the store.