Current draw of Holux GPSlim 236

Inspired by my actuall Arduino researches (background is the plan to build a MultiWii Quadrocopter) I stumbeld over Mikes example to connect a Holux GPSlim 236 to an Arduino.

Because for further system planning I wanted to know about the power consumption of the device I modified a little USB extension cable (delivered in the past with a lot of chunky MP3 Players) to measure it.
I only removed a part of the outer insulation, cutted the red (+5V) wire and connected the amperemeter.

There are different cases of setup in which (maybe) could be a different current consumption, so I will measure them all.

  • with/without battery (which maybe wants to get loaded) inside
  • with normal USB A to Mini USB cable/with USB-to-RS232 conversion cable (to read the serial output on COM-Port on PC) which maybe needs extra power

Info: As Mike noted in his post, the GPSlim 236 has a Mini-USB Port, but there is no USB-Data (but directly Serial data @38400 bit/s if you didnt change this before). For using it on a pc you need a serial port or a USB-to-RS232 Adapter (I bought a special converter for this device several years ago).

Before measuring I discharged the battery a little bit to ensure its loading via USB. All values were mesured with powerswitch on device on.

Measured current draw:

idle draw (without device plugged in) Startup peak (~2-4 seconds) Continous current draw
normal usb cable w/o battery  – 95 mA 56-70 mA
normal usb cable w/ battery (loading!)  – none (because device is already powered on via battery) 300 mA
Converter  cable w/o battery  12,7 mA 95 mA 65-78 mA
Converter  cable w/ battery (loading!)  12,7 mA (the same as above because its the current draw of the converter) none (because device is already powered on via battery) 315 mA

You can clearly see the power consumption of converter (13 mA) and the battery loading (250 mA). When you turn of the device plugged in it will still load the battery.

I hope some of you can use this values for your project. Would like to here from you via comments 🙂

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