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Using the AutoPi with an external power supply

The device you have is pre-configured to work directly in your car. When working it in a lab environment you may need to supply the AutoPi with a controlled power supply. There are a couple of things you should be aware of, before connecting your device:

  1. Always power your AutoPi from the OBD connector. Don't use the power inputs on the Raspberry Pi. This makes some of the function on the AutoPi not function correctly and could potentially damage your AutoPi device.

  2. The AutoPi has several commands that can be run from the local terminal. Commands like power.status should be written out on the local terminal as you see them in our commands documentation. All terminal commands can also be run when logged in via SSH. All you need to do is prepend the autopi command, like autopi power.status. This works for every AutoPi Core command.

  3. The AutoPi auto powers down when voltage is below 12.2V. This is to prevent draining the vehicle battery. Power it with at least 12.5V when in a lab. We also recommend that your power supply can output at least 2.5A.

  4. There is a trigger (sleep timer) on the device, that will initiate if there is no communication to the car, more specifically, its CAN bus. You can see sleep timers by running the power.sleep_timer command and you can clear them by running power.sleep_timer clear=*.

We recommend getting the OBD power cable from our shop, to ease the connection to any external power supply. You can get it here.


If you'd like to discuss this topic with us or other fellow community members, you can do so on our community page dedicated for this guide: Using the AutoPi with an external power supply.