Using the AutoPi with an external power supply (LAB)

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Do we need to supply exactly 12.5V or can we supply more?

Having a hard time finding a configurable power adapter with exactly 12.5, most actually stop at 12V. I did find on that has 13.5V would that work?

Hi @ziggyo7,

Yes this adapter will work. The AutoPi is able to handle 13.5V. Its should be safe up 15V.


Hi! Just received my AutoPi and the OBD power cable. I haven’t seen that kind of connector that is on the power cable. What is it called? What 12V transformer should I get to fit this connector?

Hi @sysdev,

The power cable is a standard DC connector in one end and then OBD connector in the other end. The DC connector fits in to most power supplies or power adapters. As such we dont have recommendations to the power adapter. Just make sure it can supply the needed requirements (above 1A and between 12-15V)


If you don’t have some older HW that has the correct connector and voltage, I recommend buying something like so you can have use for it in different scenarios other then AutoPi later :slight_smile:


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Thanks @Peter ! I have now bought a power adapter. So now on to next question :slight_smile: The connector on the power cable fell off (was very loosely tighten). Which one, brown or blue, is positive and which one is negative? I think the rasberry pi is sensitive to polarity.

Hi @sysdev,

Yes the power cable is indeed sensitive to polarity. I’ve attached an image with the correct connection:


Brown is positive.
Blue is negative.



Is there a command to disable the shutdown on voltage < 12.2 ? My PSU can only provide 12V.

Hi @Mikkel,

Welcome to the community.

In the advanced power settings in, just set the Safety Cut-out and Battery Critical limit below that of your PSU. That should keep it awake. Also remember to clear your sleep_timers during startup, or change the sleep timers so the are sufficiently long to do your development.

Please notice, that when you change the setting for your development environment, the device could drain your car when inserted. So revert the changes before using it in your car.


Hi @Peter
Thanks that is good input. However the device doesn’t have enough time to connect to the my.autopi.iobefore it’s shut down. I only have around 30-60 seconds on the to enter a command before it shuts down. Is there a CLI command I can use to set these settings?
Thank you,

Hi Mikkel,

If you just change it in the cloud, then the device will download the settings immidiately when its online (its the first thing it does). So it should work.

Alternatively, just insert it in your car and update the settings. Then re-insert it into your PSU after the settings been updated.


Great, will try that. Can you pls share exactly where I can find those settings in I don’t seem to find them anywhere. Many thanks.

You can find them here:

settings->dongles->advanced settings->power

The settings menu is found in the top right corner (the profile icon).


Having the power.sleep_timer enable=false timer disabled, the low power shutdown will still work?
Or how can I keep the autopi started (for defined period of time) after I turn off the engine?


Hi @schrapnel,

If you disable all the sleep timers, then the device won’t go to sleep. If you want to control the sleep timer after the engine turns of, then you need to look at the “Event Driven” sleep timers under the advanced power settings. The “Period” settings will control, when the device sleeps after the sleep event has occurred.


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I am having a bit of trouble getting the device to start using the power cable ( I’ve tried supplying it with both 13.5V and 15V but it won’t start (IE, it does not show up as an WiFi hotspot). The device starts fine when I plug it in my car so I would assume the device is not broken. What am I doing wrong?

Hi Oscar,

Through the holes in the top of the casing, you should be able to see a green light if the device is on. It can be a bit tricky to see. This will indicate sufficient power.

If you dont see this, then an idea could be to check that the power supply outputs enough power (amps). Find one that will give you minimum 2-3 A.


I’ve actually got two units with two different power supplys. One of them is rated at 2A and the other at 2.4A which should be enough? No green light from what I can see (I even tried taking the plastic cover off but could not see any green light).

Oscar, at 13.5V, my bench power supply is reading no more than 0.20 amperes while powering the autopi gen 1. If it is not powering up, there is probably another problem.

Edit: Peter recommends 2-3A, so I will of course defer to him, just sharing what is working for me.

To power the device directly from a bench supply, connect gnd to pin 4 and +13.5V to pin 16. Stick little pieces of electrical tape to each side of pins 4 and 16 respectively, to reduce the risk of shorting out an adjacent pin. Obviously you will do this at your own risk, autopi makes a power cable to do this easily/safely, but I was impatient :slight_smile:

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