How to use JuiceBox Zero


JuiceBox Zero lets you power a Raspberry Pi Zero with a Li-Ion or Li-Poly battery.  The following will help you understand JuiceBox Zero and how to use it.

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Board Specs and features

  • Uses any single cell Li-Ion or Li-Poly battery (3.7/4.2V) with a JST brand PH connector (pay attention to polarity)

This is a 1 Amp source

    • It can source 1 Amp to the 5 Volt output and charge the battery at 1 Amp, so it can draw up to 2 Amps total from your micro-USB supply.

On/Off switch

Mounting holes

    • Specifically designed for the Pi Camera, but can be used for any sensor or breakout board that doesn’t stack nicely onto a Pi.

Low battery GPIO trigger

    • Use the code at the end of this guide to safely shut down your Pi when the battery reaches 3.2V
    • Default GPIO is 16, but you can cut the trace between the pads  and make a solder bridge on the GPIO 25 pads too!
    • GPIO is digital LOW or 0 until the battery voltage reaches 3.2V, then it goes HIGH or 1.

Micro USB charging

    • Make sure your power supply can source at least 2A.
    • Do not plug the micro USB power cable into the Pi Zero power port or damage could occur to either board.

Status LEDs

    • Red (LOW1) = Low battery
    • Yellow (CHRG1) = Charging
    • Green (CHRG2) = Fully charged
    • Blue (PWR1) = Power switch is ON


Tools and supplies needed


  1. Put stacking header on Raspberry Pi Zero
    1. This will help keep it in place because soldering is definitely a two-handed job.
  2. Put some standoffs into the Pi Zero.
    1. Two are probably sufficient, but there’s nothing wrong with using four.
  3. Place the JuiceBox Zero onto the header and fasten down with screws.
    1. Be careful to not bend your Pi or JuiceBox if the headers aren’t the exact same height as the standoffs!
  4. Solder the header to the JuiceBox Zero.

Done! – “You are now free to move about the cabin.”

    1. Follow the guide in the next section to see how to use JuiceBox Zero.

How to Use JuiceBox Zero

  1. Plug in a Li-Ion battery that has a JST connector.
    1. Watch polarity, and only single cell batteries, please.
  2. Turn the Power switch to the “ON” position.
    1. A blue LED (marked PWR1) should light up.
  3. To charge the battery and/or run the Pi Zero off a micro-USB, plug a micro-USB cable into the JuiceBox Zero’s charge port.
    1. When JuiceBox Zero is connected to a micro-USB cable, the yellow charging LED will light up.
    2. Important: Do not connect power to the Pi Zero power port while JuiceBox Zero is connected, this could damage either your Pi Zero or JuiceBox Zero!
    3. Another note: make sure your charger is 2A capable.

Correct way to power your Pi with a JuiceBox Zero and a USB cable.

If you plug your USB into the Pi port, expect to let out the magic smoke. DON’T DO THIS.