BalenaOS power consumption -- RPI0W

I am using a RPI0W with a LiPO battery and associate Power Management circuit. The circuit indicates low power when the voltage drops below 3.4V.

I am having a strange issue in which on SD cards with BalenaOS hit the low power indicator but those with Raspbian do not (on the same device)

Wondering if there is any insight here as to why BalenaOS might be drawing more power than Raspbian.

Any ideas would be much appreciated, thanks!

Hi @droseGW,

Let me check with our engineering team to see if we have benchmarks on power consumption. When the device is running balenaOS, is it running any application containers/services? Or are your tests “raw” Raspbian and “raw” balenaOS?


As I have done more testing, it seems to only happen when running a specific container, which is running a camera and a microphone/kernel module. With the same camera software and microphone running on raspbian there is no problem.

This is very bizzare because it also *seems(still testing) to only happen on battery, on our custom PCB, with the specific container running.

The issue does not come up with the stock power circuit (
or USB. There may be an issue with our circuit, but regardless it is only when running this container is arises, very strange, as the circuit really only regulates incoming power and would not be affected by software.

Thank you

Hi @droseGW,

This sounds to me like poor USB power negotiation, either between your RPi and PCB or the PCB and the power supply.

How does your custom PCB connect to the RPi? Does it use the USB port or pins?
How does your custom PCB get its power? From a USB supply, or another source?
Do you have any way to measure the current between the RPi and PCB, and the PCB and its power supply?


Hi Dylan

  • So just so that I got this right - this issue doesnt happen over USB or PiMoroni’s shim - but happens with your circuit. If so is it possible for you to share your schematic or what you are doing different as compared to the pimoroni shim
  • It could be the case that balenaOS is drawing more power as compared to Raspbian. Are you able to monitor the current being pulled in with your setup? It would be interesting to monitor the current before, during, and after the reboot.


It was a strange issue that had to do with one of our scripts pulling down an GPIO that was effecting the way our circuit was working. This issue never arose on stock circuits but I guess thats not it goes with custom… I solved it by removing that portion of script.

Thanks for the support,

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