uConsole statistics tool and power consumtion benchmark


I wrote a small tool in lua to gather some statistics about the uConsole like CPU frequency, power draw, cpu temperature, battery percentage,…
It’s licenced under MIT and you can get it from my git repository: GitHub - SuSonicTH/uConsole: tools and documentation for uConsole

I also gathered some statistics about power usage of the backlight at all levels, wifi and bt on/off and power usage and performance increase when overclocked.

All the data and my writeup with some graphs for the cm4 module are also in github: https://github.com/SuSonicTH/uConsole/blob/master/power/README.md and the data with graphs is also in Google Sheets uConsolePowerUsage - Google Sheets

short summry:

  • display backlight consumes most of the power, keep it as low as possible (what a suprise :slight_smile: )
  • turning off wifi and bluetooth doesn’t seem to affect power consumtion
  • overclocking has almost no impact on idle consumtion and not so big impact when the CPU is under load. 1950 mhz is the sweetspot for me where there is roughly 16% more consumption for 16% more performance. The overall power usage (Wh) for the benchmark I ran was the lowest at 1950mhz.

Warning: I’m a programmer not a statistics guy and not used to do detailed benchmarks so take the data with a grain of salt and if you find any error in my methology please tell me!


wow! very interesting!

Hi thanks for your findings I would really like to see the power draw from the 4g module too if possible. I am hoping the same as below.

  • turning off Wi-Fi and Bluetooth doesn’t seem to affect power consumption


I have to dissapoint you, just turning on the 4G module sips additional 0.4 Watt. I can’t test it connectet to a network at the moment as I didn’t get it to connect yet.

I added the statistics to the github repo and the google sheet. By my calculations turning the 4G module on costs you about 2 hours of (idle) runtime with 6000mah batteries.

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Thanks for this info i have disabled the 4g modem for now till i get it working.

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wow, thanks! any guidance on how to overclock to 1950 mhz?

It’s a couple of lines to add (or change) in the /boot/config.txt

There’s an older thread over here too:

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Based on your github writeup @Michael_Wolf, it looks like I was using higher over_voltage values than I needed to before. I was trying to match against some other Raspberry Pi 4 blog posts and forum posts I had found. I didn’t try using values until they worked. I was also afraid values that were “bad” might cause damage. I’m more a software guy than a hardware guy too.

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This is bad news but what i like to know why such a power draw. I just flashed my modem from 9001 to 9011 was jot too hard so will post my result tomorrow. I guess you can always power down the 4g module when not in use.

IMHO the worst thing that can hapen is that the SD card gets corrupted. I made an image before my test to be able to flash it again. So far I had multiple lockups and non booting and all I had todo was forcefully shutting down the uconsole and changing the /boo/config.txt on my pc. Nothing broke so far. But, as said in my writeup, I didn’t do any long stress tests.

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Amazing work, thank you for documenting all this!

Would also be good if we can get to gather some “real world” use battery benchmarks, for example how long can someone do some coding on it compiling every little bit before it cant be used, or pico8, note taking etc.

Because it does not have a sleep mode (very sad), it will have to do with some keyboard shortcut that turns off the screen at least, and maybe that would be okay day to day with overnight charging

Nice data! Can’t wait till my uConsole arrives to try this code out! :grin: