Tbeam battery drain

Hi folks,

I’m seeing high battery drain on a Tbeam 1.1 with the most recent firmware and all default settings. I left it running overnight and it went from 100% to 0 in about 10 hours. A heltec Lora 32 was running right next to it and only dropped to 70% over the same time (also latest firmware and default settings.) No other nodes meshed at this time. Thoughts on what might be causing this? Thanks,

What are you settings? Which “latest” firmware version, if you are using a 1.3 version that is a work in progress and is not optimized for battery yet.

1.2.63… I assume this is the latest stable version since it loaded automatically on the flasher. I did a factory reset since tinkering previously. Then changed nothing in the flasher or app for this latest test, all default settings.

Unsure if it’s related, but the range is less than expected between these nodes on long/slow. Today I hooked the heltec to an external antenna on my roof which I usually use as a base station for 900 ism digital radios. Figured this would make a good relay node. Going mobile with the tbeam, range is significantly less than with the radios. TX power is lower of course (20dbm vs 29dbm), but I figured the reduced data rate would make up for that. I also have a helium hotspot at the same location that receives packets from a heltec device at even longer distances than the radios… Was expecting similar performance to that. Will keep tinkering and see what I can find.

Latest stable is 1.2.60, LORAWAN packets are a lot smaller. Do you know which lora radio is in your tbeam?

Fair point on packet size. I’ll try some different settings/antennas.

Do you know if your tbeam has the 1262 chip / radio?

I just dropped it in my wife’s car next to a helium mapper for testing. :laughing:. Will check the radio when she returns.

Hmmm, the Amazon listing makes no mention of the 1262 chip. And I think it only has “Lora 32” printed on it. Just found some comments that the 1262 version has lower power consumption and better RX sensitivity. Will verify later, but maybe that’s my problem…

It’s not the 1262… Would this have required different firmware? Is mediocre battery life/rx sensitivity to be expected?

No it uses the same firmware. There are fixes for the 1262 that increased power from 60 on, so that probably hurt battery consumption for those.

Also the new GPS code may have an impact. The fixes for other devices changed the underlying mechanism for T-Beam as well.

For anyone interested in the power draw numbers, I just took some measurements. Interestingly, I couldn’t find a way to power down the Heltec or put it into deep sleep. Still significant draw in “sleep” mode (hold down on PRG and press RST.) Will probably need to add a switch in the battery wiring. Also, screen on/off didn’t make a significant difference on either device.

Tbeam 1.1 (not 1262)
.04ma powered off
115ma on
220ma TX
+235ma to battery usb charging

Heltec Lora 32 V2
35ma sleep
60ma on
150ma TX
+110ma to battery usb charging

Testing should be done as long term averages. This will normalize out the peaks and valleys of the power draw.

We’re starting to collect power consumption metrics. Check this out: