Introduction: Powering Arduino With a Battery

Picture of Powering Arduino With a Battery

Make your Arduino projects portable by using a battery for power. From the Uno and Mega documentation pages:

"The board can operate on an external supply of 6 to 20 volts. If supplied with less than 7V, however, the 5V pin may supply less than five volts and the board may be unstable. If using more than 12V, the voltage regulator may overheat and damage the board. The recommended range is 7 to 12 volts."

I've found that using 9V works well. You can simply connect the + end of your battery to Arduino Vin and the - end to Arduino ground (fig 1). You should see the green light on the Arduino turn on to indicate that it is powered.

It's also a good idea to attach a toggle switch in series with this battery so that you can turn your Arduino off and on. As shown in the images above, solder a toggle switch to the red lead from the 9V battery connector. Connect the black lead from the battery connector to one of the Arduino's ground pins, and connect the lead from the toggle switch to Arduino's Vin pin. Snap a battery to the connector. Now your Arduino will turn on when the switch is closed and turn off when it is open (figs 5 and 6).

Parts List:

(1x) Arduino Uno Amazon

(1x) 9V Battery Amazon

(1x) 9V Battery snap connector Amazon

(1x) toggle switch Amazon (this one is a little different that that pictured, but it will work the same)

Alternatively, you can find these 9V snap connectors with the same n-tye barrel plug as the Arduino and plug into the barrel socket on the Arduino directly:

(1x) 9V battery snap connector to barrel plug Amazon


GeorgeB133 (author)2017-11-04

Worked for me with a 4 AA battery pack

oconnell3 (author)2017-07-20

So you program your arduino using a computer and then disconnect and run that program off of a battery? correct? I am assuming you can only run one program then ? To switch to another program you would have to start over with a computer?

VishalK123 (author)oconnell32017-10-13

Yes that has to be necessary, as new code has to be loaded using the loader

allanflanco (author)2017-07-22

i want to use a Lipo battery for my RC car project,what should i do and dont?

RobertD234 (author)allanflanco2017-08-03

You should not puncture it

dimitrakis1992 (author)2017-05-04

Hello sir.I have a question.When Arduino is off draw current?Please answer.Thank you

MikeM189 (author)2017-04-05

Running a standard Arduino board with a battery will drain the cell very, very quickly. If want to run your project for long periods, have a look on this board:

It is designed to run on common AA batteries for longer periods and also counts with a wireless transceiver for long range communication... here it running on a CR2032:

arduinomaster made it! (author)2017-03-30

I had to keep looking to fully understand this.

MadhuneedamG (author)2017-03-24

mine works only if connected.why is it so?

moebius.lutching (author)2017-01-04

This article shows how to run an Arduino clone from CR2032 for over a year:

BhavikK2 (author)2016-11-11

i am using 12v 8000mah battery for robowars

can i connect it directly to arduino?

the best guy priyam made it! (author)2016-11-04

can I use this method for arduino micro?

the best guy priyam made it! (author)2016-11-04

can i use this method for arduino micro?

NumairK (author)2016-10-13

How shall i make it work

Jon-MichaelC (author)2016-06-25

If this was a rocker with an led where would you wire the led in

JonhD82 (author)2016-06-07

Looks like that is turning into a real product:

Sammy2003 made it! (author)2016-04-16

It was really awesome! Can use it for unavabilityof plug point.

ArifSae (author)2016-03-11

The chip is rated at max 5.5V, I dont know if the Vin passes through regulator. are you about this?

ArifSae (author)ArifSae2016-03-11

ok so googling says

If you use the VIN pin, you bypass the diode, but you still have the dropout voltage of the regulator,

But regulator will eat your battery

guzforster (author)2016-02-28

Do you know for how long the Arduino will operate if we never turn off the supply?

AlanK30 (author)guzforster2016-03-05

I my experience, less than a day!

AlanK30 (author)2016-03-05

I found out the hard way that this is not a good way to power an arduino! Read this article:

I bought a whole bunch of rechargeable 9V batteries thinking it would be a good system. They generally can't power the my nano for more than a day. The article above describes why.

askfriends (author)2016-02-23

can i use external 5v 6A power supply to power the arduino?

i bought this power supply for my ws2812b led strip which works on 5v.

will it burn the arduino, will it be safe?

Bonzadog (author)2016-02-04

OK, but I think it need a cattery voltage level checker so a Raspberry Pi (3v3) or Arduino (5V) can read the status over a GPIO.

I would like to uses a 10000ma/h Lithium or NhMh) Battery Pack, 5V Regulator and the GPIO signal.

JamesH177 (author)2016-01-23

If you have multiple batteries, how would you connect all of them to the Arduino?

RabbiSam (author)2015-12-30

what's that wire thing you connected to the battery?

bahmad4 (author)2015-10-24

if i connect 2 joystick and nrf24l01 with arduino what the battery current must be?

ChargerIIC made it! (author)2015-10-05

Was able to run my MotorShield and my Arduino off the same 9v battery. Now ChaserOne is tetherless!

ChargerIIC made it! (author)2015-10-05

Was able to run my MotorShield and my Arduino off the same 9v battery. Now ChaserOne is tetherless!

ChargerIIC made it! (author)2015-10-05

Was able to run my MotorShield and my Arduino off the same 9v battery. Now ChaserOne is tetherless!

ReneS4 (author)2015-07-26

Hey Narzan! Surely that wouldn't work for the Arduino Uno, due to the idle current draw of the regulator, USB module, etc? At least, that's what I've been reading. Or do you have a sleep library that can somehow shut those off?

JonatanG2 (author)2015-07-18

how long can you run the Arduino Uno with a 9V battery?

anunziante (author)2015-07-11

can I use a battery like the one I'm posting. 6cell 7.4V 1100mha

GalenW1 (author)2015-05-19

I am pretty sure 6 AA batteries in series will last longer than a single 9 volt

corradini (author)GalenW12015-06-12

I think you're right. In fact, I think so because *I'm* pretty sure that a 9v *is* 6 (small) 1.5 cells in series. (If you crack one open, you'll find 6 smaller versions - maybe "AAAA"? of that type of cell.) SO: if you put 6 AA's in series, you're making a larger version of a 9v. Hence more mAh.

ChristianE1 (author)2015-05-28

Hi: I am verifing the Vin method posted here using a 9V battery (200mA) marked with my digital multimeter as 8.9V, and it seems to be an issue:

-When the arduino UNO board is powered using the battery I get the chart from the left which is not even close to the expected values on out pins of 3.3V, 5V and an analog signal on pin 5

-When the arduino UNO is connected through USB I get the chart from the right in to 3.3V, 5V and a signal from an analog pin 5, which are right.

Is the arduino UNO board requiring more power that it can be supplied?

tclayton (author)2015-05-07

very new to arduino, thank you for this simple explanation and visual example.

davehartles69 (author)2015-05-02

alternatively buy a pp3 battery clip for ardiuno

JRV31 (author)2015-04-28

Is it all right with you if I add this instructable to my beginning Arduino collection?

BoKKeR (author)2015-04-24

I want to know what kind of battery, notebook and how much I need to power the arduino for 2-3 days

Arduino4Me (author)2015-04-04

Can I use a 6A 250V AC toggle switch?

Also, it has 6 "pins" how would I go about wiring it up to the Arduino?

ronlavie (author)Arduino4Me2015-04-08

Sure. Use one center pin and one outside pin on the same side of the switch and wire it like the photo provided by the author above.

Arduino4Me (author)ronlavie2015-04-08

Okay, thanks!

Arduino4Me (author)2015-04-03

How would I do the same thing only with a Mega?

Arduino4Me (author)2015-04-03

Wow, thanks so much!

Extremely helpful!

Mawtees (author)2015-01-03

Can you use this with servos and no breadboard? (The servo goes into the 5v and ground pin)

Gelfling6 (author)Mawtees2015-02-28

You can, but only 1 servo! the +5V regulator on the board has very little amperage, and can either brown-out (too much draw) or even burn-out (over-draw) if pushing more than 1.. I tried this with a robot design, and it began chattering because the two drive servos were drawing too much. (browning out), and the arduino kept resetting.. I highly suggest using an external 5V regulator (a 7805) in parallel with the Vin, and not drawing from the +5V pin unless you're using it to power external TTL chips (Even then, still possible to have brown/burn out.) Simply wire the Vin to the input of the 7805, GND to GND, and wire the servo +V wires to the V-Out pin of the 7805. Someone had plans for soldering a parallel regulator onto the Arduino, which could handle the extra load, but you're also limited by the copper traces of the board.. Accidentally fried the Vin trace from the regulator, over to the Vin header pin, when the board fell and shorted on some metal pieces. Re-bridging PC board traces is not a fun task! Also, Very highly recommend against back-feeding the 7805's output to the +5V pin.. Some versions of the arduino, seem to fry the automatic switch circuit that switches from the USB +5V, and the regulator. (especially on the V3 Arduino's with the AT16U USB<-->Serial)

Mawtees (author)2015-01-03

Can you use this with servos and no breadboard? (The servo goes into the 5v and ground pin)

funky81 (author)2014-02-25

Hi, thanks for your info. One question, is it possible to monitor battery voltage ?

if it's possible, do you mind to show it?


djmelvinv (author)funky812014-09-21

hi you can use two resistors as a voltage divider to go under the max 5v. then connect de pin between de resistors at an analog pin for example A0. Now you can map the analog value to you battery values. so 0-1024 mapped to 0-12 (when using a 12v battery).

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Bio: I'm a grad student at the Center for Bits and Atoms at MIT Media Lab. Before that I worked at Instructables, writing code for ... More »
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