can arduino be powered by coin batteries?

I'm looking to reduce the size of an arduino project i'm working on. and i'm wondering if i can power it using four 20325 coin batteries from radio shack?

anyone know?


Of course you can. Just not for very long.

Maybe you think that it did not work because of the short time that worked.

Another option is to go with a single cell battery and a small boost regulator to get the 4.5-5v into the Vcc pin to run the arduino. Here's an example

Which arduino are you using and how much current do you need?

You would have to go with simpler and basic Arduino boards like Pro Mini to do this. This is because most of the time, quite an amount of current is being used by the regulators itself (high quiescent current) and hence not suitable for small coin cell batteries. Even Pro Mini on board regulator might not be ultra low power (there’s no manufacturer part number on schematic to verify this).

You may run into amerage problem just slice a usb cable and attach it to a 5 volt regulartor form rdio shack and you can put up to 10 3v coin cells but as long as it is under 35 volts the regulartor will regulate it to a even 5 volts i use it for my array of jumbo leds.

Regulate 35V down? You got a little space heater going on there too? You can be smarter about the power - if you have stable 4.5-5V source you can bring that into the VCC pin, bypass the regulator altogether, and keep the higher voltage going to the rest of your circuit, as long as the atmega outputs only see the same VCC levels ( i.e. you are using transistors or other ICs with open collector or open drain outputs to drive those 35V outputs).

wow, thank you all for the responses! o it can be done but it wouldn’t last long seems to be the overall jist of it. makes me wonder about solar power for the arduino or other power sources. thanks guys

Well, depends on how big your array is. You can get 3'x5' array capable of putting out 200 W, that would certainly do it. Would be very expensive. Or something not so expensive:

it can be done but it wouldn't last long seems to be the overall jist of it

At least not in the "standard" configuration; I'm sure that if you built a standalone circuit, modded things so that the ATMega was running at the lowest possible speed (internal clock?), and set things up so that it was in "sleep" mode most of the time - you could probably easily run the processor (and maybe a sensor or two) from coin cells.

If you needed more current, there's always the possibility of running off small "specialty" batteries (Radio Shack at one time carried all kinds of "weird" size batteries and cells - they might still thru their catalog). Something like "N" cells, or sub-AA, small things like that. At a certain point, though, 3.3V LiPo batteries start looking more attractive (plus hunting down holders for some of those weird batteries can be a chore).


I'm looking to reduce the size of an arduino project i'm working on.

Are you still trying to solve this problem? If so, solar isn't the way to go. You need sufficient area for the array and if you need your project to work at night or on cloudy days, you'll need a battery and a power controller.