How to power an Arduino with a single battery?

Can anyone direct me to a circuit, description, or tutorial to power an Arduino (or a bare Atmega168) with a single AA battery (using a voltage multiplier on the battery)? I saw a demonstration project somewhere, complete with picture, but I am embarrassed to say that I didn't note the webpage location, and now I can't find it. Thanks in advance for any suggestions.

Have a look at

Here’s a circuit that might work. It steps up a 1.5V cell to about 7V but only at 30mA or so. If you try to draw more current, your voltage will sag and you might not get the full 5V to your board.

These have been recommended by others here, though I haven't tried them personally.


Thanks to everybody for your suggestions. I think I'll try the battery pack at: which is the one mentioned by Ran Talbott. For $10, it's hardly worth designing my own.

I do remember seeing another one, however, that showed a battery mounted right beside the ATMega168 and that's the one I was trying to find. So if anybody else remembers that one, I would appreciate knowing where it is. Thanks again.

This one?

That's it !! Thanks Florinc - I didn't think to look at Flicker.

I wonder how well or how long it works before the battery runs down. But anyway, thanks a lot for pointing me to it. That's the one I was remembering.

You also have options for finding a low-power version of the chip or running at a lower clock speed.



one of the easiest solutions is to use the "NCP1400-5V Step-Up Breakout" ( from SparkFun.

It is ready to use without further parts.

Description: The NCP1400 is a 5V DC-DC converter. The breakout board will accept voltage inputs between 1 and 4 Volts and output a constant, low ripple 5V output capable of sourcing up to 100 mA. This board is great for supplying power to 5V sensors on a 3.3V board, or providing 5V from a AA battery.

The breakout board includes the necessary peripheral components. The input, ouput and ground pins are broken out on a 0.1" grid to allow easy access on a breadboard.

There is also a 3,3V version of the NCP1400, if needed.


Thanks Mike that looks exactly like what I want and I had not found it before.

I've used the MintyBoost curcuit from the Ladyada website. That works very well.

Thanks for the additional suggestion of Mintyboost. It seems more expensive but I need to investigate it more.

Maybe this is a different topic, but is there any cheap way to add a charging circuit or IC so that a rechargeable battery could be used and serve as an uninterruptible power source to the Arduino ? The only comment I could find on that question is:
and this arrangement is quite expensive.

Mintyboost is not expensive if you buy the parts and make your own.