External power to spotter buoy

Hey folks, for my application I’ll be giving the spotter buoy a ride on a custom built USV. This will give the ability to move the ‘buoy’ around remotely whilst collecting data through bristlemouth integrated sensors.

I’ve extracted the internals from the spotter as there’s limited space in the USV. This means I’ll be powering the spotter from the USV’s power source (also solar). What’s the best way of doing this? I’m thinking either 5V power supply to the USB-C port or maybe into the solar panel connectors.

Any thoughts or experience would be much appreciated!

Just for clarity, it will need to be externally powered whilst deployed.


Hi there @george I had a chance to review this with the engineers here at Sofar and there are a few ways to power your electronics box (eBox) for the Spotter you have.

Option-1: USB-C
Safe and easy would be to use the USB-C. This is a standard charging port.

Option-2: Solar panel input
Since you wont be using the solar panels you can apply a voltage directly to this barrel input. You may notice that your “system” LED doesn’t behave like it does in the Spotter manual but if you keep an eye on the battery voltage in the dashboard you can make sure you’re staying charged.

This would be replacing the barrel plug with one of your own. @evan was kind enough to share this part number with us: U152-003-3P5 Tripp Lite | Cable Assemblies | DigiKey. Thank you!

For a power source we’d recommend between 9V and 12V dc. It’s very important not to go above 14V as you will run afoul of the protections built in. Anything less than 7V probably won’t work which is why we recommend 9V-12V.

Let us know how this works out for you!

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Perfect thanks, I’ll give the USB-C route a go. I’ll let you know how I get on!