DIY IoT: Get An Email When Your Battery Is Charged

In this video I show how I modded my LiPo charger to send me emails when my batteries are charged (or anytime its alarm sounds) using a cheap Raspberry Pi Zero.

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It’s easier than ever to make nearly anything “smart” and are there are probably countless uses for a device like this, perhaps especially for the hearing impaired.

I was inspired to build the ‘MintyMailer’ when I moved my charging station to the garage and wanted some kind of notification when it completed a cycle. That got me thinking ‘Internet of Things’ (aka IoT) and wondering what would be the simplest and cheapest way to get an email when the charger’s buzzer went off.

An in-depth look at the build including links to parts, sourcecode, safety concerns and getting started with the Raspberry Pi are available on my CradyLab™ website:

I hope this inspires others to build something similar. If you do, please share a link to your project because I’d really like to see it.

If you have any questions or comments please share them here and If you enjoyed this video please click Like because it really does help.

Many thanks to those who support this channel!


Copyright©2017 Crady von Pawlak – All Rights Reserved

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Python source is here:

A big “thank you!” to all-around good guy Bruce Simpson for letting me use a clip from his XJet YouTube channel. If you’re not familiar with Bruce then do yourself a huge favor and visit his brilliant YouTube Channels, XJet and RCModelReviews:


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*** About LiPo Safety ***

If handled improperly or if they are damaged in some way LiPo batteries can be a fire hazard. This is especially true during a charge/discharge cycle and as such batteries should never be left unattended while connected to a charger. My personal charging station is located on a steel rack away from combustibles and a smart smoke alarm [that is audible throughout the house] is positioned overhead and a fire extinguisher is nearby. As a final precaution my batteries are always stored and charged in ammo boxes or fireproof bags designed specifically for LiPo batteries.

Recommended: The Drone Girl has put together an excellent paper on LiPo battery care and handling: 15 THINGS EVERY LIPO BATTERY USER SHOULD KNOW

15 things every LiPo battery user should know

Flite Test: RC Planes for Beginners: Batteries and Safety – Beginner Series – Ep. 7

RCModelReviews: All about lipos for RC models


MintyMailer sourcecode Copyright(cc)2017 Crady von Pawlak / CradyLab™ – Some Rights Reserved
MintyMailer is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License


Videography and Editing: Crady von Pawlak


Premiere Pro CC // After Effects CC // Photoshop CC // Audition CC // Media Encoder

All work performed in Microsoft Windows 10 Pro



Is That SCADA or IoT?

Clearly, SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) and IoT (Internet of Things) are very different things, right? We typically do not create new terms to describe things for which we already have terms, so yes. They are different, but maybe not as far removed from one another as we may think. As revolutionary as the end results may be, the truth is that the IoT is just a new name for a bunch of old ideas. In fact, in some ways the IoT is really just a natural extension and evolution of SCADA. It is SCADA that has burst free from its industrial trappings to embrace entire cities, reaching out over our existing internet infrastructure to spread like a skin over the surface of our planet, bringing people, objects, and systems into an intelligent network of real-time communication and control.

Not entirely unlike a SCADA system – which can include PLCs (Programmable Logic Controllers), HMI (Human Machine Interface) screens, database servers, large amounts of cables and wires, and some sort of software to bring all of these things together, an IoT system is also composed of several different technologies working together. That is to say you can not just walk in to the electronics section of your local department store, locate the box labeled "IoT" and carry it up to the counter to check out.

It also means that your IoT solution may not resemble your neighbor's IoT solution. It may be composed of different parts performing different tasks. There is no such a thing as a 'one-size-fits-all' IoT solution. There are, however, some common characteristics that IoT solutions will share:

  • Data Access – It's obvious, but there has to be a way to get to the data we want to work with (ie sensors).
  • Communication – We have to get the data from where it is to where we are using it – preferably along with the data from our other 'things'.
  • Data Manipulation – We have to turn that raw data into useful information. Typically, this means it will have to be manipulated in some way. This can be as simple as placing it in the right context or as complex as running it through a sophisticated algorithm.
  • Visualization – Once we have accessed, shared, and manipulated our data, we have to make it available to the people who will use it. Even if it's just going from one machine to another (M2M) to update a status or trigger some activity, we still need some kind of window into the process in order to make corrections or to ensure proper operation.

There could be any number of other elements to your IoT system – alarm notifications, workflow, etc. – but these four components are essential and will be recognized from one IoT system to the next. Coincidentally (or not so coincidentally), these are technologies that all cut their teeth in the world of SCADA.

The IoT is the Next Generation of SCADA

Again, In many ways the IoT is a natural extension and evolution of SCADA. It is SCADA that has grown beyond industry and seeped into our daily lives. The IoT is essentially SCADA plus the new technology that has evolved since SCADA was first devised. Just like how in the late 18th Century, steam power put a hook in all other industrial technology and rolled it forward into a new era, electric power did the same thing a century later. Several decades later, with the advent of microchips and computer technology, once again industry was swept forward into a new era by the gravity of a single revolutionary technology. As we sit here today, well aware of the revolutionary power of what we call the 'internet', we are now feeling that gravity once again pulling us toward a new era.

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The Power-Supply Subsystem – Sebastian Reichel, Collabora

The Power-Supply Subsystem – Sebastian Reichel, Collabora

Do you know how batteries and battery chargers are handled in the Linux kernel subsystem? While not as complex as the DRM subsystem, the power-supply subsystem is a key part of embedded mobile devices running Linux. This talk will give an overview of the subsystem, from hardware (e.g. what’s a smary battery), to sysfs and uevent API exposed to userspace. We’ll then demonstrate a template driver instantiated from device tree, and review typical mistakes that can occur along the way. Lastly, we’ll discuss some of the shortcomings of the subsystem.

About Sebastian Reichel
Sebastian Reichel works for Collabora’s Core team on hardware enablement. He is the kernel subsystem maintainer for MIPI HSI (highspeed synchonous serial interface) and power-supply (battery fuel-gauge/ charger drivers). In the last few years he worked on mainline kernel support for the Nokia N series and more recently on the Motorola Droid 4. Previous speaking experience includes a talk at FOSDEM18.


Maxim Integrated MAX14745 Wearable Charge-Management Solution — New Product Brief | Mouser

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Maxim Integrated MAX14745 Wearable Charge-Management Solution consists of a linear battery charger including a smart power selector and many power-optimized peripherals, designed for low-power wearable applications such as fitness monitors and rechargeable IoT devices.

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Charging Electric Cars and Cybersecurity

Animation video about charging electric vehicles and the importance of cybersecurity.

Charging one modern electirc car equals the power-use of 10 households at peak demand. Now, imagine one million cars connected to the grid: that’s a lot of collective power! What if someone hacked the system and gained the ability to control all the chargers at the same time?


Teardown Tuesday: Bluetooth Battery Charger

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The Esyb E4 4-battery charger has Bluetooth LE for smartphone connectivity. This teardown looks at the components inside the charger. For more information, as well as all the latest All About Circuits projects and articles, visit the official website at

Check out author’s profile on All About Circuits and see more articles and technical projects he created:

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