The USB-C battery pack has arrived; let the testing begin! At first glance it looks like the battery pack is working great. I had the machine fully running on battery power. However, there are some issues...

  1. The battery is supposed to switch on automatically when a load is attached via one of the two USB-C port. It doesn't, because the initial load is too low. That's no big deal as I could create an artificial load that can be switched in for startup
  2. The battery pack does NOT provide the ability to read the battery status over USB. I assumed that it would have that capability due to everything being USB. Well, it doesn't. There's no way to read it externally, because power electronics is driving the output voltages (i.e., can't measure the battery voltage vs current)
  3. The USB-A output is limited to 1.5A, and it can't quite provide enough power for the LCD panel. It's right on the limit, so the LCD panel can cut out if something pushes it slightly over the limit

The last problem (above) is the killer. My plan was to power the LCD panel from the USB-A connector so that the motherboard and drives have the full 60W at their disposal. This doesn't work. Adding the LCD panel to the 60W output would drop the maximum power draw down too low, and the machine would likely cut out whenever it momentarily draws maximum power.

What's Next?

The battery pack is obviously NOT suitable for the laptop. So what now?

I've contacted a different USB-C battery pack supplier to ask if their battery pack has the ability to report the battery status via USB. If their battery pack can (or if it could be added), then great. Otherwise, I'll have no choice but to ditch the USB-C battery pack idea, and return to the original micro UPS plus homemade battery pack. I'm very reluctant to do so, because of the risk of people ending up with counterfeit and poor quality lithium ion batteries. Poorly made batteries can self ignite and even explode...