Lockitron Community

Any Success With External Power Source?


Well, gentlemen, I have found a really cheap and out of the box solution to give Lockitron its own dedicated power source. I tried the whole solder the wire deal but wanted something more polished.

All you need is this:

  1. Convert AA Battery Pack to USB or AC Electric Power

  2. A decent USB phone charger adapter. I used my Motorola that dishes out 5V and 1.5A. I believe The Lockitron motor will take in as much current as you give it (within reason).

Here are my results: Notice the Lockitron turns a little slower because its not getting the 2A the 4 AA batteries would give it, but thats fine by me (maybe I’ll hook it into a higher Amp adapter in the future)

A way to conserve battery life
Installing Lockitron with a Weiser lock

just buy one for the note 3 on ebay. i know my note 3 charger is 2amp.


I just wired my Lockitron up to an external power source using two old power plugs I had lying around. The first was rated at 5V 2A (that’s one I plugged into the wall) and the second plug rated at 5V 700ma I cut off both ends and used the wire to extend the length of the first cable and then soldered the wires into the battery box leads on the Lockitron (in case I want to switch back to batteries). I ran the cables down the side of the door frame and then along the bottom of the door so you don’t see the cable then plugged the 5V 2A plug into an outlet behind the couch. I then upped the sleep period to 0 seconds using the Lockitron v2 API and now I have an always on Lockitron!

Do you think I’ll run into issues using 5V instead of 6V or a cable from a plug that was rated 700ma? So far I get 5V 2A readings from the cable but it still turns fairly well.


@Hanlon Awesome! We have a nice buck-boost power convertor in their so 5v shouldn’t be an issue. We can up the power Lockitron uses to turn with if needed.


considering lockitrons are usually put on doors outside the home, i was planning on making a solar setup. using rechargeables. i understand that they last around 2 weeks on a single charge, but i feel as if a small solar panel would be able to top off or fill more power than used, in a days worth of light.
any thoughts?


From the other thread linked earlier, rechargeable batteries can be very tricky to manage.

Now you could probably get a hybrid of this “wired” USB battery plug set up, and maybe a USB power pack with a solar panel, but that sounds like there’s a lot of potential points of failure, and may end up being more trouble than it’s worth.

Of course, feel free to experiment when you get your lock, just remember to come back and tell us about the results! :smiley:


@cameron Can we use something like this? It notes that if the continuous use is more than ~300mA the battery will start discharging. Can you provide us with a typical power usage of Lockitron when it’s wi-fi is on? The motor is obviously excluded since it will be on for short periods only.

Another option is something like this, but you said that one might have problems with 3.7V supply. I would really like to use dedicated power if possible, so your input will be much appreciated.

Lockitron Bolt hooked up to battery question

@stoinov I would recommend the first choice - it should come up as Alkaline and thus not run amok with the low battery logic; in the case of the second choice I would recommend a 4.2v cell if you go that route but it will definitively not play well with low battery notifications. Additionally I’m not sure what voltage those cells cut off at but we have a hardware voltage cutoff not that far below 3.7v.

The continuos power draw will never be 300ma or above; the radio pulls around 200ma in it’s highest power association mode and even this is only momentary. Most of the time Lockitron shouldn’t be pulling more than 10ma (as even while connected to WiFi it enters a powersave mode). If there is a lot of network traffic or noise in the 2.4hghz range, the device may re-associate frequently, thus averaging something more like 60ma. Regardless, you should be fine.


And how much is the peak load when rotating the motor? i know it depends n the kind of lock and setup, but an average for the default Schlage will be ok I guess.


@stoinov typically momentary peak is 1.5A but this is for a very short period; for most of a lock or unlock cycle it will be around 500-800mA. It’s possible the peak is high than this, but typically not. We use 2A power supplies for test units, however, these door stands are typically pretty smooth locks (unless we’re purposely jamming them).


No I do not think so, but if the deadbolt is VERY hard to turn or the power drops bellow 4,8 V it will send low battery email


I ordered one if the units NAF recommended. http://www.lightsforalloccasions.com/p-2029-convert-aa-battery-pack-to-usb-or-ac-electric-power-plug.aspx

Had a 1.8 amp 5 volt usb plugged in and it locked but I’ll need to up the power to unlock.

What’s the best voltage and amps I should get in an adapter for lockitron to be quick and powerful?

Thanks for the tip NAF. Just need to get a bit more power and hide the cables!


I am using a 5.1 V 2.5 A AC adapter. The batteries lasted for about a week, because this is on my office door and I enter and exit many times a day. In the log there is 44 lock or unlock commands in the last 8 hours (When I am at home) I thing the average is about 10-75 commands per day

It is wired up from the + and - pole inside the battery compartment by soldering one wire to the + pole on a AA battery (Dead of course) and one other to the - pole on a AA battery (Dead of course) Since the batteries is connected in series I installed 2 batteries, the + to the start and the - to the end. of course covered the other pole on the 2 batteries to prevent short circuit

The only damage i made to the lockitron was making a notch in the back housing to get the wires out, it is very deep, to the bottom of the back plate

The AC adapter is connected to my UPS so if the power goes out i have about an hour to unlock the door. However should the UPS shut the power off when I am outside I just use the old office key. If I am without power for long times I will just take the cables/batteries off and use AA batteries.

If you use AC power you could use the API and get the lock to never sleep it’s wifi, if you do this with batteries you will empty them in a few days. I only use Bluetooth (BLE) so I do not care about WiFi

New Firmware = Terrible Battery Life!?!

I had luck asking @cameron to up my power level a bit and he was able to do it remotely- it turns just fine now.


i wish those options were available to users on the dashboard… maybe have an “advanced user settings” section so people who know what their doing can tweak the lockitron to their liking.


@Jason_Silva hang tight :smile:


@NAF finally had time to set mine up. Although it worked when I tested it, today lockitron is not booting up. Will get a multi meter and test the batteries. Can you confirm how you have your dummy batteries in lockitron by order? From what I can tell in the picture one is on bottom row at back the other on top row at front.
I am putting 7.5 volts at 2.5 amps in. So perhaps it’s too much.



something wrong with my dummy battery pack! tested with multi meter and it’s dead. Although it was working. Tempted to just get some actual dummy batteries and solder as above, but not confident enough to do it. my lockitron is tearing through batteries way to quickly and the lithium energizers are like 20 dollars for four. this is getting to be a very expensive lock.


@joel_d_eggenhui My lockitron is working fine, 1 thing is the batteries,. The battery life is terrible so I grabbed 3 dead AA batteries and soldered a wire on the + end of 1 battery and - on another. Then placed the 3rd battery in the the bottom of the battery box<img


Thanks mate. Will try that! Appreciate the graphic.