This is an edited transcript of an email exchange that deserves to see the light of day:
I noticed on the kickstarter campaign that you were selling a separate solar shield. I had assumed the power management was on board the Dash Pro - Is this necessary to connect a solar panel, or is there somewhere to connect a panel without this board. If necessary, will the board be available for purchase from your store?
We have battery management on the board, but it is set-up to work under a 5V input. Solar input can vary quite dramatically depending on what you are feeding the system. If you add an external 5V buck-boost regulator to regulate your voltage from solar, you won’t need the solar shield. If you want a turn-key solution that works out of the box, the solar shield is a good choice.
The solar shield looks good with the screw terminals for connecting IO devices.
The picture on kickstarter is missing header pins for connecting the Dash Pro - will it require soldering or will it arrive ready to go?
There will be headers for both the Dash Pro and the Dash on all shields.
Would the below provide enough power to the Dash Pro? Note the max 1A output - not sure if this would be enough during heavy cellular load.
The short answer is you can use any system that supplies 500 mA to the USB connector / Vin Pin, or 2A Peak in Bypass Mode. Bypass mode will either require physical jumpers or solder jumpers. We’re still trying to optimize for space / features.
I’m not sure if the solution you provided me works without a battery attached to the solar PCB. It seems unlikely. In normal mode, you would need two batteries. Not the cheapest BOM. It would, however work well.
If you were to convert a Dash to bypass mode, the module you selected doesn’t have enough current to supply 2A peak. The Dash/Dash Pro only need 2A Peak in some modes, but that is determined by your tower locations. It can work in some situations, but wouldn’t be enough current for every location. It could also be that the module selected could temporarily source more current for the 2A peak bursts. I won’t warranty someone else’s hardware, and I prefer to stick to the datasheet.