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What is the minimum amount of power that a beaglebone needs to start up? This would be with no peripherals attached besides host usb. The getting started guide claims that it can run off of a computer's usb power, but makes no mention of how many amps are actually needed. I saw a mention of older kernels limiting current draw to .5 amps when working off of usb, although that was all I could find.

Could one start a BeagleBone Black off of .3 amps? If not, how many?

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If the getting started guide claims you can run it of a computers USB port, it will work at about .5 amps. A normal computer power supply limits the current to a USB port to .5 amps. Doing some research on the Beaglebone Black's site http://beagleboard.org/Support/FAQ, I found this:

When powered up over USB, the regulators are somewhat limited in what they can supply the system. Power over USB is sufficient as long as the software and system running perform some management to keep it under the USB current limit threshold.

and

The recommended supply current is at least 1.2A (or 6W), but at least 2A (or 10W) is recommended if you are going to connect up anything over the USB. The actual power consumption will vary greatly with changes on the USB load.

So it seems like the .5 amps from the computers USB port, is about as low as it gets.

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    $\begingroup$ Why is it put on hold? He might want to use it in his robot (if he has one, or is going to make one) and wants to know what kind of battery/regulator he needs. Just my thoughts. $\endgroup$ – Thom Kouwen Jul 19 '13 at 7:48

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