Battery powered TP-Link TL-MR3020 routers

I’m currently working for a personal project on battery powered wireless LAN devices which in the end should be able to automatically connect to each other within a wireless network mesh. I’m using three TP-Link TL-MR3020 routers for my experiments. They are small devices with a size of 74 x 67 x 22 mm and a weight of 58 g.

The first step was finding an adequate battery-packs as power supplies. I used four Mignon (AA) batteries in a battery-pack, connected in series, and added a self-built mini-USB connector to it. The battery packs add some extra weight: a router plus battery-pack together weights 186 g.

Battery Powered TP-Link Router

It looks like these TP-Link 3020 routers can last quite some time powered by these batteries. The routers are slightly oversupplied by the 5.6 Volts (when fully charged) from the eneloop batteries, but I have not yet recognized any instabilities. I measured the power consumption between of a router at its peak, under load (wireless traffic) and in idle state (with wifi turned on).

System State Power Consumption (ca.)
idle (wifi on, but no traffic) 71 mA
normal load 112 mA
peak (wifi + ethernet traffic) 166 mA

13 thoughts on “Battery powered TP-Link TL-MR3020 routers

  1. HI,

    How did you hanage to connnect the batteries to the mini usb ?

    I also have a tp link 3020 router and would like to try the same.


    • Hi, as you can see on the photo in the post, the batteries are combined in a battery pack. This pack is connected to the router via Mini-USB connector. Only the VCC and the GND pins are used. Respective pinouts can be found in the internet… Best, Kai.

      • How tried to power the router directly from the VCC and GND pinholes on the router’s PCB and bybass the mini-USB? I have been wondering if a could mod in a small lipo battery, converter and power switch.

        • Powering the router directly via VCC and GND should be possible IMHO. I’ve done that myself before. But be aware that any security measures on the PCB (e.g. reverse polarity protection) will be circumvented.
          It should also be possible to use LiPos as long as the circuit is not draining them empty. A colleague has done that in one of his projects. For my approaches I’ve so far tried to stick to ‘common’ batteries (they are pretty robust) although LiPos have their advantages. — Kai

  2. What Time battery on 3020 power.?
    Un saludo desde Argentina, una consulta cuanto tiempo dura las baterias con el 3020? gracias

  3. Hi Kai,
    How are you going to build your mesh network based on wifi routers? Some time ago I tried to run meshnetwokring on WRT54GL and DD-WRT, but the effect was poor. I switched to ZigBee.

  4. Simply buy a powerbank to power the router. Simple! I use it all the time like that, and I take it with me whenever I need to travel.

  5. Pingback: USB Voltage and Current Meter [Review] | Kai Christian Bader

  6. Hi.
    I need to place a wifi camera out in a cabin in the woods.

    My thought is to put a 12V 75Ah battery with a solar panel 50-100w.
    Do you think it would be enough to power the Ip cam and TP LINK?


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