Jetson Nano – Use More Power!

You need to get all the power out of your Jetson Nano Developer Kit. Looky here:

Background

There are three ways to get power in to the NVIDIA Jetson Nano Developer Kit. The simplest is to supply 2 Amps at 5 Volt to the micro-USB connector. The hardest is to supply power through the GPIO Header. The GPIO Header has two 5V pins, each can accept up to 3 Amps. This gives 6 Amps total.

We cover the third possibility here. Supply 4 Amps at 5 Volts through the Barrel Jack connector. That’s what the cool kids do, you should too!

Why not Micro USB

There are times when you’ll may want to run your Jetson Nano through micro-USB. It’s pretty convenient; all you need is a cable and phone charger wall wart that you have laying around (make sure it’s 2 Amp). But here’s the thing …

The Jetson Nano module runs in 10 Watt mode by default. Quick math tells us that is 2A @ 5V. Sounds like everything’s good, right? Nope. That’s only for the Nano module, not the full board and attached peripherals. By the time you add on a keyboard, mouse, cameras and all the good stuffs, you’re over that. The Nano doesn’t like that so it turns itself off, similar to a circuit breaker when you draw too much current in your house.

Note: When running from the micro-USB connector, you should probably be running in 5V mode. See the ‘Notes’ section below on how to do that if you must.

What to Do?

Use the Barrel Jack Connector! You can supply 4A @ 5V, which should be plenty for most projects.

Installation

You will need two things. First, a power supply. In the video, we use a Adafruit 4A @ 5V power supply. The connector on the power supply is 5.5mm outer diameter (OD) x 2.1 mm inner diameter (ID) x 9.5mm length. This can be pretty easily confused with a 5.5mm OD x 2.5 mm ID, so make sure you get the right one.

You will also need a jumper pin. These are the standard 2.54mm hobbyist style. Also, you will also need an extra jumper pin if you plan to flash the Nano with NVIDIA SDK Manager, so at least get a couple. In the video, we use a bag of color jumpers. You may be able to get along with a bunch of black ones if you are soul less. SparkFun sells onesies if you just want to buy a couple.

You need to place one of the jumpers on J48. J48 is located between the Barrel Jack connector and the Camera connector. This jumper tells the Nano to use the Barrel Jack instead of the micro-USB port. Then plug the power supply into the Barrel Jack, and the Nano boots. No fuss, no muss.

Install J48 Jumper
Install J48 Jumper

Pro Tip

In the video, we label the power supply transformer, and add color electrical tape to the barrel jack to distinguish them from other, similar devices. You’ll find this is pretty common when you get out to places where people make their living do such things.

The reason people do this is that even though all the transformers and power supplies look similar (in fact the jacks can be the same size), the transformers may supply different voltages. For example, both the Jetson Nano and the Jetson TX2 share the same connector size, but the Jetson TX2 uses 19 volts, and the Nano uses only 5 volts. If you plug the TX2 power supply into the Nano, all the magic smoke will leave and you will be sad. And people ask why I have a fire extinguisher in the videos!

Notes

The Jetson has two power profiles, called modes. Mode 0 is 10W, Mode 1 is 5W. To set the mode to 5 Watt mode:

$ sudo nvpmodel -m 1

To set it back to 10 Watt mode:

$ sudo nvpmodel -m 0

The default image on the Jetson Nano is in 10 Watt mode. There’s another utility name jetson_clocks with which you may want to come familiar. Here’s a video which explains power management, modes and jetson_clocks in slightly more detail. Looky here:

47 Comments

  1. Hi there. Here is kind of basic developer from South Korea.
    Is there same process to install Realsense SDK with Nano module?
    I already show to install realsense article for TX2.
    I just on show you already use with nano & T265
    best regard
    thanks
    jun goo lee

  2. Thanks for great video and article.
    Was just wondering if you connected a 5V/3A portable charger output to the barrel connector (with a suitable cable) would Jetson Nano be able to run on that? Could you set it to the 10W mode which should leave about 1A for peripherals?

  3. I want to power a the Jetson nano (provide it max power) using a LIPO battery (say 2S, i.e 7.4V, 20C 1800 mah means it has no problem in supplying a peak >> 20 W).
    Are you aware of any off-the-shelf adapters ? If I am to make oneself, can you give me some pointers ? So should I plan to supply it via the barrel jack or the 2 X 3A pins ? Will it consume 30 W if I supply 5v 3A via the two pins ?

  4. I am researching for a project with the nano; thank you for your informative video. In using the J25 barrel jack, what is the polarity? Is ground to attach to the inner pin, or does it attach to the outer barrel?

  5. Thank you for the article. Just wondering if I could connect (5V/3A charger) or (5v/2.5A Charger) to microUSB port? Will it cause any problem to Jetson Nano? Or should I not use these chargers that I have and buy a Barrel Jack 5v/4A Charger to draw those extra watts for my project?

    • The microUSB chargers you list should work. The Nano will only draw was much current as it uses. The amount that it can use is limited to 2A if you only use the microUSB power input. If you want to use more power, you will need to use the barrel jack, the GPIO pins or the POE ports. Thanks for reading!

  6. I am using a 5V-2.5A USB power Supply from Raspberry pi.And i have only connected monitor to it and but the display seems to be not working.The green LED of JETSON NNano is ON (Does that mean Nano has booted).But monitor is not displaying due to extra power consumption.

    So do i need to buy 5V-4A power supply?
    Can you please suggest your thoughts here.

    • Just wondering, if power mode 0 is 10W, why do we need a 4×5=20W power supply? Is 10W just the Jetson module power consumption, and we need to supply more (hence the 10W extra up to 20W) in order to bear with peripherals (like USB keyboard, mouse, HDMI,…)?? Just wondering. Thanks.

      • That’s correct. The 10W power envelope is for the module alone, with no peripherals. In some cases, the module can draw a little more than 10W. There’s the USB, as well as the M2.Key E slot, and all the other little power suckers as well. Thanks for reading!

  7. Yes this TV has HDMI ports .I am using the same with raspberry pi .

    I will buy 5V-4A power supply and try once.
    Thank you

  8. i have a 5v 4a barrel jack power supply, but still see random power downs…

    the heat sink is extremely warm to the touch…

  9. I probably missed this in your literature, but what is Nvidia Jetson Nano identifying faces by Principal Component Analysis (PCA)?

  10. Hey, I’m just a country boy from Boston, and you’re throwing all these unfamiliar terms at me. I’ll check out the OpenCV Haar Cascade Classifier. This past week, I’ve been reading with great interest about a deep CNN visual identification system finding features that just aren’t there.

  11. I am going to power a cluster of 5 Nano boards. What kind of power supply would I need to do that? Does it need to be exactly a 5V 4A power supply with roughly 100 watts or so? Or can it be higher say 12V 10A and the voltage regulator on the board will only draw what it needs in 10 Watt mode?

    • Not sure what you are asking. The Jetson Nano requires 5V to operate. If you use 12V you run the risk of damaging the unit (though more than likely you will trigger the over voltage protection circuit and the device will not power on). You will need to provide each unit with the 5V@4A. An integrated solution is beyond what I can explain here. Please ask this question on the official NVIDIA Jetson forum where a large number of developers and NVIDIA engineers share their experience. The forum is here: https://devtalk.nvidia.com/default/board/371/jetson-nano/

    • The Jetson Nano requires 5V to operate. If you use 6.6V you run the risk of damaging the unit (though more than likely you will trigger the over voltage protection circuit and the device will not power on).

  12. How about edp panels.
    I would like to connect 21 inch edp panel. They can be power hungry, also some panel types require different voltage for backlight.

    In short what I should look into to be sure that edp panel will work with Jetson?

  13. Great article! Just one note: on my version of Jetpack 4.2, the syntax is ‘$ sudo nvpmodel -m 0’ to get into the high power mode. To see the other options, just type ‘$ nvpmodel’

  14. Always great info on your blog.

    I’ve been trying to find out some specs for the recommended adafruit 5v 4a switching power supply, e.g what the approximate “~” symbol in the only spec I could find on it translates to for the nano’s tolerance. Have you by chance measured the output of that adafruit supply?

    Thanks.

  15. nice video,I working on project in wich i using jetson nano and zed camera I have two problems i hope you can help me . The first one that i used micro _usb (5v,2.5A) but when i inserting the camera to jetson the jeson shutting dowen.

    • Not sure how to help. The article tells you that there is not enough power on a micro usb connector to drive both the Jetson and another power hungry peripheral like a ZED camera. You could use a powered USB 3.0 hub to power the ZED. Good luck on your project.

  16. Hi!
    I was just wondering if it’s possible to power the nano by the third method, which is supplying 5V 6A to the 2 GPIO pins, but instead of 3A to each pin, supplying 2.5A to each pin or 3A to one and 2A to other pin, and in total a power supply of 5V 5A through GPIO pins, will it work?
    also, as shown in the video, we need to connect jumper pins at J48 while powering through barrel jack connector so that the nano takes power input from barrel connector and not from the default micro USB slot, so do we have to make any such connection while powering through GPIO pins?

  17. For those who are suffering the power shut off when using DC power and mode 0: use a better power supply, or use the multimeter to measure the voltage delivered to Nano’s DC power jack, if it lower than a certain value, this may cause the power off . My observation is when it’s below 4.85V, Nano will turn itself off. But only in the mode0, the maximum power mode. I hope this can be helpful to others.

    • I need to correct what I said here. I tried another 5V3A power supply, the actual voltage delivered to the nano could be lower than 4.75V, but everything’s fine. Seems like the issue is related to the bad power supply.

      • Thank you for the update! One of the issues appears to be that there is quite a wide range of voltages and current delivered from what is advertised on the power supplies. There’s some tolerance built in to the Nano, but once you get outside a reasonable range things get a little dicey. As you note, it doesn’t fail gracefully.

  18. my nano shuts off when I do higher power applications such as things with opencv despite being attached to a 3a power supply through the barrel jack. the cable is 24awg so maybe that’s why. anyway, I have attached a wireless keyboard receiver, a small 5v fan, an hdmi cable and an ethernet cable. I have a power bank that is capable of supply 2.4 amps per usb port, of which it has two. If i put them both on the GPIO pins should it be enough? I would like to have one 5v pin free for the fan so maybe i can solder on a new header

  19. Hi, I am trying out the Jetson Nano on my car for on-the-spot object detection. I have a barrel-jack-USB connector plugged in to a high-power USB car charger(can do 4A), when the GPU activates, the Nano dies out. Surprisingly, a short micro-USB charger connection works fine, and I see that during the inferencing, it reaches around 2.5A. I would still want to pump the power via barrel jack, but cannot find any on the internet.

    Do you have any recommendation on this? AC-DC inverter is not an option (I have the DC-barrel jack AC supply but don’t I don’t want to use an a AC-DC inverter on my car- it further complicates my wiring).

    • It is unlikely that your USB car charger actually delivers 4A. Typically USB delivers only 2-3A. You should investigate using a buck converter (DC to DC) for converting to 5V. Good luck on your project, and thanks for reading!

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