NAVIO2 for Autonomous Boat

Hi All,

Had a read of the forums and it seems most people are using their Navio for air based projects. I am looking to purchase this device for use in a long range autonomous boat. To get the range, I plan on using large 12v gel/sealed lead acid or LiFePO4 batteries. My first question is how I would actually power my RPi and Navio through the Servo Rail. I can see it mentions BEC, but do I really need that?

Next question is I plan on writing my own scripts with Python to access the sensors on the board. I will be storing my way points in a MySQL table etc. I am more familiar with PHP and although not ideal, it would be my preference to code in PHP first, then when I am comfortable I have got everything down, port to Python or something quicker. Does anyone know if there is a PHP Libary out there, or how best to query the Navio to get sensor readings back? Of course I will have a single servo to power my rudder so I will have to send information to the Navio too. I currently have a 12v motor too, which I plan to power off or throttle back during dark hours to save power (will be running solar panels too)

Anwyay, sounds like a great product and I am really keen to test it out.

Thanks, Mike.

Hi Mike,

Your project sounds great!

Yes, you will need a power supply to convert 12V to 5V needed for Navio+. Our power module will help you do that.

Sorry, yes, reading back I wasn’t clear in my original question. I understand I will need to regulate 12v down to 5v, but will any regulator do this? I believe your power module only supports LiPo batteries.

With Thanks, Mike

You can use basically any regulator. Our power module has no idea about the battery chemistry :slight_smile: Just feed it 12V and it will be happy.

Thank you. I assume the BEC is just so the NAVIO can read the power levels of the input battery?


A BEC is a voltage regulator. You need it to get 5V out of your 12V power supply. You only need one if you want to power a regular rc servo from the Navios servo rail. If you connect 12V directly anywhere to the Navio board, you get some magic smoke and a dead Navio.
The power module does three things:
It provides 5V to the Navio/RPi
It provides a voltage 0-3.3V proportional to the power supply voltage, for voltage sensing.
It provides a voltage 0-3.3V proportional to the current flowing through it, for current sensing.