Taek-Soo Kim, Jung-Yong Lee, Jang Wook Choi and colleagues explain that electronic textiles have the potential to integrate smartphone functions into clothes, eyeglasses, watches and materials worn on the skin. Possibilities range from the practical — for example, allowing athletes to monitor vital signs — to the aesthetic, such as lighting up patterns on clothing. The bottleneck slowing progress toward development of a wider range of flexible e-fabrics and materials is the battery technology required to power them. Current wearable electronics, such as smartwatches and Google Glass, still require a charger with a cord, and already-developed textile batteries are costly and impractical. To unlink smart technology from the wall socket, the team had to rethink what materials are best suited for use in a flexible, rechargeable battery that’s also inexpensive.
NEW PRODUCT – K-TOR Pedal Powered Generator – The Power Box – The Power Box is a pedal powered generator that generates electricity as you pedal. In addition to the two-bladed socket Americans find in their homes, The Power Box features a universal outlet that adapts to EU, UK, and other world outlet styles. Global citizens and world travelers can leave adapters and converters at home. The Power Box will work with almost any rechargeable device. Just plug your charger in the socket, pedal as if you were on a bicycle, and it will charge your device. The Power Box can power devices up to 20W.
Powerful and Versatile Twice as powerful as The Pocket Socket, The Power Box has 20 watts of generation capacity at 120 volts. This is enough to charge low power netbooks, tablets, smartphones, video devices, portable gaming devices, all sorts of stuff!
The Power Box can charge multiple devices at one time, for example four smart phones or two tablets. When used with an accessory part, the Power Box can charge a 12 volt battery. A 12 volt battery can be used to store energy and can power certain appliances that the Power Box cannot power directly.
Hands-Free Designed for continuous operation from a seated position, our pedal power generator enables you to generate electricity on a sustained basis. While this generator can be used with either hands or feet, when pedaling with your feet your hands remain free to do other things.
Light Weight and Portable The Power Box (folded) is 12 in by 5.5 in by 3.5 in. It weighs 14 lbs, 11 oz. Power output is 120 volts DC, 20 watts.
It’s convenient that the 5.5/2.1 mm center-positive DC connector is nearly ubiquitous among DIY electronics. On the other hand, the “whoops I grabbed the wrong supply and killed my LED strip” tragedy is almost a weekly occurrence in the forums. I’ve done it too. They all look the same.
You don’t need a fancy labeler for this (but they’re fun!). Tape will do. Or bread clips. Whatever, avoid the Magic Blue Smoke Monster and label all your power supplies one way or another.
It can be a stretch sometimes to understand the technological justification for wireless charging. At a time when power efficiency is an important societal goal, wireless-charging technology is pretty inefficient.
The Bluetooth-enabled, sensor-equipped 94Fifty basketball makes a good case for wireless charging: Nobody wants a power connector on their smart basketball.
Why put sensors on a ball?
We asked the same thing 5 years ago when we were working to determine how best to measure important elements of skill. It turns out that the ball is simply a receiver of force, and those forces are applied by the player. It goes where the player tells it to go. By measuring all the forces put into or taken out of the ball, and the consistency at which the player can apply forces at game speed, we actually get an amazing picture of how well that player can perform under pressure.
The ball uses the Qi wireless charging technology. Sensor data shows up on a smart phone app.
NEW PRODUCT – Inductive Charging Set – 3.3V @ 500mA max – Inductive charging is a way of powering a device without a direct wire connection. Most people have seen inductive charging in a rechargable electric toothbrush: you may have noticed that you recharge it by placing it into the holder, but there’s no direct plug. These chargers work by taking a power transformer and splitting it in half, an AC waveform is generated into one, and couples into the second coil.
This is a basic charger set, and it does work, providing 3.3V DC output from the output half when the input half is powered with 9V to 12VDC. You can draw as much as 500mA if the coils are 2 or 3 mm apart. If you only need 100 or 200mA you can be up 7mm apart. For 10mA draw, the coils can be up to half an inch (12.5mm) apart. Any non-ferrous/non-conductive material (eg air, wood, leather, plastic, paper, glass) can be used between the two coils. The material doesn’t affect the distance or efficiency. The coils do need to be fairly co-axial, try to get them to be parallel and have the circles line up for best power-transfer. (This is why the electric toothbrush must fit into the plastic holder, it’s lining up the two coils for best efficiency.)
Because it’s an air-core transformer, it’s fairly inefficient. Only about 40% of the energy in shows up on the other end, but for low power or charging project. If you draw 5V 100mA on the output side (0.5W), you’ll need 0.5W * 2.5 / 9V = ~150mA from the input end. The quiescent current is about 70mA at all time, even when the other coil is not anywhere near by.
These are basic modules, probably used for some low cost toy. We don’t have any datasheets or specifications for them. We do see a feedback resistor divider on the output side using 0603 SMT resistors so an advanced user could solder in different values to turn it into a different valued output.
NEW PRODUCT – 5V 4A (4000mA) switching power supply – UL Listed – Need a lot of 5V power? This switching supply gives a clean regulated 5V output at up to 4 Amps (4000mA). 110 or 240 input, so it works in any country. The plugs are “US 2-prong” style so you may need a plug adapter, but you can pick one up at any hardware store for a $1 or so, or you can buy a ‘figure-8′ cable for your country, also available at any electronics or hardware store.
The NFC-WISP is an open source platform, with hardware and firmware freely available to collaborators.
The team paired an Android phone to the NFC-WISP and employed a wireless power harvester microchip to gain energy from NFC [near-field communication] transactions between the phone and WISP, which is then stored in a 1mAh battery that is 0.17mm thin. Think of the Android phone as the electrical outlet into which the display is plugged.
I gave this a try: It seems to be a reliable indicator when a battery is stone dead. The trick is to drop the battery vertically. Neat!
It turns out that when the alkaline in a battery wears down, it produces a gas that fills the inside. So if you’ve got a box of random batteries you want to test, and don’t have access to a voltmeter or any other device, you can simply drop them vertically a short distance onto a hard surface. A charged battery will make a solid thump sound and often remain standing, while a dead battery makes a muffled sound, bounces repeatedly, and then topples over.
The resident eggheads at KAIST (the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, something like South Korea’s MIT) developed a technology called Shaped Magnetic Field in Resonance, or SMFIR. It consists of power cables operating at a specific frequency, which then generates an electromagnetic field. A coil placed within a certain proximity to that field can turn that resonance into electricity. It’s essentially wireless charging, but due to the intricacies of the KAIST design, they can achieve an astonishing 85% transmission efficiency.
What Gumi has done is lay SMFIR cable underneath select stretches of road, and then kitted out two electric public buses with the SMFIR coil. The batteries in the buses are quite small—about a third the size of what you’d find in a regular electric vehicle—and planners calculated that due to the high efficiency rate of SMFIR, they only needed to wire 5% to 15% of the bus’ route to provide the requisite juice.
Electric aircraft company GreenWing International has announced the release of its first 50 eSpyder single-seat electric planes, which will be sold as build-it-yourself kits for for under US$40,000.
It’s propelled by a 24 kW (32 hp) motor powered by a 13-kWh onboard lithium battery. GreenWing says that the eSpyder’s custom charging system monitors the health of the battery in order to achieve the best performance possible.
According to GreenWing’s figures, the eSpyder can cruise at speeds of up to 68 mph (109 km/h), though to optimize efficiency it can cruise in economy mode at 38 mph (61 km/h). Standard flight times fall between 60 and 90 minutes. Recharging the battery takes 2 to 3 hours.
In Germany, the eSpyder has been DULV certified, making it the first electric aircraft to be certified at a national level.
NEW PRODUCT – Pocket Socket 2 – Hand-Crank Power Outlet – The Pocket Socket 2 is a hand-cranked generator that provides electrical power on the go! It is perfect for anyone who needs to charge a portable electronic device immediately, but does not have access to a wall outlet. From the business traveler to outdoor enthusiast, commuting student to emergency personnel, the Pocket Socket is a great eco-friendly source for emergency backup power. Fully functional anytime, anywhere, it lets you charge a wide variety of electronic devices, including, but not limited to, your cell phone, mp3 player, camera, GPS, or tablet. If you need an adapter included to convert to European two pin standard from US, please let us know.
Handy for all sorts of DIY projects, and with a switching wall-adapter/converter you can get fairly-efficiant conversion to 5V, 9V, 12V, etc. Remember, when you stop cranking, it stops powering, so for many uses you would want to use this as a way of charging up a battery.
The son of a Southern California Edison powerhouse operator, Mead managed to convince his father’s former employer to donate an old generating unit. Refurbished and freshly painted, the 25,000-pound unit arrived at the museum last fall in the flatbed of a semi truck. Its components had to be lifted into the building by crane, and volunteers spent months on installation.
“For a bunch of us kids that were raised here, the powerhouse was incredible inspiration,” Mead said. “We went off and did engineering for a living and taught and all that stuff.
“But once you’re retired, you really want the next generation to have that experience. Because it changed our lives, totally. So that’s how we got inspired to do this. We’re hoping to teach kids where electrical energy comes from.”
Carver Mead coined the term “Moore’s Law, co-wrote the landmark text Introduction to VLSI systems, and built the first GaAs MESFET, a device that is today a mainstay of wireless electronics. He was the first to use a physics-based analysis to predict a lower limit to transistor size. His predictions, along with the notions of scalability that came with them, were instrumental in setting the industry on its path toward submicrometre technology. He was the first to predict millions of transistors on a chip, and, on the basis of these predictions, he developed the first techniques for designing big, complex microchips. He taught the world’s first VLSI design course. He created the first software compilation of a silicon chip… [He then shifted gears and did seminal work on neural networks.]
Edward Belden built a mobile version first as a proof of concept. It was so popular that Belden—who had always dreamed of running an ice cream store someday, probably after he retired—decided that “someday” was now. He launched a Kickstarter to found Peddler’s Creamery as a Benefit Corporation, where the employees participate in the profits right alongside him, and the “triple bottom line” includes values like sustainability and sourcing local ingredients.