Development of the Battery Pack:
Hello! This page is a rough page to let people know what
is going on with the development of my soon to be released
battery pack for your PPC!
You might think, don't they already have those? The answer
is yes and no. You can go make your own if you want, or you
can go buy one from another site (I have seen one other company
doing this ~ $99!). The battery extender I am making is going
to be much better and much lower in price than anyone else!
:) Read on to learn about the development of this pack.
- Highly Portable-don't want people to have to carry an extra
backpack for the battery pack!
- Self contained-meaning that you don't pull AAs out of the unit
and put them in a charger. This unit will be sealed.
- Rechargable-just plug the AC adapter into the unit.
- Reusable-unlike Pocket Fuel, you will be able to use these packs
over and over, 100s of times.
- Targeted price under 50 dollars-hopefully approx 40 dollars
(thats the cheapest price by far on the market for anything like
- Aesthetically pleasing. I hope that these units will also look
darn cool-brushed aluminum cases!
- Develop Power Packs for all PPC devices on the market.
Updates on Design Progress:
- It has been a while since I have posted, so I don't want to
leave anyone hanging without more time and no updates. Basically,
I have been busy with other work to keep updating and researching,
and mainly, this is because I am waiting the arrival of some backordered
aluminum cases that are larger than the previous one I tried to
use (just couldn't fit all that I needed in the little thing).
So while I wait, I do other work! Bad news, the software Idea
will not worked as planned unless I can build an interface for
the connection on the bottom of the IPAQ, looks like the built
in battery checker will be all the more important! For everyone
out there waiting to purchase one of these, sorry for the delay!
I want this thing to be right. It looks like I will be offering
it in two forms: one will be in a black basic black case and the
other in an aluminum enclosure. Both will be priced fairly even
(for around 45 dollars) and should go on sale by the end of the
summer! I will begin taking preorders once I have been able to
test the unit well enough.
- Here is some good news! I have been able to get in touch with
some software developers about the chance of creating a piece
of software that will go along with the power pack that
will read the power status of the external pack! Several have
responded positively to the idea, and we will see how it goes.
This would be a great addition to the power pack!
- Also in news, I am now ready to move on the design on the final
enclosure. I have been able to find some nice aluminum enclosures
that I hope will look very cool! I should have my first case to
play with and be able to put the first production power pack by
the end of this week! I need to start thinking of a good name
to brand with this device. I am considering the possibility of
having a name contest, where the winner will receive a free power
- I have been able to work on the built in charge indicator and
finally get the parts working so that the indicator will show
a dead battery simultaneously when IPAQ pocket PC stops responding
to the external power source (approx 4.25 volts). This is good
news since it makes the availability of parts much better for
me. It also means the charge indicator lights will actually really
measure correctly, and not just be a gimmick!
- There have been some problems with the unit battery checker.
I never get the signal that the battery is dead! Even though it
won't charge the PPC anymore. I am going to try some ideas to
figure it out.
- I have been able to adapt a circuit design that is pretty simple,
had to pull out the old Physics book to remember my laws! LOL.
Anyways, I am testing the circuit today to see if it will work
with the battery pack. I am discharging the unit with my IPAQ
running WM7 (to waste batteries, since listening to MP3s is a
big battery waster!). Those who are wondering what the discharge
rate of the pack is:
- After testing, the battery pack will essentially be able
to recharge your PPC from near dead (when WM7 will no longer
play songs because power levels are too low) to full charge.
It then has some juice left over to run the unit off external
for about 20-30 minutes more (not running high processor intensive
programs). So basically, the battery pack is like an extra
battery for the IPAQ. I will be testing it in the near future
to see how it works when WM7 has worn down the internal battery,
and then plug it in and continue to listen to MP3s and see
how the pack performs!
- I have begun work today on building a circuit for the Ipaq battery
pack that will test the voltage level of the battery and respond
with an indication of the voltage (whether good or bad). I hope
this works, cause it would be a great addition to the pack, allowing
for testing to ensure load levels are good for use!
- After testing, I have found that I will have to develop different
units for Cassiopeia and Ipaq due to different voltage requirements.
The Ipaq runs at 5 volts from the AC adapter, and the Cassiopeia
runs on 6V in (when hooked to external power source). Since both
units have power regulating circuitry, there is room for deviation
on both sides of those numbers. The Casio recharge light will
stop blinking when power drops below 5 volts, the Ipaq doesn't
until the unit is under 4.25 volts. I am going to develop the
power pack for the IPAQ unit first, because there is a greater
need for it in the market. Casio owners can buy extra batteries
for their device for 30 dollars from casio.com.
- I have the first prototype working. This is a battery only solution,
nothing special. I am now going to be testing it with several
PPCs to see voltage behavior over a recharge.
Here is a picture of the early prototype: