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antedeluvian
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Zoom Energy Square
antedeluvian   3/12/2014 7:06:46 PM
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Arrow and Linear Tech recently offered the Zoom Energy Square powerbank as a promotional item to the first N respondents. I was lucky enough to get one. It has 8 or 9 different plugs for all the different devices out there. But none for the Microsoft Surface RT which i am evaluating at the moment. Cue my unhappy face!

Max The Magnificent
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Re: Zoom Energy Square
Max The Magnificent   3/13/2014 9:49:23 AM
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@Aubrey: It has 8 or 9 different plugs for all the different devices out there. But none for the Microsoft Surface RT which i am evaluating at the moment.

I've never actually seen a Microsoft Surface "in the flesh" -- can it even be charged via USB? If so, there must be a USB-to-Surface connector. If not, you're SOOL :-)

Max The Magnificent
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Re: Zoom Energy Square
Max The Magnificent   3/13/2014 9:50:40 AM
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@Antedeluvian: Cue my unhappy face!

But your wife still thinks you're ruggedly handsome -- so re-cue your happy face LOL

_hm
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CEO
Safety provisions
_hm   3/12/2014 7:49:45 PM
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@Max: What are safety features for this power bank? Can it discharge to create fire hazard?

Max The Magnificent
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Re: Safety provisions
Max The Magnificent   3/13/2014 9:52:55 AM
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@_hm: What are safety features for this power bank?

I have no idea -- I'll ask the folks at Active-Semi to comment here -- but my understanding is that this the the whole reason you'd want to use an Active-Semi SoC as the controller in your power bank -- because it's designed to ensure safe charge and discharge.

sraja1
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Rookie
Re: Safety provisions
sraja1   3/13/2014 10:15:49 AM
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@Max_The_Magnificent: Great article! Enjoyed reading it. 

@_hm: BTW, Active-Semi makes the SoC ICs (ACT2801 and ACT2802 in this family) that enable the design of PowerBanks. So it is not an accessories company or one that makes the powerbank end-product itself. Re safety, these SoC ICs offer battery charge/discharge management, safety/protection for over-voltage, over-current, short-circuit and over-temperature fault conditions, and can shut down as needed. The accessories or end-product manufactures can take advantage of the safety features offered by these SoC ICs while implementing their powerbank products. For more info, please visit www.active-semi.com/powerbank too.

_hm
User Rank
CEO
Re: Safety provisions
_hm   3/13/2014 8:16:03 PM
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@Sraja1 and Max: Thanks for detail explanation. Do you have test reults on your web pages and any certification?

sraja1
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Re: Safety provisions
sraja1   3/14/2014 12:35:58 PM
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@_hm:Thank you for your interest. How about we discuss further offline so I understand your consideration better. You can email me at marketing@active-semi.com

Max The Magnificent
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Re: Safety provisions
Max The Magnificent   3/13/2014 9:53:33 AM
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@_hm: Can it discharge to create fire hazard?

Hopefully not LOL It hasn't yet :-)

Sanjib.A
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CEO
A cool gift idea!!
Sanjib.A   3/13/2014 11:21:12 AM
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@Max: I did not know that this cool gadget did not make enough noise (news) yet in US. Last year, I was part of the organizing committee for organizing an annual tech day for the embedded engineers in our org. While we were scratching our head to decide on what should be a cool memento idea for the paper presenters, somebody came-up with the idea of Power bank as the gift (there are some Indian companies manufacturing this too). Everybody liked this idea and people who had got this on that day also expressed happiness!! :)

Any idea about the price tags of these devices from Active Semi?

 

Max The Magnificent
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Re: A cool gift idea!!
Max The Magnificent   3/13/2014 11:28:05 AM
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@Sanjib: Any idea about the price tags of these devices from Active Semi?

I don't think Active Semi actually sell the devices -- they make the SoCs that control everything -- other companies make the power banks themselves using Active Semi's SoCs as the master controllers.

I think the one Active Semi sent me was one that they got from a company using their SoC, then they put their name on it and use it as a promotional item.

sraja1
User Rank
Rookie
Re: A cool gift idea!!
sraja1   3/13/2014 12:59:47 PM
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@Sanjib: Hi there! Actually, Active-Semi makes the SoC ICs that are now used in many powerbank products out there in Asia. (Active-Semi is not exactly a powerbank end-product manufacturer). These SoC enable the design of powerbanks with all essential functions integrated in a single-chip. Helps bring down the size (total system size, or alternately allow the use of larger batteries) and system cost. 

One of our customers built us a few samples with Active-Semi name on them as mementos! Have to admit they are a great hit (and not to mention, real lifesavers when you run out of battery in the middle of that long conference call you took from your cell phone :-) 

Sanjib.A
User Rank
CEO
Re: A cool gift idea!!
Sanjib.A   3/13/2014 2:13:15 PM
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@Max & @sraja1: Okay...thanks! Yeah, I just realized that after visiting the website of Active-Semi, hence please ignore the question regarding the price of the power banks.

sraja1
User Rank
Rookie
Re: A cool gift idea!!
sraja1   3/13/2014 4:38:37 PM
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@Sanjib: No prob! 

Rcurl
User Rank
Rookie
Emergency cell phone chargers
Rcurl   3/13/2014 1:13:48 PM
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My wife and I do a lot of Geocaching, and we prefer to look for the ones hidden out in the woods. Running around in the woods with the backlight active on your smartphone will quickly take a toll on the battery.  This is more of a problem now that many smartphones don't have replaceable batteries, so I started a quest for a solution.  

If you search on "Emergency Cell Phone Charger" on eBay you'll find a bunch of items that are ridiculously cheap.  Out of curiosity I tried a few.  I can report that:

The ones that use a single AA battery can only deliver 100 milliamps or so at 5 volts.  The ones that use two AA batteries will deliver about 300 ma.  Both of these are too wimpy to charge a tablet or large-screen smartphone. The ones that hold 4AA batteries are another story. They will do about 700ma and do a decent job of charging a smartphone or tablet. I keep one of these in the car, one at home, and one at the office. These are best strictly as emergency chargers since they are intended to use non-rechargeable batteries.  The upside is that the shelf life is several years. I didn't bother to try rechargeable AA batteries because I am guessing that I would get much poorer performance.

We did get a more expensive version that contained a Li-PO battery (rechargeable, of course), and it works great. It weighs a ton, but will even provide a couple hours' worth of charge for a 10" tablet. I don't have the brand name of that one with me, but I'll try to post it later.  This ended up being the one we take with us in the backpack.

Max The Magnificent
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Blogger
Re: Emergency cell phone chargers
Max The Magnificent   3/13/2014 1:20:52 PM
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@Rcurl: ...so I started a quest for a solution

Great info -- thanks Rick

Measurement.Blues
User Rank
CEO
World's most expensive charger
Measurement.Blues   3/19/2014 10:18:45 AM
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Last week I charged my iPad on a $453,000 oscilloscope.



Max The Magnificent
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Re: World's most expensive charger
Max The Magnificent   3/19/2014 10:21:55 AM
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@Measurement?Blues: Last week I charged my iPad on a $453,000 oscilloscope.

And we're all very proud of you ... but it's not exactly something you can slip in your back pocket, is it? (Hang on, I forgot about your baggy trousers ... forget my question :-)

Measurement.Blues
User Rank
CEO
Re: World's most expensive charger
Measurement.Blues   3/19/2014 10:33:15 AM
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@Max, but it's not exactly something you can slip in your back pocket, is it?

Well, clearly not, but many engineers have equipment with USB ports that can be used as chargers. Did you actually think those USB post s were there for inserting flash drives? So if you're in the lab all day, you can charge your phone or the portable charger for your phne such as those shown above.

BTW, I replaced one of my kitchen duplex outlets with one that has one AC mains outlet and two USBs for charging. Now I can make tea and charge my phone in one location.



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