Easily Make DIY Battery Packs with this Building Kit for 18650 Batteries (Crowdfunding)

Vruzend-Battery-Kit-v2.0

If you have a project that requires some serious battery power, and can’t find a battery pack that matches your requirements, making your own is possible, but usually expensive as the commonly used spot welding method requires expensive tools. Vruzend has created a modular lithium-ion battery building kit that greatly ease the making of DIY battery pack using 18650 battery cells using caps, nuts and bolts. There are two versions of the kit: V1.5 kit which supports up to 3.5A continuous and 7A peak per cell, and for higher power levels, the new V2.0 kit can handle up to 20A continuous (25A peak) per cell thanks to nickel plated copper-based conductors. It makes it suitable for EV racing, high power battery banks, and other power-hungry projects. The short video below explains how the kit works. Vruzend battery build kit is now offered on Kickstarter, and the projects has been fairly […]

TDK CeraCharge Solid State Battery-in-a-Chip is Designed for IoT & Wearables

We’ve recently seen solid state batteries are prone to dislodge current Lithium Ion battery technology as they are safer, support higher energy density, and faster charging. Such batteries are expected to be seen in car in the first part of the next decade, in smartphones starting possibly in 2019, but TDK has just announced their own CeraCharge rechargeable solid state SMD battery with mass production scheduled to start in April 2018. TDK CeraCharge battery-in-a-chip will come in compact EIA 1812 package (4.5 x 3.2 x 1.1 mm), offer a capacity of 100 µAh at a rated voltage of 1.4 V, and can be recharged up to 1000 times. Potential applications include IoT devices, real-time clocks, Bluetooth beacons, and systems for energy harvesting. The battery – which will look very similar to an SMD capacitor – does not include liquid electrolyte, and instead uses a solid ceramic element as electrolyte which rules out any risk of fire, explosion, […]

Prologium Lithium Ceramic Solid State Batteries Don’t Catch Fire, Nor Explode

You must have read articles or watch videos showing laptop or smartphone battery explode, and Lithium-ion batteries are considered hazardous enough that they are banned from airplane without the proper paper work. Such batteries can catch fire or even exploded when overcharged, or physically damaged. We have protection circuits for the former, and physical damage seldom happens, so in most cases the batteries are safe, and that’s why they are still used in laptops and phones. However, if you need maximum safety, Lithium ceramic battery (LCB) may be the way to go. Those are still Lithium-ion battery cells, but they replace the liquid polymer separator found in Li polymer battery (LPB) by a solid-state ceramic electrolyte, and you can mistreat them almost as much as you like with overcharge, cut them, bend them, and they won’t catch fire, nor explode. One company that makes such batteries is Taiwan based Prologium […]

Xiaomi Mi A1 Smartphone Review – Part 2: Android 7.1.2 Firmware

Google recently announced several Android One smartphones, which are supposed to get 2 years of firmware updates, including to the latest version of Android, such as HTC U11 Life and Android One Moto X4. Many of those phones are limited to some specific countries, but Xiaomi Mi A1 will be launched in over 40 countries, and thanks to Chinese online shops is really available worldwide. GearBest sent me the latter last month, and in the first part of Xiaomi Mi A1 review I simply went through unboxing, booted the phone, perform an OTA update, and ran Antutu 6.x on the phone for a quick estimate of performance. Since then, I’ve had around four weeks to play with the smartphone running Android 7.1.2 (still), so I’m ready to report my experience in the second part of the review. General Impressions In the past year, I used Vernee Apollo Lite smartphone powered […]

Panasonic Showcases Flexible Batteries with Wireless Charging System

Flexible batteries such as PowerStream lithium polymer batteries can be integrated into new application such as smartcards, and could help wearables have longer battery life by adding batteries into clothes, wristbands or chestbands for example. You’d still need to charge them however, and in some cases adding a USB port (micro USB or type C) may negate the benefit of having a thin flexible battery, but Panasonic has a solution as the company added wireless charging capability to their flexible batteries. The solutions showcased at Ceatec Japan 2017 on October 3-6, 2017 were flexible lithium-ion rechargeable batteries with 0.45mm thickness, and 18, 42 and 65mAh capacity. Battery voltage is 3.8V, charging voltage 4.35V, and the batteries can be bend up to a radius of 25 mm, and twisted by up 25°. Such batteries are meant to be attached to human body and clothes for medical and health management applications, or […]

Banana Pi M2 Magic Board Now Sold with Allwinner A33 Processor for $23

Banana Pi M2 Magic development board was first unveiled in February of this year with an Allwinner R16 SoC, 512 MB RAM, and 8GB eMMC flash, and its main selling points were support for MIPI DSI LCD displays, CSI cameras, and 3.7V LiPo batteries. AFAIK SinoVoIP never sold that version of the board, at least on Aliexpress. Possibly due to the intricacies of Allwinner business units, the company has now officially launched Banana Pi M2 Magic (aka BPI M2M), but replaced Allwinner R16 by the similar Allwinner A33 processor, and removed the 8GB eMMC flash to bring the price down to $23 plus shipping. The “old” Allwinner R16 based Banana Pi M2 Magic board will apparently be sold as M2 Magic Plus soon. Banana Pi BPI-M2 Magic (A33) specifications: SoC – Allwinner A33 quad core ARM Cortex-A7 processor with ARM Mali 400 MP2 GPU System Memory – 512MB DDR3 Storage […]

PowerStream Lithium Polymer Batteries are Bendable and Ultra Thin (0.5 to 2 mm)

Electronics components and boards are getting smaller and smaller, and for battery powered devices, the battery may take a big chunk of the volume, and in some cases like smart cards, typical battery are not suitable. PowerStream has designed ultra thin bendable LiPo batteries that aredesigned for smart cards and RFID tags that needs their own power, but I could envision that if battery capacity increases, and/or energy harvesting becomes a more common feature, they could be used for wearables, for example by placing them inside the wristband. The main features for the battery as listed by the company: Operating voltage – 3.6V High energy density No memory effect Self-discharge is less than 3% per month Charge/discharge cycle characteristics are excellent Safety characteristics are excellent Processing temperatures for these cells is 100°C for less than 60 seconds, 120°C for less than 20 seconds and 140°C for less than 5 seconds. […]

MAXOAK K2 Laptop Power Bank Review – Part 2: Tests with Laptops, Phones and Development Boards

MAXOAK K2 is a large capacity (50,000 mAh) power bank designed for laptop with ~20V and 12V outputs, but it can also charge USB devices thanks to its 4 USB ports. Since I’ve already checkout the device and specifications in the first part of the review, I’ll report results from my tests with the power bank in the last couple of weeks. Since the power bank had some charge, more exactly between 50 and 75% (2x LEDs on, 1x LED blinking, 1x LED off), I decided to start by charging my phone, Vernee Apollo Lite, which is equipped with a 3,180 mAh battery. So I connected the phone to one of the two 5V/2.1A USB port, together with USB Charger Doctor to monitor voltage and current, and with 50% charge, the phone would draw around 5.07V @ 1.15 A. Note that the voltage and amperage will change depending on battery […]

EDATEC Raspberry Pi 5 fanless case