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Zip Mini – Magnetic Charging Station

The Joy Factory has a smaller version of their popular Zip charging station, but looks just as cool. The ZipMini Touch-n-Goâ„¢ charging station is the next step in the evolution of mobile device power.  Now you can take a call or check your e-mail without having to manually disconnect cables. Your device reconnects itself when you move it back near the charging station. This sleek little powerhouse charges up to four devices at once, eliminates cord clutter, and looks great doing it. Touch-n-goâ„¢ is a revolutionary combination of a magnetized base unit paired with magnetized 3-inch mini-cables knows as “zip tails.” The zip tails pop immediately into place on the charging station via the built-in magnets, and safely snap off when you move your device. The only problem I have with this solution is finding additional 30 pin connectors since I have four iPhones to charge.  In addition, TheJoyFactory doesn’t give specifics about charging times with multiple devices, so a good chance you’ll get a trickle charge to the iPad while have several other devices connected at the same time. Purchase price for the ZipMini Continue Reading

USB Battery Charging – Not An Easy Task

USB devices and ports are now the most ubiquitous item one can related to a computer product other then maybe the VGA connector or Ethernet port.  With that said, it’s now the mainstream bus used to power and recharge most computer devices and gadgets.  However, just because it will charge of USB doesn’t mean it’s all that easy and efficient.  There is a lot more into charging via USB then you’d ever imagine. With some devices you get a fast charge.  With other devices you get a slow charge.  So what’s the deal? In most cases when you see a slow charging device it means the manufacturer made a digital signature that is compatible with the power charger which came with the device.  Any other USB port used to charge the product simply isn’t as efficient…and that’s by design! This post is just an appetizer for all the dirty little secrets related to USB charging devices, to get a little deeper into the details click over to Continue Reading

On Off USB Power Bar Will Save You $$$

The tech world is changing for the better.  We are seeing longer lasting batteries, devices which require less juice and smarter power management.  Good example is the PowerUSB Bar. This power bar will automatically shut down the devices it’s powering based on time of day or clock settings.  For example, why power that laser printer when everyone is away from work?  Better to power off the printer between 6pm and 7am, right?  The PowerUSB Bar can do just that. The PowerUSB Basic empowers you to put your old devices on a diet by programming when to shut off power to them. It looks like a standard 4 port power strip but 3 of the for outlets are programmable. The last outlet is always on so it’s reserved for the PC. And there’s also a 6 ft USB cord coming out of the power strip. Attach printers, chargers, speakers or external drives and let the PowerUSB Bar govern their power consumption. Continue Reading

Another USB Wall Charger

Now that USB is becoming the standard charging bus for all portable electronic devices [at least in UK], we can truly embrace the wall mount USB charger. This slick looking wall mount uses one DC outlet from your wall and extends it to the face plate along with two USB charging ports.  The two ports can charge one iPad or two iPhones.  Of course it will accommodate other USB based devices like Android, tablets etc. It would have been nice to see some additional logic inside which would send enough current for 4 or 6 devices.  I also think if you are going to eliminate one complete wall socket, might as well offer more USB ports. RCA is selling the charger for $20 retail. Continue Reading

“Cord-On-Board” iPhone Case

These iPhones run out of juice so quickly.  I’m not saying it’s a battery issue, I’m saying the devices are so adictive I use them all day long and drain the battery.  From getting directions, to checking status updates, to email, facetime and photo shots, it’s in constent use. I’ve definitely spent extra money getting Apple 30 pin cables for charging at both home and work.  Caseinity has solved the consumer problem of over spending with the cord-on-board product.  The product is simple as you can see from this image. The product is a case with the USB to 30-pin connector attached to the underside of the case.  Now we don’t see a width dimension of the picture, but it must be at least 7mm thick to handle the USB connector. What I like most about this product is the Continue Reading

Intro DIY Project For Easy USB Charger

Looking to for a simple DIY project for a school report or class event, this USB charger is it!  Or if you’re just looking to try your hand with some simple electronic wiring to see if you have what it takes. Well, using some off-the-shelf times, a battery and the simple schematics below you can have a great USB charge for just about any USB product. The full tutorial is at Instructables, and I’ve also seen a couple good comments in their thread, like: Continue Reading

Jelly Batteries – A Better Solution

In a jelly battery the jelly would replace the liquid electrolytes currently used in most lithium batteries.  University of Leeds dreamed up a very unique solution to our never-ending-quest for more battery power. A new prototype of battery, the jelly battery, avoids what the pros call “thermal runaway.”  The thermal runaway is what causes batteries to over heat and [sometimes] catch on fire. The Leeds research team says their secret to success lies in the blending of a rubber like polymer with a conductive, liquid electrolyte into a thin, flexible file of gel.  That film sits between the battery electrodes.
“Safety is of paramount importance in lithium batteries. Conventional lithium batteries use electrolytes based on organic liquids; this is what you see burning in pictures of lithium batteries that catch fire. Replacing liquid electrolytes by a polymer or gel electrolyte should improve safety and lead to an all-solid-state cell,”
said Professor Peter Bruce from the University of St Andrews, who was not involved in the study. Continue Reading

New USB Power Specification – Dreamy

Cell phone standards ditched the AC/DC adapter about a year ago and it’ll be a requirement all cell phones power only via USB.  Now it looks like we could do the same for computers.  The USB 3.0 Promoter Group introduced a new specification to offer up to 100watts of power over a USB 3.0 cable.  How convenient would that be! Lets ditch the AC/DC power block with most laptops and just plug into one of those USB wall mount power stations.  Or recharge your laptop directly off your tower PC.  Or easily power an unlimited number of USB devices via your USB laptop USB 3.0 port. This means more and more peripherals will be powered via USB and not require the extra power adapter.  This ultimately mean less cost and less hassle for the average computer user.
“Building on the rapidly increasing industry momentum for using USB bus power to charge a broad range of mobile devices, the new USB Power Delivery specification extends USB’s cable power delivery capabilities beyond simple battery charging,” said Brad Saunders, USB 3.0 Promoter Group chairman, in a statement. “For example, charging the battery of a notebook PC, or simply powering that notebook PC while actively using the USB data connection, would be possible. Conceivably, a notebook PC could rely solely on a USB connection for its source of power.”
The preliminary spec indicated power is bi-directional and therefore no need to switch or swap the USB cable.  The new specification would be compatible with Continue Reading

Voltaic – Solar Charger For iPad & The Likes

Voltaic is a company that deals with voltage.  They specialize in the solar charging to create volts.  Their latest entry is the Spark.  The Spark is a solar panel design for tablet and notebooks. Voltaic is marketing the Spark for the iPad – and why not as there’s plenty of marketing spin going on for Apple tablets. The Spark will generate 8watts of solar power.  So for those who don’t have an electrical engineering degree, or simply can’t do the math – one hour of sun to the Spark will generate enough power to run one hour of video off the iPad.  Not bad.
  • Weather:  Panels are waterproof, lightweight and built to withstand abuse.
  • Charge times: About 10 hours in direct sun will fully charge an iPad, other tablets may take less time.
  • Peak Output: 6 Volts, 1,333mA or 12 Volts, 667mA
  • Connector:  USB and 5 standard adapters
So here is the price – $299 USD.  To learn more, visit Continue Reading

USB Recharging

There is news running popping up about a new concept design for rechargeable batteries via USB.  Well, the concept looks cool from a design standpoint, but nothing new in the market place. First, lets review the design.  Taking a double A battery case, the concept is to attach a USB cable so the internal battery can be recharged.  Nice concept if it came out 5 years ago, but why add the additional USB cable.  Why not make the tip a USB connector?  Oh wait, it’s been done. So this brings us to what is already in the market place, the USBCell. This is a rechargeable battery which sits inside the double A battery design case. You can recharge the battery Continue Reading

Share The Love Plug-Less USB Outlet Connector

I’m sure you had to read the title once or twice.  Well, you know what they say…a picture is worth a thousand words.  Doubt I’ll drum up a thousand words for this post, but you get the point. The FlipIt is a slick little piece of plastic which fits between your wall prongs and the outlet itself.  This way you can high-jack some power off the outlet, while still sharing it with other electronics.  The FlipIt then redirects the juice to a USB port where you can plug any device which uses USB for recharging. It’s a brilliant idea. It’s $15. After seeing it, don’t you wish you thought of it? Source:  Those guys Continue Reading

Dynamic8 Turns Mundane USB Charger Into Must-Have Accessory

Doing a bit of research for iPhone chargers I came across the Dynamic8 iPhone and iPad charger.  The look is fantastic and is very contemporary.  No protrusive charger sticking out half way into the drivers console, but rather flush, stylish looking accessory.
  • Enjoy full use of your iPhone or iPod during car trips, and arrive with your battery fully charged
  • Amber/green charging status light
  • Detachable dock connector to USB Type A cable that you can also use to connect your iPhone or iPad to your computer
  • Easily replaceable 2 Amp automotive blade-type fuse to protect against spikes and surges
  • Works with iPhone, iPad models that feature full-size dock connector, and iPad shuffle (1st generation)
Only down side…they call it the “iCar Charger” Continue Reading

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