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Altoids Battery Backup Supply

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hockeyrcks9901

Senior Member
Dec 23, 2008
165
2
Well I'm unemployed starting last Friday so I have to make a couple of bucks on each one. I think it will end up being around $5 profit on each one so I won't be making much.

Typos and other gibberish courtesy of Swype
 

NoDataFound

Senior Member
Jun 13, 2010
297
32
Not trying to hijack this... but these are awesome. I built one last year for my G1 and other devices. Well worth it.
 
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tjhart85

Senior Member
May 13, 2009
349
12
Since it looks like you're basically buying the LadyAda kit [that circuit definitely looks like one of hers] and building it, I could see $30 being a decent price (as long as you're using the v3 of the kit) IF you're throwing in the batteries.

I can't see paying an extra $10 just for you building the kit though (sorry, but I know how easy it is to solder those).


Unless you can get those parts significantly cheaper than what LadyAda is selling her kits for, I don't see this being very profitable for you.

Newegg has the same basic thing in a (admittedly less cool looking case) for $20.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16875999294&Tpk=N82E16875999294

I've seen similar [not identical] items got for as low as $2 in the past: http://www.goldengadgets.com/emergency-aa-mobile-phone-charger.html
 
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hockeyrcks9901

Senior Member
Dec 23, 2008
165
2
Since it looks like you're basically buying the LadyAda kit [that circuit definitely looks like one of hers] and building it, I could see $30 being a decent price (as long as you're using the v3 of the kit) IF you're throwing in the batteries.

I can't see paying an extra $10 just for you building the kit though (sorry, but I know how easy it is to solder those).


Unless you can get those parts significantly cheaper than what LadyAda is selling her kits for, I don't see this being very profitable for you.

Newegg has the same basic thing in a (admittedly less cool looking case) for $20.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16875999294&Tpk=N82E16875999294

I've seen similar [not identical] items got for as low as $2 in the past: http://www.goldengadgets.com/emergency-aa-mobile-phone-charger.html

The only part coming from ladyada is the pcb. Like I said, this is an open source design and I was simply offering to make it for people who don't know how to solder.

Again, if you're interested in this let me know. I'll figure out a concrete price later tonight maybe. I'll have to see what shipping is going to look like. I'm not going to make much money on these at all.

Typos and other gibberish courtesy of Swype
 

frankencat

Senior Member
Oct 13, 2009
548
17
Tampa Bay, Home of the Rays!
Sheesh, give the guy a break, he's just trying to make a buck. It's a good idea. People do the same thing on the diy guitar pedal effects forums - basically building kits for people who either don't know how or who just don't want to deal with it.

Good luck to the OP.
 

LostAlone

Senior Member
Jul 15, 2010
164
0
First off, this is cool as hell.

Secondly, since the tin basically doesn't make any difference to performance, you could put it anything right ? Cigarette tin ? Old Gameboy ? Broken effects pedal ? Is it harder to add more batteries for extra capacity if you have the space ?

Finally, is entering the realms of crazy hard to add a 9v jack to this and make the whole unit rechargeable without replacing the batteries ?

Did anyone else see this and their brain connected straight to Steampunk Altoids Tin Etching ? Oh the possibilities :) Now I just need to make friends with someone who owns chemicals and won't end up dissolving me with them.

If you do go into making these, then I'd be interested as long as they'll let you ship them airmail. I can't see it being a problem, since you can ship most anything, but home made circuitry might be a problem for obvious reasons. Keep updating tho, is a cool project :)
 

hockeyrcks9901

Senior Member
Dec 23, 2008
165
2
It's cool, but I'd like to see what TSA airport security would make of this.

I've heard/read of people flying with these before and I can't see it being a problem as long as you don't try to hide it. Just open it up and they might ask you to connect it to your phone to show that it actually works.

First off, this is cool as hell.

Secondly, since the tin basically doesn't make any difference to performance, you could put it anything right ? Cigarette tin ? Old Gameboy ? Broken effects pedal ? Is it harder to add more batteries for extra capacity if you have the space ?

Finally, is entering the realms of crazy hard to add a 9v jack to this and make the whole unit rechargeable without replacing the batteries ?

Did anyone else see this and their brain connected straight to Steampunk Altoids Tin Etching ? Oh the possibilities :) Now I just need to make friends with someone who owns chemicals and won't end up dissolving me with them.

If you do go into making these, then I'd be interested as long as they'll let you ship them airmail. I can't see it being a problem, since you can ship most anything, but home made circuitry might be a problem for obvious reasons. Keep updating tho, is a cool project :)

On the topic of adding extra batteries, you can easily add a third AA but doing more than that will raise the voltage over the input voltage of the chip. You could theoretically put 4 batteries; two sets of series in parallel. However, it is generally regarded as bad practice to put batteries in parallel for reasons I won't go into. It is not possible to use a 9V battery with this particular circuit because the voltage is too high. There are ways to reduce it but it complicates the circuit and wastes a lot of energy. Besides that, 9V batteries do not have as much capacity as AAs.

There is supposed to be a new "version" of this being made that will include recharging abilities but I don't have an eta.

I'm working out a pricing right now for a lot of 10. I figure that is a good starting point and buying in quantities greater than 10 reduces the cost of materials quite a bit. I'll post that tonight.
 
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gallymimus

Member
Jul 25, 2010
10
1
First off, this is cool as hell.

Secondly, since the tin basically doesn't make any difference to performance, you could put it anything right ? Cigarette tin ? Old Gameboy ? Broken effects pedal ? Is it harder to add more batteries for extra capacity if you have the space ?

Finally, is entering the realms of crazy hard to add a 9v jack to this and make the whole unit rechargeable without replacing the batteries ?

Did anyone else see this and their brain connected straight to ? Oh the possibilities :) Now I just need to make friends with someone who owns chemicals and won't end up dissolving me with them.

If you do go into making these, then I'd be interested as long as they'll let you ship them airmail. I can't see it being a problem, since you can ship most anything, but home made circuitry might be a problem for obvious reasons. Keep updating tho, is a cool project :)

You could do it pretty easily adding a 5-12V jack, a diode and a current limiting resistor to slow charge (overnight) the batteries. That would be the easiest/cheapest. Fast charging would require a little more intelligence.

You could, for instance, make it chargable from a USB port pretty easily.
 

hockeyrcks9901

Senior Member
Dec 23, 2008
165
2
Okay everyone,

Looks like if I make 10 of these at a time, the price will be $30. That will include everything except Altoids tin and Batteries with USPS Flat Rate shipping. The circuit will be soldered and tested before being shipped.

For those who would like me to include the Altoids tin and mount the circuitry, it will make the price $35. $2 of that is for the tin itself, and the other $3 is for the work with a dremel and securing the circuit to the tin. If you don't need me to cut the tin and install the circuit, then it will be $32. I have not found Altoids Gum tins around me, but as soon as I find them, I'll see what they cost.

For those who want it shipped some other method, I can add/subtract the cost for that method of shipping. For example, if UPS Overnight adds $10, then I will add $10 to the final price. But if something like UPS Ground is only $2, then I will subtract the difference between the USPS Flat Rate and the UPS Ground.

As you can see, I'm going to be very flexible with this. I can even add a solar cell and Lithium Battery, that would add $55. Quite expensive but for those who want a neat gadget it's available. But, I have not built the Solar Version before and while it is supposed to be pretty easy, I may take a little longer to test it. I've heard it takes around 2 days to charge the battery that way. The lithium battery is 1200mAh at 3.7V or 4.4Wh minus some inefficiencies.

As of right now, Paypal would be the best way to pay. Cash is always accepted but I strongly advice against sending cash through the mail. Just send me a PM if your interested and I will give you my paypal email. As soon I have 10 confirmed buyers, I'll place the order for parts and ship them as soon as they're completed. I'm unemployed so it won't take long to make but I do have classes Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday nights. I also plan on testing each circuit on my own phone before shipping to verify it works.
 
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hockeyrcks9901

Senior Member
Dec 23, 2008
165
2
I know it's generally bad taste to double post but this was completely unrelated to my previous post.

I just ran my phone down to 80% as read by BatteryLife Widget, placed it on the Altoids charger and roughly 20 minutes later my screen lit up with the "Battery Full" screen.

Tomorrow/overnight tonight I will run my phone down to 25% and see how full it will charge using two AA Energizer Rechargeables.

Keep in mind the max charge rate with this is 500mA vs the 700mA of the wall charger so it is not as quick as using your wall wart.
 
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mornixuur

Member
Feb 9, 2010
27
1
First let me say that the offer and tin is way cool! I would be one of those people who would take on the offer because i have no solder skills or intention to learn them at all.

But from a practical point of view wouldn't it be much cheaper and easier to carry two spare batteries for your device? I always carry a charged one with me (for htc desire).
 

hockeyrcks9901

Senior Member
Dec 23, 2008
165
2
First let me say that the offer and tin is way cool! I would be one of those people who would take on the offer because i have no solder skills or intention to learn them at all.

But from a practical point of view wouldn't it be much cheaper and easier to carry two spare batteries for your device? I always carry a charged one with me (for htc desire).

Sure, you could carry an extra battery but this allows you to charge without turning the phone off. It can also charge almost any device that can charge from usb. So if you have an ipod or other mp3 player, it can charge that too.

Also, for someone like me, when I go camping, I can just bring a few extra AAs and keep my phone going all weekend.

There also is no gadget/nerdy factor of switching batteries but pulling out an Altoids tin and charging your phone is definitely that.

But yes, you could certainly carry two extra batteries and accomplish generally the same thing.

As for the cheaper part, I have no idea. It probably is cheaper for two ebay batteries but personally I don't trust anything but oem quality and some extended battery manufacturers but those haven't been made yet.

Typos and other gibberish courtesy of Swype
 

hockeyrcks9901

Senior Member
Dec 23, 2008
165
2
i have a mini solar cell that fits perfectly over the top tin, how would I integrate that into the charger to charge the batteries only when im not using it?

That would depend on the specs of the solar cell. But assuming it outputs the proper voltage, you would want to you use a lithium battery and a lithium charging circuit.

Post or pm me a link to the specs on the solar cell and I'll let you know if it is possible to make it work without too much trouble.

A little update on capacity: It has taken the phone from 40% - 63% in 50 minutes.

Typos and other gibberish courtesy of Swype
 
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