Weatherproof USB Power Ports

Discussion in 'Vendors' started by Shov3BR, Nov 6, 2010.

  1. Shov3BR

    Shov3BR Tinkerer

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    RamMan - Yes, we went back to the drawing board to increase the power output significantly in an effort to make a unique product. Our electrical engineer finished assembling the first prototype PCBAs while we were at the Powersports Dealer Expo so they were ready for testing when we got home.

    We're all trashed from long hours the working the show and traveling but we did get the first full load testing complete this afternoon. They run continuously at a full 3A. That's way beyond any USB device so we'll publish the specs at 2.2A or 2.5A for the iPAD users and still have plenty of margin. At some point we may look at a "Hydra-Cable" with more than one connector but we'll have to figure out how to make a weatherproof connection at each end without having it be a kluge.

    We'll continue testing for a week or so with thermal profiling next on the test plan. When testing is complete we'll go out for pilot production build quotes and build. Bottom line, we should have product to market by mid-March.

    I'll post some pics as soon as I get a chance.
    -Don B
    #61
  2. Shov3BR

    Shov3BR Tinkerer

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    John - We had several requests for a TAPP Lite version with an SAE 2-pin plug. A 15" to 18" pigtail length seemed to work for most of the people but we want to get more input before we make a bunch of them. What length would work best for you?
    -Don B
    #62
  3. JohnBryer

    JohnBryer Adventure Poser

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    it'll be inside a tank bag. 6-8 inches would be plenty. SAE on 1 end, and 2-3 USB ports on the other side to charge phone, GoPro, or most any other device would be awesome.
    #63
  4. Shov3BR

    Shov3BR Tinkerer

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    Wow, never thought of a "Hydra-TAPP". Great idea. What would be the preferred mounting method? Or since they are in the tank bag would there be any need for mounting the individual heads at all?
    #64
  5. Low594

    Low594 Adventuring Creep

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    I would think that good industrial velcro type product would be a good way to go. More for locating the connection than anything else!
    #65
  6. JohnBryer

    JohnBryer Adventure Poser

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    Here's the inside of my Wolfman Rainer tank bag.

    [​IMG]
    #66
  7. Shov3BR

    Shov3BR Tinkerer

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    This looks like something we can do. We won't be able to supply the slick molded "Y" but we can make it pretty tidy with adhesive line shrink tube crimped at the divisions. We stock 3M double grip fastener strip so that's no problem.

    Two or three sockets - or both?
    Since they won't require our universal mounting bracket which is our biggest expense, we should be able to offer these at an attractive price point.
    #67
  8. bigalsmith101

    bigalsmith101 Been here awhile

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    My ASUS 1000HA EEEPC charger outputs 12v @ 3A. What are the odds that you guys will make a power supply that has a DC connector:4.8x1.7MM

    Cause THAT Would be awesome. If I could get a hold of the power supply unit, I could wire my own 4.8x1.7MM pin on it.

    I suppose the cheapest option would be to run a cheapo inverter straight from the battery, and use my standard charger, but that takes up way more space!

    --Alex
    #68
  9. Shov3BR

    Shov3BR Tinkerer

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    Depending on the voltage range the ASUS 1000HA EEEPC would accept you may be able to run directly to battery. If the unit would accept a range of say 10VDC to 15VDC all you would need is a cable with the 4.8mm x 1.7mm barrel plug on the end and a fuse for safety.

    My guess is that it will work within that range. Most electronic circuits today run 1.8VDC and 3.3VDC so they have internal regulators that will handle a wide voltage variation.

    I looked at the ASUS website but didn't see in input voltage specs but you should be able to contact them to get that info. If it works out be sure to post the info; I'm sure there are lots of Inmates that would like to do the same thing. BTW the 4.8x1.7 plugs are readily avialable online.
    #69
  10. JohnBryer

    JohnBryer Adventure Poser

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    3 would be awesome. I'd buy 2 (for 2 different bikes). It would be nice to have USB charging for iPhone, iPad, and 1 more device..either bluetooth or GoPro.
    #70
  11. Shov3BR

    Shov3BR Tinkerer

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    You're on:evil We are up to our eyeballs responding to stuff from the Dealer Expo but we should be able to build something up by the end of the week. I'll post some pics when we have something to sure it is what you have in mind.
    -Don B
    #71
  12. JohnBryer

    JohnBryer Adventure Poser

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    :thumb
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  13. bigalsmith101

    bigalsmith101 Been here awhile

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    From a EEEPC specific forum,

    http://forum.eeeuser.com/viewtopic.php?id=81840&p=2

    Check Post number 34, that is where the answer actually is.

    Now, the OP of this thread I am referring to has mentioned over 15 hours of use while wired DIRECTLY to his vehicles' batteries ('96 Ford Ranger, and Mercedes S430). Granted these are cars, and I assume there voltage is regulated a bit more efficiently then my DR650.

    However, I believe I am going to give this a shot. I don't know if it'll happen in the next month or so though. This is my only comp, and need to perform a pretty thorough back up before I run the risk of "bricking" it.

    Of course an inline fuse, and permanent use of the computers battery will help smooth out any inefficiencies in voltage coming off my bikes alternator as well.

    Also, while charging at 12A and 3A, I'll be pulling 36+ watts out of my close to 60 excess capacity. So I'll have to keep that in mind as well.
    #73
  14. Shov3BR

    Shov3BR Tinkerer

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    This is a tough one since your computer is at stake. Most switching regulators have a very wide voltage tolerance range. The one in our TAPP Lite goes all the way to 35VDC. My guess is that the ASUS ±10% is a convenient and safe value and that the actual voltage range is more than that.

    What mystifies me is why there are so many ASUS EEE PC car chargers out there if the computer would run on vehicle voltage. Maybe the EEE PC needs a cleaner signal than a vehicle charging system puts out. They can be pretty messy.

    I'm going to talk to our electrical engineer to see if he can shed some light on this.
    #74
  15. bigalsmith101

    bigalsmith101 Been here awhile

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    The thought has been mentioned, why not just play it safe and use the car adapter? From what I read, an Asus EEEPC will not be harmed if input voltage drops below 12V, even as low as 7.5V. The problem is when the Voltage increases significantly. I wonder how well the bike can regulate itself. Pretty soon, it (2007 Dr650) and I, will be headed south for 8+ months.Probably going to beat on it a bit.


    --Alex
    #75
  16. Shov3BR

    Shov3BR Tinkerer

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    Agreed. That's what I would do if it was my computer and I was headed down the road for an extended period. One of the chargers online looked pretty compact it had good reviews. Better safe than sorry.

    Meanwhile if anyone has more info it would be interesting to know what works and what causes smoke to escape from those little chips.
    -Don B
    #76
  17. Shov3BR

    Shov3BR Tinkerer

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    John - we made a couple of attempts to get something that looked decent but can't get there with shrink tube. If there is enough demand we would have to go to our cable supplier and have the junction molded for a saleable product.

    Here's the prototype. As you can see it is butt ugly. One thing we did was add both the male and female SAE 2-pin connectors so power was still available for other applications. Even with three TAPPs we are drawing less than 2A so there's plenty left on a 15A circuit.
    [​IMG]
    #77
  18. JohnBryer

    JohnBryer Adventure Poser

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    I have a question and a comment....

    Why do you have 2 SAE's?

    I assumed the USB's would be stacked kinda like a typical USB hub. They're going to be inside a fairly waterproof container, so they don't really need the waterproof housing.
    #78
  19. Shov3BR

    Shov3BR Tinkerer

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    The two SAE connectors, one male and one female allow you to still have a SAE power port even with the Hydra plugged in, i.e. it is a splitter. TAPP uses so little power it's a waste to have the SAE plug totally used with it.

    With this arrangement you plug in the TAPP and still have an SAE available to plug in other stuff.

    We are working on another Hydra idea that would have just the USB sockets split off of one high power regulator. We can't do it with TAPP Lite since it only supplies 1A total. That would be too limiting split three ways.
    #79
  20. Turbo Bob

    Turbo Bob n00b

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    Any more news on updated connections i.e. sae to usb? Could you make an sae to usb with a very short lead I don't even need tap lite as I wouldn't use it in the rain as my unit is not waterproof?
    #80