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Please help support the launch of Smart Power Base, an external battery to power your Arduino, Raspberry Pi, and Beagle Bone projects
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165 backers pledged $9,525 to help bring this project to life.

About

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$9,525

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My name is Matt Sommerfield and I am the owner of MTS Ventures, a product design, development, and manufacturing firm in Allentown, PA.  I’d like to introduce a product we developed called the Smart Power Base to power your Raspberry Pi, Arduino, Netduino, or Beagle Bone projects.

Smart Power Base
Smart Power Base

The Smart Power Base is a rechargeable lithium ion battery pack that delivers a regulated 5VDC capable of 1A of current that can be recharged hundreds of times.  The pack offers higher capacity and higher current than other development board products and will work with Audrino, Netduino, Raspberry Pi, and Beagle Bone devices with connected devices. This is plenty of power to keep your projects running untethered for many hours depending on the board and load.  This is a purpose designed solution with properly spaced tapped mounting holes to securely attach your development board and keep the two devices mechanically connected.  Even when not powering your project, leave it attached.  It has a nice weight to it and a rubber, non-slip base and is a great way to keep your project in place.  The Smart Power Base also comes with a short micro USB cord for Beagle Bone, Raspberry Pi, and Netduino and a short USB B connector for Ardrino to help keep cable clutter to a minimum.  To recharge the Smart Power Base, use one of the included cables with any USB power supply you already have.

The idea started after I prototyped a specialized enclosure for an Arduino driven animated toy for a client I met during a Startup Weekend event.  After the assembly was completed, I needed a way to power the device to test the connections before the client arrived but lacked a proper power source.  I had an idea to use a power pack for my smart phone.  I hooked it up and it worked great which got me thinking that the power packs we had intended for smart phone accessories with a few smart tweaks may work great for the hobbyist market as well.

Make Lehigh Valley
Make Lehigh Valley

Within our office building, we have a hacker space with lots of impassioned individuals working on a variety of projects and asked them to test out this power pack with their projects.  The idea was well received, and after testing the performance, they were even more impressed.  They noted 2 to 4 times additional run time of some of their high current draw applications as compared to a minty boost with 4 high capacity rechargeable AA batteries.

I came up with lots of ideas of how the battery could be better integrated to a user’s project and wanted it to be compatible whether Arduino, Beagle Bone, Netduino, or Raspberry Pi.  My first thought was to use the common shield format, but quickly recognized one of the problems with using the boards is that they are quite light and slide around on vulnerable connection points.  It would be preferable to have the board attached to the bottom rather than a shield.  The members of Make Lehigh Valley also noted that the weight and non-slip surface of the power base gave the boards stability while affording clear access to all the connections. 

Non-slip Bottom Surface
Non-slip Bottom Surface

At this point, the design is ready to go into production and I’m launching the power base to the Kickstarter community as I feel that many others in the maker community would find interest in this product.  The project funding will be used to make some machining fixtures suitable for production and satisfy minimum material buy requirements.  If successfully funded, we’d make our initial production run and ship to our supporters within 30 days of the project closing.  I would love to see strong interest so we can offer the Smart Power Base long term and establish distribution.

I thank you for looking at our product and would be honored for your support and belief in our idea.

Included Cables and Hardware
Included Cables and Hardware
Raspberry Pi Mounted on Non-Slip Smart Power Base
Raspberry Pi Mounted on Non-Slip Smart Power Base
Arduino Uno Mounted on Non-Slip Smart Power Base
Arduino Uno Mounted on Non-Slip Smart Power Base

Tech Specs:

Dimensions: 107mm x 58mm x 14 mm

Net Weight: 140g

Capacity: 2900 mAh

Battery Type: Lithium Ion

Input: DC5V/1A

Output: DC5V/1A

Life: 500 full charge/discharge cycles

Warranty: 1 year

Hole Pattern: Compatible with Raspberry Pi (Rev 1 and Rev 2), Arduino (Uno, Mega, Duo, Ethernet), Netduino (1, 1 plus, 2, 2 plus), and Beagle Bone

Included Hardware: 4 pcs each 4-40 x 3/8" screws and nylon spacers

Included Cables: 1 each USB A to micro USB, 110 mm long; USB A to micro USB, 1m long; and USB A to USB B, 150mm long

Risks and challenges

After successful funding, the first order of business is to order the raw material and make some production level fixtures to machine the parts. The components and materials are presently available and in stock and we don't anticipate any problems and have alternate suppliers for some items if necessary. We have successfully made a handful of the machined parts with the prototype fixtures and the improvements are for efficiency and consistency and we are confident that we'll get the results we anticipate.

We've managed product launches for many new products before and have become adept at course corrections and finding alternative solutions should a problem present itself. We want to deliver quickly after the funding is completed and will make it a priority to get the Smart Power Base into the hands of our supporters as soon as we can. The risks of investing in this project are minimal and we are confident you'll be satisfied with the product and overall experience.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    Every bit helps! You'll get access to our build progress updates, see our production process in action, and let your friends know you are helping creative hackers find a new way to power their creations.

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    9 backers
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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Founders circle - For any backers at $25 or more, we'll recognize your support and memorialize our appreciation by listing you on the Smart Power Base website as part of the Kickstarter success.

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    3 backers
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  3. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Early Adopter - Social Media Star - We're offering a special price to the first 50 backers who show us the love and promise to tweet, share, and tell the world about our project. In exchange you'll get our gratitude, recognition on the Smart Power Base website as well as the first Smart Power Bases out the door. US Shipping included.

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    Reward no longer available 50 backers
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $60 or more About $60

    I'm in! - Take advantage of our Kickstarter launch with special pricing and help us bring the Smart Power Base to the masses. You'll get a Smart Power Base, website recognition, and the warm feeling of knowing you helped bring a cool product to market. US Shipping Included.

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $70 or more About $70

    I'm late to the party but want one before it hits retail - If you're backing us at this level, we are a success!! You'll get one of the very first units from our second run of parts at our suggested MSRP of $70 and we'll ship it on us and include your name on the Smart Power Base website as part of the Kickstarter success.

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Funding period

- (30 days)