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.
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.
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.
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.
Dimensions: 107mm x 58mm x 14 mm
Net Weight: 140g
Capacity: 2900 mAh
Battery Type: Lithium Ion
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.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)