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CA$ 6,830 pledged of CA$ 130,000 goal
backers
By Cortex R&D Inc.
CA$ 6,830 pledged of CA$ 130,000 goal
backers

About

Introducing the Pwr-XS

PATENT PENDING

- The first 18650 lithium-ion rechargeable cell adapter for the GoPro
- Uses low-cost, high performance, off-the-shelf cells
- More than 6 hours of total HD recording (3h+ per cell)
- Compatible with Hero 3, 3+ and 4
- Uses the GoPro's 40-meter waterproof housing*
- Waterproof
- Quick on-the-fly battery swap
- Unbeatable value

*60-meter housing not supported

Current state of the latest prototype

Uses the existing seal of your stock backdoor, for a perfect fit.
Uses the existing seal of your stock backdoor, for a perfect fit.
An internal view, showing the separating wall, keeping the water out, even when opening the cell compartment.  Your GoPro will never see a drop of rain again.
An internal view, showing the separating wall, keeping the water out, even when opening the cell compartment. Your GoPro will never see a drop of rain again.
You get two cells and a protective plastic case.
You get two cells and a protective plastic case.


The Story

The Pwr-XS project was born in April 2015, after I decided that I had spent enough money on batteries that just wouldn't satisfy my needs.

Being part of an off-road motorcycle club in the Montreal region, we often organize long trips that can last several days.  On a typical day, it's not unusual to keep riding for 8 hours or more.

Nobody wants to miss those precious, beautiful, funny, exciting, thrilling or sometimes dramatic  moments.

No one knows when the action will strike, so we can't afford to turn off our cameras to "save battery".  Rushing to turn them on, or even press the Start button is not an option.  Too late, it's long gone.  Most events happen suddenly, without warning.

That's why we need long duration batteries, along with the GoPro's looping mode, so we can forget about them and focus on the present moment.  No more worrying or forcing the whole group to stop for two minutes every hour or so to swap them.


The solution

When I sat down to see what other options were offered on the market, I was pretty disappointed with what I found out there.  Who wants cumbersome cabling, USB connectors requiring holes in the case, bulky bricks, or expensive customs batteries?  Then it came to my attention that there was a very powerful off-the-shelf battery that would be perfect for the job: The mighty NCR18650B lithium-ion rechargeable cell from Panasonic.  The same ones Tesla use in their Model S.  Looking at the specs, dimensions, robustness and price of those cells, and since no one offered any adapter to use them on the GoPro, I decided to marry them both together.

Why the Pwr-XS?

More than 3 hours per cell:  To be conservative let's say 3hrs on Hero 3 and 3.5hrs on Hero 4.

500 charge-discharge cycles: This is a bare minimum, based on the specs.  But since the GoPro uses only a fraction of this cell's maximum rated current, it's expected to last well over 1000 cycles (3000 hours).

Only two cells for infinite recording:  With the GoPro and a basic charger, you can have virtually unlimited recording time.  While one cell is being used, the other one is being charged, and vice-versa.

Waterproof:  The prototype is not only weatherproof, but completely waterproof.  It has been tested at 1 meter depth during several days while recording, and not a single drop seeped-in.
** Note that though this system is not officially spec'd for deep-diving, we're still targeting the 40m-depth proof.

Low-cost:  The Kickstarter cost of the adapter + 2 cells starts at $64 CAD ($49USD).  With this setup, you have 6+ hours of HD recording (1080p@30fps).  If you have an onboard charger, you can go on forever.  But since each cell is so compact and costs only about $4.99 USD, if you don't have access to 12VDC or 120VAC for charging, you can always load yourself with a bunch of pre-charged cells for a reasonable price, and added peace of mind.

Robustness:  The adapter will be made of the same high-impact resistant polycarbonate (same as GoPro).  This will ensure that your precious cells will be protected, even in the most hostile conditions.

Underwater battery swap! - really?:  Yes, this system is capable of an underwater battery swap.  See video for a demonstration.

Who wants to swap a battery after 3 hours, you may ask?  Good question.  But now, for whatever reason, you can do it.  The bromide, chlorine or salt will not cause any electrical problems.  As long as you rinse the cell with clear water and wipe it dry when you get out of water, there won't be problems.  I use silicone on the positive end to further prevent oxidation.  But that will not be a problem with the final design because the cell will be sealed in its own compartment.


Prototypes

Here are various stages of development.

Early prototypes.
Early prototypes.

After two versions of the 3D model and the sixth version of the printed circuit boards (PCBs), the prototyping phase is completed, and we can now concentrate on the final industrial design.


Partners

In order to be able to bring such a product on the market, I needed to forge strong parnterships:

Finding a source of quality cells was a big challenge.  But I was fortunate -enough to discover a North-American supplier named Liion Wholesale located in Pennsylvania, who are extremely cooperative and can guarantee a top-quality product.

When it comes to the creation of the final Pwr-XS' sleek and elegant industrial design, no one can beat TakDesign in Montreal.  They have contributed to several successful Kickstarter campaigns in the past. Their longtime collaborators Hitech Intl will do the tooling and molding.

For the PCBs, I rely on my trusty source WHX in China, with the help of SMT-ASSY in Montreal.


Budget

Details of spendings.
Details of spendings.

* For international buyers, I can only ship the adapter.  International buyers need to find a local source of the NCR18650B cell.


Timeline

Project's timeline.
Project's timeline.
(c) Cortex R&D Inc.
(c) Cortex R&D Inc.

Risks and challenges

Because early protoypes have been tested intensively during last season, I am confident that the worst is behind us. It is now a matter of creating the best industrial design possible, and this type of challenge is business as usual for guys at TakDesign. We've already sat down together for a few hours, dissecting the project in details, and we concluded that it was feasible within the allocated budget and timeline.

My suppliers are known to deliver without hiccups, and there are no exotic materials or processes involved.

Being the technical director for over 5 year for a high-tech company, and as a consultant for several other projects in the past, I have all the experience and competence required to lead this project to success.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 1 or more About $0.76

    A small symbolic pledge - but a BIG thank you !

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  2. Reward no longer available

    Pledge CA$ 40 or more About $31

    One Pwr-XS adapter only.

    *** NOTE: This package does NOT include any cells or charger, and is intented to international buyers.

    Since it is too costly and complex to send lithium-ion cells overseas and they could even be banned or seized in certain countries, we will ask you to find a local source of NCR18650B batteries. Do not substitute!

    Also note that shipping does not include any tracking or insurance, and can take up to a month.

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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 40 or more About $31

    One Pwr-XS adapter only.

    *** NOTE: This package does NOT include any cells or charger, and is intented to international buyers.

    Since it is too costly and complex to send lithium-ion cells overseas and they could even be banned or seized in certain countries, we will ask you to find a local source of NCR18650B batteries. Do not substitute!

    Also note that shipping does not include any tracking or insurance, and can take up to a month.

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 26 backers
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 45 or more About $34

    Early bird special #1

    1 x Pwr-XS adapter
    2 x NCR18650B cells
    1 x protective plastic case for cells

    Gives a total recording time of over 6h.

    You can use the GoPro to recharge each cell via USB.

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 55 or more About $42

    Standard kit #1

    1 x Pwr-XS adapter
    2 x NCR18650B cells
    1 x protective plastic case for cells

    Gives a total recording time of over 6h.

    You can use the GoPro to recharge each cell via USB.

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    Ships to Only certain countries
    Limited 1 backer
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  6. Reward no longer available

    Pledge CA$ 57 or more About $44

    Early bird special #2

    1 x Pwr-XS adapter
    2 x NCR18650B cells
    1 x Nitecore UM10 mini USB charger
    1 x protective plastic case for cells

    Gives a total recording time of over 6h.

    You can use the GoPro to recharge the cell via USB or the UM10 charger, as you wish.

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    Ships to Only United States
    Reward no longer available 3 backers
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 57 or more About $44

    Early bird special #2

    1 x Pwr-XS adapter
    2 x NCR18650B cells
    1 x Nitecore UM10 mini USB charger
    1 x protective plastic case for cells

    Gives a total recording time of over 6h.

    You can use the GoPro to recharge the cell via USB or the UM10 charger, as you wish.

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    Ships to Only certain countries
    Limited 15 backers
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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 62 or more About $47

    Early bird special #3

    1 x Pwr-XS adapter
    2 x NCR18650B cells
    1 x Nitecore I2 charger with 12V car adapter
    1 x protective plastic case for cells

    Gives a total recording time of over 6h.

    You can use the GoPro to recharge the cell via USB or the Nitecore charger, as you wish.

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    Ships to Only certain countries
    Limited 1 backer
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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 67 or more About $51

    Standard kit #2

    1 x Pwr-XS adapter
    2 x NCR18650B cells
    1 x Nitecore UM10 mini USB charger
    1 x protective plastic case for cells

    Gives a total recording time of over 6h.

    You can use the GoPro to recharge the cell via USB or the UM10 charger, as you wish.

    Less
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    Ships to Only certain countries
    Limited 0 backers
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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 72 or more About $55

    Standard kit #3

    1 x Pwr-XS adapter
    2 x NCR18650B cells
    1 x Nitecore I2 charger with 12V car adapter
    1 x protective plastic case for cells

    Gives a total recording time of over 6h.

    You can use the GoPro to recharge the cell via USB or the Nitecore charger, as you wish.

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    Ships to Only certain countries
    Limited 0 backers
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  11. Reward no longer available

    Pledge CA$ 105 or more About $80

    Early bird special #4

    1 x Pwr-XS adapter
    2 x NCR18650B cells
    1 x Opus BT-C3100 charger
    1 x protective plastic case for cells

    Note: the Opus BT-C3100 charger has the best value, and can do several functions. Read about it on the Liion Wholesale website.

    Gives a total recording time of over 6h.

    You can use the GoPro to recharge the cell via USB or the Opus charger, as you wish.

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    Ships to Only Canada
    Reward no longer available 1 backer
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  12. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 105 or more About $80

    Early bird special #4

    1 x Pwr-XS adapter
    2 x NCR18650B cells
    1 x Opus BT-C3100 charger
    1 x protective plastic case for cells

    Note: the Opus BT-C3100 charger has the best value, and can do several functions. Read about it on the Liion Wholesale website.

    Gives a total recording time of over 6h.

    You can use the GoPro to recharge the cell via USB or the Opus charger, as you wish.

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    Ships to Only certain countries
    Limited 4 backers
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  13. Reward no longer available

    Pledge CA$ 115 or more About $88

    Standard kit #4

    1 x Pwr-XS adapter
    2 x NCR18650B cells
    1 x Opus BT-C3100 charger
    1 x protective plastic case for cells

    Note: the Opus BT-C3100 charger has the best value, and can do several functions. Read about it on the Liion Wholesale website.

    Gives a total recording time of over 6h.

    You can use the GoPro to recharge the cell via USB or the Opus charger, as you wish.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only Canada
    Reward no longer available 1 backer
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  14. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 115 or more About $88

    Standard kit #4

    1 x Pwr-XS adapter
    2 x NCR18650B cells
    1 x Opus BT-C3100 charger
    1 x protective plastic case for cells

    Note: the Opus BT-C3100 charger has the best value, and can do several functions. Read about it on the Liion Wholesale website.

    Gives a total recording time of over 6h.

    You can use the GoPro to recharge the cell via USB or the Opus charger, as you wish.

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    Ships to Only certain countries
    Limited 2 backers
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  15. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 950 or more About $726

    10-pack special - kit #5

    10 x Pwr-XS adapter
    20 x NCR18650B cells
    10 x Opus BT-C3100 charger
    10 x protective plastic case for cells

    Note: the Opus BT-C3100 charger has the best value, and can do several functions. Read about it on the Liion Wholesale website.

    Gives a total recording time of over 6h.

    You can use the GoPro to recharge the cell via USB or the Opus charger, as you wish.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only certain countries
    Limited 1 backer
    CA$
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    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

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Funding period

- (30 days)