A new type of power-connector that eliminates the difficulties and safety issues found with the traditional 3-pronged plug. Read more
This project's funding goal was not reached on January 17, 2014.
About this project
What is MagnoPlug?
As featured on...
MagnoPlug is a
magnetically actuated, sensor operated system to transmit power from a standard
residential plug to any device on the receiving end.
Simply Put: MagnoPlug is an extension cable with a magnetic safety break.
The proprietary circuit and connecting interface (Pat. Pending) will be factory set to work with the power configuration of your region. When the female and male components are connected, magnetic force couples the two. This turns on the power flow. When the two components are disconnected power flow is immediately terminated and the plug face is completely safe to touch or handle. Design is completed and prototyped. We need to finalize production and molds, certifications, and safety.
Why Did We Create It?
If you live anywhere north of the 40th parallel, you likely have a good idea of why we invented the MagnoPlug. The current build of the MagnoPlug is designed specifically as a replacement for the extension cord used to plug in blockheaters. It’s designed to seamlessly integrate with your blockheater’s connector cord and to be easily installed by virtually anyone. It replaces the traditional 3-pronged extension cord, which becomes problematic, and often unsafe to use at low temperatures.
In addition to the safety aspect, connecting and disconnecting the standard plug in the winter is feat of strength, especially for persons of limited mobility or the elderly. None of that is an issue with the MagnoPlug. And above all, MagnoPlug eliminates the inevitable damage that will result to your vehicle if you drive off without unplugging.
Does it work?
You bet it does! Exactly as designed. Check out the video below.
MagnoPlug is equipped with colour coded LED lights that can tell you when the male component is receiving power (white light) and when it's transmitting power upon being connected (red light). The female side also lights up when your block heater is drawing power. In this way the MagnoPlug acts as an indicator and lets you know if your blockheater is working.
How Does It Work?
Check out the pictures below and follow these 3 easy steps and you’re ready to go!
- Plug your existing block-heater cord into the female component of the MagnoPlug.
- Then using the zip-ties supplied, pull the extra cable behind the grill and secure it there.
- Then using the heavy duty zip-ties supplied, secure the female component anywhere on your grill.
The female component stays permanently mounted to your vehicle while the male component acts like a regular old extension cord with 10 feet of available cable length. When you’re ready to use it, simply plug the male into a power outlet and connect it to the female face to activate it. Done!
Under the hood...
The same magnet that binds the male and female components of the plug together also triggers the MagnoPlug circuit into the power-on position. As the male plug contacts the female, transmission of electricity is initiated by an internal switching mechanism. There are no external moving parts. The components have no friction fitting prongs or openings of any kind where dirt and ice can accumulate. And the MagnoPlug is designed to take a beating. Check out this picture of the main circuit working perfectly at nearly 80 below zero!
The male and female plug electrical contacts are arranged symmetrically and the two components only fit together in one way.This complementary fit allows for intuitive connection without a glance.When the component detach from each other, the system immediately turns off making the plug completely safe to the touch.
The male and female components connect with just enough force to get a solid electrical connection, but they detach easily when a pulling force of more than 3.5lbs is applied. This eliminates any potential damage to any of the plug components or the vehicle.
What will the production design look like?
Much like the current design, but with some cool improvements. MagnoPlug's internal circuitry is compact and versatile. This means that design and modification of its exterior housing is relatively easy. The latest design changes will make the female component much lower in profile. The improved look will blend well with the ergonomics of your vehicle. To block out dirt and ice build up, a flip-top cover will be added to the female component. This will cover the exposed face when not in use, and keep it clean between uses. The beefy overall design make it easy to handle with gloves or full hands. The smooth composite plastic of the casing is resistant to ice and dirt buildup and is easy to wipe off.
Since 2011, we've spent countless hours in R&D to crank out the most robust and safety conscious design possible. We’ve developed a system that’s vastly more convenient than the standard plug, but also safer. The MagnoPlug circuit works on 120V +/- 20V with currents up to 15A and both 50Hz and 60Hz systems. For distribution outside of North America, the circuit will require minor modification for 220V operation. In addition, adapters will be available for connection with commonly used international electrical socket configurations.
Our partner in manufacturing is permanently stationed in Hong Kong with manufacturing contacts in China and Taiwan. Our focus has been on connecting with ethical and fair-wage manufacturers. Our prototype has gone through many iterations and changes with three functional prototypes having been created before creating a design that was up to our standards.
Future industrial and residential applications
While the current embodiment of the MagnoPlug is designed specifically to replace the extension cords used with blockheaters, many residential and industrial safety hazards can be resolved with the MagnoPlug. Because its coupling force is low (3.5 lbs) and temperature independent, tripping hazards are significantly reduced with the MagnoPlug in comparison to traditional 3-pronged plugs.
We're also setting our sights on residential applications. We know that in the home there are certain devices, appliances, tight corners or hard to reach places where having a MagnoPlug snap into place is far safer and more convenient than the current alternative. That's why a down-scaled version of the MagnoPlug for residential use is one of our top development objectives, pending a successful Kickstarter campaign.
Scheduling and planning
Here's a snapshot of where we're headed with your help and support.
We Need You...
Plans are good, but without sufficient capital all progress stops. We need your help to:
- Complete regulatory certification (UL and ULc)
- Complete tooling for injection molding
- Secure first production run costs
We’re committed to seeing MagnoPlug through to production, and we’ve proven our determination throughout its development. When we learned that patenting costs thousands that we didn’t have, we learned to do it ourselves and so we did. When we realized the level of CAD and manufacturing skills required to interface with manufacturers, we enrolled in courses and became proficient in these areas. When we hit major snags, we’ve found the resources to get back on track and somehow keep pushing forward. But now we need your help. By backing us, you’ll give us the boost we need to bring MagnoPlug to its full potential, and you’ll receive your own official MagnoPlug months before its first market release.
For those of you who are new to Kickstarter, here's a video to walk you through the pledge process.
The following goals are cumulative so if we hit the biggest one, we've hit them all.
Risks and challenges
We're a dedicated and tenaciously resourceful team, but some factors are beyond our control. Our multiple design revisions and prototype stages have taken into consideration the relevant safety standards for a product of this nature. But since nothing exactly like the MagnoPlug exists, a comprehensive review and certification process must be completed by Underwriters Laboratory (UL) before production and final sale of the product. We've already started the first steps of this process but entering the full certification process depends on the success of our Kickstarter campaign. Chances are very good the MagnoPlug will be approved and certified by UL standards. However, some adjustments may be recommended through the preliminary review of UL and this may result in production delays.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
The well-known computer chargers, which magnetically connect, retain a voltage across the connector face at all times when plugged in. In contrast, the MagnoPlug immediately and completely powers off when disconnected and is completely safe to touch and handle while plugged in.
The largest costs that MagnoPlug faces are injection mold tooling and obtaining UL, ULc and CSA safety certification. The cost for these two processes are in the tens of thousands. Our goal-amount reflects this cost. In order to guarantee delivery on our rewards, and still have sufficient funds remaining to address these production challenges, we require a minimum of a $100,000.
Unfortunately offering multiples of the same item is against Kickstarter rules. However, if you do want multiple copies just pledge the appropriate amount and drop us a comment. Any amount that occurs in multiples will be our queue that you've pledged for more than one and we'll contact you and ask if we're not sure. Thanks!
We receive no funds from the Kickstarter campaign. This is why we need you to support MagnoPlug before the campaign ends.
You won’t lose a dime. No money is ever charged to you unless we make our goal. If we meet our goal, only then does Kickstarter redeem your pledges.
In short, yes. We performed exhaustive patent searches prior to completing and submitting our patent application, and afterwards. We consulted with patent agents to ensure no there is no conflicts between our patents and existing ones.
Some power cables used on kitchen appliances, such as deep fryers, use magnets to hold the female and male ends together. In this way they're similar to MagnoPlug but the similarities end there. Magnetic appliance cables are similar in operation to standard 3-prong cables but use magnetic rather than friction force to couple male and female components.
- (32 days)