Funded! This project was successfully funded on August 10, 2012.

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ReadySet is a solar charger that can power up to 10 iPhones or run an iPad for 12 hours of continuous video-play on a single charge.

THANK YOU!! We reached our new $100,000 goal with just a few more days left. We're excited that YOUR support has enabled us to hire two people and open an office to expand into Rwanda. Rwanda, here we come!! 

New Update: If you want a 2nd solar panel, add $95 to your pledge. If you want a 3rd solar panel, add $85 (total $180 for 2 solar panels). Be sure to send us a note too so we can keep track on our end!  

Huffington Post - "It's a real cutting-edge product, with a cutting-edge business model worthy of serious attention."

TriplePundit - "I can envision the Maker community coming up with some over the top, entertaining and useful applications as well."

Wired Magazine - "It blasted past its fundraising goal in just a day! ...juicing phones, laptops and even lightbulbs by the thousands... It's a powerful idea."

Mashable - "Users of the ReadySet can hang the panel out the window and collect a charge."

Outside - "A Mini Power Plant For Your Next Adventure."

GOOD - "The Solar Charging Kit for Africa You Want for Your Own Home."

Inhabitat"The ReadySet charger is great for everyday use, but it’s even handier during times of need – especially following natural disasters."

GigaOM - “Disclosure: I just bought one. I’ve wanted one since I first wrote about the company back in 2010. My dream is to spend a full day blogging in the park, using the battery power and the solar panel.” 

and on Fast CompanyKCETInstructables, MIT Technology Review, Slice of MITEngineering For ChangeTrendHunter, Geekazine, Guyismand ZIPHI.

HEY PRESS! Download high-res photos here. For press inquiries, please contact press (at) fenixintl.com. Follow us @fenixintl and on Facebook.

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What is the Fenix ReadySet?

The ReadySet is a renewable energy system that charges from solar panels and can power lights, radios, cell phones, tablets, and even Wi-Fi hot spots. The ReadySet's intelligent battery can charge up to 10 iPhones, or power an iPad for over 12 hours of continuous video-play and can recharge from the included solar panel in just a few hours. Designed originally for Africa, the ReadySet is rugged and easy to use and now available here to power a tailgate, camping trip or for use in case of an emergency. You can even go on a carbon-diet and try to power all of your electronics from renewable energy at home.

Beyond solar, the ReadySet's smart electronics and firmware allow you to charge from virtually any source such as solar panels, bicycle generators, micro-wind turbines, and more.  The ReadySet's sleek yet simple design allows you to use this energy and power all kinds of devices from its two open standard 12-volt Car Lighter Adapter ports and two 5-volt USB ports.

Each ReadySet Solar Kit includes:

  • The ReadySet battery (54 WHr aka 10 iPhone charges) 
  • 15 Watt Solar Panel with rugged aluminum frame (it's fully weatherproof & waterproof)
  • 23 Watt Power Adapter for grid charging
  • 3 Watt LED Light with socket, cable and switch               
  • USB Universal Battery Charger that allows you charge any 3.7-volt Lithium battery (for phones, cameras, etc)
  • Instruction Manual

We’re giving the first 100 people a $100 discount off the $300 retail price to kickstart sales and help us bring the ReadySet to the U.S.!  For those who missed our early bird special there's no need to worry.  Kickstarters can still receive discounts of $75, $50 or $25 off the $300 U.S. retail price as a special thanks, and you'll receive it before it hits the stores.

Where is this money going?  Each unit sold in the U.S. will help us expand our efforts in Africa.  The funds will be used to support R&D and Manufacturing, and to grow our developer community so that together we can design new game-changing power solutions and applications for the ReadySet that will benefit both our customers here in the U.S. and in Africa.  We’ll publish some our technical specifications (what we're calling a "Power API") so that Makers and Hackers can start creating their own charging solutions and devices (solar concentrators, wind turbines, H20 purifiers, vaccine refrigerators)! 

A nice thing about the ReadySet is that it empowers you to go on a carbon-diet, giving you the option to charge your iPad, iPhone, Android, and other electronic devices with solar power.  Now you can live off-the-grid (well partially) without having to actually move to a place without grid electricity.

The ReadySet is great to bring on your next outdoor adventure from camping in the woods to hanging out in the park or lounging by the pool.  You can charge devices including lights to brighten your campground, ebooks to catch up on summer reading, MP3 players to listen to music, and even mobile phones so you can stay connected.  Though we'll leave it up to you if you really want to be connected...it might be good for you to get away for a bit. 

The ReadySet is also a perfect addition to your home and work emergency preparedness kits in case you’re ever caught in an earthquake, hurricane, or snowstorm.  Of course, we hope this never happens to you, but living in San Francisco has definitely taught us that being prepared is a good thing.  If you have a ReadySet, you can power a pocket radio to stay updated on the weather and latest emergency-related news as well as light bulbs, mobile phones, and even a Wi-Fi hot spot.

We designed the ReadySet with an open standard input (bind posts and banana plugs) so that it will work with alternative sources of power generation.  We also chose open standard outputs (12v Car Lighter Adapter and 5v USB) so that hardware developers can create new applications, including anything from UV water purifiers to Vaccine Refrigerators.  Above is a photo of a micro-wind turbine that our interns built last summer.  If we get funded, we’ll be able to publish some technical specifications and launch an online community to support hardware development, so stay tuned. 

Also in response to your questions, we've included a photo highlighting the technical specifications for our solar panels. 

If you’re thinking about mounting your solar panel, check out this diagram that one of our engineers drew. It shows you where the mounting holes are!

Here are photos of the ReadySet Solar Kit in its box! We ship these to Africa so it's definitely packed well with the solar panel resting on top and the ReadySet and accessories below.  

And here a quick inside look at Fenix’s rooftop. It’s our engineers testing our ReadySets’ solar charging capacity!

We’ve been getting many questions about how long it takes to charge a ReadySet with two solar panels so we decided to do a quick test. We captured real world performance (that’s based on a sunny day in San Francisco) data from solar panels and ReadySets. We then "played back" those conditions on our battery testing equipment (Cadex C8000), which essentially allows us to test quickly without worrying about rain, clouds and night hours.

Here is what we found:

It’s important to note that when charging batteries (AGM, Lithium, etc.), the last 20% of the charge cycle is always the slowest. This is because the battery reaches its maximum charge voltage which forces the charge rate to slow down. In the graph below, you can see this happen when the line begins to curve, making an arc.

This is why, when in full sun, doubling your solar panel size will not halve the charge time but rather two solar panels will be closer to half the time necessary to reach an 80% charge. In partial sun (e.g. overcast, dawn, dusk), the second panel really shines. If solar conditions on the ground are half as bright as a full sunny day, charge rates will be cut in half. As you can see here though, 3 panels will get you the maximum charge rate for your ReadySet! Note that one ReadySet has a lifetime of over 700 charge cycles.

If you like the idea of renewable energy, and we hope you do, please share our Kickstarter project with your friends and family, and visit us on Facebook and Twitter. Thanks for your time and consideration!

FAQ

  • Nope, shipping is included in the pledge amount so you don’t need to do anything on your end. To keep things simple, we’re only shipping to the U.S. for now. For those who want the ReadySet but don’t live in the U.S., be sure to sign up for our newsletter so you can be the first to know when the ReadySet is available for international shipments. Here is a link to our newsletter: http://fenixintl.com/contact/

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  • We've designed the U.S. ReadySet exclusively in the color red. (Sorry, we aren't able to make any other colors right now. If there's significant interest, we'll conduct a poll to see what colors you'd like us to make next).

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  • The ReadySet is 8.9”L x 7.2”W x 3.7”H and weighs 7 lbs. Our solar panel is 17”L x 11”W x 0.9”H and weighs 3.8 lbs.

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  • We're getting a great deal of interest for international orders (outside the US) so we're actively looking into what's required to sell and ship into these markets. Please note that the ReadySet kits are currently only available for the US because some countries may have special rules, regulations, and even taxes on electronic devices.

    We want to get a ReadySet to everyone who wants one, so if you are from outside the US, we'd greatly appreciate it if you can send us a message before pledging. If you have the time, perhaps you can even do a little research to help us figure out all the nitty-gritty details around the rules and regulations for your country.

    If you live in Canada, we have good news! We've happy to report that we are now shipping to Canada! We can't provide service and support there, which is one of the reasons why we didn't offer it in the beginning, but if you're still interested then please add $25 to your pledge to account for additional shipping costs.

    If you live in Europe, we're sorry to report that we actually can't ship to Europe right now because we're still going through the CE certification plus we can't provide service and support there. Sign up for our newsletter so that you’ll be the first to know when they’re available for shipping to countries in Europe. Here is a link to sign up: http://fenixintl.com/contact/

    For other countries....stay tuned!

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  • It takes about 8-10 hours of bright sun to fully charge the ReadySet using the solar panel and about 4-6 hours using grid electricity.

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  • The ReadySet outputs DC power through two 5-volt USB ports (2 Amps max, 10W - combined) and two 12-volt Car Lighter Adapter ports (6 Amps max, 72W - combined). (If you want AC power, you can plug in an AC inverter. For more details, check below). The ReadySet holds 54Wh (watt hours) of energy, which is enough to recharge up to 10 mobile phones or provide 18 hours of light with the 3W LED bulb included in the kit.

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  • The ReadySet uses a 12V, 9000mAh battery - that's 54 watt hours of energy. It’s an AGM battery with a chemistry tailored for high cycle life. In terms of charge cycles, we designed and tested the ReadySet in the field and found that you should get in excess of 700 charge/discharge cycles. Practically speaking, a fully charged ReadySet will completely recharge up to 10 iPhone 4S phones.

    The battery is end user replaceable and replacements are readily available in the US (it's a battery commonly used in computer UPS devices). Once we start shipping units we will post details on the replacement procedure and replacement battery sources on our website.

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  • Yes, but it depends on what kind of laptop you have. The ReadySet is capable of supplying up to 72W of power through its Car Lighter Adapter (CLA) ports so that means it can charge most laptops. Some laptops, however, require more than 72W so be sure to check the manufacturer’s charging specification. It's important to note that although a fully charged ReadySet can power your laptop, its capacity will be a bit less than that of a high-end laptop battery. Believe us, we’re all for charging laptops with solar, but just remember that it may quickly deplete the ReadySet’s stored energy.

    If you’re going to charge your laptop, you’ll most likely need either a CLA laptop power supply or an AC inverter. Some manufacturers sell CLA power supplies made specifically for their devices but there are also other companies that make universal CLA laptop power supplies. We’ve used http://www.igo.com/ and http://www.pwr-plus.com/ to charge our own laptops. For more on AC inverters, check below.

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  • Yup, you sure can. Here are a couple things to keep in mind. First, the ReadySet’s Car Lighter Adapter ports are designed to supply up to a maximum of 72W of power. There are a lot of AC inverters out there - some even capable of supplying hundreds of watts of power - so just remember that if you try to pull more than 72W out of the ReadySet, the intelligent electronics will automatically shut down to protect the unit from damage. Second, if you pull 72W from a fully charged ReadySet, the energy stored in the battery will be depleted in about 45 minutes. Many AC devices consume a surprising amount of power so you will want to pay close attention to the requirements of your device before attempting to power it with the ReadySet and an inverter. Check out these inverters that we’ve tested with the ReadySet: http://www.enercellpower.com/home/, http://www.targus.com/us/index.aspx, and http://www.sears.com/.

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  • Despite being plugged into the AC wall outlet, most of your electronics actually run on DC power. So, in these instances, you may be able to use DC adapters that convert the 12 volts coming from the Car Lighter Adapter (CLA) to the correct voltage required by your device. Here are a couple 12V DC adapters that we’ve tested with the ReadySet: http://www.cobyusa.com/ and http://www.powerline.com/. Note, please exercise caution and make sure you know what you're doing before using these. The wrong voltage or polarity could destroy your electronics.

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  • Absolutely! The ReadySet supports panels up to 75W with a nominal voltage between 16V to 60V - that’s about five of the solar panels included in the Fenix ReadySet Solar Kit. One thing to note is that due to the characteristics of the battery, we limit the maximum battery charge rate to 30W. However, if you are pulling power from the ReadySet while its charging you can pull an additional 30W from solar directly into your connected electronic devices for a total of 60W from the panel.

    The ReadySet has a built in MPPT solar charge controller designed specifically for the characteristics of our battery so a controller is not necessary for charging. That’s because when you connect a solar panel, the ReadySet acts as a maximum power point tracking controller.

    The solar panels attach to the back of the unit using standard banana plugs and wire binding posts. The banana plugs can plug into each other allowing you to connect an endless number of panels in parallel to the ReadySet.

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  • Yes! We’ve received a ton of inquiries about adding just a solar panel for a reward bucket so....we did it! We’re offering a solar panel for those who pledge $95 or more. If you’ve already pledged a different reward bucket and don’t want to lose your discount off the ReadySet, then just add $95 or more to your pledge and send us note. We’ll keep track of it on our end.

    New update: If you want a 3rd solar panel, add an extra $85 (total $180 for 2 solar panels). Be sure to send us a note too!

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  • Due to the nature of rechargeable batteries, powering the ReadySet with two solar panels won't exactly halve the charge time in full sun conditions but will be close. Note that this is true for all batteries (AGM, Lithium, etc.). Two solar panels are very useful when you don't have full sun. In overcast conditions, your 15W max solar panel might only deliver 5W depending on conditions so having two solar panels will double your solar power and double your charge rate.

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  • We’re working on it! We're very excited about powering the ReadySet with a bike generator. Sign up for http://fenixintl.com/contact/ so that you’ll be the first to know when they’re available.

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    Thank you! Every dollar counts! Be sure to look for a shout-out on Facebook and Twitter.

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    Get a Fenix USB Universal Battery Charger at $5 OFF. Shipping is included (USA only).

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    Get a 15-watt Solar Panel to double your ReadySet recharge speed. Shipping is included (USA only). If you’ve already pledged a different bucket and don’t want to lose your spot, then just add $95 or more to your current pledge and send us note.

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    Get a ReadySet Solar Kit PLUS a second solar panel. That means you'll be able to charge your ReadySet twice as fast. Shipping is included (USA only).

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    GROUP RATE! Get FIVE awesome ReadySet Solar Kits. You can leave one at home, bring one to work, keep one in the car, build and power that awesome tree house you've always wanted, and supe up your dog’s house with disco lights and a stereo. Neighborhood dog party? Shipping is included (USA only).

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    Come with us on a 5-day Safari in East Africa! We’ll see the beauty of Africa first hand and travel to rural villages where you'll meet ReadySet power entrepreneurs and learn about the challenges of living off-the-grid. Airfare and accommodations for one person are included. And of course, we’ll send you a ReadySet Solar Kit too!

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- (30 days)