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PiJuice is the ultimate module for all portable Raspberry Pi projects.  Includes many fun maker projects and a solar power version too!
PiJuice is the ultimate module for all portable Raspberry Pi projects (complete with our revolutionary PiAnywhere technology – the best way to take your Pi off the grid!). Includes many fun maker projects and a solar power version too!
PiJuice is the ultimate module for all portable Raspberry Pi projects (complete with our revolutionary PiAnywhere technology – the best way to take your Pi off the grid!). Includes many fun maker projects and a solar power version too!
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2,417 backers pledged £124,372 to help bring this project to life.

RasPi.TV unboxing video and some high resolution photos!

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Hi all,

Another update for you, with some more video and photo content and an update about PiJuice Cases and Maker Kits! Let's get started...

Unboxing Video!

One of the first people to receive one of the first PiJuice samples is Alex Eames from RasPi.TV - he wll soon be doing a video looking at the PiJuice working and some of the functionality, but has also done a little unboxing video to get things going:

    

Once the next video is done, we will post another update. You can also find the post on the RasPi.TV website here with more details.

Michael Horne, from the Raspberry Pi Pod blog and one of the organisers of CamJam, has also posted about this here. Michael is actually one of the first reviewers on the list to get the sample after Alex from RasPi.TV so there will be more from him in the coming weeks so keep your eyes peeled :-)

High resolution photos

As we said in the previous updates, we sent one of the samples to our graphic designer (and all round media guru) Louis - so he could take some high resolution shots of the HAT. We have got absolutely loads, but here is a selection of a few:

PiJuice HAT without Battery
PiJuice HAT without Battery

 

PiJuice HAT without Battery 2
PiJuice HAT without Battery 2

 

PiJuice Bottom
PiJuice Bottom

 

PiJuice Top Without Battery
PiJuice Top Without Battery

 

PiJuice with Battery
PiJuice with Battery

 

PiJuice with Battery 2
PiJuice with Battery 2

 

PiJuice Top With Battery
PiJuice Top With Battery

We will have more high resolution pictures of the full packaging, accessories, and solar panels to share with you soon. As I am sure you can imagine, it takes a fair bit of time to shoot and edit these photos :-)

A few minor issues with the boards

On further inspection of the boards, we found that Embest had made the following errors:

  • A capacitor, C34, on the bottom of the board was missing. This helps with the charge circuitry and whilst it is not essential it is better for it to be there so we have made sure this will be fixed in the full production run.
  • The DIP switch on the base of the board was in the wrong orientation, meaning that it would have had the wrong charge profile assigned to it for the BP7X and would not charge optimally. We have asked that they make sure all of the production boards have the correct orientation.
  • The screw terminal battery connector for external batteries is facing the wrong way - the ports should be facing into the board. Again, they will fix this with the final versions.
  • The stickers were a bit of a weird colour
  • They were missing the battery isolation tab

Whilst these are annoying little issues that should have been correct the first time (as they were all correct in our manufacturing specification) this is the exact reason we do these samples so it is good they were found before the full run - as that would have been a lot of extra work for Embest and more delays. There are no major functional or cosmetic issues with the boards so that is a fantastic thing!

We are hoping to hear about a ship date soon from Embest, we will let you know once we hear back.

PiJuice Cases

We have had many many requests from people to design a case specifically for PiJuice that has the ability to have a removable lid to make replacement / removal / installation of the battery super simple, without having to remove the entire case.

We tasked our friends at CamdenBoss (they designed the battery surround for PiJuice as well as our cases for JustBoom, Pi PoE, PaPirus and Flick so we know they are great!) with this very thing and they have sent us back the designs just this week:

PiJuice Short Case Closed
PiJuice Short Case Closed

 

PiJuice Short Case Open
PiJuice Short Case Open

 

PiJuice Tall Case Closed
PiJuice Tall Case Closed

 

PiJuice Tall Case Open
PiJuice Tall Case Open

As you will see from the above photos, there are two versions of the case - a short one an a tall one. The short one is designed to fit the Raspberry Pi and PiJuice with only a little bit of extra space inside. The tall one is designed to fit the Raspberry Pi, PiJuice and another add on board on top...we based the design on stacking the Pi PoE board we make on top...it is a very tall HAT so it should mean that most other HATs will fit :-)

As you can see from the pictures, both cases have a slide-out lid to enable easy access to the battery without too much fiddling. You can't see them in these pictures but both cases also have "knock-out" parts enabling you to easily have cables entering and exiting the case. Last but not least, the final production versions of the case will come with a set of rubber feet and also will have the PiJuice logo screen printed on the top of the slide in battery cover.

We hope you like them, and we will post more pictures soon - as soon as we have the physical samples from CamdenBoss which should be in the next week or so we hope.

Maker Kits

A number of people have been asking for further information on the status of the Maker Kits. There are about 150 of you who have pledged to receive Maker Kits so we want to make sure you are kept in the loop. In many ways, this is the last aspect of the project still to be completed (of course, barring the shipping of the HATs to you all!)

You may remember that this project initially had the involvement of Harry Gee from Agilic Ltd, and he was contracted to deliver the design side of the project whereas we were initially working on all the other aspects apart from that. As we stated in an update last year, we parted ways amicably in around April last year leaving Pi Supply to deliver the project going forward. 

The only aspect of the project that was left to be completed by Harry Gee / Agilic was the Maker Kits. These were supposed to be completed last year, not too long after the agreement we had signed with Harry. However due to a variety of reasons and disputes on both sides this has not yet occurred, which is disappointing. 

The last thing we heard about them is that they are ready and working well, but just need to be made "production ready"...so it seemed like we were pretty close. We are working with Harry as we speak to identify the outstanding issues and to try and bring the Maker Kits to completion. Hopefully we can do this relatively quickly and get things closed off once and for all. In case money was the issue, we have even offered to pay for the material and labour costs to complete this work so as to expedite their completion. We have also offered our operational / labour resources to assist this in any way possible.

Please rest assured though, that we will be delivering the Maker Kits. If the worst comes to the worst we will just have to develop them from scratch ourselves again...hopefully this will not be necessary but it is an option should our current conversations prove fruitless.

Please note, that this will not delay the shipping of the HATs to any backers - whether or not you pledged for a Maker Kit as part of your reward.

More information and updates on the Maker Kits as we have them :-)

Thanks for reading,
Aaron and the PiJuice team

Liam Welsh, Spencer Collins, and 12 more people like this update.

Comments

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    1. PiJuice Creator on October 9

      @ Knud - thanks! Weatherproof case - will have some updates from CamdenBoss soon. The battery just snaps into place yes, like it would in a phone. The surround holds it in place. But you can also add off board batteries via the 4 pin screw terminal. And yes you will be able to buy all the solar panels, cases, accessories etc from our shop or from a variety of resellers (probably some locally to you - we are already working on getting a number of resellers set up ready for this!)

    2. Missing avatar

      Knud Jacobsen Jensen
      Superbacker
      on October 8

      Progress is looking great :)

      Any news on the Rugged weatherproof case design?

      Is the battery a snap-in type? from the picture it kinda looks like it.

      And can we buy the bigger solar panel from your shop after the campaign finishes? :)

    3. PiJuice Creator on October 7

      @Klint - glad you like the cases. The fixes won't take any time, per se, as they are only mistakes from Embest really. There are no PCB updates or BOM updates required so they are just things we have told Embest to do correctly next time or they'll have to rework the boards!

      We hope to have a date / more accurate timeline from Embest shortly.

    4. PiJuice Creator on October 7

      @Jamie - great quote as always! Hopefully we meet the "great" one :-)

    5. PiJuice Creator on October 7

      @veritanuda - thanks, glad you think so :-)

    6. Klint Krossa on October 7

      R20 and D3 at they important? How long are the fixes going to take? Is there a ship date yet? The tall case is a great idea.

    7. Jamie Whitehorn on October 7

      “The difference between something good and something great is attention to detail.” - Charles R. Swindoll
      :-)

    8. veritanuda on October 7

      Looks great and coming together nicely. It's been a long journey but still worth it.