6/13/2018: 1st stretch goal of $100K. Help us unlock it!
- At $100K, every backer gets red color option.
6/19/2018: Battery caddy STL files uploaded. Maker friendly battery pack.
6/19/2018: Referral rewards - get one free Core tier for every 5 referrals.
6/27/2018: Hacker Add-on of connectors announced.
7/1/2018: The story of how we bootstrapped the Pirl Charger.
7/5/2018: Shipping started + added shipping to South Korea, South Africa, Taiwan and Thailand
7/8/2018: Stretch goal reached. You're awesome.
The Pirl Charger was born out of our frustrations with chargers. Most were poorly designed, died quickly and missed key features we wanted. So we decided to build our own from scratch.
What is it?
The Pirl Charger is built for demanding users who require fast charging, superior electrical protections, flexibility, and visibility of power usage. It charges multiple USB devices at their fastest rate with no throttling.
It delivers 2.7 amps per port and 50 watts total.
Unlike plastic chargers, the Pirl Charger is made from aluminum and FR4. It gives it the look and feel of a more substantive object than most chargers. Something that doesn't look alien on more natural furniture, while still fitting in with modern devices.
Powers multiple phones, tablets, headphones and other devices.
Delivers 2.7 amps per port and 50 watts of total power.
Intelligently detects how fast your device can charge.
The Pirl Charger performs a digital handshake that detects how much the device can handle and delivers that.
4 separate charging channels. No throttling.
Built to last.
- Robust. Built from anodized aluminum and layers of FR4 (glass-reinforced epoxy laminate).
- Higher resistance. Resists more pressure, flexural force, and buckling than typical chargers.
Lower environmental impact.
- Easily repurposed. After first intended use, you can repurpose it for use at home, in a car, or on a workbench to power Raspberry Pis. That way, it is much less likely to be thrown away if the first use changes.
Overheating. Every chip has its own independent overheating protection. If any of the chips overheat for any reason, it will shut itself down to protect the charger.
- Static discharge. Electrostatic discharge (ESD) kills many consumer electronics. To defend against this, we have ESD protection chips at every port.
- Reverse polarity. Some vehicle connectors allow you to plug your devices in reverse (plus to minus, and minus to plus); fortunately, the Pirl Charger will not be harmed by such a scenario.
- Fault detection per port. Each port has LEDs that light up in short circuit situations. Each output is protected against over-current and dead-shorts. The short can persist for an unlimited amount of time without harming the charger.
Independent ports. A particular port's protective response to overheating, over-current, or a dead-short does not impact the performance of other ports.
Perfect travel companion.
- Surge protection. In places where the electricity grid fluctuates and there are blackouts, the charger will protect itself and your devices.
The Pirl Charger compensates for the voltage drop across the wire into your device, meaning your device charges faster than other chargers which do not have this capability.
First flexible input charger.
As a DC input charger with 7 to 17V input voltage, you can power it from multiple sources with the appropriate adapter, unlike other chargers that only work with wall outlets.
First charger with an integrated wattmeter.
The wattmeter shows the total power delivered to every port in use.
First charger for single board computers.
With 2.7A delivered per port at stable and low noise output current, you can overclock multiple Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+'s which draw 2.5A each.
First maker-friendly charger.
You can make your own battery pack. In this image, we used a Turnigy 800 mAh 3S Lipo Pack and an JST-to-barrel jack connector.
You can download the STL files for the battery caddy here and 3D-print it yourself.
This is a goody bag of connectors, especially for hackers and makers, as good connectors are hard to source individually.
This $25 add-on includes:
- 1 x Alligator clips to barrel connector
- 1 x XT60 to barrel connector
- 1 x JST to barrel connector
- 1 x Screw terminal connector
- 1 x Barrel jack right-angle connector
What are reviewers saying?
- "I think it's a very very good device."
- “I definitely like it.”
- “I have to say I’ve been very impressed with the build quality and the feature list.”
- “A very impressive little 4 port 2.7A each 50W USB charger.”
What are early customers saying?
The Pirl Charger has several advantages over generic chargers.
Our initial prototypes were 3D printed with ABS material. Since each port is independent, we built single port chargers first before expanding to four ports. We then developed the wattmeter circuit independently and integrated it into the quad charger. The next piece was the casing. We used aluminum top and bottom plates. They were laser cut, sandblasted, and anodized. We used FR4 ("PCB material") for the middle layers. We then laser-etched our logo and alphanumeric characters on the top plate.
Why the name "Pirl"?
"Pirl" is pronounced like "pearl". Oysters secrete nacre to cover irritating pieces of sand that enter their shells. This is how we get beautiful jewelry.
We're inspired to make beautiful products to solve our annoying experiences.
In April 2018, we successfully completed a pilot run with Macrofab, an experienced manufacturer in Houston, TX. This resulted in a Made in the USA product! We had a very positive experience with the pilot batch which allowed us to test their manufacturing capabilities before large-scale manufacturing.
All Brand-Name Components
All of the electronic components in the Pirl Charger are brand-name. We have parts from TI, Diodes, ROHM, Atmel/Microchip, and STMicro. Most mainstream chargers use off-brand components, no-name chips, and clones to push prices down, and are not designed to last for more than a few months of intensive use.
Our stretch goal of $100,000 has been activated.
We're excited to deliver these reward tiers.
For every five (5) unique referrals, you earn one (1) free Core tier. See update 3 for more details.
- Request your custom URL by sending us a message via Kickstarter.
- Share the custom URL.
- It's important they pledge through the URL, otherwise, there's no way for us to verify.
- Future backers can pledge any tier except Pledge Any Amount.
- All pledges have to be active at the end of the campaign.
What's in the box - Full pack tier
- We will provide a 60W MEAN WELL power supply unit.
- We will have US and EU adapters. If your country is outside the US and EU, we will provide converters (or adapter plugs) to work with them.
- We will provide a car adapter.
- This is a sticky, double-sided pad for mounting the Pirl Charger on any surface, including cars.
We will ship to the following countries.
We have been working together since 2015. We were brought together by our love of hardware and our desire to build high-quality products. We posted the story of our journey as update #5.
Risks and challenges
For hardware products, manufacturing is a significant challenge. To mitigate this, we have completed a successful pilot run. We have also built several final prototypes by hand. We have worked out the kinks and can manufacture in large volumes.
While most of our components are generally available, any unexpected shortage of a part(s) can cause delays. To prevent this, we source from multiple suppliers.
While there are sometimes delays with international shipping, we are working with experienced shipping companies and have shipped sample production units to reviewers around the world to test the delivery capability of our shipping partners.
- (35 days)