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The Voltage Keeper

Discussion in 'Vapor Related Equipment' started by VoltageKeeper, Dec 31, 2013.

  1. VoltageKeeper

    VoltageKeeper Well-Known Member Accessory Maker

    Messages:
    74
    Ah, good tip! Thanks for that! So I tried doing that on the cable I had but it didn't work as I expected, I ended up trying another cable I forgot I even had that was a universal charging cable and it actually had a barrel jack (the wrong size of course) on it along with some others. It seems this cable is wired up the way you said, and with some adapters, I'm able to use it well past the 0.7A mark now!

    I'm getting up to around 11.3v at 1.8A@5v before it dies off my 2.1a ipad2 charger, my phone charger was able to get it up to 11.85v at around 1.95A@5v, but it died anything remotely above that. So, still unable to actually use the full 2.1A, and not really quite getting to 12v off of these 2.1A chargers, but getting closer to it.

    That said, you definitely would need more power than a 2.1A charger to get much above 11.5V. Would a 2.4A work? It's still a big maybe, but you're really cutting it a bit close for comfort. You will likely be on the very edge of the current protection kicking in, which is not optimal. 5v source in general is not the most optimal thing in the world - when you're going up in voltage, you always need a lot more amperage, and USB unfortunately is pretty lack-luster in that category, leading to many of these companies adapting non-standard protocols for USB charging as the above poster mentioned!

    This was yet another time being able to monitor input voltage on the VK was nice, as I could see the sag in the input! Essentially, you've got a built in voltage-tester on the VK, standard! Needless to say, when pulling 11.5v from these chargers, the input voltage was sagging all the way down to 4.18v! At that lower sagging voltage, you'll need even more amperage to get the desired voltage, making the 2.1A even less adequate. That doesn't spell to well for the 2.4A battery pack, unless it's truly able to deliver that current without sag.

    For much the same reason it's not very practical to run a unit off say, 4 double A's. Once you get up around 6-8 AA's, it's a different story. No problem there. However, charging and/or dealing with 6-8 double A's sounds like a pain to me! Anytime a device has more than 4 batteries it's just too frustrating half the time, especially if you plan to use rechargeable batteries, having to pull out and recharge 6-8 AA's, possibly in two separate sessions, as most chargers only do 2 or 4 batteries at a time, well that's just not optimal. The all-in-one USB device is definitely a nice idea for that reason, but, I have a feeling they won't be as practical until we can find some with 3-5A output. I don't think the USB connectors are rated for that much current though, so that might be a long shot, they'd have to be violating a few standards i'm sure! Not as if they aren't already though!

    That said, I'd like to keep all my battery packs 4 cells or under at the moment. I'm also considering pre-made packs that use different sized cells, the only thing with those is that they probably will need custom charger adapters. The nice thing about the nitecore battery/charger combo I've recommended is that charger can charge Lithiums, NIMH, or NICD, and it can also charge AA's in addition to 18650s, etc, so really, the setup I'm currently recommending is not only good for use with the VK or 18650s, but rechargables in general, so I'm hoping people might invest in it just for that reason alone. I'm a big fan of the "pre-charge" or "re-charge" style NIMH AA batteries, and I use them in all my tv remotes and appliances, they don't drain as fast when you don't use them like typical rechargables, and are great for replacing AA's. On the other hand, it can also take the 18650s which are larger, but have enough current to be practical for use with a log style vaporizer.
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2014
  2. VoltageKeeper

    VoltageKeeper Well-Known Member Accessory Maker

    Messages:
    74
    So, they're here! the next batch of cases. So there's a few things going on in this picture. First, on the bottom left, there's a prototype VK from the very first 3 prototypes made in a larger clear case. It's been upgraded to be a prototype for the 10-turn large-size pots, which you can by the large internal size of the pot! As well I recently added one of my newer, smaller switches on it, as a test. This unit has essentially been a test of all the features on the current model VK - it was the first case I mounted one of the current model circuit boards in.

    To the right of that, the new battery pack! With the 3100mah nitecore 18650s. This is the more expensive of the two options I posted, but is now my personal setup for testing. It's working really well so far. So well in fact - that I'm wondering if we could get away with 2 or 3 batteries and have a smaller unit, maybe at the sacrifice of an hour or two of run time. At the moment, I expect this thing to last for over 4-5 hours, which is kind of a lot.

    And that battery pack...is connected to VK #1! My personal unit and the first with specifications that match the existing base model! Next to that is the new cases! Clear blue, clear red, and a smaller semi-opaque blue case. Above them is the opaque blue version of the current case, and another smaller opaque blue case, this one a little taller, but a little more narrow, than the other small case below.

    It's this last small case, on the top right, that I'm very interested in. I realized with these semi-opaque cases, the screen has to be mounted very close to the wall of the case in order for it not to look outright blurry. That said, with long enough mounting stand-offs, the screen actually can sit ABOVE the long multi-turn pot! That was not something I expected. The additional height of that particular case may mean it can actually fit the long/cheap 10-turn pots in the front mounted position! That's pretty exciting for a smaller unit. It will also definitely take the 5-turn or short 10-turns in the top mounted position. However, whether an ammeter will fit in there is still to be determined! They have yet to arrive. I suspect that in that particular case, since it's a bit taller I might be able to fit the 5-turn or 10-turn small pots plus an ammeter! That would be really cool having all the features in a small unit! We'll see if it actually works once more parts arrive!

    Now, if I could fit everything into the case on the bottom right, that would be more surprising! It's even less tall then the current case, and the way the screw holes are limit the positioning of the circuit board inside the case to just a few positions. This one's still to be determined!


    [​IMG]

    Oh yeah, one more thing, the nitecore i4 charger! And next to it, a battery pack case that I made. It's basically the same as the "exposed" battery pack below and takes 4x 18650s, just mounted inside of a blue case. That will cost a little more once I find a case I like, the case shown will definitely not be final - it was a mess of cutting and chopping to make that pack fit in there! For now, you can buy just the "exposed" battery holder below with a barrel jack for connecting to a VK for $5. Again, that's just the holder with the proper connector on the end, you need to provide the batteries and charger. The unit mounted inside a case will likely be more around $20, once I find more suitable cases.
  3. MileHighLife

    MileHighLife Self-Sufficient Stoner

    Messages:
    760
    Location:
    CO
    Sweet ... looks good! I bet you're having a good ole time right now.

    So I think my next vk will have "the works" but would you be able to fit all of that in the same size box? With the vernier dial would I be able to fine tune the voltage before I lock it into place? The pic that you posted looked like it would have set tick marks that you would have to use but I've fine tuned my sessions in to the hundredth of a decimal point and would like to be able to do this and then lock the dial in place if possible whether it be with a vernier dial or whatever else. I've accidentally nudged the dial without noticing a few times and I think the locking dial would be a nice touch.

    I've noticed that when I plug in my underdog that I get a very slight voltage drop on the output side as well as the more significant voltage drop on the input side that you've mentioned. It's only .03 volts but it's actually pretty convenient cause the jack on my underdog isn't the greatest and on occasion it'll lose connection and with the vk it's really easy to tell when it happens.
    SSVUN~YAH likes this.
  4. VoltageKeeper

    VoltageKeeper Well-Known Member Accessory Maker

    Messages:
    74
    So far, it's looking like I might even be able to fit it into a smaller case! I'm pretty sure it should all fit into the current size case without issue, using the smaller size 5-turn and 10-turn + vernier multi-turn pots that I have coming. I still have to get in the ammeters and the vernier pots to know for sure. At the moment I've just got the larger size, cheaper 10-turns in stock, available immediately.

    I believe the lock is just a switch - when it's unlocked, you just adjust the knob as normal. The number on the top increase/decreases as you turn the knob through the multiple-turns, keeping track of which turn out of 10 you're on. Once you've set it where you want, you flip the switch and it locks in place.

    The very slight voltage drop on the output when plugging in a device is normal and is basically because you're adding more resistance. The 4 digit screen is definitely nice for noticing minor changes like that. The voltage drop on the input is usually more significant, but either are often useful for detecting the dreaded "lost connection." Of course, I think you'll like the ammeter even more for that purpose. I really can't wait to get the first batch of those in, I'm ready to build some units with the ammeters as soon as they arrive!
    placetime, MileHighLife and SSVUN~YAH like this.
  5. VoltageKeeper

    VoltageKeeper Well-Known Member Accessory Maker

    Messages:
    74
    First batch is officially sold out! I'm still waiting payment on one of the b-stock units that someone claimed a few weeks ago, but otherwise we're officially onto the second batch! I got in the ammeters yesterday but still yet to play with them too much - I still need to get in some more of the pots I ordered so I'm still waiting for a few extras but ammeter units are now possible.
  6. next level

    next level Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    117
    Sorry payment sent. Never saw the paypal invoice as that is a second email.

    Thanks me and the dogs can not wait for the new toy.
  7. VoltageKeeper

    VoltageKeeper Well-Known Member Accessory Maker

    Messages:
    74
    Got it! Thanks! I will hopefully get these last 3 units from the first batch shipped out today!


    The second batch is now ready to order. I've updated the paypal buttons on my site. Ammeters now available! It shouldn't let you order what I don't currently have in stock, I hope anyway! Paypal's inventory tracking is a bit limited.

    As of now, 5-turn pots, "the works" and all vernier models are unavailable as I've not received the verniers and the 5-turn pots yet. I'm thinking probably sometime next week, but we'll see.

    I've got 4 of the standard clear cases, in addition to 2 of each of the new variants I've shown above. I'll likely order more cases as soon as I start to see which ones are most popular. For now, every case option is still available and in-stock!
    SSVUN~YAH and placetime like this.
  8. VoltageKeeper

    VoltageKeeper Well-Known Member Accessory Maker

    Messages:
    74
    Hi all, just a quick update. Running a little behind getting the shipments out, everyone who paid should ship out in the next day or so.

    I just received the vernier dials today! They work exactly how I described before. The short 10-turn pots also look very promising as well, and I'm still quite hopeful I might be able to fit "the works" into the small+tall blue case.

    The shorter/wider blue case should be able to fit with the knob on the top or front using the shorter 10-turn pots as well! I don't think I'll be able to fit the works in that one though, probably just ammeter or 10-turn vernier, one or the other.

    All the standard size cases in the various colors will, of course, all fit "the works" no problem. Hopefully more pictures coming soon. I'm planning on building a few units to demonstrate the new features, those will probably go up for sale immediately. I'm thinking in blue or maybe blue/red voltmeter/ammeter combo.

    I've also got some yellow volt screens now to play around with as well. They've got a slightly different mounting system so I'm still working that out, but if you're interested in a yellow one let me know!
  9. VoltageKeeper

    VoltageKeeper Well-Known Member Accessory Maker

    Messages:
    74
    So, the last 3 of the first batch shipped, the one b-stock from that batch and two standard units. And from what I've heard - it sounds like all the ones to be included with HI's have also been either sold or claimed, so they're gone! We're officially onto the second batch.

    I'm also officially out of red screens. Not to fear, I already have 10 more on the way, that might be another week or two though. I'll provide an update as soon as they're here. Plenty of blue available, and also still have 4-5 green left. Also, turns out they sent me more green instead of yellow, so I do not actually have yellow voltmeters yet. I'm still working on that. I'm thinking it will be nice for doing volt/ammeter combinations, like red/blue, or green/yellow. I need to get some photos of units like that, so people will have an idea of what those combinations look like. It looks cool, I'll say that much.

    I currently have 2 vernier pots in stock! One may already be claimed - waiting for a potential buyer to get back! I have more coming, not to fear. After receiving the verniers, I realized they only work on the shorter 10-turn pots I had, so that means the options have been simplified a little bit. If you want a vernier, it will only come on the short 10-turn pot, which is not a bad choice, as it fits in nearly any case.

    I can also do units with ammeters only. Probably would cost the same as the multi-turn or standard unit depending what you wanted. This is nearly as useful as the voltage for monitoring temperature, but with the added benefit of showing you how much the unit is actually drawing, meaning loose cables and/or knocked out plugs will make the unit read "0.00". However, you won't be able to see the voltage, and it's possible the amperage could change from things like longer cables being used, among other things, so it's not going to give you quite as much information as would volt+ammeter or "the works" but it might be a nice option for people who are concerned about loose/knocked out plugs, but don't care about knowing the exact voltage as much. Combined with a vernier, this might still give you a fairly accurate setup, as the position marked on the vernier should be fairly consistent with a given voltage, even though you won't be able to see the voltage, you can see the vernier position! I said there was more to come with verniers before, let's just say this is a hint of that...
  10. JJ420

    JJ420 espresso, microbrew beer, and canna vapor addict.

    Messages:
    185
    Location:
    Midwest, U.S.A.
    Got my VK in the mail today and am enjoying the HI right now surfing up and down the voltage dial.:rockon:Seriously folks, at just 45 bucks this thing is a steal.:2c: Really beautiful and well put together little unit here!:nod:
  11. MileHighLife

    MileHighLife Self-Sufficient Stoner

    Messages:
    760
    Location:
    CO
    @VoltageKeeper this seems like a good candidate for a mobile battery pack ... what do you think?

    https://www.fasttech.com/products/0...34-x-18650-batteries-holder-case-box-mobile-p

    I think I'll order a couple of those and a few sets of these to go with them if you think that battery holder will work well ...

    https://www.fasttech.com/products/1141104

    Edit: the main thing I'm not sure about is the case is set up in parallel but it says it "can be configured". I don't know if they mean configured to use 2, 3 or 4 batteries or if they mean configured to work in series. If it only works in parallel I'll need to find something else right?
    TIA
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2014
    rotax and VoltageKeeper like this.
  12. VoltageKeeper

    VoltageKeeper Well-Known Member Accessory Maker

    Messages:
    74
    That's a neat little pack you've found there. That might work very well in fact. However, it looks like you have to wire parts of it yourself, as it seems like the black/red wires are un-attached. Perhaps you have to choose how you want it setup, parallel, or series, etc. The 3400mah panasonics are higher capacity than the 3100mah in my test unit, so those should give a pretty long run time with 4 of them. Like, probably well over 4-5 hours. Those are protected cells too, so you're all good there. You might even be able to get away with just 3 of those 3400mah cells and still have a really good run time.

    If you're not afraid of getting your hands dirty, you could definitely order one of those and modify it to work for our purposes. If not, I'm almost tempted to order one myself, perhaps I could sell them pre-modified at $10 or something. I can also include male to male barrel cables for plugging the output of that unit into the VK directly. I do have some of those available.

    Good find though, these are right up the alley of what I was looking for.
  13. MileHighLife

    MileHighLife Self-Sufficient Stoner

    Messages:
    760
    Location:
    CO
    Just a heads up if you haven't ordered from fasttech before ... the shipping is insanely slow
  14. VoltageKeeper

    VoltageKeeper Well-Known Member Accessory Maker

    Messages:
    74
    Hi all, clear blue cases are currently sold out!

    Somewhat unexpected, but I guess people really like clear blue! I will order more shortly. I'll also take some photos of what these new units in clear blue look like once I've got them all ready. I've got one standard unit, and one "the works" unit coming up shortly, both in clear blue.

    Also, red screens are now officially back in stock.
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2014
  15. Jeppy

    Jeppy JedHI Vaporist

    Messages:
    1,241
    Location:
    NorCal Vapor Garage
    Do you have anything for someone as myself, a little on the dumb side? I want a basic vv ps. Additionally a battery supply pack to power my HI when camping.
  16. VoltageKeeper

    VoltageKeeper Well-Known Member Accessory Maker

    Messages:
    74
    I would say the base model plus a battery pack would probably be just fine for that. You still get a choice of screen color (red, blue or green) and case color (clear, red, and foggy blue are in stock)

    If you wanted the next step up from that, I'd suggest the vernier model, main advantage there is you'll get a finer adjustments with the knob and the ability to "lock" the knob in place, so you can't accidentally bump it around. Might be nice if you're planning on using it while walking around camping or something, it would prevent you from changing the voltage by mistake.

    I don't think you'd care much about the ammeters so much if you're trying to keep it simple - that's more for the types who want to see everything!
    Jeppy and MileHighLife like this.
  17. slowandsteady

    slowandsteady Member

    Messages:
    275
    @VoltageKeeper - Any pics of some of your more recent models/completed VKs? We need more VK pron!! :rockon:
    Quetzalcoatl and MileHighLife like this.
  18. VoltageKeeper

    VoltageKeeper Well-Known Member Accessory Maker

    Messages:
    74
    Coming very soon! I have a few orders I need to really get done this weekend. I will take pics of those once they are done.

    I'm also thinking of maybe just making one of the smaller-case units for show/sale as-is, since there's really only so many options they can fit anyway, and I think a lot of people have been curious about a smaller case, although no one's actually ordered one yet.
  19. VoltageKeeper

    VoltageKeeper Well-Known Member Accessory Maker

    Messages:
    74
    OK, you asked for photos, here's the first "the works" unit! I've also got 2 other clear blue units I've got on their way out. I've also got a new smaller clear case that's just barely big enough to fit a standard unit. One of those is still up for grabs, the one pictured is currently claimed! And, a close up of the infamous vernier dial. Oh, and of course, my small solid blue prototype and VK #1 on the very end.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2014
    Alan, Quetzalcoatl, placetime and 3 others like this.
  20. EveryDayAmnesiac

    EveryDayAmnesiac I am a stupid asshole.

    Messages:
    1,524
    The one pictured is also currently MINE! :D

    And I plan to keep it that way. :lol:
    Sleepin in CA and Quetzalcoatl like this.
  21. Alan

    Alan Master JedHI Manufacturer

    Messages:
    878
    "The Works" unit looks great. Not sure you could get anything more in that case. Love how you can easily determine the watts being used. I think that watts is a better indicator of power level than voltage.

    Also love the look of the new smaller case. Smaller is always good.
    Snappo likes this.
  22. VoltageKeeper

    VoltageKeeper Well-Known Member Accessory Maker

    Messages:
    74
    Yep, that "the works" unit is packed to the brim, for sure! In fact, it required so much accuracy with the drilling that I'm really tempted to come up with some kind of CAD drawing that I can print out and use as a template, as doing them one off as I did on the unit above definitely takes some work! I'm still surprised I managed to solder everything in there without accidentally melting anything!

    I am hoping to fit one into the "small & tall" foggy blue case, however, there's a trick to making it fit...the ammeter will be mounted above the multiturn pot, separate from the voltmeter, and the extra case height will hopefully allow that all to fit! We'll see! I'm hoping I'll have a works unit to show you in person next time I come visit!

    The display is actually amperage in this case, but you can get watts easily by simply multiplying the two values together, in the above image, 11.76 * 0.49 would be 5.76 watts, give or take any loss due to resistance.
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2014
    Snappo likes this.
  23. VoltageKeeper

    VoltageKeeper Well-Known Member Accessory Maker

    Messages:
    74
    All the clear blue units shipped, including the first "the works" unit, which is exciting. With that, I've also got a few more clear blue cases in stock now, get em while they last!

    Still have to wrap up the real small clear one, it's mostly done, it just needs the wiring finished. I'll be sure to post some more photos once it's ready.

    It was very tight getting it all in that small case, so I might try a different layout on the next one to make things easier. If I can come up with a consistent way to do these smaller units, then I'll probably be able to start offering VKs in clear/clear blue/clear red/fog blue in this new smaller size as a standard option. They will fit a standard unit no problem, but with no extras. One in clear is still available now.
  24. Sleepin in CA

    Sleepin in CA Higher than a Pterodactyl, you can call me Caveman Accessory Maker

    Messages:
    760
    Location:
    California
    Well one of those clear cases has my name on it now! Just ordered it, and I can't wait for it to get here.

    =)
  25. Sleepin in CA

    Sleepin in CA Higher than a Pterodactyl, you can call me Caveman Accessory Maker

    Messages:
    760
    Location:
    California
    Got my first one, and I already have it portable! I love it so much that I just ordered another one with a 10 turn Vernier dial in the short and tall case!

    My current setup....
    Utilizing a 3800 mah li-ion rechargable battery from eBay. It lasts about 3+ hours at around 13.2-14.2 depending which dog I use, and what glass piece I'm filling.

    =)
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

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