Archives For Batteries

External Power Supplies

eiodotcom —  October 3, 2012 — Leave a comment

Today’s EIO post is on external power supplies.

 

 

External Power Supplies 101

 

External power supplies are devices that convert ac power from a wall outlet into lower voltage dc or ac power to be used directly by electronic circuits. External power supplies come in a separate physical enclosure than the end-use product, and usually provide power to the device directly through a separate cord and plug. External power supplies are used to power a variety of electronic devices, including: laptop computers, printers, cordless phones, cell phones, etc.

 

External power supplies are used both with equipment with no other source of power, and with battery-powered equipment, where the supply both charges the battery and powers the equipment when plugged in. One of the benefits of using an external, rather than internal power supply is it increases the portability of a device, by avoiding the need of internal power components. Use of an external power supply allows portability of battery-powered equipment without the added bulk of internal power components and makes it unnecessary to produce equipment for use only with a specified power source.

 

Benefits of Using an External Power Supply

Safety — External power adapters can free product designers from worrying about some safety issues. Much of this style of equipment uses only voltages low enough not to be a safety hazard internally, although the power supply must out of necessity use dangerous mains voltage. If an external power supply is used (usually via a power connector, often of coaxial type), the equipment need not be designed with concern for hazardous voltages inside the enclosure. This is particularly relevant for equipment with lightweight cases which may break and expose internal electrical parts.

Heat reduction — Heat reduces reliability and longevity of electronic components, and can cause sensitive circuits to become inaccurate or malfunction. A separate power supply removes a source of heat from the apparatus.

Electrical noise reduction — Because radiated electrical noise falls off with the square of the distance, it is to the manufacturer’s advantage to convert potentially noisy AC line power or automotive power to “clean”, filtered DC in an external adapter, at a safe distance from noise-sensitive circuitry.

Weight and size reduction — When most power adapters featured simple mains-frequency transformer-based designs, they were quite heavy and large, and added considerably to the weight and bulk of devices designed to be lightweight. Even modern power supplies are relatively heavy compared to other circuitry. Removing power components from equipment powered by rechargeable batteries reduces the weight and size which must be carried, though use of other rechargeable batteries like sealed lead-acid batteries can questionably put more weight on the equipment.

Ease of replacement — Power supplies are more prone to failure than other circuitry due to their exposure to power spikes and their internal generation of waste heat. External power supplies can be replaced quickly by a user without the need to have the powered device repaired.

Configuration versatility — Externally powered electronic products can be used with different power sources as needed (e.g. 120VAC, 240VAC, 12VDC, or external battery pack), for convenient use in the field, or when traveling.

Some of Our Products  (To see all power supply products, click here)

 

 

Velleman PSSMV7U COMPACT SWITCHING POWER SUPPLY 36W WITH SELECTABLE OUTPUT

 

Brand Velleman
Model PSSMV7U
Specifications
Supply Voltage 100 ~ 240V AC
Power 36W
Efficiency >=70%
Selectable Outputs 5 to 24V DC in steps of 1V (from 4.3 to 1.5A)
Output Plugs 2.5mm mono, 3.5mm mono, 1.0×3.0mm, 1.35×3.5mm, 1.7×4.0mm, 2.1×5.0mm, 2.5×5.5mm, 1.5×5.5mm
Dimensions 3.5″ x 1.8″ x 1.2″
Features
Features
  • with 8 detachable DC plugs
  • for notebook computers & personal digital electronic devices
  • stabilized output, low ripple & interference
  • short-circuit & overload protection
  • high efficiency & low energy consumption

 

 

 

 

 

 

VELLEMAN PSSMV3 COMPACT SWITCHING POWER SUPPLY 24W WITH SELECTABLE OUTPUT

 

This switch mode regulated power supply wall adapter comes with 4 input plugs to operate around the world. Includes input power plugs for the US, UK, Europe, Taiwan, and China! Additionally, choose from 7 different DC output connectors. Finally, a switching power supply adapter with a user selectable output plug size and polarity!

Get rid of those bulky power-hungry heat-producing linear power adapters. These switching power adaptors are state-of-the-art switch mode power supplies featuring major advantages such as:
– cooler running
– stabilized (regulated) output
– short-circuit and overload protection
– compact design
– very low idling power consumption
– multiple (selectable) voltage outputs
– user configurable output connector polarity: center (+)  or  center (-)
– world wide AC input voltage range

Features

  • 4 AC input power plug configurations included (user selectable)
    • AC plugs to fit in US, UK, Europe, Taiwan and China
  • compact switch mode regulated power supply design is light-weight and efficient

Specifications

  • AC input supply voltage: 100 ~ 240V AC, 50/60 Hz
  • output power: 24.0 watts max.
  • efficiency: > = 70%
  • user selectable output voltages:
    • 3V,  4.5V,  6V, 7.5V, 9V, and 12V DC
  • output current: 2,000ma (2 amps) maximum current consumption
  • 7 DC output connector plugs included (user selectable)
    • 2.5mm (male)
    • 3.5mm (male)
    • 2.35×0.75mm (female)
    • 3.5×1.35mm (female)
    • 4.0×1.7mm (female)
    • 5.0×2.1mm (female)
    • 5.5×2.5mm (female)
  • power supply dimensions: 4.6″ x 2.4″ x 3.3″  (11.6cm x 6.1cm x 8.3cm)

 

 

 

 

VELLEMAN PSSMV1USA COMPACT SWITCHING POWER SUPPLY 10W WITH SELECTABLE OUTPUT

 

Brand Velleman
Model PSSMV1USA
Specifications
Supply Voltage 100 ~ 230V AC ± 15%
Power 10W
Efficiency > 80%
Output Voltages 3, 4.5, 6, 7.5, 9, 12V DC
Output Current 800mA (regulated) / 1.5A max.
Plugs 2.5mm mono, 3.5mm mono, 1.0×3.0mm, 1.35×3.5mm, 1.7×4.0mm, 2.1×5.0mm, 2.5×5.5mm, 1.5×5.5mm
Dimensions 2.6″ x 1.1″ x 2.9″
Weight 3.0 oz
Features
Features Get rid of those bulky power-hungry heat-producing mains adapters.
These adaptors use state-of-the-art switching power supplies and feature some major advantages such as:
– cooler running
– stabilized output
– short-circuit and overload protection
– compact design
– very low idling consumption
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Solar Panels

eiodotcom —  September 13, 2012 — Leave a comment

Today’s EIO post is on solar panels and the different products we sell that use the sun’s energy as a power source. Before taking a look at the various products we sell, you can learn a little bit more about solar energy by reading our earlier post on the advantages of solar energy.

Sunforce 50032 15 Watt Solar 12V Battery Charger

The Sunforce 50032 is the most versatile Sunforce solar panel available on our website.  It can charge automobiles, RV’s, boats, tractors, ATV’s, electric fences, deer feeders, telemetry and more.  Like other Sunforce panels, the 50032 can charge under all weather conditions.

Suppliers: Sunforce
Max Output: 15W
Brand Sunforce
Model 50032
Specifications
Type Solar Charger / Battery
Features
Features Works with Automobiles, RV’s, Boats, Tractors, ATVs, Electric Fences, Deer Feeders, Telemetry, and MoreMaintenance Free / Easy Installation

Works in All Weather Conditions

Ultra Bright Blue LED Provides Charging Indication

Built-in Blocking Diode Protects Battery Discharge at Night

Made of Durable ABS Plastic with an Amorphous Solar Cell

Temperature Range: -40° to 176° F

Max Output 15 Watts 1 Amp

Sunforce 50012 1.8-Watt Solar Battery Maintainer

The Sunforce battery maintainer is a great device to have on hand, as it uses the light from outside to power car, boat, SUV, ATV  and PWC batteries.  It’s also simple to use, the Sunforce maintainer plugs into the cigarette lighter and can be applied to the windshield with included suction cups.  What’s great about this product is that it can charge in all weather conditions! So, if you happen to need a backup power source for your car, boat, ATV, etc. the Sunforce is a great solar panel that can keep you in power.

Suppliers: Sunforce
 Max Output: 1.8W
Brand Sunforce
Model 50012
Specifications
Type Solar Battery Maintainer
Features
Features
  • Maintains Car’s, SUV’s, Boat, ATV, PWC Batteries
  • Maintenance Free / Easy Installation
  • Charges in all Weather Conditions
  • Plugs into Cigarette Lighter
  • Battery Clamps Included
  • Mounts on Windshield with Included Suction Cups
  • Made of Durable ABS Plastic & Amorphous Solar Cells
  • Plugs into Cigarette Lighter with Alligator Battery Clamps Included
  • Temperature Range: -40° to 176° F
  • Max Output 1.8 Watts 125 Mah

Today’s Eio post is on battery holders.

A battery holder is a chamber for holding or housing a battery. These holders are often attached to or within another electronic product to house the battery, and are needed for when the life of the product outlasts the life of the battery. For example, a car battery is housed within the automobile’s battery holder so that the battery can be replaced with ease to keep the car powered even if the battery runs dry.

The holder itself usually consists of a plastic case made in the shape of the battery, so as to properly fit the contours of the battery’s shape and size. The holder can also consist of a separate plastic holder that is mounted onto the product by various means (e.g. screws, glue, tape). A coiled spring wire or flat tabs that press against the battery terminals are the most common means for creating the electrical connection for the battery and the electrical product. If there are external connections on battery holders, they are usually made by contact with pins, wire leads, or solder lugs.

Environmental Impact

While the exact amount of good (or bad) battery holders contribute to humanity’s impact on the environment is still yet to be determined, it is commonly known that the use of battery holders often contributes to less waste generated. Battery holders are only unnecessary when the battery life outlasts the life of a product, so both are subsequently thrown away. Battery holders come in handy when the product’s life outlasts the battery’s, so only the battery needs to be replaced, such as in a car or in many modern cell phones. Because battery holders allow batteries to be recycled while the products are reused, we only have piles of batteries building up, but not piles of electronic products.

For instance, in the past, many cell phone batteries were soldered in place and therefore could not be removed. Once the battery life decreased overtime the entire cell phone would have to be replaced. Nowadays, cell phone batteries can be replaced because they fit into battery holders instead of getting soldered permanently.

So check out our catalog of convenient battery holders that fit the most commonly used battery sizes, such as AA, AAA, D cell, and 9V batteries!

VELLEMAN BH341USB 4xAA Battery Holder

VELLEMAN BH9V 9V Battery Holder

VELLEMAN BH121B 2xD Battery Holder

VELLEMAN SNAP9V BATTERY SNAP FOR 1 x 9V-CELL (“I”-TYPE)

See also:

Today’s Eio post is on how to maximize the life of one’s laptop battery.

There are three main ways to maximize the life of your laptop. Let’s call the first method “eliminating to save power;” the second “caring to maintain power;” and the third, “adding to increase power.”

Eliminating to Save Power

The first crucial step in maximizing the battery life of your laptop is to understand what drains the laptop’s power. Once you determine the biggest power drainers, you can focus on saving laptop power by eliminating the biggest power-draining culprits.

The Windows 7 Engineering blogreleased a pie chart which displays where the power in your laptop is allocated to. With an astounding near 50%, the laptop’s LCD screen sucks up the juice. So, the obvious answer with this, is to dim your screen!

Where the power goes in a modern Windows laptop

Friedbeef.com offers some other good elimination tips on saving the battery’s life:

  1. Dim your screen
  2. Cut down on programs running in the background
  3. Cut down on external devices, such as external hard drives, flash drives, WiFi, a mouse

    Don’t let your laptop overheat!

  4. Don’t multitask
  5. Turn off the autosave function in Microsoft word and excel
  6. Lower the graphics use

Caring to Maintain Power

The second method of maximizing your laptop’s battery life is to take proper care of your laptop. When you properly care for your laptop’s battery and power supply, it can enhance how long your laptop will remain powered. There are several ways, again I find help from Friedbeef.com and from Lifehacker.

  1. Defrag regularly
  2. Keep the battery contacts clean
  3. Place computer on hibernate, not standby – hibernate saves your PC where you left off and shuts it down, but standby does not save nearly as much power as hibernate.
  4. Go easy on PC demands – for instance, constant laptop usage over several hours or days is not good for your device. Also, certain uses are more PC intensive, such as watching DVDs, downloading files, or playing video games.
  5. Optimize your hardware for power consumption
  6. Set up and optimize your power options
  7. Avoid laptop overheating

Adding to Increase Power

The final method of maximizing the battery life of one’s laptop is to add on functions or gadgets to increase the amount of power your laptop can support. This method may cost you more money, but the add-ons can be greatly beneficial. Again, Friedbeef is useful.

  1. Add more RAM – This will allow you to process more with the memory your laptop has, rather than relying on virtual memory.  Virtual memory results in hard drive use, and is much less power efficient. Note that adding more RAM will consume more energy, so this is most applicable if you do need to run memory intensive programs which actually require heavy usage of virtual memory.”
  2. Replace your old battery with a new one
  3. Invest in a spare laptop battery
  4. When all else fails, get yourself a more efficient laptop!

Visit Eio for all your laptop needs! We carry:

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In honor of Earth Day, Eio will focus on the “R” of REUSE in the “reduce-reuse-recycle” dictum. Today’s topic is rechargeable batteries, such as our popular 4-pack of Lenmar 2700mAh AA NiMH Rechargeable Batteries.

Rechargeable batteries seem more ecological and economical than single-use batteries, but are they? Here are three useful points to think through when choosing rechargeable versus single-use batteries.

Life-Span

How do rechargeable batteries’ lifespans compare to single-use ones?

While it is difficult to quantify how many hours a battery lasts, most modern-day rechargeable batteries’ lifespans contain around 150 recharges. Single-use batteries, of course, die once they run out. But their lifespans all depends on variables such as the type of battery used and the rate at which a device consumes power.

Costs

Are rechargeable batteries’ longer lifespans worth it despite their high costs?

Rechargeable batteries may be pricier at the outset, but they are thought to save users money over the life of each battery. One downside is that rechargeable batteries and their accompanying chargers can sometimes be more difficult to find. If say, you buy the aforementioned Lenmar battery and battery charger, it is possible you may be unable to replace these items because less-popular products sometimes get discontinued.  Single-use batteries, on the other hand, are available everywhere and come in most sizes.

Waste

How do rechargeable batteries help the environment compared to single-use ones?

Rechargeable batteries do help reduce the amount of waste generated by single-use batteries, which hit 180,000 tons in 2010. However, if one does not recycle rechargeable batteries once they die, contamination is much more likely because they contain heavy metals that some single-use batteries do not possess.

The general rule-of-thumb is to recycle ALL batteries, whether they are rechargeable or not.

Go here for SoCal battery-recycling centers. Go here to mail in your batteries to be properly recycled. Visit Call2Recycle.org for all your recycling needs.

A Final Thought

We would love to give you a definite answer of “rechargeables YES, single-use NO!” But much depends on where you’ll use the battery and how much power the device uses.

Jennifer Berry, over at Earth911.com says this:

So, what are you going to use? Is it a high-tech gadget that needs portable power on a regular basis? Then rechargeables are for you…

[But] rechargeable batteries aren’t necessary for low-cost products that don’t use much power. For example, TV remote controls can sometimes last for years on a single-use battery, so it doesn’t make sense to purchase more expensive rechargeable batteries for such a low maintenance device.”

In sum, when choosing which battery is a better choice, it all depends. Yes, rechargeables may seem cheaper in the long-run, but it all depends on what type of gadget the battery is for.

And in all things, please recycle your batteries correctly. Our future will thank you for that one small gesture.

See also: