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Old 02-06-09, 03:12 PM   #1
atman
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Chargepod V2 = charge your laptop, cell etc. from your ebike battery

So there's a device called the Chargepod V2 shipping in March. I've been interested in it because, from appearances, it will power a mac laptop and a bunch of peripherals while providing USB data and power connections.

Pretty smooth. But I wrote the company to ask a couple questions: does it support the MagSafe adapters used on new macs, and will it take higher voltages, such as 36v DC?

The company wrote back today to say yes, the chargepod will charge modern macs, and yes, it will handle DC voltages such as 36v. Didn't ask about anything higher, but it can probably swing it; seems like a fairly sophisticated device.

As someone who will more than likely be putting together an ebike this year, the idea of being able to use the bike's battery to run all my devices for arbitrarily long periods of time is pretty exciting. Chargepod V2 looks like it'll do its job well enough that I'd get it just for the wall connectivity; the high-voltage DC in (it takes 12 volt too, of course) is just a bonus.

Now if only you could smart-charge your battery off the Chargepod... would that not be swell?

http://www.callpod.com/products/chargepodv2

And no, I have nothing to do with the company. Haven't seen the product either. But it looks great! time will tell...

Last edited by atman; 02-06-09 at 03:14 PM. Reason: added link
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Old 02-08-09, 12:57 AM   #2
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This device works off of 110-240 V AC. It is not designed for DC voltage.
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Old 02-08-09, 11:51 AM   #3
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I bet the company thought you meant 36V DC output, not input.

You'd probably have to find a 36 volt DC to 120 volt AC inverter to power the device.. If you intend to go with LiFePo4, you might need something even more customized, since a 36V LiFePo4 puts out 39 volts.

Since something like that is probably very expensive (this and this is what I found), you might need to buy two gadgets to lower costs:
One to convert from 36V DC to 12V DC, and then another to invert the 12V DC to 120V AC.
12V inverters are much more common than 36V ones so they tend to be less expensive.

How about a small 36V to 12V converter, combined with a car laptop charger? It seems silly to go from DC to AC and back to DC again.
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Old 02-08-09, 02:24 PM   #4
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Alright awesome some of you read the page, good for you :-)

You may have missed the 'What's included' part where they mention the 12V DC car adaptor.

I wrote the company, they wrote back, and the Chargepod will correctly handle higher than 12V DC. As well as 12V DC, and AC in the 120/240V 50-60 Hz range.

That is why I think it is cool, interesting, worth sharing with the ebike community etc.

I am double-checking with the company that this is 36V DC in, but again, it comes with a 12V DC car adapter, so it's feasible to believe that it can handle higher DC voltages than this.

This is a car laptop charger, one that also plugs into the wall, and, unless the company and I miscommunicated, will run off 36V, 39V, and whatever else reasonable you throw at it.
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Old 02-08-09, 09:16 PM   #5
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Interesting.
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Old 02-09-09, 02:11 PM   #6
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Thumbs up

Here's the reply from Callpod (the company that makes the Chargepod V2):

* * *

Dear Customer,

Thank you for contacting us.

The 12v dc car adaptor can handle higher input voltages, the maximum is 36V and I was referring to the input power, yes.

Please feel free to contact us if you have any additional questions.

* * *

We may have a winner here! I suspect if the 'max' is 36 that 39V or whatever an actual lithium pack delivers is probably okay, where the equivalent nominal 48V wouldn't be. 72 is right out

With one of these units, one could put a second set of terminals on the battery, attach it to the chargepod and run: USB rear lights, a custom-wired front light that uses a laptop's worth of power, USB speakers and an iPod, while charging a cell phone and pretty much anything else you want: GPS system, whatever.

Or if your ebike battery happens to be charged during a power outage, you could run a laptop, portable radio and cell phone for, well, quite awhile anyway.

I'm stoked. Let's hope it performs as advertised when it actually ships!
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Old 02-09-09, 11:57 PM   #7
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I got two hitron dc converters for like $20. They're 18 to 72 volt input with output voltages at 3,6, and 12 volts. Combined 60 watts. I am driving a dinotte tail-light, homemade P7 headlight, and 4 green led strips.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...2BSI%26otn%3D1


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Old 02-10-09, 10:59 AM   #8
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[QUOTE=snowranger;8335519]I got two hitron dc converters for like $20. They're 18 to 72 volt input with output voltages at 3,6, and 12 volts. Combined 60 watts. I am driving a dinotte tail-light, homemade P7 headlight, and 4 green led strips.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...2BSI%26otn%3D1



Wow $10. Thanks for this link. I might get one just to have at this kind of price.
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Old 02-11-09, 03:40 PM   #9
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yeah, the chargepod is not a worthwhile replacement for dedicated converters. Way too expensive if you aren't planning to use its functionality as a USB port, Mac charger, etc. I want one just to charge my laptop, cell phone, and random gear all from one unit, basically, and the USB hub is also nice.

The fact that it can be used to rack a full electronics kit onto an ebike is something I'm salivating over, personally. But I'll more than likely have a chargepod before an ebike, all things being equal.

FWIW, I'm picturing a Brompton Nano with the front luggage holding battery, chargepod, laptop and related gear, and a light quick-clipped to the handlebars or built into the luggage. Detach and carry off, with reserve power for long laptop sessions. I live in the Bay, so the goal is a light, super-compact hill climber that can travel on MUNI, into walkup apartments, car trunks etc. Running my gear-heavy lifestyle off the battery is just a bonus.
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