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Old 06-09-11, 08:18 AM   #1
Richard Cranium
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Question Petzal - programmable battery for lights ? The future for all Li Ion?

I came across this nifty advertisement for the Petzal headlamp.

I really, really like the idea, the ability to "program" battery/light power consumption.

Obviously this technology will cost, but in user friendliness, and real-world application it has to be where all personal lighting is going.

Be sure to at least watch the part 2 minutes into the schtick -heck watch the whole thing.

Are there other products out there that can do this?
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Old 06-09-11, 11:41 AM   #2
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How does it make sense to set output level in the battery by using a computer instead of setting it by clicking a button on the headlight?
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Old 06-09-11, 01:28 PM   #3
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How does it make sense to set output level in the battery by using a computer instead of setting it by clicking a button on the headlight?
You are setting it - both ways. You "program" or "pre-set the regulation, with the software so that the mechanical switch selects an optimal power or run time.

The idea is to set up your light at power levels "you really need." Not just have the system default to "full power" or some low level you can not use either. If I could program my Magic Shine, I'd leave the full power alone, but create a new "low power" setting half-way between medium and low.

If you "don't get it" then you won't get it.
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Old 06-09-11, 01:45 PM   #4
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You are setting it - both ways. You "program" or "pre-set the regulation, with the software so that the mechanical switch selects an optimal power or run time.
Ah, that's different. Still, to me it makes more sense to have this capability built into the light and not the battery.

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If you "don't get it" then you won't get it.
At $40 for a 900mah battery I won't be getting it.

Aside from the cost, I'm pretty sure this doesn't scale to higher power (yet). The max power I can find in their tech document gives a 4.5hr runtime, which means a 20ma current draw. Magicshine-level lights can draw several amps.
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Old 06-09-11, 02:41 PM   #5
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yeah - right now a luxury - and its not really the battery doing anything - its an integrated circuit that somehow changes the values of semi-conductors, in this case, voltage regulators, using a software routine. Variable voltage regulators are already cheap - how they interface them with software is another matter.
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Old 06-09-11, 02:57 PM   #6
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and its not really the battery doing anything -
It's hardware permanently attached to the battery and sold as a unit. I'd say that makes it a part of the battery.

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its an integrated circuit that somehow changes the values of semi-conductors, in this case, voltage regulators, using a software routine. Variable voltage regulators are already cheap - how they interface them with software is another matter.
Are you guessing or do you have some more technical documents? Regulating voltage is easy; regulating current is more difficult. And scaling up from milliamps to amps is difficult to do with reasonable efficiency and heat.
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Old 06-09-11, 03:12 PM   #7
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There are a lot of products that have multiple outputs right now, they just aren't well known to people that aren't flashlight nerds. I use a Zebralight H51w as a headlamp with 3 main outputs which you can program. You don't need a computer to do it either, just a system of click, double-click, and long-clicks.

Just watch the video here and you can see what I mean.

http://goinggear.com/index.php?main_...oducts_id=2333
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Old 06-09-11, 03:25 PM   #8
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Many of these lights use pulse-width modulation to control the brightness and could easily allow continuously variable output levels. I'd much rather have a slider or rotary dial on the light itself to let me select the desired brightness while riding to suit conditions instead of having to pre-program anything in advance.
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Old 06-09-11, 03:29 PM   #9
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Many of these lights use pulse-width modulation to control the brightness and could easily allow continuously variable output levels. I'd much rather have a slider or rotary dial on the light itself to let me select the desired brightness while riding to suit conditions instead of having to pre-program anything in advance.
Well that's easy, if you don't mind spending some coin. Pickup the Surefire Saint or Saint Minimus.
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