Pieco

06/04/2012

Chip Amp Proto Stuffs

We're busy working on our next big thing, and we're playing with some chips. We love breadboard adapters, but we couldn't find any for these formats, so we've made our own. And we're releasing the files so that you can, too.

20120604-pentawatt_front.png Pentawatt Clipwatt15 Clipwatt15

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03:20:43 PM - Pieco

12/13/2011

Kickstarter Campaign for the Kapsule is a GO

The Kapsule Lightstand Campaign has been launched!



Update: we're getting some nice mentions at a couple of blogs:

Engadget

Shapeways
04:49:01 PM - Pieco

12/06/2011

Supplier samples are arriving!

Our first samples just showed up, with more on the way! We should have a our suppliers sorted out very soon.

Kapsule Clips
02:23:00 PM - piecomco

12/01/2011

Late LED Entrant

Man, this is a sweet LED. It throws light in a way that nothing else does, and it's perfect for what we're doing. You can see how unique it is from the shape. It definitely produces the nicest light throw from our hood shape.

It's going to be hard to decide between this one and the Cree that we've currently specified. The Cree is a bit more power efficient, and it's a bit warmer. And this one is pretty expensive, too. But it wins in every other respect. They're close... We promise to pick the right one!

Super duper LED goodness
02:55:00 PM - piecomco

11/28/2011

Kickstarter says GO

We just got the thumbs-up from Kickstarter. Our campaign will be launching very soon. Stay tuned!

Go time!
11:07:06 AM - piecomco

11/22/2011

The Kapsule Lightstand Is Here

We're very pleased to announce, finally, that the prototype for the Kapsule Lightstand has been completed. It's been a rather long road, but I think that the results are well worth it.

For those of you that haven't seen it before, the Kapsule is a pretty exciting addition to your Kindle Keyboard. It provides a nicely sculpted grip for long reading sessions. It has an integrated kickstand that works in either portrait or landscape mode, and fits nicely on airline seat-back trays.

But the very best feature is the light. It never needs batteries, happily using the one that's built into the Kindle. It uses less than half the juice of Amazon's lighted portfolio cover, and it just works better than any other Kindle light that we've come across (and we've tested quite a few). Lighting quality is even and natural, thanks to the high-quality Cree LED. And unlike other reading lights, the brightness never dims. We're using a highly efficient power-regulation IC that keeps the power constant and optimal for the LED. That also ensures that we the Kapsule won't drain your battery when not in use.

We think that Kindle users are going to love it, and we can't wait to get it into production.

Kapsule Front View Kapsule Rear View Kapsule Side View

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05:21:07 PM - Pieco

11/01/2011

Logan Circuit Boards

Our final circuit boards arrived today. They happily powered up after we got the components on them. We have mastered the dark art of toaster oven surface mount.

It always feels good to get it right the first time!

Logan motherboard variants and daughterboard
02:45:00 PM - Pieco

10/11/2011

Trying new chips

The nice thing about working with electronics is that many vendors are very happy to send you a fee sample of their stuff. So we get to put various components through their paces.

The problem is that it can take a lot of effort to do that. Especially if the boss forgets to order a breadboard adapter for the sample chip. Then the boss has to wire it up by hand. And that just sucks, but in a fun way.

This was no fun at all.
03:25:00 PM - Pieco

10/07/2011

The Logan is Designed

We've finished the design of what will hopefully be our last prototype for our upcoming Kindle light. Since the previous prototype got branded after an apocalyptic movie series, we figured that we'd keep things in the same vein. Since it's a bit more refined, we've moved up bad-outcome-for-society food chain to something dystopian.

At any rate, we're thrilled to present our design called "Logan's Run", or Logan for short.

Logan's Run
03:26:00 PM - Pieco

09/23/2011

Thunderdome

"Mad Max" showed us that the design needs some refinement. But since we received some prototype boards for this design, we decided to do a quick follow up to Max. We're calling it "Thunderdome".

We did our first attempt at homebrew surface mount, and it went quite well. But since we now know that the Max series is a dead evolutionary branch, we just glued the new circuit board on the outside and moved on. But we also learned a few more things in the process.

Thunderdome Thunderdome Thunderdome Thunderdome

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03:31:00 PM - Pieco

09/13/2011

Mad Max

We have our first working prototype. It's been nicknamed "Mad Max" because, well, it's kind of self-descriptive.

Not only is the circuitry about as ugly as it gets, but there was just no way it was going to fit inside the proto case.

Jonathan took it with him on a trip, and his fellow passengers gave him many a sideward glance. TSA didn't notice it. Thankfully.

Mad Max Mad Max Mad Max

But the good news? It works great! It feels good, the light is even, and the retractable gooseneck mechanism works really, really well.
03:57:00 PM - Pieco