View of the work…

First a small look at the desk:

A debugger for the chargers is one of the latest achievements that the 3D printer has printed for me.

But why a debugger for the chargers?

The chargers also have a very small microprocessor to generate the oscillation for the charging field and to control the LEDs. And they do have an interface which enables me to look at charging process and to determine if that board and blueReader are matching. Tiny variations in the tilt of the charger and receiver coil can have a huge impact on the charging process.

In the background you can see the first batch of blueReaders currently being tested for more unexpected hiccups.

Meanwhile, even the assembly of the blueReader has got revision numbers and we are already at version 31 of the instructions to build a finished blueReader, starting with the board.

The last important changes were:

  • Pre-encapsulation of the batteries to avoid air bubbles on the side which can arise from the protective electronics.
  • The soaking of the board in cold (thus non-hardening) silicone before the actual pouring to get the air out from under the components and especially under the shield of the Bluetooth module.
  • The gluing and laminating of the antenna to avoid breaking.
  • Use a silicone adhesive to connect the antenna to the battery, the battery to the board and the charging antenna to the board.
  • Adding another blot of silicone adhesive on the opposite side of the loading antenna to prevent the board from sinking one-sidedly.
  • Replacing the charging antenna against a much larger one without increasing the size of the blueReader.
  • The pre-coating of the magnets with an adhesive base for the silicone to avoid a detached silicone layer over the magnet.
  • The punching of the antenna to achieve a better connection of the silicone layers.
  • Minor changes in the electronic parts which lead to a lower power consumption and easier assembly of the board.

This list can be made at least twice as long and omits the developed tools, forms and components, or the list of the added test procedures. The complete list, the construction manuals, the molds and tools will be published anyway! So a little more patience for those who are interested.

At the moment, there are daily conversations between my engineer and myself to avoid any further problems. But the tests so far are very promising and we continue the production and testing until further notice. Currently our capacity is about 5-10 devices per day. Unfortunately this is depends very much on the amount of bubbles in the silicone, how long and frequently this must be vacuumed that al less bubbles es possible are put into the blueReader.

Finally, the tension is relieved, now we focus on production and verification!




What’s wrong with us?

Where are the devices?

We were stopped. The first devices came from the production and were tested by me…

The result: many broken blueReader :/

  • blueReader can be frozen, but not too deep, otherwise the battery will suffer permanent damage.
  • blueReader can be baked, but also not too hot.
  • blueReader can be folded, but that destroyed it.

What they can be destroyed by folding? What happens there???

Unfortunately, the paths of the antenna break as soon as the blueReader are folded to much.

The last days we have therefore intensively researched, tested and tweaked the blueReader’s design. The result is a packaged antenna and a slightly modified design:
In addition, we were able to significantly improve the charging system and provide more energy in a shorter time.
The new antenna design now consists of a laminate of two plastic films and a stiffening layer of plastic around the antenna. In addition, the design of the silicone hull has been slightly modified to exert less pressure on the antennas traces.

But what about the freezing and baking? To look at the safe operation parameters of the blueReader I’ve put several in the fridge and into the ice compartment, two into boiling water and several into oven at different temperatures.

The result:

  • At about 60° Celsius the battery starts overheating and puffs up.
  • At about 70° Celsius this state becomes irrevisble and the battery loses its power.
  • Below 10° Celsius the battery loses its power really fast (Energy gets converted to heat).
  • Below 0° Celsius the battery starts to freeze and loses most of its power.
  • Below about -10° Celsius the battery dies and can’t be recharged any more.

Under no circumstance I have so far managed to destroy the battery in a way that it broke up in flames or leaked  🙂

What is next?

Currently the new molds are being built and the blueReader, which have so far been cast, are being equipped with new batteries and improved antennas. Hopefully we can test them in the next days 🙂