Omni Ultimate External Battery

Discussion in 'Accessories' started by Steve S, Sep 8, 2018.

  1. Steve S

    Steve S Pen Pro - Senior Member Super Moderator

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    Long time forum readers know that I have an interest in batteries and battery technology. So I'm reasonably critical of both, and I don't often buy or recommend the latest battery gadget. However, I think the Omni ultimate is an external battery / power source that I can get behind:

    https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/...rce=sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=#/

    upload_2018-9-8_20-37-52.png

    You can read the details for yourself at the URL, but the OMNI features a few noteworthy features:
    • A 145 Wh capacity, utilizing a field replaceable battery pack
    • Battery packs designed with air travel in mind (but some pesky paperwork is needed)
    • An AC outlet with a true sine wave output
    • A greater than usual number of other outputs, including USB-C PD and adjustable DC output
    Finally, the Indiegogo group doing this project has experience and has successfully delivered other campaigns, including a similar (but less powerful) Omni device. And yes, I signed up for one, so I'm backing up this recommendation with a commitment.

    Check it out for yourself...
     
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  2. thatcomicsguy

    thatcomicsguy Pen Pro - Senior Member Senior Member

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    I just picked up a pack of 4 lithium rechargeable AA's (with a special charger). Supposedly they put out a reliable 1.5 volts at 3000 mAh., which puts your average alkaline and NiMh rechargeable to shame. I've always wondered where the lithium AA cells were. Engergizer only offers non-rechargeable lithium cells.

    I've got a little video camera which eats AA's alive, giving about 50 minutes run time. This ought to be an interesting experiment. If they work.

    The seller had a decent run of happy customers, so maybe I won't get ripped off. There's some skeezy battery sellers out there.

    This unit looks awesome, btw. I like the fact that it has built-in electronics for taking charge from solar panels.
     
  3. Steve S

    Steve S Pen Pro - Senior Member Super Moderator

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    <<... I've always wondered where the lithium AA cells were...>>

    Until somewhat recently, Energizer held the patents on 1.5 V Li disposable batteries (at least in the US). Those patents have finally expired, so now the market is open and Raytheon is now producing Li disposable cells, too. I haven't seen anything from Duracell, yet, but it would seem likely that they'll get into the game as well. I don't know if these patent issues have anything to do with the absence of AA rechargeables, but it could be the science that Energizer used to lower the typical 3.7 V of Li chemistry to the 1.5 V that is customary for AA batteries...???

    PS: Are these the batteries that you bought?

    https://www.amazon.com/KENTLI-Rechargeable-Battery-Lithium-ion-Batteries/dp/B019O4WISY
     
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  4. incredulous

    incredulous Pen Pal - Newbie

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    @thatcomicsguy the rechargeable Li AA cells sound very interesting, once you've had time to try them out, please post your thoughts and if they're any good, where you got them..
     
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  5. thatcomicsguy

    thatcomicsguy Pen Pro - Senior Member Senior Member

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    Ahhh. It was a patent issue slowing things down. Ain't that always the way with invention and forward progress?

    Yes, it seems that Lithium chemistry doubles the voltage on a basic cell, so some extra electronics are necessary to make batteries backwards-compatible with the billions of existing devices out in the wild. -Imagine how much extra life you'd get from a cell if it didn't need to pack voltage regulation circuitry into the unit? (Hm. Maybe not that much; it should be doable with a small surface mount part...)

    Anyway, this is the one I ordered...

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/Etinesan-4...chargeable-Battery-1PCS-Chrager/162997915265?

    I'll definitely report back when they arrive!
     
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  6. Steve S

    Steve S Pen Pro - Senior Member Super Moderator

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    <<…this is the one I ordered...>>

    @thatcomicsguy ...Hmmm... I'm becoming suspicious that these batteries cannot tolerate high current loads. If you read some of the user reviews on Amazon for the KENTLI batteries, some people note that the batteries get very hot under higher discharge conditions. Apparently OK for low discharge applications, though.

    Another hint is that all the recharging cradles that I've seen seem to utilize USB for recharging power, implying that the batteries might not be able to tolerate rapid recharging...???

    UPDATE: As I suspected, these AA batteries have some significant pros and cons, as discussed in this article courtesy of RipItApart site :

    https://ripitapart.com/2015/06/17/performance-analysisreview-of-kentli-ph5-li-ion-1-5v-aa-battery/

    Although these are not the same brand as the ones that you bought, my guess is that the underlying designs are the same; therefore this article should still be applicable...
     
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  7. Steve S

    Steve S Pen Pro - Senior Member Super Moderator

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    OK; that was an interesting diversion, but now back to the topic.

    The Omnicharge folks have expanded their Indiegogo campaign by offering some new accessories (5 different connector cables) and they promise to add some additional things, like a companion solar panel, before the campaign is over. they've also added a sales referral program with a series of rewards depending upon how many referral you generate.

    upload_2018-9-21_22-40-42.png upload_2018-9-21_22-41-33.png

    Omnicharge has also established a sub-reddit where people can communicate directly with the company. By all appearances, questions and issues are answered reasonably promptly. In particular, there's a thread for suggestions about the Omni-Ultimate (before they freeze the design) and another thread for suggestions about accessories. There are also threads for the company's other products. The forum is here:

    https://www.reddit.com/r/OmniCharge/
     
  8. thatcomicsguy

    thatcomicsguy Pen Pro - Senior Member Senior Member

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    Yeah, I ran across that article as well a few days back when trying to figure out who the heck, "Etinesan" was and why there were NO reviews and barely any mentions of their products in circulation. Part of it is that they're a relatively new player and this product is only a year old. Like you, I suspect it's probably leveraging existing technology and that the performance will likely fall within the same parameters as those cells tested in the article, which were produced in 2013. The optimist in me hopes that the intervening years have seen some improvements, but realistically, I'll feel fortunate if they don't burst into flames.

    The company website is interesting...

    http://en.etinesan.com/

    They seem like an earnest little outfit, but I notice that they've shuffled this particular product out of view, and that the Chinese page and the English page show different products. -The LiPo AA's are available only on the Chinese website, and they look different, rated now at 2500 mAh rather than the 3000 detailed in the eBay listing.

    -Which I actually find encouraging. A shyster company wouldn't feel compelled to adjust their claims to match reality or regulations or whatever. They'd just continue their bullshitery and vanish into the night.

    And frankly, 2500 mAh is really good for an AA cell.

    And if they work..!

    -If they hold to the same performance specs as the ones that dude tested, then they ought to provide similar or better life than the top end Panasonic "Eneloop" MiMh rechargeables I'm currently using. (In a 1 Amp device, they fall neatly within the optimum power draw profile). -With the main drawback being that they go from 1.5 volts to zero in the blink of an eye, so my camera's built-in battery indicator is basically worthless.

    We'll see.

    As with any eBay Chinese vendor, especially when it comes to batteries, it's a bit of a gamble!
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2018

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