# Saturday, 13 March 2010

Today I went to pick up some parts to complete my Mobile Hotspot Project, first of all I decided to get a smaller sized battery since the one I had original, is big and bulky. So I wanted to get something that's smaller and easier to carry around.

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So I got this, 6V 1.2AH battery. My first surprise was that while the battery capacity was about 1/4 of the big battery, it costs TWICE as much! While I was soldering the connection wire I learnt something new. I should solder the connector first, before soldering the wires to the battery. Because I soldered the wires to the battery first while I was soldering the connector... I shorted the connection with my soldering iron, sparks flew! Good lesson...

So after the smaller battery was completed and tested to be working I created the other component which I wanted to make.

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A 4AA battery holder, with normal alkaline batteries these would theoretically give out 6V of power which should be more than enough to power the router. I measured the current with a multimeter and got a nice reading of 6.6V, So I went ahead and plugged it to the router. And I was happily surfing the net with AA batteries.... for about 10 minutes. Then the router started flickering on and off, a good indication of low power scenario. I unplugged the batteries and measured the power output and I got... 5.5V!?!?!?

I figured it's because that when an alkaline battery is used out the voltage gradually decreases on a slope. Unlike a rechargeable battery which is at the same voltage for most of it's usable lifespan and then drops. I guess the way is to introduce more power into the loop.

Luckily I was prepared for this scenario. While I was thinking of using AA batteries to power the setup, I was planning to use rechargeable batteries. But.. a rechargeable AA battery only has a voltage capacity of 1.25V, 4x1.25V = 5V. Cutting it a bit close so I thought of an idea, which is to make a power booster to bump up the voltage.

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This battery case will be linked in series to the power source it's connected to, boosting the voltage of whatever it's connected to by 3V. Once I plugged this in I can again power the router... for a while, once again I could see a very drastic drop of power in the alkalines once hooked up to the router. It's obvious that alkalines aren't the best source of power to be used in this scenario.

I then decided to work on a power switch so I can turn power on and off when I wanted to without having to disconnect the power source to the component.

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You might have noticed that each piece is more or less interchangable. This allows me to have some form of extendable system, for example I can have the router powered by 4AA batteries, as well as controlled by the power switch.

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Then if needed to, I can plug in the booster pack.

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Depending on the situation, I can plug in an extension wire, and then the lightweight 6V battery.

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The reason I needed this extensibility was because I had a crazy idea, and it involves this thing.

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A belt strap... cause I want to try and do this.

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Hook everything up to it and really carry it around in a portable manner, the problem of course is that if people saw a SLAB strapped to someone, they probably would think that I'm a suicide bomber or something!

Anyone have a good idea to make a belt like this look less like a suicide belt?


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