Tales of an Assembly


Git1

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No, I'm sorry if my tone sounded like I was offended, but I was actually quite impressed by those environmental conditions, as they are very different from the ones I live in (here in a hot summer you hit 32ºC rarely).

The thing is, you live in a very harsh environment for battery powered devices. Almost any demanding battery powered device is nowadays powered by a Li-Po battery:


As these allow for higher charge and discharge rates than other types of batteries. My smartphone is powered by those, and so is my notebook. Lithium batteries don't like extreme temperatures (usually outside of the 0-45ºC range) and devices powered by them suffer when working on environments with temperatures over 30ºC:


Charging or discharging a battery produces heat (the higher the rate, the higher the heat), and unfortunately Li-Po cells are dangerous (may explode or catch fire) when exposed to certain conditions (over-discharge, that is, discharging them under their nominal value; overheat, that is, heating them over their max. temp.; puncturing the cell and so on...) to avoid this, consumer grade Li-Po batteries have a small circuit designed to avoid over-discharging the cells (if voltage of a cell drops close to nominal value, the battery outputs 0 volts), avoid overheating the cells (it will not charge over a certain temperature) and some other safety measures.

My point of view is: the Pyra, being a passive cooled (no fan) Li-Po powered device would have a hard time functioning or charging under those conditions, as it would also happen with any modern smartphone I'm afraid (same conditions apply: passive cooled, lithium battery powered)


I'm not sure what your point is. I'm very familiar with Li-Po batteries. I did a lot of research on them for a micro-controller-based invention I made.

I haven't checked the sources of the wiki article you linked, but I can assure you they do not explode when charged while the ambient temperature is between 40 and 50°C. The issue, as reported by ED, is that charging in that temp range reduces the battery life. It is not the case that Pyras will start exploding if a user attempts to charge above the conservatively set threshold.

I really am just asking if the temp limit is user-configurable. I'm a little stunned by this interogation and lecture. I thought it was a pretty obvious question.

If the limit is not user-configurable, that's OK. I love the Pyra and will find a way to make it work. Worst case I have to learn how to edit and compile a kernal. I'm simply asking so I can start making planes for use.
 

Binky

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^ It may be worth clarifying what you mean by user-configurable! With the Pyra's highly (although not quite entirely) open software stack, almost everything is configurable in one sense.

However, it may require manually editing some config file or script - or even recompiling the kernel as you say!

There's a recent thread discussing the development of hardware configuration applets, which we shall certainly need. Perhaps a convenient way to set the battery temperature limiting would be worth suggesting? The Pandora has a nice GUI slider for CPU clock and voltage - which have a similar potential to break things if you overdo it!
 

matzesu

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What happened to the plan to ship some Pyra yesterday and the lasts today?
Or do you already shipped them but ditnt got the time to send the shipping mail?


Send from something, i guess ^^
 
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Binky

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Indeed, it is.
Clearly I've not been paying enough attention!

I could have sworn there was talk of a software fix for over-sensitive battery protection quite recently. Did I only dream it?

Of course, resistors are user-configurable too, if you have a steady hand and a good soldering iron...
 
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Git1

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There's a recent thread discussing the development of hardware configuration applets, which we shall certainly need. Perhaps a convenient way to set the battery temperature limiting would be worth suggesting? The Pandora has a nice GUI slider for CPU clock and voltage - which have a similar potential to break things if you overdo it!

Awesome! I can't wait to get into it. The invention I mentioned includes a mobile chip, so I learnt how to send AT commands in C/C++. As I intend to use the Pyra as a phone, I'm really looking forward to contributing to phone-call and SMS functionality.

Indeed, it is.

Great! Thanks for clarifying, that's all I needed to know. I'm sure I read that somewhere, but my memory is not the best. As @Binky mentioned, I half remembered some talk of it being not user configurable, and some other charging parameter that is, so I wasn't sure.

Of course, resistors are user-configurable too, if you have a steady hand and a good soldering iron...

Indeed! :)
My soldering skills are ok on big stuff if I have a night off the grog and access to my magnifying glass :)
Learning to solder SMD stuff will be a challenge indeed. This is going to be so much fun. Thanks @EvilDragon so much for bringing us this gem! Could you imagine trying something like that on a propriety product :D
 

Git1

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Thanks for posting about Meekatharra. It was fun doing google street maps on that region.
Welcome to west Oz! :)
Dude... you live near mount magnet. Gold! and Gnamma. Nice. It's like living in Paris, a tourist attraction, but you're local, so it's just home.
Greetings from Amsterdam. We have Gamma
Ha ha, yeah, not ttoo far down the track from here. Don't know what Gnamma is though? G'day in Amsterdam! hope you're keeping safe!
 
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oskda

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I have ac in my home but I don't use it as the cost of electricity is huge here. That's beside the point though. As I said I intend to use the Pyra as a phone. If it goes flat before work in the morning, the action would be to place it on charge and leave it at home for the day, with no ac running un-attended obviously, or take it to work and try to plug it in somewhere like a shed or gen-set, neither of which will be airconditioned.
I think you could use an external charger to charge battery outside Pyra, even you could charge two Pyra batteries at night.

There are generic external chargers for batteries you could use (I have never used them as my smartphone has an official external charger for spare batteries, but I saw that generic chargers on Ebay, Aliexpress, etc).

I think it would be an interesting accessory for Pyra shop (a generic one or a custom made for Pyra battery).

PD: I like dry climate but not so much hot :)
 
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Git1

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A Gnamma is a Aborigines Waterhole.

Ahh, I love that you know that, but, I think there are at least 500 Australian Aboriginal languages? Gnamma is not a word in the local lingo.

I'm sure it'll mean 'permanent waterhole' somewhere in the country though.


Western Australia looks like a great place to buy a house in the middle of nowhere and do nothing for a lifetime.

Depends what you're into I suppose, and what you call living. I don't embrace modern western urban lifestyles. To me success in that environment seems based on how well you can do pretentiousness. Out here we get a kick out of helping each other out. That's what we do for fun. Today I helped a station owner catch a stray calf. He was grateful, and it was rewarding. To me, that's what I call a great day.

Each to their own though I s'pose.

I think you could use an external charger to charge battery outside Pyra, even you could charge two Pyra batteries at night.

Thanks! That's a fantastic idea! I remember someone asking about one sometime ago, and I think the response was that as most effort was being devoted to pyra dev/improvement, and as such an accessory would be low volume, it's dev would be unlikely.

If, however, a generic option was available (ED ?) that would be great. Failing that, I'm sure we could easily make an open source µc based charger. We could then post the plans here, and people could make their own as needed :)

PD: I like dry climate but not so much hot
Fair enough!
Me, I can't do humidity. I don't care how hot it gets, as long as it's not humid! Thanks for the reply :)
 

Robert Taylor

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Depends what you're into I suppose, and what you call living. I don't embrace modern western urban lifestyles. To me success in that environment seems based on how well you can do pretentiousness. Out here we get a kick out of helping each other out. That's what we do for fun. Today I helped a station owner catch a stray calf. He was grateful, and it was rewarding. To me, that's what I call a great day.

And that pretentiousness drives house prices into stratosphere for no reason. It's always interesting to see how much market elasticity there is in any given segment.

What does a modest house cost on Meekathara if you don't mind me asking?
 

Robert Taylor

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Aha! Neat. Thanks! Very interesting.

Not that I am looking but just curious, how bad are the bugs and flies in that area? I watched documentary on the middle of AU and various mine areas, I was surprised the flies were kind of a thing in a place that really had no standing water, much vegetation or anything that you would think would allow for the beasties to be a thing.
 

oskda

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That's a fantastic idea! I remember someone asking about one sometime ago, and I think the response was that as most effort was being devoted to pyra dev/improvement, and as such an accessory would be low volume, it's dev would be unlikely.

If, however, a generic option was available (ED ?) that would be great. Failing that, I'm sure we could easily make an open source µc based charger. We could then post the plans here, and people could make their own as needed :)
We must wait until Pyra development and sales go "normal", then ED won't be so stressed and he can assess accessories for Pyra which would be other incomes for shop. Of course there must be enough interested users, but that, if occurs, will be when a lot of Pyra have been delivered.

At some point most people wanting a Pyra will have his machine, so more income will come from new CPU boards, and accessories, and less from Pyra sales.

By the time you can look for generic external charger.

If it is not a generic charger (cheapest option), it would be interesting to be able to set a maximum charge capacity, because batteries charged to 100% downgrade, it is bad for battery. For example good electric cars only charge to 80% (when they say "100%" and stop charging they charge only to real like 80%; the same for discharge, it is best to stop discharging at 20%, as with this battery last a lot of time; of course, hot is also bad).

The best way to conserve battery health (heat apart) is to charge only until 80% is reached and discharge only until 20%. Slow charging and charging while not using (inside Pyra or on external charger) is also better as less heat is generated and/or transferred.
 

Git1

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Wow, so much to write about. You guys are awesome!
And you've given me a great idea that'll benefit everyone including ED.

I'm a bit pressed for time, but I'll try and post a full reply tonight :)
 

Git1

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Sorry guys, running out of time, I'll try and get the rest tomoz.

Re: charger plan:

  1. I, or someone else, makes a µc based schematic and code. Really, all I'd have to do is poll volts and temp, and add some conditions. Easy as..
  2. I give that to ED as closed source.
  3. We (you mob) make a (very basic) hardware design that fits any-and-all dud case bases (great idea @spud42 )
  4. Base bottom cover is a very simple plate with captured nut-holes, or self tappers, that can be CNC'd.
  5. ED sells it on the DB store.
  6. Once up for sale on the store, the plans are released open source, thus keeping in-form.
  7. Most people order from ED because we're lazy, and/or, like to support him any way we can, and those that are keen get to order there own case-base (or make one), and build their own.

Could you imagine sitting beside an Ap**e user who is asking if any-one has a charger, and you whip out a second battery and pop it in? That would be gold!

I don't want to sound like an arse-licker, sorry, but seriously, ED, what you have brought us is GOLD. As a non-smart-phone-user, and one who is reluctant to cow-tow to corporations, you have delivered the solution. Thanks.
 
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