Catching 'Em All can drain your smartphone battery; let's see if we can fix it in style!
You’re three miles from the trailhead, you didn’t plan on walking three miles for lunch, but while you were re-stocking at the PokéStop you spotted a nearby Ninetails. You’ve been tracking it for an hour now and you’re finally face to face with the magnificent beast. Pokéball number one misses by a mile; what are you doing??? Pokéball number two flies over Ninetails as it lunges for you. Poor timing. Finally, a third pokéball arcs beautifully into the air and comes to land directly on Ninetails’s head. Your heartbeat quickens as Ninetails disappears and the fateful pokéball falls to the ground. Ninetails is nearly yours and then… nothing. A black screen: Your smartphone battery is dead flat. Not only is Ninetails gone, along with any hope of catching ‘em all… but you’re in the middle of nowhere with no phone or GPS.
…for a Pokémon.
Pokémon Go seems to have been engineered specifically to test the limits of smartphone performance. To play the game you need to have GPS, mobile data and the LCD screen running pretty much full blast. On top of that, the processor is constantly updating and rendering a live map and trying to keep track of your items and effects. Add to that the camera and image processing that happens during a Pokémon battle and your battery life can start looking really dismal.
Many Pokémon trainers have resorted to carrying mobile charging packs, which is smart, but not particularly stylish. Besides that, the cord can get in your way when you’re really putting your wrist into catching a CP240 Golbat. If you’re gonna be the very best, like no one ever was, you’re going to need to look the part. So I present to you: The Battery Pack Pokédex.
Not only does it make your boring smartphone look like a sweet Kanto Pokédex, but it also augments your battery with an extra 2600mAh! The case itself is 3D-printed from ABS in classic Pokédex red and acetone polished to a high sheen. Check out the pictures below see the build process:
Click the arrows to flip through the gallery
The electrical portion of the project is pretty minimalist: A 18650 lithium cell supplies backup power for your cell phone through a USB microB Plug Breakout mounted in the bottom of the Pokédex. To charge your smartphone, the 3.7v output of the 18650 needs to be boosted to 5v, which is where the SparkFun Power Cell comes in. Since you already have a battery in this cell phone case, you might as well add some LEDs, right? The original Kanto Pokédex had three LEDs: red, yellow and green. A few resistors prevent the LEDs from overcurrent. Finally, I added a power switch to the battery input. There is an “enable” pin on the Power Cell board but even with the board disabled, it can slowly drain your battery. Here’s a diagram that might help:
I left some room in the backside of the Pokédex model to jam the electronic components into. There isn’t really a particular place for any of the components besides the USB plug and the LEDs, so I just stuck everything down with heavy duty doublestick foam tape. Make sure the power switch and the USB charging port for the Power Cell are accessible once everything is mounted:
There’s a little room leftover because I’m hoping to add cooling fans and extra batteries to the next revision, but this version should get you through a few levels of Pokémon training (and make you the coolest person at the PokéStop).
Sorry about my cracked phone screen… It gets real at the Pokémon Gym
Here you can see the Pokédex charging my super dead phone
Of course since this is my Pokédex, I decided to add a little flavor to make it my own (thanks to Shawn for the idea of taping a Pokémon type table to the inside cover)
So that’s it! The model could use a few tweaks and it’s designed to work with my (practically ancient) Samsung Galaxy S4… but you’re more than welcome to download the files and print or modify it yourself! If you build your own Pokédex please send us a picture, I’d love to see it! Until next time, happy hacking and good luck in all your Pokémon battles!
We’re super excited about the response that we’ve gotten from this project! Thank you all! Remember to watch the GitHub repository for new 3D models, links, contact info and possibly resin molding designs! Happy hunting!