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April 24, 2011
about 6 months ago
In case you're wondering why on earth you'd want this thing instead of just plugging the battery right into your device, SparkFun has done everyone a disservice by leaving out the one key reason for this product to exist (from their unlinked website):
Counter the Auto-shutdown
Modern off-the-shelf power banks are excellent, clean, galvanically isolated power sources that will often turn themselves off without enough load connected. To overcome this hurdle, PowerEver has been created allowing your favorite electronic boards and gadgets to run non-stop. PowerEver is designed to consume as little current as possible while passing most of it to your connected device. This current is freely adjustable using a single push button on the back side either to increase or decrease draw to suit to your power banks behavior.
about 5 years ago
I basically remanufactured this thing to have near-zero resistance by soldering jumpers over the conductive paint paths on the board, and by affixing aluminum tape caps to the insides of the button membrane. Was it worth it? Well necessity is the mother of invention.
Picture of the jumper job: jumpers
Picture of the aluminized caps: caps
Picture of the completed mods: mods
You get what you pay for.
about 6 years ago
FTR I also tried this on a Windows 7 computer, where seems like it is going to work, but then fails to pair with any of the three devices I tried to pair it with (a Google Nexus 7 second gen, a Moto G, and a iPhone 5S). I could have bought a $5 adapter from Amazon, or $2 from eBay, but I spent extra to buy this one from SF because I'm a long time customer and expected it to work. Save your money (and frustration) and buy something else.
Wow this thing was mighty disappointing for me. I bought it for use with a Raspberry Pi Model B+ (running Jessie Lite) and I was getting nowhere there, not even lsusb. So to see if the thing even works, I plugged it into a laptop running Windows 10. When plugged in, a red LED comes on inside the device, which was encouraging. It shows up in device manager as "Broadcom 2046 Bluetooth 2.1+EDR USB Device with First Connect". However it is unable to start due to lack of a compatible driver.
So I went to Broadcom's website and downloaded their WIDCOMM driver package, and that refuses to install, failing at the "verifying Bluetooth device" portion of the install. What gives?
Sparkfun's teardown of this device shows it with an ASC chipset, but clearly this one is Broadcom (or, I suspect, a Chinese copy of a Broadcom chip). Anyway, it is all fail for me, on all the platforms I tried it on. Caveat emptor.
about 8 years ago
While I know this part was retired a long time ago, I have two of them and for as long as they keep kicking I'll use them in my various wearable art projects. I for one would love to see you resurrect this part. I would buy ten of them as a hedge against future retirement because they are exactly what I need for my projects. (http://anthrolume.com)
about 9 years ago
While this product did have its drawbacks, I have two of them and they worked great for what I was using them for (http://anthrolume.com). I'm quite sorry to see the product go away - the form factor was really perfect, and the thing was weather and dust-proof. Please replace this product with something that has the same form factor and seven wires without the weird multiplexing.
about 10 years ago
The wire pitch is less than 0.1", but I found that it was pretty easy to crimp an 8-pin IDC connector onto the ribbon cable if you split the conductors and align them carefully.
I too would love it if the LEDs (there are actually four inside the thing) were RGB.
I'm also puzzled by the multiplexing mechanism - all that to save one wire and two diodes? You could have used seven wires(GND, LED, Left, Right, Up, Down, Flame) and no multiplexing. Plus that way you'd be able to detect all the combinations of buttons. With the current schematic, it looks like only combinations of up, down, and flame are detectable.
Nevertheless, it's a cool gizmo and I'm using it for controlling my anthrolume project (http://anthrolume.wordpress.com).
No public wish lists :(