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New Microsoft Tech Makes Battery Changes a Breeze

Discussion in 'Hobby Electronics' started by Don McKenzie, Jul 2, 2010.

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  1. Don McKenzie

    Don McKenzie Guest

    New Microsoft Tech Makes Battery Changes a Breeze

    http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2365995,00.asp

    On Thursday, Microsoft announced a technology called InstaLoad, which
    will allow you to insert a battery into electronic devices any way you
    please.

    The InstaLoad technology will be licensed on a royalty-free basis,
    Microsoft said. Duracell was named as a partner for the technology, as
    well as several manaufacturers of electronic devices, including
    ClearSound's hearing aids, NovaTac's LED flashlights, and Black
    Diamond's headlamps for mountaineering.

    Cheers Don...



    --
    Don McKenzie

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  2. Don McKenzie

    Don McKenzie Guest

    After sending this info onto to a few private associates, some didn't
    understand how it worked, I found this page to be a much better explanation:
    http://www.microsoft.com/hardware/mouseandkeyboard/licensing/instaloadoverview.mspx

    this is brilliant, takes a bit of reading to understand how it works,
    but it allows batteries to be inserted into any gear either way around.

    all done in the connection contacts, no circuitry involved.

    Cheers Don...





    --
    Don McKenzie

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  3. Don McKenzie

    Don McKenzie Guest

    Just wonder how tested against little children and preying fingers they are.

    Did Micro$oft test them to the nth degree like they did with Vista? :)

    Cheers Don...






    --
    Don McKenzie

    Site Map: http://www.dontronics.com/sitemap
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  4. Paul Gotch

    Paul Gotch Guest

    Because they can and because they appear to be only licensing it
    royalty free for certain classes of devices. That is to say certain
    ones that don't compete with the thing they developed it for which
    appears to be wireless keyboards and mice.

    -p
     
  5. I have an alternative idea. Redesign batteries so that they have a positive
    terminal at each end and the body is negative. Bring in O.H & S legislation
    to ban the old batteries and the electronics industry will make millions
    selling new equipment with the new batter holders to replace what everybody
    already has.

    I thought this was such a good idea I couldn't wait until April 1st to share
    it ;-)

    Cheers,
    Chris Burrows
    CFB Software
    http://www.cfbsoftware.com
     
  6. Why am I expecting cheap Chinese gear to start appearing with this idea
    soon? :)


    On a technically related subject, one problem that comes to mind, is
    I've seen suitable-for-tagging rechargeable batteries, untagged, but
    with rather flat "nipple" ends as you would normally expect.

    However, I've seen them being sold every so often as-is (untagged).

    This idea would preclude this type of battery from being used, because
    the nipple end would short across both the contacts.
    However, if the primary market is wireless keyboards and mice, I'm
    guessing most are going to use normally structured alkalines rather than
    rechargeables.
     
  7. Phil Allison

    Phil Allison Guest

    "John Tserkezis"
    ** Sanyo " N600AA " Ni-Cd cells are made like this - the plus button is 7
    mm in diameter instead of the usual 5.5mm.

    ** I doubt it would do that as the button contact is recessed behind the end
    contact.

    What WOULD likely happen is worse, soon as the cell is installed it will
    be SHORTED end to end - cos the "InstaLoad" scheme requires the two
    button and two end contacts for EACH cell to be linked together.

    ** Irrelevant to the serious hazard of placing a dead short on a AA Ni-Cd
    cell.

    Expect 50 amps or more current resulting in burnt PCB tracks, smoke and
    flames from any PVC coated wires and a possible explosion or fire in the
    battery compartment in a few seconds.

    Another and far more insidious outcome is that folk will get the idea that
    cell polarity is a thing of the past and FAIL to pay attention to it when
    loading cells into devices made the normal way.

    THAT alone is enough reason to ban the silly idea.



    .... Phil
     
  8. You could always state no NiCads or NiMhs, and once the market sees
    that, sales will bottom out. Believe it or not, there ARE people out
    there who use rechargeable cells you know.

    I've always seen that as a cheap cop-out. It's a cheap design that
    can't deal with the lower nominal voltages of rechargeable cells, and an
    even cheaper cop-out when you're precluding those types because your
    brilliant idea could cause a fire.

    Don't get me wrong, it's an apparently simple idea that would well most
    of the time.

    It's just unfortunate that "most of the time" doesn't translate to
    always. Kinda like designers who use the "typical" spec, rather than
    the actual tolerance - and get an odd batch of components that are still
    within spec, just not so close enough to make the thing work.

    I can hear the complaints - "I bought batteries from XYZ and they've
    worked for me for all my devices. With InstaLoad, all they did was get
    hot and melt the plastic. Why is Microsoft not replacing my fried device?"

    If "you're holding it wrong" works for Apple, then I suppose "you've
    inserted them wrong" will also work for MS.

    He with the highest paid lawyers, wins. Indeed.
     
  9. I brought this up in another message in this thread. Relying on a
    "typcial" rather than a larger scope of what you get out there in Real
    Life isn't a good idea.
    More so, the selling point that the user doesn't *have* to pay
    attention to polarity wouldn't work.

    We've become so accustomed to polarity sensitive devices, that we
    *actively* look out for the little symbols, be they icons, or +- characters.
    If you come across this and are not aware of "instaload", you'll spend
    MORE time than need be looking for symbols that are not there.
     
  10. Is this really Technology?
    All you need is 4 Diodes and put them on 20 year old Battery Radio and
    it will work. The only reason they weren't was the cost of the 4 diodes.
     
  11. Joe Pfeiffer

    Joe Pfeiffer Guest

    And the voltage drop across the diodes. If they've come up with battery
    holders that will, with existing batteries, only contact the "right"
    parts to have proper polarity, it is (I hate to admit it) pretty cool.
     
  12. Phil Allison

    Phil Allison Guest

    "John Jerkezis"
    ** Sanyo " N600AA " Ni-Cd cells are made like this - the plus button is 7
    mm in diameter instead of the usual 5.5mm.

    ** I doubt it would do that as the button contact is recessed behind the end
    contact.

    What WOULD likely happen is worse, soon as the cell is installed it will
    be SHORTED end to end - cos the "InstaLoad" scheme requires the two
    button and two end contacts for EACH cell to be linked together.

    Expect 50 amps or more current resulting in burnt PCB tracks, smoke and
    flames from any PVC coated wires and a possible explosion or fire in the
    battery compartment in a few seconds.

    Another and far more insidious outcome is that folk will get the idea that
    cell polarity is a thing of the past and FAIL to pay attention to it when
    loading cells into devices made the normal way.

    THAT alone is enough reason to ban the silly idea.



    .... Phil
     
  13. terryc

    terryc Guest

    Leverage. Royalty free, aka you can just have it, but we get a dodgy
    patent that it is not in the financial interest of anyone to challenge.
    From this we can build other dodgy patents that will earn them real
    money.
     

  14. Most Equip, works well below the Battery Volts.
    Depending on the Power Req. can be .2 to .6 voltage drop X 2

    But the amount of Mice I find with batteries inserted the wrong way,
    It can only be a good thing.
     
  15. As already mentioned, the voltage drop across the diodes will cause
    some fairly significant trouble. With one bridge rectifier, you'll
    typically lose 1.4v, and when you're talking 3v native at the battery
    source, that's just too much.
    You can use schottky diodes, but they cost more, and there's better
    ways of doing it in any case.

    It's actually a big of a challenge to provide polarity protection AND
    not have the circuitry be a power hog in the process, AND still be cheap
    enough that the project manager isn't going to have kittens.

    InstaLoad does all of that and more, providing you use a battery of the
    correct specific dimensions of course.
    If not, things get really bad. (this was outlined in another cross thread).
     
  16. tim....

    tim.... Guest

    Can you see anybody buying a product because of this USP?

    I can't.

    It's a nice gimmick, but not one that translates into money IMHO.

    tim
     
  17. Not at all.

    The rectifier trick will only work if you insert ALL the cells the
    SAME way. If you insert half the cells one way and the other half the
    other way, you will get a 0V battery.

    You could, of course, add a rectifier for each cell. You'd have to
    figure out a way to deal with the voltage drop, though. 1.4V drop for
    each 1.5V cell is not exactly practical.
     
  18. Sylvia Else

    Sylvia Else Guest

    It would elminate warranty returns by people who've put batteries in the
    wrong way. Equipment damaged that way wouldn't usually be covered by
    warranty, but just determining that that was the cause of the failure
    costs money.

    Sylvia.
     
  19. Rod Speed

    Rod Speed Guest

    Just how many children do you know with preying fingers ?
    Likely better than your proof reading.
     
  20. Jasen Betts

    Jasen Betts Guest

    It's stick they can beat smaller players with to get the smaller
    players to share patents, or profits, with Microsoft.
    It doesn't matter if the patent is invalid or not unless you have
    enough money to stand up to M$ in court.

    It's not the first time they've been granted an invalid patent.

    If someone had come to me and said "I want a battery holder that will
    accept an AA cell inserted in either direction and correct the polarity"
    I'd have designed something similar, but possibly in different
    materials.

    One thing's I've seen before is they gave it a name that has very
    little to do with what the technology does. Was "Rightway" taken?


    --- news://freenews.netfront.net/ - complaints: ---
     
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