I didn’t set out on writing a blog about waiting for something to arrive – with hindsight I probably should have waited until I had taken delivery of the charger!
Anyway, for those of you who are still reading this blog – there has been an update video posted here by Steorn, which explains the problems they have been having with the products and what they are doing to try to and resolve them.
I have to say it is rather disappointing to see two 9v batteries in the component line up, not so much because of the question mark it raises over whether this might be secretly powering the unit, but more because this will essentially give the charger a shelf life of 5-10 years, with little chance of repair given the potting (filling the unit with goop that dries as hard as rock which seals everything together in one lump). So in essence the charger could suddenly become a rather expensive paperweight after a relatively short period of time. Despite this news I won’t be cancelling my order – terminals are being left accessible at the back of the unit so it still might be possible to use in some shape or form if the unit ‘dies’ after the 1 year warranty runs out.
Frank A’s testing continues on his website here and apparently he has organised a Q&A with Steorn which will hopefully clear up some of the questions about the configuration of the ‘test’ Ocube. Also, another interesting blog goes into more detailed analysis of the video and general history of Steorn here.
So, the party isn’t over yet – perhaps it’s just started.
Quick update on the Ocube order for you – I have just received the following email from Steorn:-
‘We have shipped two ocubes and have received reports back that the lithium ion battery in the devices is charging to somewhere in the region of 8V, which is well in excess of the safe level of 4.2V. As a result, we have had to halt any further shipments while we address this. We are currently testing a new configuration with a battery charge controller and these tests will take several more days. Once we are satisfied that the units are operating as they should we will provide another update concerning shipping etc’
Given the potential hazards of Lithium ion batteries I’m pleased that this is being addressed now, but obviously the delay is disappointing. It’s also interesting that the tech is ‘over performing’ at the 8V level.
On a more positive note an Ocube has been received by a customer here – so I’m very excited to see one unit out there in the public domain ready to be tested!
So there’s good news and bad news.. the good news is someone I know has an Orbo charger on its way to them as we speak (which is pretty momentous I think!), the bad news is mine hasn’t been sent yet.
I’ve nagged the Steorn guys again and they have said they will ‘do their best’ to get mine out in the first batch – here’s hoping.
I’ve sorted a usb splitter to power the digg it button. The digg unit only stays on for a minute or so and doesn’t draw any power when it switches off – but it does recall the number of times it has been pressed when switched on again. It goes up to 999 – let’s see how far we get..