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Print 35 comment(s) - last by Shining Arcani.. on Jun 16 at 5:49 AM

Look mom, no power brick!

Now this is a very interesting device. InflightPower.com has announced its InFlight Power USB Unit which allows you to charge small electronic devices via a standard headphone jack found in most airline seats. That means that you never have to worry about running out of juice when flying cross country or overseas with your iPod, PDA, cell phone or DVD player -- if the device can recharge via USB.

The 12 ounce device works by storing energy from the headphone jack and relaying that energy to the USB connector. The device uses a trickle charger which takes 3-5 minutes to fully charge. Once charged, it holds enough energy to power a connected device for about one minute and then the cycle starts over again. Over 700 devices are supported with different tips that attach to the USB port. From InflightPower’s website:

The Inflight Power cable uses an internal trickle charger that takes 3-5 min to fully charge, then outputs power to the attached device (phone, music player etc). It does this repeatedly, thus the cable charges the attached device every 3-5 minutes for 1 minute or less.

The audio volume must be cranked to the maximum to provide the best results. The InFlight Power USB Unit is available for $34.99 by itself, or $49.99 + $4.99 for each additional tip if you need a special connector for your electronic device.



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RE: How Does That Work?
By saratoga on 6/15/2006 2:24:34 PM , Rating: 2
Its probably a charge pump design. Basically it'll charge a cap, then use that charge to power a circuit that produces the correct voltage and current for a battery. When the cap is discharged, it stops charging, and waits for it to power up enough.

It'll be really, really slow. But given a 12 hour flight, it could probably make a difference.


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