I try to keep busy learning new things and keeping my skill set growing. Well, with my recent completion of SCIMO, my awesome ambient lighting system for my television, I've decided to venture a little deeper in to electronics and electricity. 

2 years ago I supported a Kickstarter campaign for a product called the Limeade Blast. It was/is a portable battery for charging your phone, tablet etc. It's a really neat device. However the build quality is shit and after the warranty JUST expired everyone's started to fail. No surprises there right? 

This company sucks, they didn't offer to do anything, I offered to pay for it to be fixed, they did nothing. Not impressed. In any case, I used it a little bit when I had it and I thought it was marvelous! I love the idea of this portable power source so I have since then supported other campaigns with portable power as the goal, but now I'm venturing in to this on my own. I think I can make my own powerbank and I think I can create one that can be powered by multiple means.

Incidentally, Tesla Motors has released there Powerwall which is essentially a HUGE version of what I am putting together. You can see it here. It's a great idea if you're willing to make the investment, however I would fear the returns on this compared to cost of maintenance might not be worth your while. Let's see.

In any case, on a smaller scale, I am creating a portable battery pack that can be charged by solar panel, which will be on the side of the case, or by plugging it in to the wall OR by USB connection. That is my grand project. It will cost me about $100 AND I get to try out my fancy new soldering skills!

Just a friendly update with what I am doing. Since my Limeade died... Which seems the fate for so many users of that product, I have since decided to try to work on a few alternatives. Obviously, the solar powered power bank is a little bit hardcore. However, When you start to learn how these things work, you quickly realize that there isn't that much to them! I'm considering looking at creating a powerbank with an interchangeable batter. In other words, you'd be able to plug in your devices and charge, and then recharge the battery, and charge your phone, over and over again until eventually the battery in the powerbank dies forever... How sad. BUT you would be able to open it up, remove that battery, and pop in a new one!

Where do you find such batteries? Well, you can get them online of course, OR you might be shocked to know that your laptop's battery pack is full of them. When your laptop battery can't take a charge anymore it usually means one or more of the batteries inside has died. BUT many of them are still good to go! You can pop one of those in the powerbank and you're on your way! 

So, there you have it, my current little side projects. 

Unexpected Surprises!

30 April 2015, Shane Cobalt

This morning a got a phone call review of a lecture that took place out of my reasonable travel zone. It would have been a 6+ hour trip and to be honest, I wasn't expecting much from the lecture in question. Well, I was wrong! Apparently it was astounding! The material top notch! His skills were incredible!

Jim Steinmeyer and his recent works!

29 April 2015, Shane Cobalt

I don't often endorse websites or products. But, if I didn't tell you about these new things I don't think you'd hear about them and that would be tragic.

One of my absolutely favorite authors, magicians, and magic creators is Jim Steinmeyer. His work is incredible. The Conjuring Anthology is absolutely mandatory reading for any aspiring stand up or platform performer. 

Stop Doing Bad Magic!

28 April 2015, Shane Cobalt

I'm not sure there really needs to be a lot of elaboration on this one. Not all magic is as good as other magic. I'm sorry it just isn't. If you do a shitty trick and nobody tells you it's bad, you need to surround yourself with better people. This applies to your friends not your audiences. Though if your audience says something, you have a truly terrible trick on your hands. 

Accomplishment!

27 April 2015, Shane Cobalt

I have quite a list of things to do since I got back from a tiny tour in Europe.

Last night I got most of them done! It feels great and I can see everything moving forward in a perfect direction. Sometimes the difference between getting things done and doing nothing is having a list.