Most portable power banks that you can use to charge a phone, tablet, or other item on the go have a few LED lights that give you a rough idea of how much juice is left in your battery.
But Everett Bradford wanted something a little different: a power bank with a small OLED display that shows precise charge level of the battery pack, voltage, temperature, and live readout of current in or out.
Of course, nobody sells that kind of power bank. So he built is own.
He disassembled a 10,000 Mi Power Bank from Xiaomi and removed the LED lights and cut the plastic to make room for a tiny OLED display. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
In order to do get information, he took a tiny voltage and current monitor, developing software for it and created a custom printed circuit board, soldered the OLED display to it, and then connected it to the Mi Power Bank’s circuitry to monitor power flow.
Everything’s tiny enough to fit easily inside the plastic enclosure of the battery pack, and the additions are so energy efficient that Bradford says it may even use less power when active or idle than the battery indicator lights that come with the battery.
Is this all probably overkill? Sure. But it’s a pretty cool project for data geeks who want to know everything about the status of their battery pack, its charge status, and how much power is flowing too or from the battery pack.