Every hacker needs a good quality power supply in their lab. Even better if it’s portable! The EMBER portable power supply by Blue Smoke Electronics is a very well-made and battery-powered supply. With both constant voltage and constant current mode it can do most things a general-purpose supply is expected to do; it even has some benefits over traditional mains-powered benchtop supplies.
Being powered from a battery completely eliminates a few common issues around mains reference and grounding that can occur with bench power supplies, especially lower-end ones. This means it’s safe to use on circuits that are connected to things like your laptop, which is really handy if you want to power a prototype microcontroller project that has a debug probe connected to it, for example. Also, there won’t be any noise coupled from the grid into your device, meaning more sensitive measurements are possible.
Having a constant current mode is also very handy. This is a good way to properly test the brightness of LEDs at different currents. It’s also good to be able to set a current limit so you don’t fry things if you get your wires crossed! The voltage range is from 0-15V, and the current is from 0-1A. This is plenty for a portable power supply. If you regularly use high-power stuff in your projects, then a traditional benchtop supply can’t be replaced. But having one of these is great — you can quickly prototype and debug circuits just about anywhere! Throw it in your bag and take it with you to a hacker meetup or to your local hackerspace. Debug your latest project on the train!
The internal battery is charged from USB-C and has a capacity of 5.9Wh. It has a USB-serial interface so it can be controlled over a USB connection. Keep in mind that when it’s connected to a USB charger you lose the isolation that you get when running off of the internal battery. So if this is an important feature, just keep it charged when you’re not using it.
The stock for this item might be variable over the next few weeks as Blue Smoke is ramping up production — so just keep an eye out or join the waitlist if it’s out of stock!