Mike Zhao, a systems architect and designer of the VariPower 500A device explains how the device came about. "Many times while traveling, I have had the need to debug my firmware on a circuit board. Unfortunately, I was not carrying a power supply. So in turn, I had to wait until I reached my lab before I could power my circuit board to test the new firmware. This new innovative project, the USB Based Variable Power Supply, will solve this issue effectively, affordably, and reliably."
VariPower-USB-500A is open source hardware, all hardware design files and firmware source code are released under the GPL v2 license.
Brad Hunter, also an inventor, designed the devices sticker and t-shirt that is a pledge reward on Kickstarter. Brad says this about the VariPower USB power supply, "When Mike first asked me my opinion about the concept, I was floored that there was not something in the market already. The premise is simple and the function is needed. There is a whole community of students, hackers and engineers that can benefit from this device. Devices like Arduino and similar project boards will benefit greatly from a stable and easy to use power supply."
The project is on Kickstarter.com and is officially called "USB Based Variable Power Supply for Small Projects." Currently, Kickstarter.com is the only way to get one of the devices. The basic device on Kickstarter requires a $30 pledge.
Brad Hunter adds, "We are very excited at the level of interest in this product. It is a fantastic opportunity for us to have direct feedback and requests from those that are interested in the product and make pledges on Kickstarter."
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