Helium: The First Supercapacitor-Powered Portable Speaker

← View All Updates

Jan

20

Status Report: 1/20/2014

Short version: we’re a few weeks behind schedule - but everything is looking good.

Dear Blueshift customers,

Here’s another quick update on progress toward shipping your Helium & Copper speakers and Capacitizer kits.

Strongly-positive news: Blueshift has moved into a new, bigger shop space in industrial SE Portland - pretty exciting. We’re sharing the space with Ruckus Composites - they do carbon fiber repair and fabrication, mostly bike frames plus some other crazy projects. I’m super excited to be here; good stuff is going to come out of this building.

The less-good news: looks like we are going to miss our January ship date for the first 25 speakers. Both the delivery of Bluetooth chips and the fabrication of the bamboo cabinets are taking longer than I had planned for. My best guess on our first ship date at this point is mid-February - later orders will be affected less, if at all.

The delays come from sourcing two custom parts - the Bluetooth chip and the cabinet - instead of customizing/building them in-house. So, while this slows us down in the short term, it will reduce the amount of Blueshift labor in the final assembly process, and should increase quality overall. The other good news here is that the Bluetooth chips won’t take the 6-8 weeks I was originally quoted - more like three or four.

Beyond that, things are looking great. A super smart electrical engineer is going to do a final review before the PCBs go to production, which is awesome. Along with that, the open-source program is getting up and running - I’ll bet that some improvements start to appear through that channel as well.

The electronics schematic is almost finalized. On that front, the final layout for each Helium speaker and Capacitizer will use the same main board with the supercapacitor charge circuitry, audio amplifier, Bluetooth transceiver, and all the related inputs/outputs (same board with different settings for mono/stereo). The mono and stereo versions will then have different boards that house the supercapacitors and necessary cap-balancing circuitry. This allows for independent replacement/repair of the capacitor bank or the main board.

My apologies on the delays! As Hofstadter’s Law states: Everything always takes longer than you expect, even when you take into account Hofstadter’s Law.

Thanks, everyone, for all of your support! More information coming soon!

Sincerely,
Sam Beck
Founder, Blueshift

$46,246 raised

of $35,000 goal

Funded!
No Longer Available

Dec 19 2013

funded on

132%

funded

9,493

pledges

Product Choices

$249

Copper

The Copper is a wired, powered speaker. It sounds great, and it looks killer - but it does have to be plugged into both power and an audio source. Includes power supply and 3.5mm cable - attach any device with a standard headphone audio output. Available in mono ($300) or stereo ($400). Stereo shown in image.


$350

PILOT: Helium


$399

Helium

The Helium is a capacitor-powered, portable wireless speaker. It charges in five minutes, plays for six hours at full volume, and sounds awesome. Includes Bluetooth receiver with Apt-X and AAC codecs, Fostex FE 126 driver, bamboo cabinet, and wall adapter. Built to last in Portland, OR.


$400

EARLY: Helium


$179

Capacitizer

The Capacitizer is a DIY kit for building a capacitor-powered portable wireless speaker. Build your own enclosure for a high-efficiency driver, OR convert an existing high-efficiency passive speaker. Includes the assembled PCB, four 350F supercapacitors, a power supply for charging, hardware, and instructions. Tools and know-how required! Driver not included.


$849

Double Down

A Helium Stereo speaker AND a Helium Mono for the ultimate listening experience.

Ask a Question

Have a question not answered in the description above or in the Updates?

Ask Blueshift a Question or Browse the Crowd Supply Knowledge Base

Credits

Blueshift

Blueshift builds open-source electronics in Portland, OR. We are committed to products that last, so everything we make can be repaired and upgraded.


Sam Beck

Founder


Alberta Printed Circuits

PCB Manufacturer

RNB Enterprises

PCB Assembler

Scientific Research Company

Laser Cutter & Powder-coater

Madisound

Audio Component Supplier

Blue Creation

Bluetooth Module Supplier

Laser Cutting Services Inc.

Laser Cutter & Etcher

Subscribe to the Crowd Supply newsletter, highlighting the latest creators and projects: