Texas Instruments sponsored me to do a challenge and write this post.
What would it be like to not have access to power plugs?
That’s what Texas Instruments challenged me to try.
They’ve built some really nice resources that you can use in your next power supply design, and now they want to spread the word: www.ti.com/power
In the challenge, I could not use any device that was plugged in for a whole day.
So, to prepare for the day, I charged up my two most important devices: My mobile phone and my laptop.
At 6.30 my alarm clock wakes me up. (It’s an app on my phone, so it’s allowed ;) )
First challenge: Breakfast.
Usually, I eat a homemade smoothie. But I can’t use my blender. I decide to go for a handful of almonds and a spoon of cod-liver oil.
I cannot use my water boiler either, so no coffee for me this morning :(
So I end up staring blankly into the room. Without my morning coffee, my decision-making process is slow.
After a few minutes in a coma, I get myself together and decide to go to an office where I sometimes work.
Office challenges without power plugs
Today I’m working on shrinking a PCB design for a client.
I need to use KiCad on this project. But because KiCad does not work properly on my MacBook Pro (it has problems with Retina-displays), I need to use my old laptop for this project.
Now, I just hope it has enough battery to get the job done.
At 11.30, the battery icon is red, and I’m told I have about 20 minutes of battery power left.
I finish up what I was supposed to do and send it over to my client. I’m really efficient knowing that I only have a couple of hours of battery life!
Hungry after my less-than-optimal breakfast of almonds, I decide to get myself a protein shake and plan the rest of my day.
The biggest problem so far, apart from not being able to make my breakfast smoothie, has been to not use Wi-Fi. Wi-Fi routers are using power plugs of course, so that’s a no go.
I have a data plan on my phone, but it only has 500 MB per month. This means I really need to think about how I use the internet.
Another client sends me a message.
Yesterday, I discovered a problem with noise on our 3.3V supply in the electronics for a coffee roaster I’m working on. Who knew that some noise on the 3.3V would result in unevenly roasted coffee beans?
On the Texas Instruments power blog, I read about their TO220 compatible power modules. I make a note of looking more into this (when I’m back on the grid).
I use the internet all the time for my work. With a limited internet access, I need to find tasks that do not require internet.
Therefore, I decide to focus on the following tasks: Reading, thinking, and planning. It’s a refreshing way to spend a few hours! Even though I would have loved to get more of my pending tasks done.
After work, I meet my wife to do some errands before we head home.
We’re both tired and want to turn on the television and relax on the sofa.
But no. I can’t use the power plug.
Then I think to myself: “I’ll make myself a tea and read a bit.”
But no. I can’t make tea without power plugs.
I guess I just have to be happy with a glass of water…
Tomorrow I am going to really appreciate my power plugs and enjoy my morning coffee!
To learn more about TI’s power management products, visit: http://ow.ly/SaCV30fKF85.