Updated USB charger with built-in battery protection and monitoring
TecMate has long been known as one of the leaders in designing and offering USB chargers for powersport applications. Their original OptiMate USB O-100 model led the way in popularizing the concept of handy SAE to USB ‘stick’ chargers.
Indeed, TecMate took it one step further at that time, introducing the unique concept of vehicle integrated battery protection with USB charging that would shut down if the battery voltage dropped below a level corresponding with 50% charge remaining in the vehicle’s starter battery.
Now, the new 2016 version of the O-100 has been completely updated. The new slick design includes a unique perimeter seal and cap at the USB end that seals around any USB charge cable, rendering it weatherproof.
When it comes to the electrics, the concept of an accessory such as a seemingly simple USB charger needing a microprocessor would have appeared far-fetched when the first designs appeared, but the additional functions made possible by the new O-100 demands smart control.
Most important is the increased power output of 2400mA that guarantees even the hungriest smartphone or tablet will be fast charged.
The on-board smart vehicle battery protection and monitor circuitry in the new design makes sure there will be enough power left in the battery to ride the next day.
If the vehicle’s charging system is working right, then continuous USB power is delivered, but the instant the battery voltage drops below 12.7V (90-100% charge), USB charging is limited to 3 hours before it shuts off to protect the battery. If the battery is weak and voltage quickly drops to 12.3V (40-50% charge remaining), it shuts off immediately.
Additionally, the O-100 becomes a battery monitor if it remains connected whilst the vehicle is in storage. A battery status LED flashes every 5 seconds, alerting the user when to recharge/maintain their battery.
The evolution of the available and required technology in the time since the original OptiMate USB charger was introduced is remarkable. Just as remarkable is that TecMate are now able to sell this feature-packed update for even less than the original.