On Wednesday I heard good news from Steorn.


They let me know that my ORBO OCube was finally being shipped to me here in Australia — hooray! Well….not so fast with the celebrations. Within hours of consuming three times my own bodyweight in vintage Krug, Steorn had apparently emailed the following out to those who purchased an OCube:

‘We have shipped two ocubes and have received reports back that the lithium ion battery in the devices is charging to somewhere in the region of 8V, which is well in excess of the safe level of 4.2V.  As a result, we have had to halt any further shipments while we address this. We are currently testing a new configuration with a battery charge controller and these tests will take several more days.  Once we are satisfied that the units are operating as they should we will provide another update concerning shipping etc’


So all was lost? Not really, as you shall see — for this story has a disgustingly pleasant resolution.  For the god of Overunity did witness the said OCube injustice and did make up for this by sending forth into the land of kangaroos and Hugh Jackman – an OPhone instead!


So — I am currently waiting on delivery of a prototype OPhone with the OCube to follow soon after (once Steorn are happy the OCubes are operating normally).


I plan on doing a fair bit of testing when both the OPhone and OCube arrive. I’ll keep you posted.


In other news…


An OCube powering a bank of LEDs through a USB power meter.

Meanwhile a crowd-funded OCube has arrived with eCatWorld owner Frank Acland, who has been busy putting the ORBO through it’s paces. He did note however that Steorn explained his was not shipped with a battery, but with a 5 farad super capacitor.  Steorn did say that they had some initial problems with shipping due to the regulations around shipping products with Lithium batteries, and no wonder when you see some of the issues around lithium batteries.


Frank’s  findings seem to be in line with what was expected of the OCube; Straight out-of-the-box, the OCube was initially powering a bank of LEDs for some considerable amount of time and this no doubt depleted the accumulated power stored in the battery capacitor. Since then, and (again as expected), the OCube needs to be left alone for some time for the charge to build back up again.


More recently the focus has been on getting the back cover off the OCube to be able to directly measure the power being produced by the twin ORBO Power Packs — Steorn’s instructions were that opening it might require ‘mild agression’ — this however may be more difficult than first thought. Many people will remember Steorn saying that the OCube units were potted (filled with special resin to protect the internal components from moisture). If this unit is indeed ‘potted’ then it may be that the back cover will never come off.