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Patent 2916782 Summary

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(12) Patent: (11) CA 2916782
(54) English Title: PORTABLE VEHICLE BATTERY JUMP START APPARATUS WITH SAFETY PROTECTION
(54) French Title: APPAREIL PORTABLE D'ASSISTANCE AU DEMARRAGE POUR BATTERIE DE VEHICULE AVEC PROTECTION DE SURETE
Status: Granted
Bibliographic Data
(51) International Patent Classification (IPC):
  • F02N 11/12 (2006.01)
  • F21L 4/00 (2006.01)
  • F21V 33/00 (2006.01)
  • H02J 7/00 (2006.01)
  • F21K 9/00 (2016.01)
(72) Inventors :
  • NOOK, JONATHAN LEWIS (United States of America)
  • NOOK, WILLIAM KNIGHT (United States of America)
  • STANFIELD, JAMES RICHARD (United States of America)
  • UNDERHILL, DEREK MICHAEL (United States of America)
(73) Owners :
  • THE NOCO COMPANY (United States of America)
(71) Applicants :
  • THE NOCO COMPANY (United States of America)
(74) Agent: SMART & BIGGAR LP
(74) Associate agent:
(45) Issued: 2016-08-09
(86) PCT Filing Date: 2014-07-03
(87) Open to Public Inspection: 2016-01-07
Examination requested: 2015-10-20
Availability of licence: N/A
(25) Language of filing: English

Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT): Yes
(86) PCT Filing Number: PCT/US2014/045434
(87) International Publication Number: WO2016/003471
(85) National Entry: 2015-10-20

(30) Application Priority Data: None

Abstracts

English Abstract

A handheld device for jump starting a vehicle engine includes a rechargeable lithium ion battery pack and a microcontroller. The lithium ion battery is coupled to a power output port of the device through a FET smart switch actuated by the microcontroller. A vehicle battery isolation sensor connected in circuit with positive and negative polarity outputs detects the presence of a vehicle battery connected between the positive and negative polarity outputs. A reverse polarity sensor connected in circuit with the positive and negative polarity outputs detects the polarity of a vehicle battery connected between the positive and negative polarity outputs, such that the microcontroller will enable power to be delivered from the lithium ion power pack to the output port only when a good battery is connected to the output port and only when the battery is connected with proper polarity of positive and negative terminals.


French Abstract

L'invention concerne un dispositif portatif d'assistance au démarrage d'un moteur de véhicule, comprenant un bloc-batterie lithium-ion rechargeable et un microcontrôleur. La batterie lithium-ion est couplée à une prise de sortie de puissance du dispositif par l'intermédiaire d'un interrupteur intelligent à FET actionné par le microcontrôleur. Un capteur d'isolement de batterie de véhicule relié en circuit à des sorties à polarité positive et négative détecte la présence d'une batterie de véhicule branchée entre les sorties à polarité positive et négative. Un capteur de polarité inversée relié en circuit aux sorties à polarité positive et négative détecte la polarité d'une batterie de véhicule reliée entre les sorties à polarité positive et négative, de telle façon que le microcontrôleur permette la distribution d'une puissance du bloc d'alimentation lithium-ion à la prise de sortie uniquement lorsqu'une batterie en bon état est reliée à la prise de sortie et uniquement lorsque la batterie est branchée avec une polarité correcte des bornes positive et négative.

Claims

Note: Claims are shown in the official language in which they were submitted.



CLAIMS:

1. Apparatus for jump starting a vehicle engine, comprising:
an internal power supply;
an output port having positive and negative polarity outputs;
a vehicle battery isolation sensor connected in circuit with said positive and

negative polarity outputs, configured to detect presence of a vehicle battery
connected
between said positive and negative polarity outputs;
a reverse polarity sensor connected in circuit with said positive and negative

polarity outputs, configured to detect polarity of a vehicle battery connected
between said
positive and negative polarity outputs and to provide an output signal
indicating whether
positive and negative terminals of said vehicle battery are properly connected
with said
positive and negative polarity outputs of said output port;
a power switch connected between said internal power supply and said output
port; and
a microcontroller configured to receive input signals from said vehicle
isolation sensor and said reverse polarity sensor, and to provide an output
signal to said power
switch, such that said power switch is turned on to cause said internal power
supply to be
connected to said output port in response to signals from said sensors
indicating the presence
of a vehicle battery at said output port and proper polarity connection of
positive and negative
terminals of said vehicle battery with said positive and negative polarity
outputs, and is not
turned on when signals from said sensors indicate either the absence of a
vehicle battery at
said output port or improper polarity connection of positive and negative
terminals of said
vehicle battery with said positive and negative polarity outputs.
2. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein said internal power supply comprises a

lithium ion battery.

12


3. The apparatus of claim 2, wherein said lithium ion battery comprises a
battery
pack of multiple lithium ion batteries.
4. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein said power switch comprises a
plurality of
FETs in parallel.
5. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein said vehicle isolation sensor and
reverse
polarity sensor comprise optically coupled isolator phototransistors.
6. The apparatus of claim 1, further comprising a plurality of power diodes

coupled between said output port and said internal power supply to prevent
back-charging of
said internal power supply from an electrical system connected to said output
port.
7. The apparatus of claim 1, further comprising a temperature sensor
configured
to detect temperature of said internal power supply and to provide a
temperature signal to said
microcontroller.
8. The apparatus of claim 1, further comprising a voltage measurement
circuit
configured to measure output voltage of said internal power supply and to
provide a voltage
measurement signal to said microcontroller.
9. The apparatus of claim 1, further comprising a voltage regulator
configured to
convert output voltage of said internal power supply to a voltage level
appropriate to provide
operating power to internal components of the apparatus.
10. The apparatus of claim 1, further comprising a USB output port
configured to
provide charging power from said internal power supply to a USB-chargeable
device.
11. The apparatus of claim 1, further comprising a USB charging port
configured
to provide charging power from an external power source to said internal power
supply.
12. The apparatus of claim 1, further comprising a flashlight circuit
configured to
provide a source of light to a user.
13. The apparatus of claim 12, wherein said source of light is at least one
LED.

13

14. The apparatus of claim 13, wherein said microcontroller is configured
to
control said at least one LED to provide a visual alarm indicating an
emergency situation.
15. The apparatus of claim 1, further comprising a plurality of visual
indicators
configured to display remaining capacity status of said internal power supply.
16. The apparatus of claim 15, wherein said plurality of visual indicators
comprises a plurality of LEDs providing output light of different colors.
17. The apparatus of claim 1, further comprising a visual indicator
configured to
warn a user when a vehicle battery is connected with reverse polarity.
18. The apparatus of claim 1, further comprising separate visual indicators

configured to display the power on status of the apparatus, and the jump start
boost power
status of power supplied to said output port.
19. The apparatus of claim 1, further comprising a manual override switch
configured to activate a manual override mode to enable a user to connect jump
start power to
said output port when said vehicle battery isolation sensor is unable to
detect presence of a
vehicle battery.
20. The apparatus of claim 19, wherein said microcontroller is configured
to detect
actuation of said manual override switch for at least a predetermined period
of time before
activation of said manual override mode.
21. The apparatus of claim 1, further comprising a jumper cable device
including a
plug configured to plug into said output port, a pair of cables integrated
with the plug at one
respective end thereof and being configured to be connected to terminals of a
battery at
another respective end thereof.
22. The apparatus of claim 21, wherein said jumper cable device further
comprises
a pair of ring terminals configured to respectively connect said pair of
cables at said another
end thereof with one of a battery terminal and a battery terminal clamp.
23. The apparatus of claim 21, wherein said output port and said plug are
dimensioned so that the plug will fit into the output port only in one
specific orientation.

14

Description

Note: Descriptions are shown in the official language in which they were submitted.


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PORTABLE VEHICLE BATTERY JUMP START APPARATUS WITH SAFETY
PROTECTION
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
The present invention relates generally to apparatus for jump-starting a
vehicle having a
depleted or discharged battery. Prior art devices are known, which provide
either a pair of
electrical connector cables that connect a fully-charged battery of another
vehicle to the engine
start circuit of the dead battery vehicle, or portable booster devices which
include a fully-charged
battery which can be connected in circuit with the vehicle's engine starter
through a pair of
cables.
Problems with the prior art arose when either the jumper terminals or clamps
of the
cables were inadvertently brought into contact with each other while the other
ends were
connected to a charged battery, or when the positive and negative terminals
were connected to
the opposite polarity terminals in the vehicle to be jumped, thereby causing a
short circuit
resulting in sparking and potential damage to batteries and/or bodily injury.
Various attempts to eliminate these problems have been made in the prior art.
U.S.
Patent No. 6,212,054 issued April 3, 2001, discloses a battery booster pack
that is polarity
sensitive and can detect proper and improper connections before providing a
path for electric
current flow. The device uses a set of LEDs connected to optical couplers
oriented by a control
circuit. The control circuit controls a solenoid assembly controlling the path
of power current.
The control circuit causes power current to flow through the solenoid assembly
only if the points
of contact of booster cable clamp connections have been properly made.
U.S. Patent No. 6,632,103 issued October 14, 2003, discloses an adaptive
booster cable
connected with two pairs of clips, wherein the two pairs of clips are
respectively attached to two
batteries to transmit power from one battery to the other battery. The
adaptive booster cable
includes a polarity detecting unit connected to each clip, a switching unit
and a current detecting
unit both provided between the two pairs of clips. After the polarity of each
clip is sensed by the
polarity detecting unit, the switching unit generates a proper connection
between the two
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batteries. Therefore, the positive and negative terminals of the two batteries
are correctly
connected based on the detected result of the polarity detecting unit.
U.S. Patent No. 8,493,021 issued July 23, 2013, discloses apparatus that
monitors the
voltage of the battery of a vehicle to be jump started and the current
delivered by the jump starter
batteries to determine if a proper connection has been established and to
provide fault
monitoring. Only if the proper polarity is detected can the system operate.
The voltage is
monitored to determine open circuit, disconnected conductive clamps, shunt
cable fault, and
solenoid fault conditions. The current through the shunt cable is monitored to
determine if there
is a battery explosion risk, and for excessive current conditions presenting
an overheating
condition, which may result in fire. The system includes an internal battery
to provide the power
to the battery of the vehicle to be jump started. Once the vehicle is started,
the unit automatically
electrically disconnects from the vehicle's battery.
U.S. Patent No. 5,189,359 issued February 23, 1993, discloses a jumper cable
device
having two bridge rectifiers for developing a reference voltage, a four-input
decoder for
determining which terminals are to be connected based on a comparison of the
voltage at each of
the four terminals to the reference voltage, and a pair of relays for
effecting the correct
connection depending on the determination of the decoder. No connection will
be made unless
only one terminal of each battery has a higher voltage than the reference
voltage, indicating
"positive" terminals, and one has a lower voltage than the reference voltage,
indicating
"negative" terminals, and that, therefore, the two high voltage terminals may
be connected and
the two lower voltage terminals may be connected. Current flows once the
appropriate relay
device is closed. The relay device is preferably a MOSFET combined with a
series array of
photodiodes that develop MOSFET gate-closing potential when the decoder output
causes an
LED to light.
U.S. Patent No. 5,795,182 issued August 18, 1998, discloses a polarity
independent set
of battery jumper cables for jumping a first battery to a second battery. The
apparatus includes a
relative polarity detector for detecting whether two batteries are configured
cross or parallel. A
three-position high current capacity crossbar pivot switch is responsive to
the relative polarity
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detector for automatically connecting the plus terminals of the two batteries
together and the
minus terminals of the two batteries together regardless of whether the
configuration detected is
cross or parallel, and an undercurrent detector and a delay circuit for
returning the device to its
ready and unconnected state after the device has been disconnected from one of
the batteries.
The crossbar pivot switch includes two pairs of contacts, and a pivot arm that
pivots about two
separate points to ensure full electrical contact between the pairs of
contacts. The invention can
also be used to produce a battery charger that may be connected to a battery
without regard to the
polarity of the battery.
U.S. Patent No. 6,262,492 issued July 17, 2001, discloses a car battery jumper
cable for
accurately coupling an effective power source to a failed or not charged
battery, which includes a
relay switching circuit connected to the power source and the battery by two
current conductor
pairs. First and second voltage polarity recognition circuits are respectively
connected to the
power source and the battery by a respective voltage conductor pair to
recognize the polarity of
the power source and the battery. A logic recognition circuit produces a
control signal subject to
the polarity of the power source and the battery, and a driving circuit
controlled by the control
signal from the logic recognition circuit drives the relay switching circuit,
enabling the two poles
of the power source to be accurately coupled to the two poles of the battery.
U.S. Patent No. 5,635,817 issued June 3, 1997, discloses a vehicle battery
charging
device that includes a control housing having cables including a current
limiting device to
prevent exceeding of a predetermined maximum charging current of about 40 to
60 amps. The
control housing includes a polarity detecting device to verify the correct
polarity of the
connection of the terminals of the two batteries and to electrically
disconnect the two batteries if
there is an incorrect polarity.
U.S. Patent No. 8,199,024 issued June 12, 2012, discloses a safety circuit in
a low-
voltage connecting system that leaves the two low-voltage systems disconnected
until it
determines that it is safe to make a connection. When the safety circuit
determines that no unsafe
conditions exist and that it is safe to connect the two low-voltage systems,
the safety circuit may
connect the two systems by way of a "soft start" that provides a connection
between the two
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systems over a period of time that reduces or prevents inductive voltage
spikes on one or more of
the low-voltage systems. When one of the low-voltage systems has a completely-
discharged
battery incorporated into it, a method is used for detection of proper
polarity of the connections
between the low-voltage systems. The polarity of the discharged battery is
determined by passing
one or more test currents through it and determining whether a corresponding
voltage rise is
observed.
U.S. Patent No. 5,793,185 issued August 11, 1998, discloses a hand-held jump
starter
having control components and circuits to prevent overcharging and incorrect
connection to
batteries.
While the prior art attempted solutions to the abovementioned problems as
discussed
above, each of the prior art solutions suffers from other shortcomings, either
in complexity, cost
or potential for malfunction. Accordingly, there exists a need in the art for
further improvements
to vehicle jump start devices.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
In accordance with an aspect of the invention, apparatus is provided for jump
starting a
vehicle engine, including: an internal power supply; an output port having
positive and negative
polarity outputs; a vehicle battery isolation sensor connected in circuit with
said positive and
negative polarity outputs, configured to detect presence of a vehicle battery
connected between
said positive and negative polarity outputs; a reverse polarity sensor
connected in circuit with
said positive and negative polarity outputs, configured to detect polarity of
a vehicle battery
connected between said positive and negative polarity outputs; a power FET
switch connected
between said internal power supply and said output port; and a microcontroller
configured to
receive input signals from said vehicle isolation sensor and said reverse
polarity sensor, and to
provide an output signal to said power FET switch, such that said power FET
switch is turned on
to connect said internal power supply to said output port in response to
signals from said sensors
indicating the presence of a vehicle battery at said output port and proper
polarity connection of
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70557-89
positive and negative terminals of said vehicle battery with said positive and
negative polarity
outputs.
In accordance with another aspect of the invention, the internal power supply
is
a rechargeable lithium ion battery pack.
In accordance with yet another aspect of the invention, a jumper cable device
is
provided, having a plug configured to plug into an output port of a handheld
battery charger
booster device having an internal power supply; a pair of cables integrated
with the plug at
one respective end thereof; said pair of cables being configured to be
separately connected to
terminals of a battery at another respective end thereof.
According to one aspect of the present invention, there is provided apparatus
for jump starting a vehicle engine, comprising: an internal power supply; an
output port
having positive and negative polarity outputs; a vehicle battery isolation
sensor connected in
circuit with said positive and negative polarity outputs, configured to detect
presence of a
vehicle battery connected between said positive and negative polarity outputs;
a reverse
polarity sensor connected in circuit with said positive and negative polarity
outputs,
configured to detect polarity of a vehicle battery connected between said
positive and negative
polarity outputs and to provide an output signal indicating whether positive
and negative
terminals of said vehicle battery are properly connected with said positive
and negative
polarity outputs of said output port; a power switch connected between said
internal power
supply and said output port; and a microcontroller configured to receive input
signals from
said vehicle isolation sensor and said reverse polarity sensor, and to provide
an output signal
to said power switch, such that said power switch is turned on to cause said
internal power
supply to be connected to said output port in response to signals from said
sensors indicating
the presence of a vehicle battery at said output port and proper polarity
connection of positive
and negative terminals of said vehicle battery with said positive and negative
polarity outputs,
and is not turned on when signals from said sensors indicate either the
absence of a vehicle
battery at said output port or improper polarity connection of positive and
negative terminals
of said vehicle battery with said positive and negative polarity outputs.
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BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
Fig. 1 is a functional block diagram of a handheld vehicle battery boost
apparatus in accordance with one aspect of the present invention;
Figs. 2A - 2C are schematic circuit diagrams of an example embodiment of a
handheld vehicle battery boost apparatus in accordance with an aspect of the
invention;
Fig. 3 is a perspective view of a handheld jump starter booster device in
accordance with one example embodiment of the invention; and
Fig. 4 is a plan view of a jumper cable usable with the handheld jump starter
booster device in accordance with another aspect of the invention.
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DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
FIG. 1 is a functional block diagram of a handheld battery booster according
to one
aspect of the invention. At the heart of the handheld battery booster is a
lithium polymer battery
pack 32, which stores sufficient energy to jump start a vehicle engine served
by a conventional
12 volt lead-acid or valve regulated lead-acid battery. In one example
embodiment, a high-surge
lithium polymer battery pack includes three 3.7V, 2666 mAh lithium polymer
batteries in a 3S1P
configuration. The resulting battery pack provides 11.1V, 2666Ah (8000Ah at
3.7V, 29.6Wh).
Continuous discharge current is 25C (or 200 amps), and burst discharge current
is 50C (or 400
amps). The maximum charging current of the battery pack is 8000mA (8 amps).
A programmable microcontroller unit (MCU) 1 receives various inputs and
produces
informational as well as control outputs. The programmable MCU 1 further
provides flexibility
to the system by allowing updates in functionality and system parameters,
without requiring any
change in hardware. According to one example embodiment, an 8 bit
microcontroller with 2K x
15 bits of flash memory is used to control the system. One such
microcontroller is the HT67F30,
which is commercially available from Holtek Semiconductor Inc.
A car battery reverse sensor 10 monitors the polarity of the vehicle battery
72 when the
handheld battery booster device is connected to the vehicle's electric system.
As explained
below, the booster device prevents the lithium battery pack from being
connected to the vehicle
battery 72 when the terminals of the battery 72 are connected to the wrong
terminals of the
booster device. A car battery isolation sensor 12 detects whether or not a
vehicle battery 72 is
connected to the booster device, and prevents the lithium battery pack from
being connected to
the output terminals of the booster device unless there is a good (e.g.
chargeable) battery
connected to the output terminals.
A smart switch FET circuit 15 electrically switches the handheld battery
booster lithium
battery to the vehicle's electric system only when the vehicle battery is
determined by the MCU 1
to be present (in response to a detection signal provided by isolation sensor
12) and connected
with the correct polarity (in response to a detection signal provided by
reverse sensor 10). A
lithium battery temperature sensor 20 monitors the temperature of the lithium
battery pack 32 to
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detect overheating due to high ambient temperature conditions and overextended
current draw
during jump starting. A lithium battery voltage measurement circuit 24
monitors the voltage of
the lithium battery pack 32 to prevent the voltage potential from rising too
high during a
charging operation and from dropping too low during a discharge operation.
Lithium battery back-charge protection diodes 28 prevent any charge current
being
delivered to the vehicle battery 72 from flowing back to the lithium battery
pack 32 from the
vehicle's electrical system. Flashlight LED circuit 36 is provided to furnish
a flashlight function
for enhancing light under a vehicle's hood in dark conditions, as well as
providing SOS and
strobe lighting functions for safety purposes when a vehicle may be disabled
in a potentially
dangerous location. Voltage regulator 42 provides regulation of internal
operating voltage for
the microcontroller and sensors. On/Off manual mode and flashlight switches 46
allow the user
to control power-on for the handheld battery booster device, to control manual
override operation
if the vehicle has no battery, and to control the flashlight function. The
manual button functions
only when the booster device is powered on. This button allows the user to
jump-start vehicles
that have either a missing battery, or the battery voltage is so low that
automatic detection by the
MCU is not possible. When the user presses and holds the manual override
button for a
predetermined period time (such as three seconds) to prevent inadvertent
actuation of the manual
mode, the internal lithium ion battery power is switched to the vehicle
battery connect port. The
only exception to the manual override is if the car battery is connected in
reverse. If the car
battery is connected in reverse, the internal lithium battery power shall
never be switched to the
vehicle battery connect port.
USB charge circuit 52 converts power from any USB charger power source, to
charge
voltage and current for charging the lithium battery pack 32. USB output 56
provides a USB
portable charger for charging smartphones, tablets, and other rechargeable
electronic devices.
Operation indicator LEDs 60 provide visual indication of lithium battery
capacity status as well
as an indication of smart switch activation status (indicating that power is
being provided to the
vehicle's electrical system).
Detailed operation of the handheld booster device will now be described with
reference
to the schematic diagrams of Figs. 2A-2C. As shown in Fig. 2A, the
microcontroller unit 1 is the
center of all inputs and outputs. The reverse battery sensor 10 comprises an
optically coupled
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isolator phototransistor (4N27) connected to the terminals of vehicle battery
72 at input pins 1
and 2 with a diode D8 in the lead conductor of pin 1 (associated with the
negative terminal CB-),
such that if the battery 72 is connected to the terminals of the booster
device with the correct
polarity, the optocoupler LED 11 will not conduct current, and is therefore
turned off, providing
a "1" or high output signal to the MCU 1. The car battery isolation sensor 12
comprises an
optically coupled isolator phototransistor (4N27) connected to the terminals
of vehicle battery 72
at input pins 1 and 2 with a diode D7 in the lead conductor of pin 1
(associated with the positive
terminal CB+), such that if the battery 72 is connected to the terminals of
the booster device with
the correct polarity, the optocoupler LED 11A will conduct current, and is
therefore turned on,
providing a "0" or low output signal to the MCU, indicating the presence of a
battery across the
jumper output terminals of the handheld booster device.
If the car battery 72 is connected to the handheld booster device with reverse
polarity, the
optocoupler LED 11 of the reverse sensor 10 will conduct current, providing a
"0" or low signal
to microcontroller unit 1. Further, if no battery is connected to the handheld
booster device, the
optocoupler LED 11A of the isolation sensor 12 will not conduct current, and
is therefore turned
off, providing a "1" or high output signal to the MCU, indicating the absence
of any battery
connected to the handheld booster device. Using these specific inputs, the
microcontroller
software of MCU 1 can determine when it is safe to turn on the smart switch
FET 15, thereby
connecting the lithium battery pack to the jumper terminals of the booster
device.
Consequently, if the car battery 72 either is not connected to the booster
device at all, or is
connected with reverse polarity, the MCU 1 can keep the smart switch FET 15
from being turned
on, thus prevent sparking/short circuiting of the lithium battery pack.
As shown in Fig. 2B, the FET smart switch 15 is driven by an output of the
microcontroller 1. The FET smart switch 15 includes three FETs (Q15, Q18, and
Q19) in
parallel, which spreads the distribution of power from the lithium battery
pack over the FETs.
When that microcontroller output is driven to a logic low, FETs 16 are all in
a
high resistance state, therefore not allowing current to flow from the
internal lithium
battery negative contact 17 to the car battery 72 negative contact. When the
micro
controller output is driven to a logic high, the FETs 16 (Q15, Q18, and Q19)
are in a low
resistant state, allowing current to flow freely from the internal lithium
battery pack negative
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contact 17 (LB-) to the car battery 72 negative contact (CB-). In this way,
the microcontroller
software controls the connection of the internal lithium battery pack 32 to
the vehicle battery 72
for jumpstarting the car engine.
Referring back to Fig. 2A, the internal lithium battery pack voltage can be
accurately
measured using circuit 24 and one of the analog-to-digital inputs of the
microcontroller 1.
Circuit 24 is designed to sense when the main 3.3V regulator 42 voltage is on,
and to turn on
transistor 23 when the voltage of regulator 42 is on. When transistor 23 is
conducting, it turns on
FET 22, thereby providing positive contact (LB+) of the internal lithium
battery a conductive
path to voltage divider 21 allowing a lower voltage range to be brought to the
microcontroller to
be read. Using this input, the microcontroller software can determine if the
lithium battery
voltage is too low during discharge operation or too high during charge
operation, and take
appropriate action to prevent damage to electronic components.
Still referring to Fig. 2A, the temperature of the internal lithium battery
pack 32 can be
accurately measured by two negative temperature coefficient (NTC) devices 20.
These are
devices that reduce their resistance when their temperature rises. The circuit
is a voltage divider
that brings the result to two analog-to-digital (A/D) inputs on the
microcontroller 1. The
microcontroller software can then determine when the internal lithium battery
is too hot to allow
jumpstarting, adding safety to the design.
The main voltage regulator circuit 42 is designed to convert internal lithium
battery
voltage to a regulated 3.3 volts that is utilized by the microcontroller 1 as
well as by other
components of the booster device for internal operating power. Three lithium
battery back
charge protection diodes 28 (see Fig. 2B) are in place to allow current to
flow only from the
internal lithium battery pack 32 to the car battery 72, and not from the car
battery to the internal
lithium battery. In this way, if the car electrical system is charging from
its alternator, it cannot
back-charge (and thereby damage) the internal lithium battery, providing
another level of safety.
The main power on switch 46 (Fig. 2A) is a combination that allows for double
pole, double
throw operation so that with one push, the product can be turned on if it is
in the off
state, or turned off if it is in the on state. This circuit also uses a
microcontroller output 47 to
"keep alive" the power when it is activated by the on switch. When the switch
is pressed the
microcontroller turns this output to a high logic level to keep power on when
the switch is
9

CA 02916782 2015-10-20
WO 2016/003471 PCT/US2014/045434
released. In this way, the microcontroller maintains control of when the power
is turned off when
the on/off switch is activated again or when the lithium battery voltage is
getting too low. The
microcontroller software also includes a timer that turns the power off after
a predefined period
of time, (such as, e.g. 8 hours) if not used.
The flashlight LED circuit 45 shown in Fig. 2B controls the operation of
flashlight LEDs.
Two outputs from the microcontroller 1 are dedicated to two separate LEDs.
Thus, the LEDs
can be independently software-controlled for strobe and SOS patterns,
providing yet another
safety feature to the booster device. LED indicators provide the feedback the
operator needs to
understand what is happening with the product. Four separate LEDs 61 (Fig. 2A)
are controlled
by corresponding individual outputs of microcontroller 1 to provide indication
of the remaining
capacity of the internal lithium battery. These LEDs are controlled in a "fuel
gauge" type format
with 25%, 50%, 75% and 100% (red, red, yellow, green) capacity indications. An
LED indicator
63 (Fig. 2B) provides a visual warning to the user when the vehicle battery 72
has been
connected in reverse polarity. "Boost" and on/off LEDs 62 provide visual
indications when the
booster device is provide jump-start power, and when the booster device is
turned on,
respectively.
A USB output 56 circuit (Fig. 2C) is included to provide a USB output for
charging
portable electronic devices such as smartphones from the internal lithium
battery pack 32.
Control circuit 57 from the microcontroller 1 allows the USB Out 56 to be
turned on and off by
software control to prevent the internal lithium battery getting too low in
capacity. The USB
output is brought to the outside of the device on a standard USB connector 58,
which includes
the standard voltage divider required for enabling charge to certain
smartphones that require it.
The USB charge circuit 52 allows the internal lithium battery pack 32 to be
charged using a
standard USB charger. This charge input uses a standard micro-USB connector 48
allowing
standard cables to be used. The 5V potential provided from standard USB
chargers is up-
converted to the 12.4VDC voltage required for charging the internal lithium
battery pack using a
DC-DC converter 49. The DC-DC converter 49 can be turned on and off via
circuit 53 by an
output from the microcontroller 1.
In this way, the microcontroller software can turn the charge off if the
battery voltage is
measured to be too high by the A/D input 22. Additional safety is provided for
helping to

CA 02916782 2015-10-20
70557-89
eliminate overcharge to the internal lithium battery using a lithium battery
charge controller 50
that provides charge balance to the internal lithium battery cells 51. This
controller also provides
safety redundancy for eliminating over discharge of the internal lithium
battery.
Fig. 3 is a perspective view of a handheld device 300 in accordance with an
exemplary
embodiment of the invention. 301 is a power on switch. 302 shows the LED "fuel
gauge"
indicators 61. 303 shows a 12 volt output port connectable to a cable device
400, described
further below. 304 shows a flashlight control switch for activating flashlight
LEDs 45. 305 is a
USB input port for charging the internal lithium battery, and 306 is a USB
output port for
providing charge from the lithium battery to other portable devices such as
smartphones, tablets,
music players, etc. 307 is a "boost on" indicator showing that power is being
provided to the
12V output port. 308 is a "reverse" indicator showing that the vehicle battery
is improperly
connected with respect to polarity. 309 is a "power on" indicator showing that
the device is
powered up for operation.
Fig. 4 shows a jumper cable device 400 specifically designed for use with the
handheld
device 300. Device 400 has a plug 401 configured to plug into 12 volt output
port 303 of the
handheld device 300. A pair of cables 402a and 402b are integrated with the
plug 401, and are
respectively connected to battery terminal clamps 403a and 403b via ring
terminals 404a and
404b. The port 303 and plug 401 may be dimensioned so that the plug 401 will
only fit into the
port 303 in a specific orientation, thus ensuring that clamp 403a will
correspond to positive
polarity, and clamp 403b will correspond to negative polarity, as indicated
thereon.
Additionally, the ring terminals 404a and 404b may be disconnected from the
clamps and
connected directly to the terminals of a vehicle battery. This feature may be
useful, for example,
to permanently attach the cables 302a-302b to the battery of a vehicle. In the
event that the
battery voltage becomes depleted, the handheld booster device 300 could be
properly connected
to the battery very simply by plugging in the plug 401 to the port 303.
The invention having been thus described, it will be apparent to those skilled
in the art
that the same may be varied in many ways without departing from the scope of
the
invention. Any and all such variations are intended to be encompassed within
the scope of the
following claims.
11

Representative Drawing
A single figure which represents the drawing illustrating the invention.
Administrative Status

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Administrative Status

Title Date
Forecasted Issue Date 2016-08-09
(86) PCT Filing Date 2014-07-03
(85) National Entry 2015-10-20
Examination Requested 2015-10-20
(87) PCT Publication Date 2016-01-07
(45) Issued 2016-08-09

Abandonment History

There is no abandonment history.

Maintenance Fee

Last Payment of $210.51 was received on 2023-06-05


 Upcoming maintenance fee amounts

Description Date Amount
Next Payment if small entity fee 2024-07-03 $125.00
Next Payment if standard fee 2024-07-03 $347.00

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Payment History

Fee Type Anniversary Year Due Date Amount Paid Paid Date
Request for Examination $800.00 2015-10-20
Application Fee $400.00 2015-10-20
Final Fee $300.00 2016-04-19
Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act 2 2016-07-04 $100.00 2016-04-19
Maintenance Fee - Patent - New Act 3 2017-07-04 $100.00 2017-06-23
Maintenance Fee - Patent - New Act 4 2018-07-03 $100.00 2018-06-22
Maintenance Fee - Patent - New Act 5 2019-07-03 $200.00 2019-06-20
Maintenance Fee - Patent - New Act 6 2020-07-03 $200.00 2020-03-06
Maintenance Fee - Patent - New Act 7 2021-07-05 $204.00 2021-04-08
Maintenance Fee - Patent - New Act 8 2022-07-04 $203.59 2022-04-11
Maintenance Fee - Patent - New Act 9 2023-07-04 $210.51 2023-06-05
Owners on Record

Note: Records showing the ownership history in alphabetical order.

Current Owners on Record
THE NOCO COMPANY
Past Owners on Record
None
Past Owners that do not appear in the "Owners on Record" listing will appear in other documentation within the application.
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Document
Description 
Date
(yyyy-mm-dd) 
Number of pages   Size of Image (KB) 
Representative Drawing 2016-06-20 1 16
Cover Page 2016-06-20 1 52
Claims 2015-10-20 4 137
Abstract 2015-10-20 1 21
Drawings 2015-10-20 13 246
Description 2015-10-20 11 593
Representative Drawing 2015-10-20 1 19
Description 2015-10-21 12 631
Claims 2015-10-21 3 130
Cover Page 2016-02-26 1 49
Maintenance Fee Payment 2018-06-22 1 59
Prosecution/Amendment 2015-10-20 2 131
Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) 2015-10-20 4 250
International Search Report 2015-10-20 1 53
Amendment - Abstract 2015-10-20 1 69
National Entry Request 2015-10-20 6 213
PCT Correspondence 2016-01-20 2 67
Prosecution-Amendment 2015-10-20 9 386
Amendment 2016-04-19 2 71
Correspondence 2016-04-19 2 71