So, what is it?
The PDU (power distribution unit) is a small form factor, next generation power distribution unit. You can install the PDU in your car, truck, motorcycle, RV, boat, or pretty much anything that runs on a 12V system. The PDU will supply power to any sort of accessory, like aux lights, heated clothing, whatever you want. What’s really awesome is that the PDU will pair to your mobile phone or tablet via Bluetooth 4, so you can control everything from your touchscreen. The PDU also supports switch installations so you also have the option of controlling circuits via a dash mounted toggle or button switch.
- Eight 15A circuits with PWM
- Eight programmable current circuit breakers
- Real-time telemetry via Bluetooth 4
- System voltage
- Total current
- Channel current
- Channel PWM
- Channel fuse level and status
- Programmable default output behavior
- Turn on outputs based on key, ignition, or low voltage
- Turn off outputs based on key, ignition, low voltage, or high voltage
- Modulate output duty cycle to create pulsing effects
- Over current circuit priority
- Two constant current drivers
- 4 programmable signal inputs
- Reacts to 12V and GND signals
- Turn outputs on or off
- Delayed output turn on after signal
- Toggle outputs
- Adjust output PWM
How does it work?
Power distribution - The PDU has 8 independent positive voltage circuits. Each circuit is rated at 15A @ 12V continuous current and the total nominal load the PDU can source is 100A @ 12V. To install, you only need to connect the PDU to your battery (both terminals), connect a positive lead to each of your accessories, and then make sure everything has a good connection to ground. In this way, only one wire for each accessory needs to come back to the PDU. This helps keep the the installation tidy. We suggest you install ground bars to terminate your accessory grounds in groups rather than bringing each individually back to the negative terminal on the battery. Again, to keep the install tidy.
Hardware control - This device supports two separate non-radio control methods. We have developed input circuitry that can sense when the input is pulled to either ground or 12V (though not at the same time). The PDU interprets these signals as commands to turn circuits on and off. The signal commands are programmed via your Bluetooth device. Four signal inputs are available for you to design into your own electrical system.
An example use case would be to connect a signal wire to your high beam wire with a Posi-Tap and command the PDU to turn your aux lights on when you turn on your high beams. This allows you to take advantage of OEM switches while having an independently fused circuit to your accessory. A second method is a traditional switch placed in series with each circuit to physically (dis)connect each circuit from your accessory.
Bluetooth connectivity - You can pair a Bluetooth Low Energy 4 device with the PDU using the MotoBrain app for iOS (Android in the works). The connection allows you to have control of your PDU at your fingertip. Using the app you can turn items on, off, or dim via pulse width modulation (PWM, as applicable). The BT4 connection allows you to have visual, real-time feedback on the status of all accessories controlled by the PDU. This is also how to program the device inputs and set default output settings.
Real time telemetry - In addition to seeing everything that is receiving power from the PDU, the PDU will also keep you informed as to how much current is being used per channel and the current system voltage (which can inform you of battery problems). This is great information to have if you have a limited current capacity on your vehicle (like on some motorcycles). You can even setup the device to turn off low priority circuits automatically if the total current draw is too high.
Where can I install this?
We have tried very hard to keep the size as small as possible. The PDU is made of two PCBs stacked on top of one another, one for power distribution and one for processing and BT4 radio. When mated together the assembly is about the size of a deck of cards. You can mount the PDU in tight spots by cable ties, or hard mounting through the mounting tabs (not pictured). The unit is 100% encapsulated in polyurethane and is waterproof so mounting in exposed locations is no problem.
Awesome! How do I get one?
Check out our Kickstarter page for more details.