Friday, June 5, 2015

Wish-Lust: Fogo Adventure Gadget: GPS+Flashlight+Walkie Talkie+Charger

[EDIT: Promo-code to get 10% discount on their store!]
[EDIT: another 10% code .... ]

I do love my Kickstarter projects, my flashlights, and alternate power sources,  so when the Fogo project came up, I jumped right onto it. Alas, its first iteration didnt make the target goal, but the Fogo team have gone bak to he drawing board, and have come back with a second version, which looks to be going strong.

I wanted to give you all my thoughts on it, because I think it has some real potential, but needs some explanation before you go right in and back it. Caveat Emptor.

The base level light has a programmable flashlight, USB charger, accelerometer, digital compass and a charging system for other devices.

I've covered a multi-functional flashlight before, in the Hexbright FLEX and charging systems like the Snow Lizard SLXtreme case but the Fogo has a few more built in features that sets it apart.
Constructed predominantly of Type III Hard Anodized 6061 aluminum for the body, end cap, and bezel, with an acrylic lens protector, and a polycarbonate protector for the built in 168x144 crisp, low power LCD screen (with backlight), and all together holds a IPX7 Waterproof rating.

It measures 14cm (5.56") x 4.5cm (1.78") in diameter and weighs 285g (10oz) when fully loaded up with the twin 18650 protected Li-Ion batteries (up to 3400mAh each).
The USB Charger which has a 1.8A at 5V output power (Micro USB OTG Adapter required for charging external devices) allows charging of up to 1.8A.

The really interesting features that the Fogo can have added are a  Bluetooth connection, GPS circuitry, Walkie-Talkie Smartcap and Text Messaging over radio.

The Radio cap offers a wireless network between other Fogo users allowing you to send digital voice and text messages, including GPS data such as waypoints, as well as real-time communication from 1.6 to 11.2km, depending on terrain.

The Text-Messaging-Over Radio option requires the Radio-Tail-Cap option in order to work, so be sure to bear that in mind when building your own, and you need two of them to communicate like this.

I haven't gone as far as pledging for those upgrades, because I unfortunately don't have the funds to put in for two or more complete models, but I can see the appeal of off-cell-grid communications in a rugged an easy to use unit like these.

For my money, I'm looking forwards to the Kickstarter to surpass its Stretch Goal of $80k to achieve an upgrade of the Cree LED's. The higher efficiency XP-L outputs up to 1226 lumens compared to 1058 for the XM-L2. Plus the XP-L gives the Fogo a 10% improvement in battery life.

With its Battery Voltage, Current, and State of Charge sensors, automatic light control to save battery life and protect your night vision (point to the ground for dim and far away for bright)  and off-course notification, the Fogo is a pretty advanced flashlight on its own. With the addition of the GPS and bluetooth options, and being able to track your speed, distance, elevation, rate of ascent/decent and see your stats on the Fogo or download them for later use, tracking your heart rate or cadence or even use the crash detection feature which alerts nearby Fogos (if any) of your situation. It's a pretty special system, all told.

I hope it gets picked up widely, it would be good to see it out there getting its full exposure and coverage.

[EDIT: Promo-code to get 10% discount on their store!]
[EDIT: another 10% code ....

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