Smart Poi

Upgrading K8 Prophecy club with new battery and firmware

My K8 Prophecy clubs have reached the end of their tether. After 8 years of use! First of all, many thanks to K8Malabares for their excellent equipment. Most smartphones won’t last that long (except for my Samsung Galaxy S2, which still works). If you need juggling equipment you can’t go wrong with K8. I have some of their non-LED equipment as well and it’s just as good.

Upgrade

About six years ago I did an experiment – to see if I could emulate the K8 IR code on an Attiny85 chip. I knew they used that chip, or possibly the Attiny45, because one of my clubs was faulty and I opened it up to have a look – K8 sent a replacement, by the way, talk about great customer service!

Now that my balls and clubs are not working anymore, due to the battery reaching end of life, it’s the perfect time to test out my new code. Luckily K8 didn’t solder their chips, instead opting for a convenient chip socket for easy replacement! I made some updates to the code, adding new functionality and colours. (K8 have also done an update since I bought my equipment) The most important, for me, was adding a timeline record and playback. This means that I can record the timed colour changes for my entire show into the chip via IR remote, and play it back (in time with the music) by pressing a single button. This is similar to how Aerotech Ultimates used to work.

You can check out the code for Attiny85 here.

Batteries

The batteries were the main thing. K8 use lithium batteries with 250mah power. I found some batteries online with a capacity of 600mah which I thought I could make fit (see below for details – not quite, but I made it work). I also bought a cool new charger for the new batteries.

The procedure

For anyone who wants to try and do this, I am posting some tips and photo’s.

1. Taking apart the club

Pull off the tape from the center, then pull out the staples:

Take off the knob and top bumper:

Pull off the plastic around the handle, then unscrew the plastic spacer (needs an allen key)

The next part is really sensitive – make holes in the top of the bulb cover to let the inside pipe come out. Get it out by pushing from the bottom – I also shoved a dowel inside and pushed upwards. If you use too much force this plastic pipe could bend, so be careful.

Now pull out some more screws holding the thicker top piece of the inside pipe on, and pull the spacer out to let the electronics out.