The EDS Intelli-Cell Saga and the death of Preston Talley and the Intelli-Cell dream
Links to videos and owners manual at bottom of page
In early 2015, a family friend of EDS founder and president Dave Miga, came to Dave with an idea. Preston Talley was in the cellular smartphone business, selling accessories, used phones, and ran a traveling technical training company. He came to Dave with the idea of making a universal battery charging/testing system that would work with any rechargable battery of any kind with any connection system, even difficult custom setups like the Apple I-Phone setup. Quite a difficult task as lithium batteries are very specific to their charging voltages, currents and temperatures, let alone the different configurations and difficulty of reaching the connectors, and the fact that the unit had to be perfectly safe to use even by clueless millenials. Dave was trying to semi-retire at the time but wanted to keep his mind active so he took up the challenge with the agreement with Preston that Dave would provide all the R&D, parts, engineering and make the first working prototype, if Preston did the marketing with his contacts and would provide the financing for the first run. All profits would be shared between Dave and Preston after costs of manufacturing were paid for.
Dave expanded the project to include every known type of rechargable battery, not just the lithium ion batteries used in cellphones, to increase the market share beyond the cellular marketplace. He did months of research and eventually designed Intelli-Cell to analyze every type of battery, from the smallest 1.25 volt nickel-cadmium AAA through all the lithium ion and lithium phosphate types, and even included sealed lead-acid batteries up to 12 volts and seven amps. Intelli-Cell could not only charge, but also restore and rejuvinate batteries and even test them for quality factor and precisely calculate amp-hours. He worked tirelessly for nine months; circuitry was all state-of-the-art surface mounted components, digital regulators, beautiful blue LCD display... the coding of the Microchip processor alone was three months and almost 5,000 lines of assembly (!) coding, and the first rough handmade prototype was ready by September of 2015 to demonstrate to Preston and his partners.
Everyone loved the unit and its unique features, especially the mechanical elevator and moving contact system that allowed any battery to be hooked up, and the external adapter cable for the custom Apple I-Phone adapter and cables for larger, remote batteries and optional battery holders. So the project was put into phase two, which would be a small pre-production run of only ten units, dubbed ICU112, which stood for IntellCell Unit 1 battery 12V maximum. (Other models for up to two batteries up to 24 volts would therefore be called ICU224, and so on).
So Dave made the pc boards at the Pompano assembly location he uses for all EDS products and most of his clients, and Dave built one pre-production unit from the only brushed aluminum chassis (the other nine were black anodized) and made the assembly and QC testing notes in preparation for the other nine pre-production units that would be sent to prospective cellular distributors. The mechanical assembly of the nine black anodized ICU112 units was done in Dave's garage by Dave, Preston and his two partners. See the picture; Dave is seated at the far right with Preston looking on.
After the new year started in 2016, with the nine black ICU112 demo units made, Preston sent them out to his choice of nine distributors and cellular repair stores. From here the facts become somewhat murky... Preston apparently lost his job in the teaching and cellular parts company he was with, probably because his employer didn't appreciate Preston doing the Intelli-Cell project on his own, and the company possibly saw it as a conflict of interests...either way, Preston lost his contacts. Things got worse for him, he lost his long-time girlfriend and started using drugs. His partners apparently also lost contact with him as they weren't around to help him possibly get to rehab. Preston's spiral downward sadly ended on July 20, 2016, when he was murdered by four people who lured him into the Withlacoochee State Forest with promises of drugs and sex, where he was beaten to death so savagely that he was unrecognizable.
Dave was upset for a long time, not only because of Preston's death, but also because he had put a year of his life and a lot of money into Intelli-Cell, and with Preston's partners no longer interested in making Preston's dream become a reality after his death, instead washing their hands of the whole affair and refusing to speak of either Preston or of Intelli-Cell. So the future of Intelli-Cell died, along with Preston, and the mystery of where those nine black anodized pre-production units were ever sent to and who has them now.
Dave uses his original prototype and the only silver pre-production ICU112 daily as he uses various types of rechargable batteries in several client projects and tests battery quality and power evaluation as he needs to. Still, each time an ICU112 is used, the thoughts, both good and bad, of a grand project and the death of a good man, are felt each time.
Here are video links that might be interesting:
ICU112 Rough Prototype evaluation demonstration|
Features of the ICU112
Connecting batteries to the ICU112
Fast Test function
Analyze the exact amp-hour value
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