If you watch Pokemon Go enthusiasts, you may have noticed something of a community spirit among gamers congregating at busy in-game locations. [Spencer Kern] wanted to encourage this, so produced what he describes as a water cooler for Pokemon Go players, a Pokemon-styled charging station with multiple USB ports.

His build centres on a Yeti 400 solar power pack and a large multi-port USB hub, for which he has built a detailed wooden housing in the style of a Pokemon Center from the earlier Nintendo games. The idea is that gamers will congregate and plug in their phones to charge, thus bringing together a real-world social aspect to the game. We can see the attraction to gamers, however we suspect most Hackaday readers would join us in not trusting a strange USB socket and using only a USB cable not equipped with data conductors.

pokemon-center-usersStill, the housing has seen some careful design and attention to detail in its construction. He started with a 3D CAD model from which he created a set of 2D templates to print on paper and from which to cut the wood. As many of his dimensions as possible were taken from common wood stock to save machining time, and the structure was assembled using wood glue before being sanded and filled. Finally, the intricate parts such as the Pokemon logo were 3D printed, and spray painted. The result is a pretty good real-world replica of the Pokemon Center that you’d recognise if you were a player of the original games, and he reports it was a hit with gamers in his local park.

We’ve covered quite a few Pokemon Go hacks recently, but many of them have had a less physical and more virtual basis. We did see a real-world Pokemon-catching Pokeball though, and of course there was also the automated Pokemon egg incubator.

Thanks [Genki] for the tip.

18 Comments

  1. notarealemail

    I was going to groan about ‘yet another Pokemon hack’, but at least this one gets them playing it outside!
    Plus, it does look good; great job. 🙂

  2. FireYourWebDesignersInHell

    Went to their sway site, presses pagedown repeatedly, site now scrolls slow as fuck…

  3. notarealemail

    What is funny is it doesn’t work well on my mobile device either!
    Gets stuck on the images and I have to rotate my phone so I can keep scrolling, gets stuck, rotate phone again…
    A lot of online newspaper sites do the same thing for some reason. Probably the ads and the ‘live comments’ junk.

  4. Nice Cat-On-A-Scooter t-shirt! 🙂

  5. If this is left outside for anyone to use, I wonder what’s stopping it from getting stolen.

  6. TacticalNinja

    Would be nice to bring a USB condom just in case these chargers pack malicious hardware.

  7. “suspect most Hackaday readers would join us in not trusting a strange USB socket and using only a USB cable not equipped with data conductors.”
    A beefy 5V zener and a quick blow fuse would probably be a wise move as well…

  8. TacticalNinja

    My reply was supposed to be for yours, not the guy above.
    “Would be nice to bring a USB condom just in case these chargers pack malicious hardware.”

  9. Regular USB hub? That would limit to 500mA per port and it’d take a while to charge most devices. Is there a 10-port USB hub that can do 2.1A per port?

  10. notarealemail

    I’m not sure about having 10 ports, but there are some hight output USB power hubs at some large camping/hunting stores.
    The ones that sell the overpriced solar chargers.

  11. Can’t you just connect a load of sockets up in parallel, just to the power connectors? Possibly putting whichever resistors on the data pins, to let the device know it can do high-current. That’s what all chargers do, it’s a solved problem.
    As for malicious chargers, does Android have a weakness for that? Mine just asks me what I want to do with it, and if I choose “hard drive” mode, sits there and waits for me to send data to it. The Android system directories are all hidden from the PC connection, as they’re hidden from the standard file manager. So what could go wrong?
    I suppose I could ask the same about Iphones, but those people deserve what they get.

  12. A library near me had all of the pokestops removed from the grounds after many complaints resulting from the hundreds of college kids that would congregate there every night. One of the complaints was that someone was charging a fee to connect phones to a charging station which would have been fine, I guess, had they not been using an extension cord connected to a library outlet. Talk about low overhead.

  13. Battery packs aren’t expensive, sounds like a small business opportunity for a charging station. Like they do in poorest Africa, ironically. Pokemon’s turned us into the Third World!

  14. Poke it where the sun doesn’t shine, now more than ever. How much longer. Harbinger of the future, glad I won’t be there. Where people only have a product content life, not their own. If you think MTV addled brains this, is beyond crack.

  15. Ah, if only I were lucky enough to have lived through the more sensible ages, and then die sometime soon. Still, maybe there’ll be a renaissance. Have to have hope.

  16. notarealemail

    Then one day all at once, everything Pokemon dissappears!
    The children look up from their games and to the sky and see clouds for the first time in years…
    …and then they go back to playing Pokemon with cards again. :/

  17. …and Thomas Edison was a witch.

  18. Instead support phones with replaceable batteries (and 2-4x 7000 to 10000 mAh extended batteries!). Harder to lose grip on a brick phone too.

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