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Old December 15th, 2012, 08:46 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Car Charging - USB Inverters - Cables


Someone reviewed the PureGear charge only cable on Amazon("http://goo.gl/2JpX4") that this cable flaked out their Nexus (4?). Anyone use this cable on a Nexus 4 or late model smartphone? My understanding is the charge only cable is to force the faster A/C charge rate.

When running the GPS and maybe a few other apps in the background finding the best charging setup is important. A bunch of people using high amp USB car adapters, 2 to 3 amps for various phones. Phones like the Nexus or S3 will pull only what amps are needed. T-Mobile store has stated and there have been post that car charging is bad for a phone's battery life. How is this any different than A/C charging? For some on the go people fast charging from the car is a necessity. I am using an air vent universal car mount until I find the right N4 dock/mount. If heat from charging and running GPS apps is the soul culprit then my N4 may stay on the vent. If it is the fact that these car USB adapters are producing unstable or dirty power at load maybe a 12v inverter is the way to go; this type of stuff is above my pay grade.

Information on charging batteries with inverters.


Cables

28/24AWG Cable Ferrite Core Gold Plated - Too Thin ?
PureGear charge only cable - No Specs

Inverters with high output USB

Duracell DRINVP175 175-Watt 2.1-Amp USB
Wagan EL2003-5
BESTEK 75w Dual USB
BESTEK 150W Dual USB 3.1A
BESTEK 150w Dual USB 3.1A




12v USB Adapters
.

iFlash High Output 4 USB Car Charger.
Motorola Vehicle micro-USB Rapid Charger - No USB, dedicated, popular.
Bracketron Dual USB Car Adapter (UGC-298-BL) - Gives a choice, needs a mod.
PowerGen Dual USB 3.1A 15w - Not 3amps.
Griffin Powerjolt - Needs a mod.
PowerGen Dual USB Port 2A - Blue LED too bright? Large, poor fit? Maybe best choice?


DX Car Cigarette Powered Charger w/ 4 USB Output for Cell Phone / Table PC + More - White Output current: 500/1000/2100/1000mA
A quality version of this would be great.
If these were real world outputs that would be great, who knows?

Newegg.com - Rosewill RCP-SC41 1A USB Micro Car Charger

$30 versions

Just Mobile Highway Car Charger, Silver CC-188
iLuv iAD610 DualPin Dual USB Car Charger for iPad/iPhone/iPod IAD610BLK


Any suggestions on a 2 to 3 amp USB car adapter. Total amps is usually divided by 2, so 2 amp adapter is about 1 amp per USB port. Some have a dedicated 2amp output. Other devices may take advantage of the high output, including Apple. Friends who ride might have Apple. Apple has a unique charging circuit. Not sure how this effects an Android device. Several of the more highly reviewed adapters may be for Apple only. Most can support Apple or Android it is just a question of what actual power gets to the Android.

If you do the A/C mod on a USB car adapter is a charge only cable still necessary?

These get a bit complicated. K Crawford has done a great job on his six reviews at Amazon, including one on the White PowerGen Dual USB Port 2A (Amazon.com: Profile For K. Crawford: Reviews). Some don't fit the socket well, some like the Bracketron Universal Dual USB needs a mod, some have the complicated Apple circuit, and most do not deliver on the amps. These all run about $10-$15. Maybe a better solution would be to create a DIY 12V to USB charging hub that would run to the fuse box. Some quick searches turned up no affordable quality DIY projects, anything worth doing was more than $40. There are often more than two people in the car with smartphones, four USB ports would get used enough to justify having it. Two high output USB ports would be the minimum. 12v USB hub for $50 Amazon.com: 12 Volt USB hub Industrial 4-Port USB 2.0 Powered Hub for PC-MAC DIN-RAIL Mount: Electronics.



Side note: I have a spare 1.5' Garmin USB cable. The cable has a micro on one end. Where there is writings on the full sized end there is a black raised plastic X. I would think this is to signify that it is not a standard USB. Offhand, anyone know if this would be the same configuration as a charge only cable?

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Old December 16th, 2012, 02:09 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Charge-only cables haven't data wires.
So, a must-have of such a cable is a coded microUSB connector (the most common method are jumped data pins).
The phone is sensing this on its connector for controlling its charging current: So it'll decide rapid and not "trickle" charging current.
Note, the charger have to be able to supply this higher amperage of the rapid charging current (1A for phones, 2A or more amperage for tablets).
It's no harm done to use chargers with larger amperage than the phone needs.

Note also, the charger which came with your phone would have this jumped pins in its USB socket. So, with a charge-only cable without data wires the phone wouldn't "see" this.
That's the reason a charge-cable has to have this feature.

Another must-have of charge-only cables are their thicker wire gauge of the power wires. This means lower electrically resistance for that high current that flows when the phone is be charged and run a powerful navigation app at the same time.

Unfortunately, this PureGear cable's specs shows so little features so one can't say if the cable has the must-have features.

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Old December 16th, 2012, 10:04 AM   #3 (permalink)
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"Unfortunately, this PureGear cable's specs shows so little features so one can't say if the cable has the must-have features."

You are right on a $10 USB cable designed for performance the lack of specs is a bad thing. Diameter and length of a wire play a large part in the delivery of amps. One amp +/- pulled through these inexpensive and thin USB wires for hours and hours over the life of the device may warrant a closer examination by people that are hep to these sort of things. What are the specs on any of these USB cables used for charging? Can a faulty or low quality USB cable damage the battery and or the board over time?




Does any one know where to get a quality charge only cable with specs?
If not in a rush is it better, and if so about how much better, to charge the battery on the slow charge?


I have ordered a couple of data/charge cables from Monoprice.com
28/24AWG Cable w/ Ferrite Core (Gold Plated)



"Note also, the charger which came with your phone would have this jumped pins in its USB socket. So, with a charge-only cable without data wires the phone wouldn't "see" this.
That's the reason a charge-cable has to have this feature."

My bad, I want to be sure I understand.
So, if the charger is shorted a shorted USB cable is redundant?
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Old December 16th, 2012, 12:46 PM   #4 (permalink)
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"... Can a faulty or low quality USB cable damage the battery and or the board over time?"...

No, it causes just a lower current.

"...If not in a rush is it better, and if so about how much better, to charge the battery on the slow charge? ..."

As far as I know, this made no difference for a Li-Ion battery.

"... I have ordered a couple of data/charge cables from Monoprice.com
28/24AWG Cable w/ Ferrite Core (Gold Plated)..."


The power wires have 24AWG, this should be good enough for a 1m cable.

"... My bad, I want to be sure I understand.
So, if the charger is shorted a shorted USB cable is redundant? ..."


No, if you use a data/charge USB cable, the phone "sees" the shorted charger through the data wires.
But with charge-only USB cable (without data wires) the phone can't "see" the shorted charger. So the cable's microUSB itself must have this jumped data pins.

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