Cigarette Adapter QuestionAccessories


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  1. Stang70Fastback

    Stang70Fastback Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    So I have a cigarette-to-USB adapter already, but it's a large bulky one that sticks out over 1.5 inches from the socket. Not the end of the world, I know, but I just fabricated a little mount for my phone and am trying to now make everything neat and tidy. I saw Sprint's $29.99 "low profile" adapter and thought I could probably find something similar or better online - which I did. I was particularly looking at this one from Belkin, but came across an issue reading the comments:

    The charger is rated at 1A, which is what our phones charge at from the wall outlet. However, apparently people are saying the phone actually recognizes it as a USB outlet, and so charges at only 500 mAh. Apparently, some people with EVOs are saying this is NOT enough to maintain even the current charge when using GPS and playing music. Is this true? Or is 500 mAh enough? I don't care if it doesn't charge at a million miles an hour. I DO want it to actually be charging and not losing power though. Can someone confirm that regardless, 500 mAh should be enough? A lot of people are saying they have Droids/etc... and have no problem using GPS and everything, so I'm not sure who to believe.

    THIS PART RESOLVED:
    (On a related note, does anyone know of a Widget or something that I can put on my home-screen that I can toggle on/off to make the screen stay lit and on max brightness for when I am in the car? The phone doesn't recognize a standard charger like this as a "car dock" so the screen does not stay on, and I can't find a feature in the settings for "screen stays lit on A/C power" like I've had in like even basic flip phones from years ago, lol, unless I am blind...)


    Thanks in advance to anyone who can offer any sort of help!
     

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  2. stanglifemike

    stanglifemike Well-Known Member

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    Switch Pro Widget (which I use and love!!) has a setting for screen always on. It can be used as a 1x1 widget or in a row with other toggle switches in their 4x1 or 1x4 widget.It also has a screen always on timer. You can set it for the screen to stay on for say 30 minutes or 45 minutes, or how ever long your car ride is...It is pretty sweet.

    Here is one of my screenshots. Switch Pro is the widget in the middle, I do not have the "screen on" toggle set. You can choose which toggles you want to use in the Widget and in which order they are in....


    [​IMG]
     
  3. ArthurIhde

    ArthurIhde Well-Known Member

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    thanks for your pic [​IMG]
     
  4. Stang70Fastback

    Stang70Fastback Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    Thanks for the info about that widget. I actually discovered that there IS an always on setting: Settings > Applications > Development > Screen always on when charging!

    Now if anyone has any answers with regards to the cigarette-lighter stuff I'll be all set!
     
  5. AlkiDweller

    AlkiDweller Well-Known Member

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    There's a program in the market called Screebl that will keep the screen on all the time if the phone's orientation is anything other than completely horizontal. It won't turn the screen on, it just won't allow it to turn off unless you press the "sleep" button on the top of the phone. I've set the phones screen timeout at it's lowest (15 seconds) and it never shuts off when I'm using it but when I set it down, it shuts off after 15 seconds. Great little app.
     
  6. sitlet

    sitlet Banned

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    500ma is enough to charge the phone. If you are using Navigation or Maps, it may not charge very fast, as those take a lot of power. But otherwise it should work fine. And FYI, not all cigarette to USB adapters will charge the phone at 500ma. I have one and the phone recognizes it as AC and charges at 1a.
     
  7. Drew5150

    Drew5150 Well-Known Member

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    I bought an elago micro usb because I thought it looked nice and compact. it charges at 1amp, though I have not tested if it actually does 1 amp with the phone.
    http://elagostore.com/category/33482073381/1/USB-Charger.htm

    thing I noticed with it is that I get noise if I am playing music through my phone while using this adapter. I have been disappointed with it. they also make a nano version that charges at 700ma.

    I haven't tried any other chargers in the car yet though to see if its from my car or just a crappy charger. luckily I have a short commute so it hasn't been necessary.

    anyone else experience electrical noise while charging in their car?
     
  8. ntron1

    ntron1 New Member

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    If you get the Belkin, just crack it open and solder pins 2 and 3 together. this will up the charge rate to 1000mA from the stock 500 mA.
     
  9. PGR

    PGR Well-Known Member

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    There seems to be some confusion here: When you short the data pins in the charger you aren't telling the charger what to do, you're telling the phone what to do. A charger like the Belkin can deliver it's full output whether the data pins are shorted or not, but you can't push 1000mA (for example) into a device which will only draw 500mA.

    If the data pins aren't shorted the phone will assume it's plugged into a USB data port. The power output specification for USB 1.x and 2.0 ports is only 500mA so as long as the phone thinks it's plugged into a USB data port it's only going to draw 500mA or less.

    If the data pins are shorted the phone will think it's plugged into a charger and draw the maximum mA that the phone will accept.

    Now it's important to understand that the maximum mA the phone will accept may not be the maximum mA that the charger can supply. The Evo, for example, doesn't appear to be capable of charging the battery at more than ~650mA regardless of how powerful the charger is and it's still open for debate whether it can use any additional power to run the phone while it's charging the battery.

    Pete
     
  10. tracerit

    tracerit Well-Known Member

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    i have this charger for my car and it only charges at 500MA and is NOT enough to charge whiel using navigation + music as mentioned. i went ahead and soldered the two pins but it wasn't worth all the hassle. in the end it does charge at the same rate as the wall AC though.
     
  11. PGR

    PGR Well-Known Member

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    What is the rated output of the charger? That should be on a sticker or printed on it somewhere.

    Pete
     
  12. aburgthing

    aburgthing Well-Known Member

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    I use the Seidio Evo car mount with the supplied auto charger. It keeps my phone fully charged while streaming music, using Google Nav or the music player. It not only keeps up with the use, it charges the phone! I'm always pulling it out on a full charge. The only downer with the mount is I get some interference when charging and I'll unplug it to hear clear music. I also HATE that it degrades music volume by 20% just plugging it in. I still would like to know what that's all about.
     
  13. tracerit

    tracerit Well-Known Member

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    it says 1A on the Belkin box.
     
  14. Stang70Fastback

    Stang70Fastback Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    The reason I made this thread, though, was because in reading the reviews for various chargers (the mini Belkin included) it seemed as though many of the chargers that SAY they put out 1 AMP are attempting to conform to USB standards, and so the phone always sees them as USB and not AC and ends up charging at 500 mA. I was wondering if anyone at all had one that actually charged better? The USB wall adapter our phones came with says 1 A and that definitely charges a lot faster than via USB.
     
  15. Palmetto Fellow

    Palmetto Fellow Well-Known Member

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    I have seen my current draw above 900mA while charging my EVO. In fact, I think it goes full open until around 70%...it seems to slow down as it gets closer to full.

    There is a widget called current widget. It shows the current at any given time. The widget uses some math based on readings every several seconds...so it can take up to 30 seconds for a change to be displayed.


    Let the battery run down to 20%. Then plug it in the wall, and turn off the screen. Let it charge for 5-10 minutes like this, then turn on the screen, and go to the current widget. It should display more than 900mA for several seconds after turning the screen on.
     
  16. PGR

    PGR Well-Known Member

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    Current Widget? Been there, done that, got the shirt. :D The problem with Current Widget is you have no idea how much of the current is charging the battery and how much is running the phone.

    You might be interested in the info in THIS POST. Like Current Widget it only shows a sum of both running and charging but the results conclusively show that ...

    Aw hell, read it yourself and come to your own conclusions. ;)

    Pete
     
  17. Palmetto Fellow

    Palmetto Fellow Well-Known Member

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    I'll note that his test started at 81%. I suggested starting a test at 20%. I have found that Current widget is rather consistent in it's findings regardless of how accurate they are. At 20% charge, there is more draw than at 80% charge. I've seen this, so I have to assume it's true for now.

    If the same person who performed the test that you linked to would do the test over again at 20%, I'd love to see his results. Are you a member of that forum?
     
  18. PGR

    PGR Well-Known Member

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    Well I'm the person who performed the test (PGRtoo) so I can probably convince "him" to. ;)

    It's going to have to wait about a week, though. We just started a 7-day lyophilizer run on some insanely expensive drugs at work and I'm the first-responder if the SCADA system detects anything out of range. It will call my Evo's number if it does so there's way too much at stake right now for me to be experimenting with it.

    But once the lyo run is over I plan on running the phone to shutdown and then log a complete charge cycle.

    Can't remember for sure why I didn't use PGR on XDA too, but I think it wasn't enough characters or something so I used PGRtoo.

    Pete
     
  19. PGR

    PGR Well-Known Member

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    Well, I have to charge the phone anyway so I put it on the Innodock Jr with my Fluke 112 connected to it. Spare Parts said the battery was at 59% just before I did and once again I neglected to note the battery voltage. :mad:

    Anyway, with everything off except Bluetooth and the screen dark it drew 896mA for the first ~5 minutes it was on the charger.

    After ~15 minutes it was at 832mA with the screen off and 848mA with the screen on per the Fluke, but Current Widget was showing 636mA.

    Now I wasn't supposed to do this, but I shut the phone off long enough to check the current draw and the Fluke showed 629mA. That leads me to believe that Current Widget ignores the power it takes to run the phone when it's charging and only shows the current actually going into the battery.

    As I type this it's been about an hour since I started this little test and the Fluke is showing 350mA and Spare Parts is showing 99%/4.199mV.

    Pete

    Note: While I was typing that last sentence the light went from amber to green.

    rePete
     
  20. Palmetto Fellow

    Palmetto Fellow Well-Known Member

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    LOL. I never looked at "his" username.

    Based on your results, it seems that the phone is capable of drawing nearly 1 amp when the battery % is below a threshold. The range you experienced was 350-896 mA. The other test you mentioned should tell us where the various thresholds are. I mentioned 70% as a general number. In casual obersvances of the Current Widget, I recalled that it would give it full juice beyond 50%, but didn't have an exact figure, so I said 70%.

    The slowing of the charge seems deliberate, and I assume the reason is to preserve the battery in some way. Is it a heat problem?

    I don't use Current Widget anymore...I've decided that knowing the draw on the battery is not absolutely necessary info for me to have at my fingertips. But I do recall looking briefly at a Current Widget log in the past. In the log, it actually distinguishes between + and - . The widget display lacks this piece of information unfortunately. When charging, and you see 560mA, it's a +560mA. When discharging and you see 560mA, it's -560mA. Like you said, it's the current going into/out of the battery, not the total current being used.

    I may install it again to see what happens when I stream Pandora with A2DP BT streaming to my car stereo...then I'll plug it in the car charger...and see what happens. I suspect that I'll see a really low number. I've found that 1 hour of streaming Pandora this way uses roughly 25% of my battery, so the draw should be roughly 375mA. If the car charger is viewed as USB and limited to 500mA, Current Widget should show +125mA or less of current going into the battery. I'd need to look at the log to confirm that it's a surplus...but I already know it will be. When I stream and charge in the car, my battery % goes up very slowly. It almost seems like I am breaking even, but it does go up.

    I can imagine a case where the car charger is unable to keep up with the phone's requirements. What if you had 4G on, streaming music with BT A2DP going and also turn on the GPS and compass. Why not setup a WiFi hotspot for your 3 car passengers as well...and then charge it off the car charger. I suspect the phone would die slowly even while charging.
     

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