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Accessories Car charger explaination & sollution

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by brian_d, Sep 9, 2010.

  1. brian_d

    brian_d Lurker
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    Hi all!
    I've been lurking these forums since before the Incredible came out & I've noticed ALOT of confusion about car chargers & their ability to keep up with power draw of the Incredible when using the GPS. Under these conditions, some people report their battery dying a slow death even when attached to a car charger, while others (the lucky few?) report their battery taking a charge even while using the GPS. And it seems that the Froyo update has made matters worse. It got me thinking - Why does the phone charge slower in the car than from a wall outlet? So I did a little digging & found some of the answers at ironically.... androidforums.com! (The mods have GOT to be laughing at us!)

    To find out what kind of charge you Incredible is taking, press Menu>settings>about phone>battery. Under "battery status" it will say either "Charging USB" (limited to 500 milliamps) or "Charging AC"(apx. 1amp).

    What I've found is the phone decides what kind of charge to accept. But how does the phone know? I googled "USB pinout" & found that there are only 4 pins/connectors/wires in a USB cable (yea, I've never looked that closely at a USB connector...) - Power (limited to 5v), ground, & two pins for data. The phone decides what kind of charge to accept by "looking" at the data terminals. If the terminals are shorted to each other, the phone knows that this is a dedicated charge mode & charges the battery at a higher amperage (Shown as AC). The data pins, which are the 2 center pins, can either be shorted by the car charger and/or the wire connecting the charger to the phone.

    This webpage: http://forum.xda-developers.com/showpost.php?p=6675250&postcount=51 shows with (blury) pics how to crack open you car charger & solder the two center data pins.
    You can also disect your USB/micro charge wire & short the data wires (white & green), but - HUGE BUT! - do not plug this modified wire into your computer USB port as this could damage the computer USB bus due to the fact that it is only rated at 500MA. Another word of caution: you may not want to modify that cheepo car charger thats rated at 500MA - it probably won't last long trying to push out a full amp. I found the car charger I have not only has the #2 & #3 data pins shorted at the charger but ALSO the retractable wire is shorted too!

    Lastly, if you have a car charger that shows an AC charge on your phone post up the brand name & where you got it. I found that HTC makes one.

    The charger I have is made by "Cellular Innovations". I bought it at TJ Max for less than $20. It came with a car charger, home charger, a retractable mini cable & a retractable micro cable. It was labled at 1A & my phone shows an AC charge in the car.

    Good luck finding or modifiing your car charger.

    Oh & some of those answers I found on androidforums.com? The HTC Desire guys have been discussing this since May: http://androidforums.com/htc-desire/75062-charging-usb-ac-differences.html
     

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  2. Musky

    Musky Android Expert
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    Great first post Brian and welcome to the Forums! :D
     
  3. cooksalot

    cooksalot Well-Known Member
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    Well I'll be running across the street tomorrow to see if my TJ Maxx has those too. If not I'll just have to remember not to leave my ac charger in the car when done since I have a converter so the kids can watch movies on their laptop. :D
     
  4. Fine69

    Fine69 Android Enthusiast
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    uhhhh my battery lasts all day and then some. But charging is based on amperage draw by the device. device only draws what it needs. although the shorting of the pins maybe what the INC needs to be told to rapid charge. What about about battery over heating?
     
  5. oman321

    oman321 Member
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  6. kayst

    kayst Android Enthusiast
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    Yes, I have the monoprice car charger and it shows A/C charging when in use. It will keep the phone charged up while using GPS ONLY if I have the phone mounted in front of the A/C vent and blowing cold air onto it. If I mount the phone on the dash or windshield, it gets too hot and won't charge any more.
     
  7. ONJFan

    ONJFan Well-Known Member
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    Can someone provide a link to where u can buy the holder that fits in the a/c vents.
     
  8. cooksalot

    cooksalot Well-Known Member
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    I picked up a micro Quick Charge for USB car charging from TJ Maxx for 8 bucks today. Also by Innovations.
     
  9. kayst

    kayst Android Enthusiast
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    I can't remember where I bought mine - it was an old one I had for my previous PDA. Target maybe?
     
  10. DINC INC

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    I have the "Just Wireless" generic micro-usb charger sold at Walmart(and i think it is also available at Target) and it chargers in AC mode.
     
  11. irishjoeyo

    irishjoeyo Android Enthusiast
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    What does it mean for terminals to be "shorted to each other"?
     
  12. ACD168

    ACD168 Android Expert
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    great find man. I've sooooo sick of this debate. well done.+10000
     
  13. funkpod

    funkpod Well-Known Member
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    my scosche in the car says "usb charging." so that means .5 amp?

    i lost about 30% charge using gps and nav yesterday, and then on the way home i used my dc to ac adapter and plugged in my wall charger, said AC charging, and gained like 2% over the course of a hour and a half drive.

    sound about right?
     
  14. sabrewings

    sabrewings Android Expert
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  15. funkpod

    funkpod Well-Known Member
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    my scosche apparently is not 1amp, so i took my dc to ac adapter and plugged my wall charger to it. got my phone charging at 1amp, and gained about 2% over 1.5 hours.
     
  16. Legobricke

    Legobricke Well-Known Member
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    I am using the proclip carmount with the ac charger built in.

    It shows AC charging....

    When using NAV in the car, the unit does get very hot as it is not a/c mounted and does stop charging after about 45 minutes...

    This is with the NAV screen on...

    Lego!
     
  17. TrojanFan

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    I bought the Motorola P513 Rapid Rate Charger from Amazon which others on this board have said works quite well. It's only $5 and Free Super Saver shipping eligible: Amazon.com: Motorola P513 Vehicle Power Adapter MicroUSB Rapid Rate Charger: Cell Phones & Service

    I tried it for the first time this morning during my 35 min commute to work. Started with 88% battery life and ran the GPS and slacker radio the entire drive. When I got to work, my battery had 96% power. I am very pleased so far, although my sample size is quite small (1).
     
  18. ORRY?

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    I have that same exact car charger but have the complete opposite experience. I tested it out with Navigation on ONLY and plugged it in. My battery went from 88% to 79% after ten minutes of driving. With the 2150 extended battery. I didn't even it set to navigate anywhere, I only set it to follow me where I went and it drained 9% within ten minutes.
     
  19. TrojanFan

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    Well -- I feel obligated to update my experience with the Motorola P513 charger now that I have another day's experience under my belt. I had a short business trip that involved a 90 min drive where I ran Slacker and Nav the entire trip. Phone went from 86% down to about 70%. It appears to have overheated and stopped taking a charge, since my battery app said "over heat." Not good. FYI -- I had the screen on non-stop (since I was using the nav). I'm going to try turning the screen off when not needed and see if I still have the overheating problem. Proceed with caution on the P513, especially in light of ORRY?'s experience above.
     
  20. ORRY?

    ORRY? Well-Known Member
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    I forgot to add that I had the phone mounted on the Tetrax XWAY, which was mounted on the air vent, with the A/C on. Basically when I took it off and held it in my hand, it was very cold to the touch so, no overheating for me. Maybe overcooling? :thinking: :rolleyes: lol
     
  21. ORRY?

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    Just went on a short car ride with the monoprice charger, and I'm disappointed. Just a 10 minute ride with navigation on only just to follow where I went, not navigating to any specific place. Went down from 68% to 65% during the 10 minute car ride.

    :Le sigh:

    Any other suggestions?
     
  22. K2e2vin

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    I think I'll do that "fix" to my home charger that I bought off ebay(combo battery charger). For some reason it locks it up my phone and does not even work on my iPod. Does anyone know what's normally sent through the data terminals for charging via USB?
     
  23. ORRY?

    ORRY? Well-Known Member
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    Another update on the monoprice charger:

    Did another test run, but this time, set my screen brightness to low and turned off auto-sync on an hour-long drive through traffic from NJ to NY to get to an interview. From 46%, it charged up to 48%. Within that hour.

    So, the monoprice charger DOES charge the phone, but with the lowest screen brightness and auto-sync off. I had some trouble seeing the screen though, when the skies eased up a bit on the downpour and some sun shone through.

    Still disappointed in the Froyo-cap. Would rather not have to disable other functions in order to charge properly.
     
  24. GeoffJ

    GeoffJ Newbie
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    I have a Bury Take and Talk System 8 car kit with a Desire cradle, and it charges in the AC mode.
     
  25. Penguissimo

    Penguissimo Android Enthusiast
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    Incidentally, is this the HTC charger you refer to?

    HTC micro-USB Car Charger & Cable - 99H10129-00

    I have a Belkin dual charger that I'll check tomorrow. It claims it's rated for 1A, but I've still had the battery-drain-during-navigation problem that seems so common around here. And awesome first post, thanks!
     

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