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Phone doesn't charge while navigating?

Discussion in 'Android Accessories' started by clogboy, Jan 31, 2014.

  1. clogboy

    clogboy Lurker
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    Hey all :)
    First of, I have a Sony Xperia S and drive a VW Polo 1.2 (Easyline) from 2011. But I also had this issue in my Ford Fiesta 2004.
    I live in the Netherlands so don't really do insane distances. But occasionally I need to go somewhere, use my phone for something else and then find my way back. I'm using Google Maps to navigate and have my phone plugged into a 2,1A charger connected to the cigaret lighter (which is just a plug in this car without actual lighter). So I think I'm charging and have indefinite power for navigation... wrong. The battery is draining ever so slightly, but surely and steadily.
    I deliberately bought a high-current charger to fix this problem, but no luck.

    Is this a common issue? What might be the reason; power consumed by navigation? Or just a slow charging phone, or a low current coming from the 12V plug. Are there other (free) navigation apps that consume less power, or should it be sufficient to just dim the display and disable Bluetooth? Are there more capable solutions available such as a solar powered charger?


    Any and all help on this subject would be appreciated. Kind regards, B. Weinreder
     

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  2. Rukbat

    Rukbat Android Expert
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    The "high current" charger means that it CAN SUPPLY high current, not that it's going to force high current into the phone. The phone will draw as much current as it can - up to the amount it was designed to draw. And most phones are designed to charge the battery from the charging port, not to run the phone from it. That's why it's not called an external power port.

    The solution is a phone designed to draw enough current from the port to both run the phone and keep the battery charged.
     
  3. clogboy

    clogboy Lurker
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    I know that. The charger that came with my phone delivers 1600mA, so I'm guessing that's the max my phone will pull. If navigating takes more than that I have to cut back on that, dim the screen, switch off my bluetooth, see what works.
     
  4. twister6

    twister6 Android Expert
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    A more fundamental question, where did you get this 2.1A charger? and is there a way you can monitor how much current you are actually drawing during charging? For example, there is a free app for Galaxy phones that can tell you about charging current (not sure if one available for your phone), or maybe you are rooted and can find out that way. Also, what cable are you using to charge your phone?

    Since your phone came with 1.6A OEM charger, I assume your charging "speed" should be around that much. What I'm suspecting is that your 2.1A charger, if you got it from ebay or some shady amazon seller (who re-sells cheap Chinese stuff), is not sourcing enough current. And/or you are using a cable with thinner wires intended for low current charging, like those cables for computer usb ports that only designed for 500mA.

    I can only speak from a personal experience of Note 2 which charges at 1.8A-2A, where I use quality brand name chargers and 24AWG monoprice usb cables. I use Google Maps/Nav every day, with a screen on at full brightness, bluetooth and gps radios on, and with occasional calls. On a typical 1 hr drive to work with everything on, my battery usually charges up by about 10-15%. Now, if I would use a questionable charger (with 1A actual current sourcing) and low quality usb cable - I probably would end up draining my battery instead of charging it up.

    So, you gotta look into your charger and usb cables to find a root cause of your problem.
     
  5. girolez

    girolez Often Off Piste
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    Hi

    Yes it's a common issue. Part of the problem is that in a moving car using an app which needs a data connection a lot of power is used by the data connection which is continously searching for the next Tower. I have got round it by using Osmand as my navigation app. All maps are pre loaded so mobile data is not used at all when navigating and my note 2 happily charges up on a drive. :)

    Roger
     
  6. clogboy

    clogboy Lurker
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    That's definitely worth a try. I have navfree installed and I admit the cable is a bit cheap-ish. Got one of those charging current monitor apps installed and will give it a shot.
     
  7. clogboy

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    Ok i found an app to show me the charging current, but it only shows the net charge (so minus what it uses to run on). While operating my phone I have a positive charge of 0.3 amp with the 1.6A charger that came with my phone and a negative charge of 0.3A with my new car charger. So this should mean that my car charger is only good for 1A. Using navfree I consume up to 2% battery power during a 30 minute drive. Theoretically I could drive and need to fill up on gass a few times before the battery dies. Which isn't bad but a positive charge while driving should be best. Maybe I would do better with dimmed screen or a more potent charger... One that really delivers what it says on the box (rather than stating the combined output of the two usb ports).
     
  8. sdrawkcab25

    sdrawkcab25 Android Expert
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    also, if you are using google maps for navigation, it allows you to download areas for offline navigation. if the phone doesn't need a data connection, you might notice less of a power drain :)
     

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