Battery and Naivagation, Is this Normal?

Discussion in 'Android General Discussions' started by vthokies1996, May 10, 2010.

  1. vthokies1996

    vthokies1996 Member

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    This weekend we drove from Northern Virginia to Ithaca, NY. I left the house with a fully charged Droid. Put the Droid in the dock and plugged in the charger. Then setup up the Navigation to our destination.

    It was about 60 degrees out with very little sun. After 1.5-2 hours, I noticed that the battery was down to 60%. A 40% drop in charge, with the charger plugged in.

    I am using the Motorola charger that came with the dock. But is a 40% loss within 2 hours normal, or could there be something wrong with the phone? I have noticed considerable drops in battery % when using navigation in several cars with my phone, also using either the Motorola charger or a charger purchased from Best Buy.

    I've seen other threads and it seems that people have claimed it has something to do with trying to use the Navigation while in the dock and having the Droid in direct sunlight. The entire trip there was very little sun, maybe 5 minutes of actual sunlight, the majority of the time on the road it was quite cloudy.

    No other apps were running. I took the phone of the charger in my house, put it in the dock and started only the Navigation.
     
  2. Guchi

    Guchi Active Member

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    i have had a similar issue but not to that extreme. Mine was like 70% charged I plugged it in the car charger and turned on the nav for 5 hours when we got there and i unplugged it my power was still at 70%
     
  3. vthokies1996

    vthokies1996 Member

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    40% loss within 2 hours just seems ridiculous. Based on 1.5-2 hrs and losing 40% of the battery, that means I would be able to use GPS Navigation for 3.75 - 5 hrs before the battery died.
     
  4. jsh1120

    jsh1120 Silver Member

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    A couple of thoughts. First, as you apparently realize, navigation is a battery drain monster. Without a compensating charge I'd say it's not at all unusual to drain your battery completely on a long trip.

    So that points to the likelihood that your Droid isn't being sufficiently recharged while navigation is running. (You said that "no other apps were running." That may or may not be true. If your phone is set to synch, there's a possibility that other apps may be draining the battery in the background, but that's another issue.)

    If, in fact, you're not getting a compensating recharge in the dock it could point to the charge cable. Others have noted that some cables (mainly aftermarket cables) simply don't provide enough current to charge the droid. This, I think is not a binary (does/does not) issue, but a range in which a cable may work under some conditions, but not in others where the current is not strong enough to compensate for battery drain.

    On the other hand, you may be experiencing a problem with the source of the charge. In my Saab, for example, I cannot recharge my Droid (or other cell phones) from the lighter socket on the dashboard but can do so from the lighter socket in the back seat. You may be experiencing a less extreme version of the same problem. And if the problem is not in the socket, it may lie in the lighter plug that goes into the socket.

    Finally, you may have a problem with the battery itself. I have an extra battery for my Droid purchased from Amazon for about $11. When I have anomalous battery behavior, it's useful to have a backup battery to compare.

    In short, there are at least four variables that may be causing your problem; the battery, the socket, the plug, or the cable. Short of comparing the voltage you're getting with various combinations of these components, I suspect you may be chasing your tail trying to diagnose it.
     
  5. jsh1120

    jsh1120 Silver Member

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    And if the battery is not being recharged, that's about what I'd expect. On the other hand, battery drain is not linear. i.e. the drain from 100% to 90% is much faster than from 80% to 70%, for example.
     
  6. snappingfish

    snappingfish Member

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    Thats not right

    Nav draws juice, but I thought it came directly from the outside power source if you're plugged into an alt power source (other than batt).

    Someone will probably come along soon that will have an answer, but I would be considering a VZW store swap. I don't think it should drain at all if you're plugged inot the car cradle.
     
  7. vthokies1996

    vthokies1996 Member

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    I was in our friend Toyota Carola yesterday. I've noticed a similar loss with my Jeep Liberty, in which I lost 20% in 45 min simply using the Maps without turn by turn navigation on the way into work.

    If I am not using Naviagtion/Maps, and just have the phone plugged into the charger while in the dock, it will maintain the 100% charge.

    I am fairly confident that there are not other apps running using the battery. I am unable to take my phone into work with me and leave it in the armrest of my Jeep. It's usually at 100% when I arrive, when I return to my car 8.5 hrs later, I am usually at 90%. The only synching I have is gmail and every 30 min, my Beautiful Home widget updates my location.

    I'll try the RocketFish charger on my next long trip to see if it makes a difference.

    Another note, on the way home last night, I did not use the Navigation. I was in the back seat this time and had the phone resting on my leg when I felt a quick vibrate, like when you hit letters on the virtual keyboard. Realizing I had the screen turned off, I looked at the phone and it had turned itself off. I had absolutely nothing running on the phone (except for the gmail and Beautiful Home synchs).
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2010
  8. vthokies1996

    vthokies1996 Member

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    One last thing I forgot to mention. When I noticed the battery had dropped to 60% I turned off the navigation, and soon after noticed that battery had resumed charging. Once it got up to 100% about 45 min later, I resumed the navigation, and within 30 min the phone was again losing charge.
     
  9. jsh1120

    jsh1120 Silver Member

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    Still sounding like the charging system you're using is not able to compensate for the drain. Right? One other test you might run is to turn off synch altogether and see if the behavior changes.

    I changed the number of days to synch gmail the other day and noticed in an hour or so the Droid was unusually warm. Managed to drain the battery completely in a couple of hours as the gmail synchronization remained on. Took me overnight to get the whole synchronization issue resolved.
     
  10. Bxrider117

    Bxrider117 Member

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    One thing I have noticed with the battery indicator and charging of the stock and extended battery is that even if the phone says fully charged, the battery is not. When the phone indicates 100% charge, if the volts on the phone are not in the range of 4150-4200mv, then phone is not fully charged. I have an app called battery left, that is free in the market, that gives you this reading. IT is interesting to see that when the phone reads 100%, the battery volts may not have broken the 4000 mark.

    For me I typically leave my phone on the charger and extra 1-3 hours longer, even if the phone indicates that the charge is complete.
     
  11. jsh1120

    jsh1120 Silver Member

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    Your assumption is reasonable but I don't think it's the case. From a design standpoint I'm guessing it's easier to have an app always draw from the same source (i.e. the battery) rather than draw from the outside power source when it's available.
     
  12. vthokies1996

    vthokies1996 Member

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    My phone had been on the charger from 11:30 pm until 9:00. I also have battery left, and the indicator in my notification bar read 100%.
     
  13. rjax

    rjax Member

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    Assuming that are some long stretches where you don't need the visual Navigation guide, and if you haven't already tried this, see what happens if you keep the screen off until the voice announces that you've got a turn up ahead you want the screen on for (I'd recommend one of the many apps that disables the lock screen so a quick tap on the power button brings the screen right up).

    In my experience, keeping the screen off allows the car charger to keep up with the GPS battery drain, or even slowly charge the battery.
     
  14. vthokies1996

    vthokies1996 Member

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    If it's going to draw from the battery even when it's plugged into a charging device, then what's the point of having GPS Navigation, if the phone can't keep up with the charging while GPS is being used?

    Also, regarding the synch issue you mention previously, how would that explain having a fully charged Droid left in my armrest only use 10% of batter power while being left in the car for at least 8.5 hrs. I can't take my phone into work and leave it in my car. Its fully charged when I place it in the armrest. When I return to the at the end of the day, usually 8.5 hrs later, the phone has 90% battery left. I do not turn off any synching, its still synching my Gmail and my location for my widget. If the synching was part of the equation, shouldn't I expect to see more than a 10% loss when the only thing running is the synching?
     
  15. jsh1120

    jsh1120 Silver Member

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    Haven't tested your approach but I'm betting you're right. ScreenModeWidget or myLock can be used to skip the lock screen, by the way.
     
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