Battery Going Down while in Cardock? - Problem Duplicated and Partially solved

Discussion in 'Droid X Tech Support' started by KevinWP, Aug 4, 2010.

  1. KevinWP

    KevinWP Member

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    I've seen included in some other threads, complaints that the battery is going down, even when the phone is in the car-dock (and the car-dock is plugged in).

    I've seen this blamed on both GPS usage, and other high power applications.

    I've duplicated the problem, solved the problem, then duplicated the solution (at least for me, and my phone).

    The problem is Temperature.

    That big beautiful black phone is sitting with a large black face soaking up the sun.

    I installed 'Battery Indicator' which provides battery temp information in the information display. I watched my phone over many hours this week as I played back podcasts, while running GPS, while running a live wallpaper, while having the brightness set to 'auto' in full sun so it was at full brightness.

    When the battery temp is below ~42°C (Maybe 41, Maybe 43 or even 44) the battery appears to charge, or at least keep up with the above described usage.

    When the battery temp is above 45°C (And I saw mine go as high as 59 at one point) the battery does not charge as fast/does not charge, and appears to lose power (due to temperature induced voltage drop) at an accelrated rate as the temp goes up.

    It was so bad at one point that my phone was showing 50% battery, and then shut down completely due to low voltage (not low charge mind you... but low voltage because of the heat)

    Solution 1: Angle the phone in the car-dock to be at an angle to the sunlight if possible. Don't let the sun hit the back full on for more than an hour-90 minutes if possible.

    Solution 2: Angle an air conditioning vent in the general direction of the phone.

    Solution 3: Mount the car dock elsewhere, or more towards you and away from the angle of the glass (and hence under the cover of the top of your cab/passenger compartment).

    Solution 4: Pull the phone out of the dock once an hour and hold it in front of an air-conditioning vent and chill it down.

    Solution 5 (Untested): Take some cardboard and craft a sun shield and tape it to the back of the car dock to provide the phone some direct shade.

    Hope this helps -

    - Kevin
     
  2. deranger

    deranger New Member

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    High temperatures are one problem, inadequate chargers are another. You need a charger that supplies >= 850mA to keep from draining the battery while the screen is at full brightness and the processor, 3g data, and GPS is being used. This phone is more than capable of drawing in excess of the standard 500mA that USB provides.
     
  3. pcw67427

    pcw67427 New Member

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    Kevin,

    Great info, definitely appears to be the same issue myself & many others are having (w/ phone in cradle on windshld). I've tried (2) diff. car chrgrs., the igo I had & the verizon chgr. as the tech @ verizon's (800#) suggested doing, same w/ both. I did post under "Droid X drops nav" (also having that problem) about the batt heating up (as it was a 2ndry part of that post, about replacing the batt). I went back to Verizon & they replaced batt, which for a couple of days seemed to solve the problem. However coming off duty on mon.(8-2-10) I had to stop @ another firehouse to pickup something I left there, & purposely left the nav. & bluetth running to see what would happen. I ended up there for about (2hrs.), when I came out the batt had dropped to (30%), wasn't chrg., & was extrem. hot again (batt was chrg., & @ 90% when I stopped there, after approx. 20 min. drive), windows were up & again cradle is on winsheild. Also I had to pull the batt to get it start chrg. again.

    While heading home, approx. (30 min.) drive, I kept every thing running the same after getting it to start chrg. again & it seemed to chrg. (in cradle on windshld & if I rmbr right it got to 40%). Once I got home, I again left everything running & plugged into wall chrgr., in which it chrgd. to (100%/full) in about (1.5-2hrs.) w/o heating up.

    I've also just installed a batt mngr that shows batt temp. but haven't had chnce to do as you did, but I'm going to try to (sometime over the next wk.) setup the cradle in an east facing window in my house 1st thing in the morning to catch the suns heat thru this window (gets it for approx. 5-6hrs.). I'll have the same stuff running & plugged it into wall chrgr., to see if it heats up & stops chrg. the same way, if indeed it is a question of the heat from sun coming thru the windshld. It makes absolutely no sense to have an accessory that enables you to mount phone on windshld so you can watch where your driving & be able to glance @ driving dir. w/o looking down or away from where your driving. I'll post the results as soon as I'm able to accomplish this.

    However, in the meantime if you get the time to, could you e-mail you info to Motorola &/or poss. Verzion as they are still acting like there is no issue w/ this. I wil also send them mine when I get it.

    Thanks
     
  4. PACanesFan

    PACanesFan Member

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    To add to the conversation.

    I did experience the problem as well. It was a hot day, running GPS, and using a 500mA charger. The battery discharged over the course of 3 hours. I replaced the charger with a 1200mA charger bought at Radio Shack. This, coupled with a cooler day, did not discharge the battery while docked. However, when using the phone and GPS active, the battery did discharge. As long as one or the other is one, and not both, I did not experience any battery discharge while in the car dock.
     
  5. pcw67427

    pcw67427 New Member

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    PACanes,

    That is interesting, that info shld also be sent to Motorola & Verizon. Also again it make absolutely no sense that you can't have the nav. going & make a call @ same time w/o it making the batt dichrg..

    P.S. I take it your originally from down here, or you just like the "Go Canes"
     
  6. PACanesFan

    PACanesFan Member

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    Actually, I'm more of a Carolina Hurricanes (NHL) fan. It's my handle on most boards I post on.

    The way I figure the problem is the charging circuitry has some sort of current limiter to prevent damage to the battery.Even though I am using a 1200mA charger, the phone may draw a max of 900mA to charge the battery.
     
  7. pilot25

    pilot25 Member

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    It's been documented on other strings. It's heat from the sun. When the phone hits 50c/120F it stops charging.

    People, including myself, have run many apps during colder days with no problem. However, when summer hit everyone noticed charging issues.

    Keep your phone out of the sun and mount it on the dash near a vent. It's the only solution. Running multiple apps isn't a problem.
     
  8. pcw67427

    pcw67427 New Member

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    PACANES & Pilot25,

    I went from a BB Storm (never had a problem using vz nav, making calls, & having it chrg., using igo chrgr. @ same time) to the Droid X (yes I know, this is where someone is going to chime in that there is no comparison, like i've insulted them, sorry) & I know the X is using more power, but is really that much more.

    Also Pilot, looks like you have the Droid & it has the same issue, which I know has a smaller screen (which by everything I've read shld draw less power than the X's), but what about the processor, is it same size & pulling same power, never looked into the droid in any depth.

    If this is the case it's very disappointing to see Motorola hasn't solved this issue if it was known with the droid, as I couldn't wait to retire my storm.

    P.S. My bad, though we do have the Panthers here, but I usually don't think NHL when I hear Canes
     
  9. jst4fun

    jst4fun Member

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    Just so I know what is going on I have just bought the car cradle to. Using the same charger pluged directly into the phone it charges running everything. So plugging in the same charger into the car cradle it does not charge at all running everything or nothing. Could this be a bad car cradle? I have yet to get it to charge at anytime, running apps or not running apps in the cradle.

    Think I have found my issue.
    It is a bad car cradle. I brought the car cradle inside and used the 850 MA wall charger and it even will not charge the phone when going through the cradle.
    I also took my desk top cradle out to the car and used the car charger out there and the phone charged with everything running.
    So Process of elemination looks like bad car cradle.
     
    #9 jst4fun, Aug 4, 2010
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2010
  10. pcw67427

    pcw67427 New Member

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    jst4fun,


    Was just checking back to see if any new info & saw your post, great idea, never dawned on me to try this. I will try desktop, hopefully tomorrow while out running errands, with it on the dash in the sun. Hopefully I'll get a chance in morning to do my experiment above before going out & report back on it.

    Just to confirm, you did have phone in desktop on dash in sun?
     
  11. jst4fun

    jst4fun Member

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    I had phone in desktop charger in the sun. running NAV, with bluetooth and on a phone call for 30 minutes and it was still charging. Thats why I think I have a faulty car dock.
     
  12. pcw67427

    pcw67427 New Member

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    jst4fun,

    Thanks, I'm definitely hoping to get to try this tomorrow.