Car charging issues solved with hw hack

Discussion in 'Samsung Galaxy Nexus' started by Se7enLC, Dec 26, 2011.

  1. Se7enLC

    Se7enLC Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2009
    Messages:
    1,262
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Ratings:
    +0
    Coming from a Motorola Droid, I had a number of 1A car chargers lying around that I figured would just work fine with the Galaxy Nexus. Wrong. The GNex detects whether it is plugged into an A/C charger or a USB port by looking for a connection between the two middle pins of the USB port (D+ and D-). The AC adapter that comes with the phone has those pins bridged, so in the Settings|Battery screen, it will say "Charging (AC)" and charge with the full 1A if needed. My old Droid brick does, too, although it is only 850mA. Pretty much all of my other chargers do NOT have those pins bridged, and because of that, the phone will say "Charging (USB)" and only charge using a limited amount of current. I don't know the exact amount, but it's likely 500mA or less. I noticed this when I plugged in my GNex and went for a drive with navigation. After a couple hours I noticed that the battery had gone down instead of up, and even after I stopped navigating it was only increasing very slowly. Further research showed that this is a well-known thing for a lot of phones - but it is new for me coming from the Motorola Droid.

    Now, the easiest fix for this is to go to the Verizon store and purchase a Verizon charger for $25 or so. Nope!

    I decided to just mod some of my chargers to see how it would work. The hardest part is disassembling the charger without destroying it. Some are made mostly of plastic and glued together, like the Griffin brand dual 1A USB adapter I have. There is just no way for that to come apart and end up back in one piece again. Here are some of the chargers I had better luck with:

    Mini USB Car Charger for iPod Nano Touch iPhone 3G iPhone 3GS iPhone 4 and other USB powered Products Random Color

    This charger disassembled quite well. The white section at the tip simply unscrews. If you hold the two nubs on the side in, the metal sleeve will slide off (be careful, as those two nubs are spring-loaded - you WILL lose them, and the springs!). Once the sleeve is off, it splits into two halves and exposes the circuitboard. The 4 USB pins are easily accessible. I bent the two middle pins towards eachother and soldered it, reassembled it, and it works great.

    The second charger I modified is this one:

    iPhone Compatible Mini Black USB Charger

    This one required a very small torx bit - I believe it's a T1. I had the correct size in a set of very small torx bits I bought online. One bolt is visible, the other is underneath the sticker. Once the bolts are removed, the metal plate will come off, and you can unscrew the tip (there is a fuse and spring inside). Same as the other one, the 4 pins are easily accessible. The leads were not long enough to bend, but they were close enough to each other (and far enough from other components) to bridge them together with solder.

    The advantages of modifying your own charger are:
    1). Cost savings! $1.99 + $1 microUSB cable vs $30? I think so!
    2). You can use a standard microUSB cable. This means you'll always have one with you if you need it.
    3). You can charge other USB gadgets with the same charger (iPods, other phones, etc)
    4). The chargers Verizon sells are one-piece, rather than USB with a standard cable.
    5). The Verizon chargers are also HUGE, especially compared to these tiny ones.

    I take no responsibility if you screw something up and explode your phone, car, or self trying this.

    Note: Other alternative options exist. One alternative option is to get a "Charge-Only" microUSB cable that does the same thing (bridges D+ and D- in the cable). It will work fine, too, but then you're stuck carrying around a microUSB cable that can only charge. Another option is to get a short USB extension cable (like the ones that come with thumb drives), cut it in half, and make the modification inside the cable. Now you have another cable you're stuck carrying around.

    Hope people find this helpful!
     
  2. rlb

    rlb Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2009
    Messages:
    161
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Location:
    Central New Jersey
    Ratings:
    +0
    Thanks, I wil give this a try! I had a Griffin 2 port that I knew wouldn't cut it, so I just bought this charger which is overpriced but the smallest 2A I could find.

    Does the phone show AC charging when plugged into the modded charger?

    FWIW I have my GN plugged into a moto wall charger right now (have tons of these things between my wife and me!!) and it shows USB charging.
     
  3. proangler

    proangler Member

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2011
    Messages:
    157
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    tucson
    Ratings:
    +2
    this is bs that we shoukd have to root hack and frap a phone to make it work. We wobt get any support. Heck verizon still acts like it doesnt even exist.
     
  4. Liderc

    Liderc Silver Member

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2009
    Messages:
    2,269
    Likes Received:
    45
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Ratings:
    +45
    All my original Droid chargers work on my Nexus, I'm assuming you mean chargers prior to the OG not working?
     
  5. Se7enLC

    Se7enLC Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2009
    Messages:
    1,262
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Ratings:
    +0
    That charger you linked looks like it will be impossible to take apart and hack if it doesn't work. But it might work Cross your fingers.

    Phone shows "Charging (AC)" when plugged into the chargers I modified.

    Motorola makes a LOT of chargers. Some may be this new charge-specific style, some may not. And some may be wired correctly but only supply 500mA. It's a new specification and it's completely hit or miss what supports it and what doesn't.
     
  6. Se7enLC

    Se7enLC Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2009
    Messages:
    1,262
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Ratings:
    +0
    If you go to Verizon and buy a charger from them it will work fine. And I believe any 'one-piece' charger will also work. This is not something that is unique to the Galaxy Nexus. This pertains to a LOT of phones. In fact, I think the Motorola Droid was one of the few phones NOT hit by this. I know a lot of HTC phones (including the Incredible) have this same issue.

    (As much as I complain, I think this feature is a Good Thing. Once third party manufacturers catch up and start making chargers that work with the new specification, we'll be able to pull more power out of a USB-style connector than you can pull from a USB port on a computer and still operate within the USB specifications. It's just going to be awhile for the other manufacturers to catch up, especially if you're like me and prefer to buy no-name-brand chargers for $1 shipped on the slow boat from China)
     
  7. Se7enLC

    Se7enLC Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2009
    Messages:
    1,262
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Ratings:
    +0
    No - I mean chargers I bought during "The Droid Years". Not official Motorola-Brand chargers or anything, though. Even one that I bought just a week ago (Griffin mini dual-port 1A). It works, but only in "USB Mode", so I can't use it to navigate without the battery level dropping.

    To clarify:

    1). All chargers I've found "work" with the Nexus. But they say "Charging (USB)" and therefore do not supply enough current when the phone is being heavily used to charge or maintain.
    2). The wall charger that came with my Motorola Droid (850mA) has those two middle pins bridged and works fine with my Galexus.
    3). Other aftermarket chargers that I bought to use with my Droid do not have those pins bridged, and do not supply enough power to charge or even maintain a charge when I'm navigating. The two chargers that I modified (my post shows the meritline links) are chargers that I had already had and was using all the time with my Droid. They worked fine on the Droid despite not having the middle pins bridged (because the Droid didn't care about that standard).

    If you have a car charger that says "Charging (AC)" without being modified, please post what charger it is and where to buy it, especially if it's A). Cheap and B). a USB-port rather than a 1-piece charger! People that don't want to crack open and solder their chargers want to know where to find one that will just work without having to go to Verizon and spend $30!
     
    #7 Se7enLC, Dec 29, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2011
  8. Liderc

    Liderc Silver Member

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2009
    Messages:
    2,269
    Likes Received:
    45
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Ratings:
    +45
    Got it. The only charger that didn't work for my OG was this random mini usb I had plugged into my computer. I haven't tried it with the Nexus. Using the Original droids car charger, original droids wall charger and the Nexus charger's mini usb plugged into my computer to charge the Nexus, all charge while using.
     
  9. Se7enLC

    Se7enLC Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2009
    Messages:
    1,262
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Ratings:
    +0
    I assume you meant microUSB, not mini USB.

    So they all say "Charging (AC)"? If they say 'Charging (USB)" - they might still charge while you're using the phone - they just don't charge at full power, so you might not notice the problem until you are going for a long time and navigating (screen on fulltime, data use). Your mileage may vary, of course. It looks like you dodged a bullet and got lucky by having compliant chargers!
     
  10. Liderc

    Liderc Silver Member

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2009
    Messages:
    2,269
    Likes Received:
    45
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Ratings:
    +45
    Yes sorry micro USB. The Nexus micro usb cord that came with the Nexus stock charger is plugged into my Nexus right now and it says Charging (USB) plugged into my computer. The Original Droid wall charger says Charging (AC) from the wall outlet. I'll test the original Droid car charger tomorrow and update this post.
     
  11. rlb

    rlb Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2009
    Messages:
    161
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Location:
    Central New Jersey
    Ratings:
    +0
    After I posted last night my GN randomly shut off while connected to the moto charger (second time that's happened...Guess I wont be using it anymore).

    FWIW we've had 2 OG droids, a DroidX, and a Bionic in my house, all have the same wall charger.

    I forgot to check it with the 2 amp charger I linked above, I'll run out to the car at lunch and see what I get.
     
  12. honors21

    honors21 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2011
    Messages:
    174
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Ratings:
    +0
    You can pick up a OEM Samsung car charger for under $10 on ebay

    Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using DroidForums
     
Search tags for this page
car charger disassembly
,

car charger mod

,
disassembly griffin usb car charger
,

griffin usb car charger hack

,
griffin usb charger hack
,
griffin usb charger mod
,
how to disassemble car charger
,
motorola charger hack
,
samsung galaxy w car charger problem
,
usb car charger hack