Generic Wall Charger?

Discussion in 'Android Tech Support' started by fengler19, Jan 4, 2010.

  1. fengler19
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    fengler19 New Member

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    I went through the forum and couldn't find a definitive answer to this question, my apologies if it's in here somewhere. Here's my newb question:

    Can I use a generic wall charger I bought from Walmart with my Droid? It's a Just Wireless SKU 04204. Output DC 4.8V-5.4V. I can't find the amperage anywhere on the charger or packaging. I called Just Wireless and the lady told me it was compatible, and she "thought" the output amperage was 500-600mA.

    There are a few horror stories out there about plugging in non-OEM wall chargers and the phones pretty much going nuts. I really don't want to take any chances since I love this phone.

    Has anyone used or tried one of these. Is it safe? Thanks for the help!
  2. Chris.Nelson
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    Chris.Nelson New Member

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    My experience says no. I have a 12VDC-USB adapter for my car and my Droid won't show "charging" while plugged into it. Neither will it charge plugged into a USB/speaker stand I had for my iPod. It seems to require a PC or the 120VAC-USB thing that came with the phone.
  3. JayMonster
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    JayMonster New Member

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    No, there is no "definitive" answer, but to me, the reports of all sorts of problems that happen only when connected to a generic charger would be more than enough for me to go with the OEM equipment over saving a few bucks in "hopes" that it will work ok.
  4. Chris.Nelson
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    Chris.Nelson New Member

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    For me it's not about saving a few bucks, it's about flexibility and functionality; the 12VDC-USB adapter should be able to charge anything that takes power from USB; the "U" in "USB" is for "universal." If they designed the Droid to not charge whenever power is present, that's predatory and obnoxious. (Mind you, I don't have any Droid-specific s/w on my laptop so how it knows to charge from that but not from generic chargers like the one in my car or my iPod base confounds me.)
  5. Martin030908
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    Martin030908 DF Super Moderator

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  6. Chris.Nelson
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    Chris.Nelson New Member

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    Wow! Nearly an amp to charge properly!? That could explain why my alternate chargers don't work; they can't put out that much juice. (And that makes a lot more sense than a s/w limitation of some sort.)
  7. Radio Droid Guy
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    Radio Droid Guy New Member

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    I just posted on this very subject the experiences I had with an aftermarket charger. Purchased from a Non-Direct Verizon Store, claiming to be for the DROID. Read my story, and to answer your questing ..... NO ! Stay OEM !
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2010
  8. jamesw71
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    jamesw71 New Member

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    Know what you are talking about before you comment.


    The universal in USB doesn't mean that it was made to work on your phone. It only means that charger can fit into a computers USB slot. It is not a USB cable, it is just an adapter on the end of the charger which allows it to plug into a USB slot. USB is only regarding the connection not the power running thru the line which is determined by the manufacturer depending on the power requirements of the component. Some manufacturers save money by using only the size/gauge of wire that is needed for their particular needs.

    It may not seem like much when you consider it is only a few feet of wire but multiply that by hundreds of thousands or millions of chargers and the cost savings of using a smaller gauge wire is enormous if it isn't needed. That is why some chargers cost more than others and you should use the OEM charger or a higher quality multifunction charger with a higher amperage rating that will charge more types of phones. If you use too low of an amperage rated wire on a high amperage system you end up having problems because of the resistance of the wire. The lower amperage wire will overheat because it's not designed to take that much power. The heat is what causes the phone to mess up or not charge properly, as well as not getting the required amount of power out of the wire.

    Think of it like you would think of traffic on the road. Your phone is designed to use an 8 lane highway for it's power. You are substituting a 4 lane highway to save a few bucks and/or flexiblity because you think it is easier, you do not get anymore functionality out of using a smaller flowpath...that is just plain stupid. All that does is create bottlenecks and tempers flare and you don't get where you want to go as fast. The same thing happens with electricity thru a wire, it heats up and you don't get the flow you want.

    For an example. You can hook you phone up to your computer using a USB adapter but the adaptor for the phone won't have the same power requirements as say a printer. If you look at the size of the wires in the printer USB cable they are MUCH larger than the wires in the phone charger adapter which happens to have a USB connection on it. The printer requires more power to send info back and forth than the adaptor you are using for your phone. Compare also with an external hard drive. You would expect the hard drive to transfer more information back and forth than your phone and the cables are different sizes but both have the same USB connection. It is just that, a universal connection, but the power capacity of each cable is not universal so it is therefore not predatory for companies to use different size cables...it is obnoxious for you to suggest they are somehow preying on you for not using the same size cables. If you need a larger cable for your phone you are going to have to pay for it.

    Best to stay with the OEM unless you know the exact requirements of both the phone and the charger you are using as a replacement.
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2012
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