1. Joel S.'s Avatar
    This is a bit of a counter point to the "don't use aftermarket chargers" thread. This will be very common knowledge for a lot of people, but some of you may find this useful. I make no claims at being an electrical engineer, or a warranty law ace, so feel free to correct any mistakes, move to the proper forum, heckle me, send donuts, etc...

    First and foremost, in the United States, it is flat out illegal for a carrier or RIM to void a warranty because you use a 3rd party product, or force you to use OEM products, per the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act. (NOTE: Non US users with the knowledge, feel free to supplement this with the laws in your country)

    Warrantors cannot require that only branded parts be used with the product in order to retain the warranty.[2] This is commonly referred to as the "tie-in sales" provisions[3], and is frequently mentioned in the context of third-party computer parts, such as memory and hard drives.
    As a side note, this bleeds over into the car world too. If a dealer tries to void your warranty because you have an exhaust, you can get all legal on their arses.

    To the point, if your phone dies, for any reason, in order for the company to deny you warranty service, they have to be able to prove a 3rd party product caused the failure or you misused the product. Most companies would rather not deal with it unless it's a MAJOR repair/replacement, so just threatening is usually enough.

    Secondly, when it comes to purchasing 3rd party products, spend your money wisely. While a cheapo battery might work, if there are any defects in the battery, it can potentially fail... violently. A speck of dust getting in the battery during construction can be enough to cause catastrophic failure. As such, make sure you pick products that have a solid warranty and don't automatically go for what saves you the most money.

    As far as chargers, modern BlackBerries use USB technology for charging and syncing. The USB standard for power, what any product carrying the USB logo must adhere to, requires output voltage to be between 4.4-5.25V DC. It also has a maximum amperage of 1.8A for dedicated charging ports. This is etched in stone, and ALL USB devices, cables, chargers, and ports must adhere to this in order to be called USB. It is not necessary to "voltage shop" when picking a charger. In the case of the newest gen of BBs, if it says micro USB on the charger package, it'll work (unless it's a complete POS that is, in that case it just won't charge the phone. See below.)

    Cell phones use Lithium batteries now, which aside from having fantastic power capacity and discharging rates (very linear), can get HOT, and when unstable, can fail violently. Because of this, there are tons of safety guidelines for the handling, shipping, sale, and use of Lithium (Lithium Ion, and Lithium Polymer) batteries. One of the safety nets installed in electronic devices are voltage regulators. They prevent the battery from seeing a charge that exceeds, or is below, what it's capable of using. These devices also monitor overall charge, and temp, so the battery doesn't overcharge, doesn't completely discharge (even when 'dead', a lithium battery still has a little charge), and doesn't get hot to the point of failure.

    Lithium batteries also do not have a "memory" like the old NiCads did. Like any battery, they will gradually begin to lose their charging capacity, however there is no way for you to really slow this decrease. Letting the phone discharge to keep the battery fresh is a myth, worked with older batteries, not any more. However, it is a good idea to let the phone discharge to almost dead once every few months or so. This makes sure the battery gauge on the phone is accurate, so it may seem like you get more life. You also do not have to "prime" (charge, run dead, charge) Lithium batteries. When you get your phone, it'll have a small charge, usually not enough for any hardcore use, but enough to get the phone running to play with. Once you get it, you can turn it on, and use it normally right away. I'd recommend charging it because the battery will be almost dead, but you do not have to prime it.

    That covers it. Hopefully this dispels some of the myths people throw around in regards to what chargers you can and cannot use, and about charging and handling the batteries in general.

    Cliff notes:
    • Verizon or RIM CANNOT void a warranty in the US for using non OEM parts and accessories with your phone.
    • USB wall and car chargers must adhere to the USB standard, so they will all be at most 5.25V DC and 1.8A. There is no need to check the voltage of a charger if it's got the proper USB port on the end.
    • Modern electronic devices that use Lithium batteries tend have built in regulators to prevent overcharging/discharging and overheating. They also prevent "bad" current from reaching the battery.
    • Lithium batteries do not have suffer from the memory effect, and do not need to be discharged/charged to keep them fresh. They also do not need to be primed. It is a good idea to let the battery go almost dead every few months to keep the phone's battery gauge accurate.


    Fun links:
    Lithium myths: 4 Myth and Facts about Lithium-ion Polymer Batteries Kazuki Presents~!
    Youtube vid of a Lithium battery failing:
    Battery University (GREAT resource): Welcome to Battery University
    Last edited by Joel S.; 12-10-09 at 03:33 PM.
    12-10-09 01:20 PM
  2. bassplaya51's Avatar
    Thats pretty helpful stuff for most people, I appreciate that...your right, most of those things especially the batteries are VERY common misconceptions.
    12-10-09 01:57 PM
  3. RickyRoss10's Avatar
    Nice work! This is really informative.
    Last edited by RickyRoss10; 12-10-09 at 02:22 PM.
    12-10-09 02:14 PM
  4. ridesno159's Avatar
    Very nice work! This answers many of the questions you see a lot this site. thank you
    12-10-09 02:26 PM
  5. Jerry Hildenbrand's Avatar
    I make no claims at being an electrical engineer, or a warranty law ace, so feel free to correct any mistakes, move to the proper forum, heckle me, send donuts, etc...
    Well I happen to be an EE and while your breakdown wasn't 100% perfect, you explained it just fine and are absolutely correct.

    One thing to add - if you use a universal charger (one with changeable tips), be careful if it has a polarity switch on the transformer. Other than that, no mini-usb charger is going to damage a mini-usb device.

    Just a generalized comment. Myself, Duke University, The State of Virginia's Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation or any other party in no way endorse this statement. Any questions should be directed to a licensed and qualified individual. Look both ways before you cross, etc. etc.
    12-10-09 02:27 PM
  6. silenttt123's Avatar
    Mmmm good job. Now just wait for that moron cpugeek to come in here and say you are all wrong..
    12-10-09 02:32 PM
  7. champr's Avatar
    Very good information. What I find interesting though, because I thought any microUSB changer would work in any microUSB phone, is when I plugged my blackberry charger into my wifes motorola phone, the phone said it was an unapproved charger and would not charge.
    12-10-09 02:34 PM
  8. gtstang462002's Avatar
    As a side note, this bleeds over into the car world too. If a dealer tries to void your warranty because you have an exhaust, you can get all legal on their arses.
    I have spent many years working at the dealerships. I have voided a few warranties on cars as well. However I could not void the entire warranty just parts. For example, the turbo on the 6.0L in the ford F250-350. I have been able to make a few customers buy turbos because they insisted on installing aftermarket air filters that didn't fit properly and ended up dusting Turbo's or letting small chunks of debris get sucked in. I wasn't about to make ford eat those as it was not caused by manufacturers defects.

    Very good information. What I find interesting though, because I thought any microUSB changer would work in any microUSB phone, is when I plugged my blackberry charger into my wifes motorola phone, the phone said it was an unapproved charger and would not charge.
    It was probably not supplying enough current to charge the phone properly. Now if you took the Motorola charger to the blackberry it would probably work just fine.
    12-10-09 02:52 PM
  9. kazmi's Avatar
    thank you for the info and thank God for Cliff and his notes
    12-10-09 03:00 PM
  10. Joel S.'s Avatar
    I have spent many years working at the dealerships. I have voided a few warranties on cars as well. However I could not void the entire warranty just parts. For example, the turbo on the 6.0L in the ford F250-350. I have been able to make a few customers buy turbos because they insisted on installing aftermarket air filters that didn't fit properly and ended up dusting Turbo's or letting small chunks of debris get sucked in. I wasn't about to make ford eat those as it was not caused by manufacturers defects.
    Right, you're not really voiding a warranty, you're just denying service. Your example is perfect however, since the turbo blew up, you have to cover it or prove it was a non OEM replacement part's fault. Considering you could prove it was the latter, you could deny service. A shocking number of people do not know about the warranty laws when it comes to using aftermarket parts.

    I have some experience with this as well. I modified my car and the waterpump blew. I knew none of the modifications affected the life span of the water pump, and I made it clear to the dealer, so they covered the repair.
    12-10-09 03:07 PM
  11. gtstang462002's Avatar
    Right, you're not really voiding a warranty, you're just denying service. Your example is perfect however, since the turbo blew up, you have to cover it or prove it was a non OEM replacement part's fault. Considering you could prove it was the latter, you could deny service. A shocking number of people do not know about the warranty laws when it comes to using aftermarket parts.

    I have some experience with this as well. I modified my car and the waterpump blew. I knew none of the modifications affected the life span of the water pump, and I made it clear to the dealer, so they covered the repair.
    Correct, and the only way that they can reinstate the warranty on the item it to return it to OEM at that point. Some of them guys would try to get slick and put the factory stuff back on and take it to another dealer. But we were all connected here in southern MD.
    12-10-09 03:10 PM
  12. Mailyfesux's Avatar
    Welcome to Battery University

    more info about batteries in general. :]
    12-10-09 03:30 PM
  13. Joel S.'s Avatar
    Welcome to Battery University

    more info about batteries in general. :]
    Thanks, I was looking for that but couldn't remember the site. I'm gonna put it in the OP.
    12-10-09 03:32 PM
  14. Jerry Hildenbrand's Avatar
    Correct, and the only way that they can reinstate the warranty on the item it to return it to OEM at that point. Some of them guys would try to get slick and put the factory stuff back on and take it to another dealer. But we were all connected here in southern MD.
    Heh. Those little bulletins in X-time (or whatever CRM you are using) sure are handy aren't they
    12-10-09 03:41 PM
  15. mischiefse7en's Avatar
    Now if you took the Motorola charger to the blackberry it would probably work just fine.
    It does work just fine My LG chargers, BB chargers and universal chargers all work the same on my phones as far as I can tell, plugged into the wall or computer.
    12-10-09 04:07 PM
  16. cmpdblue's Avatar
    Great Post !!!

    This is the kind of info that I've come to expect (and love) from the Crackberry Nation !!!
    12-10-09 04:34 PM
  17. kermalou's Avatar
    It freakin takes forever to charge in the car, no matter which charger I am using.

    Is that a problem with my car or with the charger or the phone?
    12-10-09 05:15 PM
  18. adambigge's Avatar
    Just a matter of the charger probably having a lower current rating so it takes longer to charge. You can try chargers that are capable of delivering a higher current but they are all within a few hundred milliamps of each other.

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    12-10-09 05:22 PM
  19. bagz2shuz's Avatar
    Thanks for the Cliffs notes. Great info.
    12-10-09 05:58 PM
  20. Cyrilmak's Avatar
    I'm still waiting for cpugeek to enter the thread to type more useless BS.
    12-10-09 06:36 PM
LINK TO POST COPIED TO CLIPBOARD