03-02-13 09:25 AM
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  1. honsoloswookie's Avatar
    There has been a LONG discussion about car chargers for the Torch 9850/60 and there was an interesting post just yesterday. It doesn't seem to be a matter of amps, as the 2.1 amp charger doesn't work on my BB 9850. This is what one CBer found:



    As I said, this is for the Torch 9850/60, so it may be something different for the PB. All I know is that the adapter and cable worked on my old Pearl 8130, my old Pearl Flip 8230, Tour 9630, my wife's old Android HTC Incredible, and her new Windows Phone HTC Trophy. It's a RIM issue, either baked into the circuitry or a software defect. Either is unacceptable.
    I finally tried charging my Playbook and a ipad 2 charger with the USB charging cable I have and it worked.
    This is also the reason when you connect the ipad 2 via its cord to a USB port on your computer it does not charge since it can only provide .5mA

    So that pretty much confirms that its a cable issue.
    I think its boils down to how the device makers wish to keep their devices within the USB spec because if you draw more than .5 mA through USB it could potentially mess up the data lines in a normal USB cord.
    I think the companies are using different ways to still keep their devices within the USB spec and still offer higher amp charging.
    04-05-12 01:18 PM
  2. narci's Avatar
    I just want to report back on my charger/USB combo.

    The PB will charge 1% every 2 minutes.

    I checked at different intervals.

    example:

    first 10 min it charges 5%
    at 30 minutes it was at 15%
    at 60 minutes it was at 30%

    etc......
    04-12-12 04:45 PM
  3. cathulu15's Avatar
    Ok, I cobbled together my own charging cable. Shorted the data lines as shown below before soldering.

    My usb 12v adapter is rated 3.1 amps. The data pins on the adapter are open, hence I need to short the lines.

    I note that I don't get the proper charging icon like with the dedicated charger which surprised me, although it does charge. Not sure the rate.

    There must be something more to indicate the playbook charger is connected than a shorted data line. Not sure what it is yet.

    Sent from my GT-I9100M using Tapatalk
    04-12-12 08:22 PM
  4. peter9477's Avatar
    I note that I don't get the proper charging icon like with the dedicated charger which surprised me, although it does charge. Not sure the rate.

    There must be something more to indicate the playbook charger is connected than a shorted data line. Not sure what it is yet.
    If you bought my Battery Guru app you'd have an answer to that. Probably would also discover that it's current-limiting it as though it were a PC USB port ("USB HOST" as the charger type), in which case it won't give you a net positive charge if the screen is on...
    jafobabe and Harryl6134 like this.
    04-12-12 08:57 PM
  5. robsteve's Avatar
    Ok, I cobbled together my own charging cable. Shorted the data lines as shown below before soldering.

    My usb 12v adapter is rated 3.1 amps. The data pins on the adapter are open, hence I need to short the lines.

    I note that I don't get the proper charging icon like with the dedicated charger which surprised me, although it does charge. Not sure the rate.

    There must be something more to indicate the playbook charger is connected than a shorted data line. Not sure what it is yet.

    Sent from my GT-I9100M using Tapatalk
    It may not charge at the higher rate when the battery is almost fully charged as shown in your photo.

    It's not clear in your photo, but the data lines going to the PlayBook should be shorted, the ones going to the usb port open.
    Last edited by robsteve; 04-12-12 at 09:06 PM.
    04-12-12 09:02 PM
  6. cathulu15's Avatar
    Yes, the data lines are shorted on the playbook side. I left the data lines open on the 12 usb charger side.

    If I use a standard usb cable the playbook doesn't charge - literally nothing happens. When I use the charging cable, I get the icon for a plug.

    So I am doing something right, but I do not get the thunderbolt. I don't recall ever seeing the plug when I connect the charger, it is always the thunderbolt, unless the device is fully charged. So I think I am restricted on the charging current, however the shorted data lines indicate 1.8 amps or more (depending on the utilization) according to the usb standards. So it should be enough.

    I think the 120V charger that comes with the playbook does not indicate how much it can give to the playbook with a shorted data line. Unfortunately I cannot easily access the pins of the playbook charger's micro usb connector to measure with my volt/ohm meter - they are just too tiny. Otherwise I would try and figure it out. I will have to try and source a micro usb female connector from an electronic hobbyist store and see what the charger is doing on the data lines.

    Anybody else know?
    Last edited by cathulu15; 04-13-12 at 12:00 AM.
    04-12-12 11:51 PM
  7. honsoloswookie's Avatar
    I'm wondering if it's just DYI job of making our own cables that is causing the issue.
    The charging cable I got from here...

    Belkin BZ103050-TVL Mini Surge Protector With USB Charger 3 Outlets 2 USB Charging Ports - Belkin - BZ103050-TVL

    worked like a charm, but when I home brewed my own cable it didn't work so well (charged for a few minutes then failed) it may be due to bad connections or shielding that's causing the issue as we are striping all the shielding off the cables to short them.

    I think Best Buy sells the cables we need here...

    Rocketfish USB Cable Bundle (RF-GMMC01) : GPS Cables & Chargers - Best Buy Canada

    and I know the source does also (web store does not list them but they are in the brick and mortar stores), I have a feeling that these cables will work as they are not Macgyver'ed
    04-26-12 08:02 PM
  8. jacklarkin's Avatar
    I wanted to thank everyone for all the advice posted in this thread. I was running into the exact same problem with the Proporta Dual USB charger that I ordered for cheap with both my Playbook and Bold 9900 devices.

    After hacking together a couple of USB cables following some steps I found after some quick Googling, my charger now charges both devices like a charm!

    Instructions for hacking your USB cable can be found here if you are adventurous and comfortable with wiring/sodering:

    How to Make Your Own Charge-Only USB Cable for the Novatel Mifi | Nosillacast

    Cheers,
    Jack
    slillico likes this.
    05-04-12 03:17 PM
  9. kennyg17's Avatar
    Do not buy the Blackberry PB car charger, found at SBB. It gives out only 500mA and that is NOT enough to either a) charge your PlayBook at any decent rate, or b) have your PlayBook operating while driving.

    Example: the new Magellan Compass 3.0 program for GPS directions is great but it drains the PB battery rapidly if using while driving, even if connected for a charge to the "official BB PB Car Charger" that plugs into lighter. One needs over 1 amp to effect a positive rate of charging compared to usage.

    I am returning the "BB Car Charger for Playbook" 500 mA charger I recently purchased here, as it is no different (despite its sales label) from the same 500mA charger I received with my 9650 BB phone.

    Love my Playbook though !!!
    05-17-12 10:17 AM
  10. pixelpusher's Avatar
    I bought the Rocketfish 3.1A dual USB car charger and Rocketfish USB power cables for GPS and they work great for me. For some reason the stock USB cable that came with my PB wouldn't work with this setup so that's why I got the power-only USB cable.

    Now I can charge my PB and cell phone at the same time.

    Rocketfish Dual USB Port Car Charger (RF-M657D-T) : Other Cellular Power - Best Buy Canada

    Rocketfish USB Cable Bundle (RF-GMMC01) : GPS Cables & Chargers - Best Buy Canada

    Although these are from BestBuy I actually bought mine from Futureshop. I'm sure there are other places you can get them.
    Harryl6134 likes this.
    05-17-12 01:48 PM
  11. jhimmel's Avatar
    Do not buy the Blackberry PB car charger, found at SBB. It gives out only 500mA and that is NOT enough to either a) charge your PlayBook at any decent rate, or b) have your PlayBook operating while driving.

    Example: the new Magellan Compass 3.0 program for GPS directions is great but it drains the PB battery rapidly if using while driving, even if connected for a charge to the "official BB PB Car Charger" that plugs into lighter. One needs over 1 amp to effect a positive rate of charging compared to usage.

    I am returning the "BB Car Charger for Playbook" 500 mA charger I recently purchased here, as it is no different (despite its sales label) from the same 500mA charger I received with my 9650 BB phone.

    Love my Playbook though !!!
    Kenny, do you have a link to the item you purchased? I've never actually seen an official BB Playbook car charger, so I went to the site, selected the Playbook to see the available accessories. There did not seem to be any car charger listed for the Playbook at all - either under "Authentic Blackberry Accessories", or in "Built for Blackberries & others". How did you find it?
    05-17-12 02:21 PM
  12. leticeberry's Avatar
    A more complicated but workable solution is to buy an inverter which produces AC power from the DC outlet of the car. Then plug in the PB charger. That should work. The PB needs a higher amount of power than the usual phone battery for a full charge.
    I tried this, but it didn't work. I still get an error that it's not enough power.
    05-17-12 04:10 PM
  13. cletis's Avatar
    It is not problem with it being drained, I tried to charge it before it went dead. I will see if I have an old storm charger.
    Note that some of the threads to which InnerChild referred describe a situation where the PB would not take a charge when the battery was low -- which is exactly the situation you seem to be describing. (Those threads say that when the charge is low, the PB will only take a charge for 2 minutes, so the solution is to plug it in for 2 minutes, then unplug it, then plug it in for 2 minutes again, etc, until the charge level comes back up enough that it doesn't stop charging after 2 minutes.)

    Guy at best buy said it would not work either.
    Of course he did! H didn't want to talk himself out of a commission.
    05-17-12 04:22 PM
  14. cletis's Avatar
    that is a novel idea, and in theory it should work, however that is not clean AC and is actually a poor way to charge a battery of any sort.
    The "cleanliness" (Dare I invent the word "sinusoidality"?) of the AC output from the inverter is not important. As long as the output waveform is above 70% of nominal line voltage close to 50% of each input cycle, the charger's voltage regulator will have plenty of input voltage to clip down into output DC. Essentially all electronic devices contain a power supply which rectifies/regulates the incoming AC line voltage to a DC rail voltage that is appropriate for that device, so no matter how malformed the AC line is, with dirty, filthy jags, harmonics, and other ugly artifacts, the only thing that matters is the time percentage of each inbound voltage cycle that stays above the rectifier or regulator's minimum required input voltage -- which is, typically, 70% of 110 volts.

    (The belief among some audiophiles that non-sinusoidal artifacts in the line voltage can create undesired artifacts which can actually be heard in the music being reproduced by their equipment is completely baseless; there's simply no way for any of that crap to make it past the rectifier -- much less past the power supply capacitors -- as long as the RMS line voltage is close enough to nominal. So unless you experience a momentary brown-out, your stereo equipment will be just fine. And if you believe that these small artifacts can somehow couple resonantly through the air into the equipment's circuitry, then that explains how the power conditioner market exists.)

    The only devices I've ever seen that don't perform correctly when running on an inverter are cheap digital alarm clocks. In my experience, they always run fast when on an inverter. My theory is that in order to keep costs down, these cheap little devices use neither an internal crystal nor any kind of rectification/regulation; they seem to simply treat the input AC as a square wave, and count rising slopes on the AC waveform like the rising edges of a square wave pulse. Since the output of an inverter is, as you correctly state, pretty damn dirty, that extra noise is enough to confuse the counter into seeing more than one positive slope crossing in some of the cycles as the noise causes the waveform to jaggedly cross up and down and up and down through the range where the counter is looking. My theory could be completely off base, but it does point out one scenario where your theory that dirty inverter waveforms actually have a deleterious effect.

    it will charge the phone/playbook but not completely.
    I'm pretty sure that any charger that can put some charge back into the PB's battery can continue doing so until it's fully charged. Those that can't do so receive the dreaded message about the connected charging source being insufficient, and the PB appears to refuse to accept joules from them right from the moment they're connected.
    05-17-12 05:15 PM
  15. cletis's Avatar
    I tried this, but it didn't work. I still get an error that it's not enough power.
    Inexpensive inverters don't put out a lot of current; you have to spend a fair bit of coin to get one that does.
    05-17-12 05:20 PM
  16. mcront35's Avatar
    Playbook went dead at three pm and when i plugged to my usb car charger it will not work. Anyone found a car charger that works? Best Buy did not have any in stock!
    Don't forget sprint had the BlackBerry PlayBook 4g Accessories and you can get the charger online @ Amazon. And it works!
    05-17-12 05:21 PM
  17. ayekon's Avatar
    Sprint one works.. I haven't read through all the replies...
    05-17-12 07:31 PM
  18. veritas_vincit's Avatar
    A more complicated but workable solution is to buy an inverter which produces AC power from the DC outlet of the car. Then plug in the PB charger. That should work. The PB needs a higher amount of power than the usual phone battery for a full charge.
    I'm with @sedalia066 on this. This is what I do.
    05-17-12 07:52 PM
  19. honsoloswookie's Avatar
    you can get an inverter but its a little annoying in terms of size and potentially noise and heat if you get a bigger watt inverter. You would also have to have the correct charger in order to have enough amps to charge the playbook. I believe you would need a 2.1 amp charger so your regular .5 -.75 amp BB chargers will not work even with an inverter.

    If you look back through this thread it shows how you can use a DC USB style DC plug with the correct USB charging cable to charge the playbook from just your DC port.
    Others and I have posted the links to the correct USB charging cables and you need a DC charger with 2.1 amps in order to charge the playbook in an acceptable time.

    Lastly Cranberry previously did sell the normal BB DC charger as a playbook charger. I think that it might actually charge a playbook but it would do it at a super slow rate as its only .75 -1 amp. I got sucked in an bought one but quickly returned it because it was too damn slow.

    If you go back through this thread you will see all the answers you are looking for
    05-29-12 05:44 PM
  20. the-elf's Avatar
    I actually have one of those. It did charge the playbook ok but it also caused it to go haywire on me. It would not respond to any swipe and the keyboard would just start typing by itself with random characters. When I took it off the charger it went back to normal. If I plug it back in then it starts acting crazy again.
    I have a mains 240V to USB adaptor that has the same effect on my playbook. All my others work fine. I can only think it's an internal fault on the adaptor.
    05-29-12 07:34 PM
  21. ast_ph's Avatar
    I got a car charger (usb) with a 2a to 2.1a output, but i dont know it cant charge my PB, i used the usb cable that came with my PB. It was able to charge my iPad2.

    Pls help.
    06-12-12 07:53 PM
  22. FF22's Avatar
    You may need a charging only cable. About ten dollars from at&t
    06-12-12 09:12 PM
  23. honsoloswookie's Avatar
    I got a car charger (usb) with a 2a to 2.1a output, but i dont know it cant charge my PB, i used the usb cable that came with my PB. It was able to charge my iPad2.

    Pls help.
    The charger for the Ipad I think have the data lines shorted on the charger end so the cable will seem like a charging cable to a Ipad.
    The USB cable the comes with the Playbook is just that, a normal USB cable so its spec is only .5 ma's
    For the DC chargers they most likely don't have the data lines shorted on its sides so you would need to get a USB charging cable to get the full 2.1 a
    06-14-12 02:05 PM
  24. ast_ph's Avatar
    Can someone help point me to a specific product code here in CB Shop or maybe Amazon? I just dont want to buy the wrong cable.

    TIA!
    06-15-12 06:14 PM
  25. FF22's Avatar
    The AT&T cable number is: 75791
    ast_ph likes this.
    06-15-12 08:13 PM
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