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Old 09-19-2005, 08:56 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default 7100g -- Battery Charging Anomolies

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I have a Blackberry 7100g (Cingular). I typically charge it at home using an OEM wall charger, where it charges quickly and fully. I sometimes also charge it at the office using a usb cable to my workstation, which is the *only* place that I have the sync software installed. It charges ok there, but I've never put a stop watch on it.

This weekend I flew out of town, and took (1) my laptop, which does not have the sync software, (2) a standard usb cable and (3) a Boxwave generic wall plug which has a usb port on it (I bought it originally to charge my old Siemens SX56 pda/phone).

When I plugged the 7100g into the usb cable and Boxwave wall charger, I got the "charging lightning bolt" for a few seconds, then no indication of charge.

When I plugged the 7100g into the usb cable and my IBM notebook (while it was plugged into wall power (and set not to turn off, power down, go into hibernation, etc.), I got a steady "charging lighting bolt", but after charging for about 8 hours, it had barely charged beyond the red, critical battery level.

I did read in another thread here that Boxwave chargers were not working. I bought a new wall-to-usb after market charger at the airport, but it didn't work any better than the Boxwave.

Clearly I screwed up by not bringing my OEM charger for this trip. I won't make that mistake again. But even after reading about two dozen threads with the serarch "battery" and "charging" I'm still not clear why this would be so. Why won't the Boxwave or other generic wall-to-usb chargers charge this phone at all? Why won't my notebook -- while it is on full wall power -- charge my phone as well as my desktop does?

And finally, what is a road warrior to do? I know that I can buy extra batteries to carry, but how would I charge them outside the phone itself?
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Old 09-19-2005, 09:12 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I have noticed that RIM makes an external battery charger. That is, it will charge a battery removed from the phone. However, it doesn't seem to have a USB port on it so that it could also/instead charge the phone. I can imagine wanting to use it sometimes to charge the phone or sometimes the spare battery (if I bought one) or both.

1. Can his charge the phone too?
2. Any reason why it couldn't be modified to feed power to a usb cable to charge the phone (instead or simultaneously)?

I'd really prefer not to pack *two* chargers (transformers) when traveling.
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Old 09-19-2005, 09:31 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Gray
Well, I agree with you. I hate to take all those chargers. But you will have to. If you check Boxwave's Web Site for any Blackberry miniSynch wire, you will find:
  • Synchronizes and charges just like the cradle
  • Innovative retraction and recoil design
  • Extends to 35 inches in length
  • Durable, compact and lightweight
  • Not compatible with VersaCharger, Car Charger, Wall Charger and Battery Adapter for miniSynch

SO, the miniSynchs work, just not with any of the Boxwave products.

Somewhere in one of the forums I read a response from Boxwave that there was some weirdness in the way that BlackBerry charges which they were trying to sort out, but now I can't find that post.

I know that I can use the miniSynch on the BlackBerry with other chargers or the USB computer port - but not with the Boxwave. I know that I can't use the Versacharger with an Axim X50v as it does not provide enough current - so I have to use something else. I don't undertand it either. I ended up buying an OEM car charger and an extra OEM AC charger and take it with me. Go figure.
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Old 09-20-2005, 04:52 AM   #4 (permalink)
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if you don't want to install the full Blackberry Desktop Software on your laptop just install the drivers for your BB and it should charge just fine with the USB cable...if you don't then the laptop will not charge your BB properly
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Old 09-20-2005, 10:43 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VR6
if you don't want to install the full Blackberry Desktop Software on your laptop just install the drivers for your BB and it should charge just fine with the USB cable...if you don't then the laptop will not charge your BB properly
Could you please clarify what you mean by, "...just install the drivers...." Obviously I have the Blackberry cdrom with the software/drivers that came with the 7100 (somewhere, anyway), but where are *just* the drivers? I've looked on the Blackberry site, and can't find them.
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Old 09-20-2005, 10:50 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default charging without software

Hook your laptop up to the internet, plug your Blackberry in and the computer should try to recognize the "new device". Once it does it should charge fine without any software installed.

If not you may want to check your USB settings to make sure that you actually have power capabilities out of that port.
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Old 09-20-2005, 11:00 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Can anyone say WHY a standard usb cable plugged into any computer (desktop or notebook) or any usb charger would not work as well as an OEM charger? I don't dispute that it's true, but why? The USB (universal serial bus) standard is defined as four conductors, two of which carry data and two of which carry power at 5 volts and 0.5 amps. USB connected devices might *draw* less current than that, but that's the max that the standard can deliver. So if you have a wall transformer to USB, or a desktop or notebook with a USB port, then all of them *should* be able to deliver 5 volts and 0.5 amps, which is exactly what the Blackberry OEM chargers deliver. So why don't they all work equally well? I'm not arguing that they do -- it's obvious that they don't. I'm just bumfuzzled confused as to why.
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Old 09-20-2005, 11:03 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I don't think it has anything to do with the cable...it has to do with how much power the computer can run to that port without worrying about overheating.

Plugs for BB's, iPods, etc are as big as they are for a reason....I don't know exactly why, but I think that is the reason it doesn't charge as fast.
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Old 09-20-2005, 11:07 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by graystrickland
Can anyone say WHY a standard usb cable plugged into any computer (desktop or notebook) or any usb charger would not work as well as an OEM charger? I don't dispute that it's true, but why? The USB (universal serial bus) standard is defined as four conductors, two of which carry data and two of which carry power at 5 volts and 0.5 amps. USB connected devices might *draw* less current than that, but that's the max that the standard can deliver. So if you have a wall transformer to USB, or a desktop or notebook with a USB port, then all of them *should* be able to deliver 5 volts and 0.5 amps, which is exactly what the Blackberry OEM chargers deliver. So why don't they all work equally well? I'm not arguing that they do -- it's obvious that they don't. I'm just bumfuzzled confused as to why.
Don't they? I have used non-OEM cables and those from the old MPx200 succesully.
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Old 09-21-2005, 08:49 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Default I agree with VR6

Quote:
Originally Posted by VR6
if you don't want to install the full Blackberry Desktop Software on your laptop just install the drivers for your BB and it should charge just fine with the USB cable...if you don't then the laptop will not charge your BB properly
We have 26 devices here at my work and we have noticed that if the driver isn't installed for the BB then it will not charge from a computer. I looked at the driver details on my XP box and this is what was there. "C:\windows\system32\drivers\RimUsb.sys" I'm assuming that there may be more files needed. Try putting it on another computer when it detects the BB it should charge then.

My theory on the other chargers and the computers without the driver not charging the device is, the power sent to the device must be exact for it to charge. IE. more or less than the default "5 volts and 0.5 amps" like graystrickland stated in his post.
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Old 10-02-2005, 07:04 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Red face Charge Blackberry 7100G with non-Blackberry charger

Quote:
Originally Posted by graystrickland
I have a Blackberry 7100g (Cingular). I typically charge it at home using an OEM wall charger, where it charges quickly and fully. I sometimes also charge it at the office using a usb cable to my workstation, which is the *only* place that I have the sync software installed. It charges ok there, but I've never put a stop watch on it.

This weekend I flew out of town, and took (1) my laptop, which does not have the sync software, (2) a standard usb cable and (3) a Boxwave generic wall plug which has a usb port on it (I bought it originally to charge my old Siemens SX56 pda/phone).

When I plugged the 7100g into the usb cable and Boxwave wall charger, I got the "charging lightning bolt" for a few seconds, then no indication of charge.

When I plugged the 7100g into the usb cable and my IBM notebook (while it was plugged into wall power (and set not to turn off, power down, go into hibernation, etc.), I got a steady "charging lighting bolt", but after charging for about 8 hours, it had barely charged beyond the red, critical battery level.

I did read in another thread here that Boxwave chargers were not working. I bought a new wall-to-usb after market charger at the airport, but it didn't work any better than the Boxwave.

Clearly I screwed up by not bringing my OEM charger for this trip. I won't make that mistake again. But even after reading about two dozen threads with the serarch "battery" and "charging" I'm still not clear why this would be so. Why won't the Boxwave or other generic wall-to-usb chargers charge this phone at all? Why won't my notebook -- while it is on full wall power -- charge my phone as well as my desktop does?

And finally, what is a road warrior to do? I know that I can buy extra batteries to carry, but how would I charge them outside the phone itself?


This has been bugging me... took a look at the D+ & D- signals with a 'scope. From rest of this thread, I assumed I'd see data when plugged into a real Blackberry charger. When not plugged into a real Blackberry charger, my 7100G does the D+ line low briefly every 5 seconds for the first minute or so.

When plugged into a real Blackberry charger, this does not happen. I also noticed that the D- line (pin 2) sits at about +3.25 volts above the Ground signal pin (pin 4). On the non-Blackberry charger, this line is at 0 volts. Hmmm.

I got the pinout here http://pinouts.ru/data/USB_pinout.shtml

I discovered that a 470K pullup resistor between +5 and the D- pins will make the D- signal on a non-Blackberry charger float at +3.25 volts just like with the Blackberry charger. When the resistor is in place, my 7100G will charge on any 5v charger.

So: all it takes is a 470K resistor between +5 (USB pin 1) and D- (USB pin 2); this can be added to any USB cable. A 1/4 watt resistor (or whatever you can find) will be fine.

I haven't tried syncing with the modified cable, but USB 2.0 spec calls for pullup and pulldown resistors that are 20x or more lower in value. I doubt the 470K resistor will interfere with normal data transfer at all.

Your mileage may vary (try this at your own risk) but it worked for me.

Rob
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