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Old 11-16-2009, 02:26 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default U in USB -- can't charge 8703e from USB devices

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There are several references to this issue, but no solutions that I can find.

I have a company issued 8703e and it won't charge except from the RIM wall charger or Windows XP with the appropriate drivers.

My understanding was that the U in USB stood for Universal, and that seems to be the case with every device I have tested, except the 8703e.

Some examples.

Generic USB wall-charger:
* Charges son's Nintendo DS lite
* Charges mp3 player
* Charges Nokia phone
* Won't charge 8703e

PC running Solaris
* Charges son's Nintendo DS lite
* Charges mp3 player
* Charges Nokia phone
* Won't charge 8703e

Sun Ray DTU
* Charges son's Nintendo DS lite
* Charges mp3 player
* Charges Nokia phone
* Won't charge 8703e

PC running Linux
* Charges son's Nintendo DS lite
* Charges mp3 player
* Charges Nokia phone
* Won't charge 8703e unless bcharge is installed

USB port on car stereo
* Charges son's Nintendo DS lite
* Charges mp3 player
* Charges Nokia phone
* Won't charge 8703e

Car AC inverter with USB port
* Charges son's Nintendo DS lite
* Charges mp3 player
* Charges Nokia phone
* Won't charge 8703e

Car lighter socket to USB port device
* Charges son's Nintendo DS lite
* Charges mp3 player
* Charges Nokia phone
* Won't charge 8703e

You get the idea. Is there some "special" USB cable I can get which is 8703e specific so that I can charge this thing from any "Universal" Serial Bus port?

This is borderline maddening. I have USB ports all over the place, but still need a BB-specific charger for this 8703e.

Am I missing something?

Thanks in advance,
Marty
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Old 11-16-2009, 03:19 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Sounds like you have a defective 8703e.
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Old 11-16-2009, 03:57 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks for the quick response.

Quote:
Originally Posted by penguin3107 View Post
Sounds like you have a defective 8703e.
That is always a possibility. At the same time, several posts, including this one. You have to google it because I can't post a link.

Blackberry / USB charging questions. [solved] - bit-tech.net Forums

That suggests a RIM device needs a jolt on the data line before it will drop into charging mode.

The bcharge man page admits handshaking.

bcharge is a program that sends a special handshake to all BlackBerry devices it finds on the USB bus.

There seems more to this than just setting the current to 500ma. If it was that simple, then why doesn't the current negotiation take place without the drivers? It has been a while since I read the USB spec, but I understood it didn't need specific drivers to set the current. In any event, most dumb ports, e.g. the port on my AC inverter, don't bother to honor the 150ma limit anyway, as far as I can tell, so it is already at least 500ma with or without negotiating.

This seems to be RIM trickery to force people to use their software.

As always, I could be wrong.

Thanks again,
Marty
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Old 11-16-2009, 04:08 PM   #4 (permalink)
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If you're charging via USB cable attached to a Windows (or Mac) computer, you need drivers.
(bcharge is software for unix-based machines... not Windows)

If charging from an dedicated power source such as using an A/C adapter or automobile cigarette lighter adapter... anything should work.

I've been using BlackBerry devices for years... just about every model ever released, including the 8703e... and I've never found a charger which DIDN'T work.
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Old 11-16-2009, 04:46 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by penguin3107 View Post
If you're charging via USB cable attached to a Windows (or Mac) computer, you need drivers.
(bcharge is software for unix-based machines... not Windows)

If charging from an dedicated power source such as using an A/C adapter or automobile cigarette lighter adapter... anything should work.

I've been using BlackBerry devices for years... just about every model ever released, including the 8703e... and I've never found a charger which DIDN'T work.
I appreciate the feedback. I think I need to do some more testing.
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Old 11-16-2009, 04:56 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I agree with Penguin. If you are trying to charge using the USB port on a PC, then you need to have DM installed as that has the appropriate drives that you need for charging. In addition, you must be plugged into the PC directly, not via a HUB.

I also have never found a charger that didn't work as advertised, even the Motorola phone chargers work as long as it had the right tip.

I currently use my iPod cable connected to my PC to charge my BB. Works like a champ.
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Old 11-16-2009, 05:12 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dubdub View Post
I agree with Penguin. If you are trying to charge using the USB port on a PC, then you need to have DM installed as that has the appropriate drives that you need for charging. In addition, you must be plugged into the PC directly, not via a HUB.

I also have never found a charger that didn't work as advertised, even the Motorola phone chargers work as long as it had the right tip.

I currently use my iPod cable connected to my PC to charge my BB. Works like a champ.
Thank you as well. Reading the replies, I am getting the (possibly incorrect) sense that most people have only tried four approaches:
1. Windows + drivers
2. Charger claiming BB compatability
3. Linux + bcharge
4. Certain Moto chargers

Assuming the above is correct, each of those approaches (except #4) has or claims BB-specific "stuff," be it drivers or whatnot.

Motorola had some weirdness in their chargers, possibly coinciding with the BB weirdness I am suspecting.

Has anyone used a non-BB, non-Moto, non-PC, plain Jane USB port for charging? I know the generic USB car charger "should" work and a generic wall charger "should" work, but my experience says otherwise. Reinforcing my beliefs, websites explain how to trick the BB into charging mode by putting a resistor on the data line.

I have long since lost the official BB USB cable, and I also wonder if it is non-standard.

I just moved and can't find my multimeter, but as soon as I find it, I am going to cut the connector and strap a 5v power supply to the correct wires and document precisely what I find.

Maybe instead of whining, I should just build my own cable. I was kind of hoping for a response of, "Oh yeah, just go into Settings and change foo to bar and it will work with any USB port."

Thanks again,
Marty
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