Super Simple 5 minutes Wireless Charging Mod for Samsung SG3
Here's my 5 minute wireless charging mod. Now new and improved so that NFC performance is not affected at all. I've also posted step-by-step pictures to aid in explaining the hack.
You need to make one decisions before you start, do you care more about using NFC or using a magnetic compass app? The reason for this is that the magnetic sensors are in the bottom part of the phone. If you use magnets instead of metal disks, this will affect the accuracy of the magnetic sensors, so a compass app will not work well. But if you use the metal disks that come with the Palm case, and you do the hack with the coil very low in the phone case, it won't hold through a case, so you may need to build some sort of rest for it. I use NFC all the time, and never use the compass, so decided to go with replacing the metal disks with N42 magnets. Also, this charging mod works fine through most cases, I've tested it with TPU and with the Rock cases. It might not work through an Otterbox, I haven't tested it. Using magnets makes it more likely to work with cases. Alternatively, you could use the nonmagnetic disks, but rig up some sort of support so that the phone would sit in the right place on the charger without depending on magnets.
No soldering, no carving, the only tools you need are a knife, and some scotch tape! Some sort of plastic tool, even a plastic knife is helpful too.
The shopping list is below, and totals about $17-$19 depending on which vendors you buy from. The links below are from Amazon, for simple one-stop shopping. You may want to buy two Touchstones for home and office. I wouldn't try to cheap out and use another AC adapter, as most of the adapters I tried failed to work with the Touchstone base.
Palm Pixi Charging back
Palm Touchstone charger
Palm Touchstone AC adapter (important, most chargers won't work)
Copper tape from Michael's
50% off coupon for Michaels
If you want to replace the metal disks with magnets, to make the phone hold better to the charger, then buy these magnets from Amazon, or
these from ebay: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...m=190734931794
Total = $17-$19
Time: 5 minutes.
Okay, here's what you do.
Picture 1: Shows the Palm Pixi charging case as you will recieve it. (I recommend the Palm Pixi, not the Palm Pre, as the polarities are reversed on the Palm Pre.) After you get all the parts, gently peel the black tape off the Palm pixi case, (Picture 2 and 3). Then gently and carefully remove the circuit board (Picture 4), the silver metallic tape (Picture 5), the coil (Picture 6), and metal discs. Preserve the silver foil tape, you will need it. You may also want to preserve the black tape.
Next, I show that you can make a template for positioning the coil and discs/magnets by cutting up the Palm Case (Picture 7), and then drilling out holes where the metal discs and the center of the copper coil are (Pictures 8 and 9). I then made a paper template, which is easier to use (Picture 10).
Now here's the clever part of the hack. Put the coil into your Samsung battery cover upside down, as shown in Picture 11. Then fold the L shaped flexible circuit board up as shown in Pictures 12 and 13. This positions it so that you can make an easy connection to the phone using just copper tape. You will run small pieces of copper tape from the top and the bottom power terminals, which are those little square metal terminals shown in Picture 13. (Picture 14 and 14-5). You can then position the discs or magnets. The easiest way to do this is to plug in your Touchstone base, and then lay the back cover on the Touchstone charger. Put your magnets or discs in, and make sure they align with the magnets in the Touchstone base. Note that if you use magnets, you may have to flip them to get them into the right orientation. Use the template you made to check the alignment. Once you get it like the picture, just tape everything down with scotch tape. (Not the terminals.) (Picture 14-5 shows this clearly.) Note that you need to put back in the silver tape over the coil as shown in Picture 14-5, otherwise it won't charge.
Cut the copper tape down to about 1/8 of an inch, and tape two extensions from the charging terminals in the phone. I used a pencil to poke the tape down into the little wells so there was a good contact. Next, lay down the cover and the phone, and tape copper tape to the charging terminals on the charging coil so they will hit the tape on the phone when you close the cover. I folded under the final 1/8 of an inch to make a little lump, to make it more reliable. (Picture 16).
It's useful to check your work with a voltmeter. Place the battery cover with the mod onto the Touchstone base, and check to make sure you are getting 5.5 volts off of the two terminals. Then after you add the copper tape extensions, make sure they are reading the same voltage. If you are not getting voltage, press the tape harder onto the terminals, as the sticky side is less conductive. You could also fold over the copper tape onto the terminals, and scotch tape it down.
Finally put the back onto the phone, and test to see if you get the popup message in Picture 19. If all is good, then you can open it up again and add back the black tape to make it pretty (if you care). (Picture 15). Then should be no real bulge as shown in Pictures 17 and 18.
If it's not working, there are three possible reasons. One, you have a bad connection between the terminals and the copper tape. Check it with a voltmeter. Two, the copper tape that goes into the phone's charging terminals is not making good contact. Fold over a bit of the tape, and gently jam it down into the terminals. (Gently so that you don't break them off!) The third reason is that the tape pieces from the coil are not making contact with the pieces on the phone, see Picture 16 for how the alignment should be. If you are getting the popup repeatedly, then you have an intermittent connection.
Oh, one more thing. Be sure to test this with your phone at less than 100% charge, as it won't work if your phone is 100% charged! I found this out the hard way!
Close the cover and you are done! It sounds complicated, but actually if you just copy the picture, it takes 5-10 minutes.
Here are the pictures, numbered as in the instructions:
Thank you's appreciated.
A FEW UPDATES: Here are a few updates from clever ideas from our members.
You can use hotglue to attach everything once you are sure of the location.
The disks in the Pixi cover are metal, not magnets. Replace them with magnets for a better hold.
The magnets (and the coil) could go in a case like an otterbox, instead of inside the phone. Then you'd run thin wires into the battery case. Or you can run the copper foil out from inside your phone so that it connects with the mod inside the case. See post #217
for a way to do this elegantly.
BE aware, the Palm Pre polarities are reversed, so if you use a Palm Pre back, you will have to reverse the polarity.
IF YOU AREN'T GETTING VOLTAGE:
The most common problems are:
1. You are not using a palm charger and cable for the Touchstone. Most chargers/cables won't work, it's better to just use the Palm charger, they cost $4 on Amazon. Are you using the Palm charger/cable?
2. Your copper tape is not making good contact with the little prongs on the flexible circuit board. Try removing the tape and checking voltage on the prongs themselves. Then put the copper tape on firmly, and check the tape for voltage.
3. The coil is not in the right place. You may want to make a template like I suggested to get everything aligned properly. You won't get voltage if the coil is not just right. Use scotch tape to get everything working, then you can use more permanent methods.
4. You used a Palm Pre back instead of a Palm Pixi back, and you forgot that the polarities are reversed on the Pre back.
5. You are not getting a good contact at the charging pins on the phone. Do this: (thanks nonsns3)
Cut tape a quarter inch wide. Ball up a quarter inch on one end and tape it so that the ball is right above the connector pins. Also make sure the exposed part of the ball is not the sticky side. Using a pen, push the ball end into the hole so that it contacts with the pin and you should be all set. This should be the easy part.
Most of the time the two issue areas are:
1) copper tape doesn't make good contact with the pin on the back cover because one side is adhesive.
2) copper tape doesn't make contact between the back cover and the copper tape on the phone itself when you close the cover.
Can I charge the regular way with a micro usb charger after I make this mod?
Yes, it works fine. Just don't plug in the micro usb and the touchstone simultaneously, as I don't know what would happen.
Should I use magnets in the mod instead of the metal disks?
It depends on how thick a case you plan on using, and how firm a grip you want the phone to have on the Touchstone base. You can always use scotch tape and test it both ways.
Will this interfere with NFC?
No, typically it won't, and you can decide on the placement of the mod over the battery, or below the battery. Below the battery has no effect on the NFC, over the battery makes NFC a little more finicky about positioning.
Will this interfere with my compass app?
Only if you use magnets instead of the stock metal disks. And then only if you put the mod low in the battery cover, as the sensors are low down.
Will this interfere with GPS?
My phone slides off the Touchstone base, what should I do?
I've modded my bases so that the top is horizontal instead of sloped, which makes phone alignment easier. I used Sugru, but any substance that allowed you to fit in the bottom will work.
Everything was working great, now it stopped working.
Usually the reason is that you've dislodged some connection inside the phone. If this happens, just open up the battery cover, and check all the connections, especially where the copper tape meets the charging terminals inside the phone.
Should I put magnets onto the Touchstone base?
Yes, see my attached picture, this helps with a firmer grip, and may even obviate the need for using magnets inside your SG3 case. Note the magnets can attach two ways depending on their polarity.