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USB car charger

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By Lio, Senior Member on 21st September 2006, 11:53 PM
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14th October 2006, 03:25 PM |#21  
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Problem with car charger or even with mains power charger is in connector of TyTN. Male mini USB have 5 pins if you look pins from left to right they are: 1- Ground; 2 - not used; 3 - Data+; 4 - Data-; 5 - +5VDC. People from HTC dicided to use pin 2 which normaly is "not used" to recognize original power source. If this pin connected to ground TyTN recognize like good power source and even light of screen is on you can charge device. If this pin floating (not connected) then only with screen turned off you can charge battery. Today i bought from electronic shop mini USB connector, replaced and now can charge TyTN in car during TomTom navigation. Successful soldering :)
 
 
14th October 2006, 08:16 PM |#22  
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you should start a business modifying cables!

does this mean the car charger advertised on the HTC site also doesn't work correctly (it's supplied by Expansys.com)?
5th November 2006, 10:03 AM |#23  
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Drawing / Info on how to "hack" the cable ?
Philipz,

Can you post or send some more informations on how to do that ?

Reagrds

Spit

SPVM3100 with Wexim CarCharger (CC-XDAM) who doesn't work :(
5th November 2006, 10:45 AM |#24  
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and this one http://cgi.ebay.it/Caricabatteria-da...QQcmdZViewItem do you think works? Thks
6th November 2006, 10:16 AM |#25  
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I see these official HTC car chargers (referenced further back in thread) aren't in stock till 18th November:
http://www.expansys.com/p.aspx?i=138248

Anyone tried one of these ORA TyTn-specific chargers before I order one?
http://www.expansys.com/p.aspx?i=139743
11th December 2006, 10:02 PM |#26  
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PhilipZ,
Having similar problem with my car charger and having read all posts must admit what you say is the most logical explanation of the problems we all have.
Something interesting: the car charger on this site is only for use with HTC made devices, which comes to say there is something unique with them (as usually...) :

http://cgi.ebay.it/Caricabatteria-da...QQcmdZViewItem

PhilipZ - can you pls explain how did you exactly modify your miniUSB. I will definitely do that as well
13th December 2006, 10:45 PM |#27  
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Only just seen this thread and thought I'd chip in with the charger I bought for my Var II some 2 months ago.
It was from an Ebay seller - shop name is "Simply Smartphones"
It only cost £1.99 plus £2.75 postage and sold as "HTC TYTN in car charger".

No problems at all charging my Var II or BT GPS on the move

NIck
14th December 2006, 12:16 AM |#28  
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I can confirm what PhillipZ said, and give abit more information.

Firstly, the behaviour we see was intended to be a feature (although I'm not convinced of its usefulness): whenever you insert a USB connector into the TyTN's plug, it will sense the +5V. It then "looks" at the data lines to check if there's a real USB device (like a PC or a USB hub) at the other end of the cable. USB devices must first negotiate with the device at the other end of the cable about how much poer they're allowed to drain. If the TyTN senses that the data lines are dead, it tries to be a good citizen and does not draw any power from it.

Unfortunately, none of the chargers are USB devices, so the data lines will always be dead. To allow the TyTN to still work with such a charger, it was decided that the TyTN will also look at pin 4 (the one PhillipZ referred to as number 2; the official USB standard counting starts from the other end, so it's pin 4 really), and if this is connected to pin 5 (i.e., to ground), then the TyTN knows it's okay to start drawing power from the device.

This scheme is not specific to the TyTN. Most (four out of five) mains chargers with USB connectors I have indeed have a "grounded" pin 4. These come from very different manufacturers, including some Chinese ones. Some of them have a very low power rating (0.5 A), and they still charge the TyTN nicely even when the display is on. So the power isn't really the deciding factor if a charger works or not.

Then there are the chargers (mains or car) which do not have a fixed cable, but just a USB connector, meant to be used with a standard USB cable. These will indeed not work with the TyTN. The reason is that none of the available USB cables do have a grounded pin 4 at the Mini USB end. And they mustn't have that: pin is marked as "reserved" in the USB standard, and nobody really knows what all the USB devices would do if connected to a PC via such a cable. Some of them might do nasty things. So the cable manufacturers play by the rules and leave pin 4 unconnected.

This is of course no concern for chargers with a fixed cable, as the manufacturer can be sure the cable will never be used to connect two real USB devices. That's why such chargers are likely to work - for me, four out of five.

The HTC Magician (MDA compact, XDA mini) originally showed the exact same behavior. It was later modified with a ROM upgrade, so that the Magician could be charged even on charger with unconnected pin 4. I find it a bit annoying that HTC reverted back to the old behavior - it's really a feature that no-one likes, and I never heard of problems with the Magician, although technically it may be violating the USB standard.

I verified the pin 4 issue with a special cable I made (back when I bought my Magician; sacrificing the Magician charger). This cable has now a normal USB plug on one end, and a Mini USB plug with pin 4 grounded on the other. Using this cable, all my car and mains charger without a fixed cable could charge my TyTN with no problem. I have never dared to try and use that cable to connect my PC and the TyTN...

The fact that the TyTN can be charged with an unconnected pin 5 charger immediately after a soft reset seems to be a bug. Interestingly, software seems to play a role here: with an O2 ROM, it was possible to charge the TyTN exactly once. If you disconnected and reconnected, i wouldn't work until the next soft reset. With the current South African ROM and no programs installed, charging worked as many times as I wanted, but only until I connected the TyTN to the PC. Once it sensed a real USB device at the other end, it refused to charge from an unconnected pin 4 charger.

One last thing: on the three Mini USB connectors I cut open, the pin 4 metal clip was considerably shorter than the clips of all the other pins. It was not possible to solder a wire to it without cutting very deeply into the connector. So, unfortunately, it's very hard to modify a standard cable so that pin 4 is grounded. It seems that until (if ever) a ROM update changes the behavior again, the best thing to do is get a charger with a fixed cable which specifically supports the TyTN (or Magician).

Cheers
Daniel
14th December 2006, 11:48 PM |#29  
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Mini-A and Mini-B connectors
So, if I understand the situation, there are two types of "USB-mini connectors": Mini-A and Mini-B (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USB#Mini-USB_signaling).
All the "common" or "standard" cables have Mini-B connector, where pin 4 is NOT connected to ground - and we cannot use them to charge our TyTNs.
But, when we buy cable with Mini-A connector, which HAS pin 4 connected to ground - it must work and charge with any charger (e.g., I have car charger for my StarFinder GPS with common USB connector).

Am I right about this?
15th December 2006, 12:38 AM |#30  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kolargol

Am I right about this?

Basically yes, but I am not sure that a Mini-A plug will mechanically fit into the TyTN's receptacle. The TyTN does not have USB On The Go capabilities, so there's no need for a standard-conforming Mini-AB receptacle.

But as I need an easy solution myself, I'll just go ahead and buy a Mini-A to Standard-A cable. It'll take a few days, but when it arrives, I'll let you know if it fits. Of course, if someone already has such a cable, it'd be nice if they could post their results here.

Cheers
Daniel
16th December 2006, 06:52 AM |#31  
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Thanks for the insight guys.

This very well could be the same reason that my Zen Micro MP3 player also wont charge using cheap ebay chargers either.

I wonder how we determine if a charger is specific to HTC if this behavior is not typical? Is there any reason to believe any of the ebay chargers would in fact be compatible? For example this auction appears to be targeted to HTC (and ironically, Zen Micro) devices.
http://cgi.ebay.com/Car-Travel-Charg...QQcmdZViewItem

I bought (expensive) car and travel chargers for my 8525 from Cingular when I bought the phone - made by Motorola for the V3 but recommended by Cingular, I havent pulled them out of the package yet, but is it safe to assume that they wont work either?
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