Keeping Droid charged

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by ruffntuff, May 1, 2012.

  1. ruffntuff

    ruffntuff TUFRDR

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    Anyone know the best way to keep a Droid Razar charged on a long trip. Can I plug it into the battery somehow? I'll be using it partially for navigation so i don't want it to die on me. I've also heard to be careful with plugging things into the battery bacuse it could destroy the phone or the bike's electrical system. Any suggestions? Thanks!
    #1
  2. wingwing

    wingwing Been here awhile

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    There are two different types of charging options.
    1) "cigarette lighter" style plug.. converts 12v to 5v and charges at up to two amps (charge only, no data).
    .. this is the best option and can be found at BestBuy
    .. you can use the Droid as you ride and will top off the battery as you go.

    2) USB universal plug... this is primarily a "keep alive" data and charging option
    .. not good for the bike as charging is limited to 1/2 amp (500 ma).. you DO NOT want this for the bike.

    Dennis
    www.fogbog.com
    Easy Map For Bikers
    #2
  3. wawarides

    wawarides where's Laura0107?

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    Even though I ride DR's, I guess I have a KLR mindset. Here's my cheap way of putting power ports on my bikes. I run a fused SAE lead from the battery to the cockpit, looks like so:

    [​IMG]

    These are the kind that come with Battery Tender products. You can get varying lengths. I run them up to the cockpit near the RAM mount arm for my GPS, then connect an SAE to cigarette lighter adapter and take a long strip of velcro and secure any hanging cord from the device being charged and the cig lighter receptacle to the RAM mount. I picked up a SAE to dual cigarette lighter adapter and often have my Android phone and Nuvi GPS plugged in at the same time with no problems. My favorite bike electrical doo-dad site is here. That guy isn't in the USA, but he ships quickly and is an EE or something (knows what he's doing).

    After a ride, I unplug my device(s) and plug in a Battery Tender Jr to the SAE lead in my cockpit until next time.
    #3
  4. wawarides

    wawarides where's Laura0107?

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    Also be aware that GPS nav from a Droid slurps up lots of power and may not keep up with the charging if you're keeping the screen active. If you're just listening to the directions and have the screen off, the power draw is less.
    #4
  5. Signal

    Signal Cynical Idealist

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    Lurk more :deal
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  6. ruffntuff

    ruffntuff TUFRDR

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    I did get a Bluetooth for navigation voice but i can barely hear it. Any thoughts on that one? Thanks for all your help!
    #6
  7. wawarides

    wawarides where's Laura0107?

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    A different Bluetooth device that has more amplification, perhaps. I hate wires between me and the bike but don't mind them if the phone is in a jacket pocket. I used to use Etymotics er6i earbuds but actually prefer the $15-20 Skullcandy Ink'd earbuds now, plugged directly into my phone. They work nicely under a helmet.
    #7
  8. SixtyAte

    SixtyAte Daily Dirt Commuter

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    As a tow truck driver I run a Droid X as my GPS. First things first it is very tempermental when plugged into the car charger. It regularly reboots. What I do for backup is carry a second battery. They are pretty cheap and easy to get. Depending on where you use yours catching a signal could be a problem, and if you don't have a 3G signal it can take a long time to reset directions. Don't get to scared here I live in northern New Hampshire where a cell signal is sparse. Another thing to try is a goal guide 10 solar setup. Once charged it can be plugged into phone, and gives the option of rechargeable AAs.
    #8
  9. worwig

    worwig Long timer

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    This has been covered a few times.

    I have a 12V SAE two pin plug near my handlebars. I have a RAM smartphone mount on the handlebars. I put a 12V to 5V adapter on the mount and plug it in.

    I have been using this with smartphones for years. It works well.

    You have the wrong charger wiring then. But you can fix it easily.
    The micro-USB charging standard is for the phone to charge at a low rate. It is assuming it is plugged into a PC, and the PC port has a limited output current.
    But, the standard states that if the data pins are shorted, the phone can go to a high charge rate, because it isn't plugged into a PC.
    SO, on the LARGE USB connector, place a small piece of aluminum foil (or copper) on the center two pins and short out the center two pins. then carefully plug in the cable. (glue it together once you test it) If you do this correctly and short the two center pins in the large USB connector, the phone will charge at the higher rate, You can then use the GPS with software AND it will charge the batteries at the same time.
    #9
  10. worwig

    worwig Long timer

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    You should use offline GPS software like CoPilot of something. No signal needed.
    #10
  11. Gruesome

    Gruesome Alter Heizer

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    android 4.0.4 now has a built-in pre-cache maps option under settings/labs.
    The 12 V to 5V USB 2Amp adapter also comes in a powerlet version (seen at my BMW dealer).
    #11
  12. wawarides

    wawarides where's Laura0107?

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    I use cigarette lighter adapters instead of USB on my bikes for this reason. The fuse on my SAE lead handles the 12V to 5V. My phone's car charger is a 1-amp; have never tried a 2-amp one. I only used the phone for visual nav a couple of times; I really prefer it tucked away in a pocket. I sometimes use a Nuvi for visual nav and BT streaming of directions and music, but mostly now just use the Nuvi on a RAM mount for visual nav and my phone tucked away in a pocket for music.
    #12
  13. worwig

    worwig Long timer

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    :huh
    A 'FUSE' can NOT convert 12 volt to 5 volts. I assume you have something else in there.
    1 amp or 2 amp is totally irrelevant. The phone will draw a max of around 0.3 amps if it think it is connected to a PC. If D- & D+ are shorted to indicate a high rate charger, then the phone will draw close to 1 amp. So it doesn't matter if it is a 1 amp or a 2 amp charger, the phone won't pull more than 1 amp. I guess it is possible that the 2 amp charger has the shorted lines built in and would make you THINK it is better.

    I did some experiments and found that I could up the voltage to about 6 volts with the D+ and D- shorted. The phones would then draw a bit over 1 amp. But the risk of heat damage went way up, so I stick with 5 volts. That is still enough to run the screen at max, run the GPS software, plus charge the battery at the same time.
    #13
  14. ohgood

    ohgood Long timer

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    +1

    pre-cache your maps areas before heading out. start navigation, and it pre-caches the ROUTE. switch to EDGE mode to help save battery once all this is done. (assuming you're on a gsm network)

    I pre-cache maps for 7-8 tiles (each tile is 10 square miles) of an area i'll be exploring. it's not satellite view, but it's good enough to find a road.

    if you want a finer grained offroad navigator, use DualSportMaps. yes, it's $20, and it's worth every penny. The dev not only works -for- us constantly, but he's a ADV'r and a BamaRides'er.
    #14
  15. wawarides

    wawarides where's Laura0107?

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    Oops, nope, all I use are the SAE leads like I pictured earlier. So I guess my Android's car charger has the smarts inside of it to keep me from frying the phone. The point I tried (and evidently failed) to make when you started with the USB stuff is that if you use the phone's regular old DC car charger, which in my case is a 1-amp one, and a cigarette lighter receptacle, it takes USB out of the equation. The phone can get the current it needs with no shorting of pins required; it's just like plugging into a cig lighter or power port in your car.

    Ruffntuff, if you do want to go the USB route for charging, you can now get a "charging" cable with the two data pins already shorted for you. Just don't mix it up with your USB data cables.
    #15
  16. bikerfish

    bikerfish flyfishandride

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    I use a 6 dollar cig lighter from the autoparts store and my car charger cord. spent 2 weeks out west, using phone every day as gps, never a battery issue.
    #16
  17. Go Irish75

    Go Irish75 Been here awhile

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    I keep an SAE plug and cigarette lighter plug under the seat directly to the battery, but this nice USB unit from Burns Motohttp://burnsmoto.com/usb-power-socket-weatherproof.php has served me well for charging my iPod and HTC EVO phone. Its wired to an empty plug behind the DR650 headlight.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    #17
  18. TwoShots

    TwoShots Vagabond

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    I leave a Monaco solar charger in the clear plastic sleeve on my tank bag. Soaks up rays whether or not I have the phone plugged into it. Juice when I need it for a Razr Maxx.
    #18
  19. glasswave

    glasswave Been here awhile

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    I second the stuff from burns moto. I wired up for an ipad and a razr maxx in my tank bag using sae to usb stuff right from his web site. Great guy, great service.

    burns moto
    #19