USB "charger doctor" (volt+current display)

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Danglerb
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http://www.eevblog.com/projects/ucurrent/ Thanks nice site. I do know this stuff BTW, but its been awhile since I’ve done it.

This little USB device has a smaller range for current and I believe uses a smaller resistor with much less drop.

Still a bit dim

HKJ
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Danglerb wrote:
http://www.eevblog.com/projects/ucurrent/ Thanks nice site. I do know this stuff BTW, but its been awhile since I've done it. This little USB device has a smaller range for current and I believe uses a smaller resistor with much less drop.

This little box is a x100 amplifier and some resistors, i.e. when measuring 200mA (on the 1mV/mA range) it is 200mV on you DMM and that means a 2mV drop over the resistor.

My website with reviews of many chargers and batteries: http://lygte-info.dk/

Danglerb
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HKJ wrote:

Danglerb wrote:
http://www.eevblog.com/projects/ucurrent/ Thanks nice site. I do know this stuff BTW, but its been awhile since I’ve done it. This little USB device has a smaller range for current and I believe uses a smaller resistor with much less drop.

This little box is a x100 amplifier and some resistors, i.e. when measuring 200mA (on the 1mV/mA range) it is 200mV on you DMM and that means a 2mV drop over the resistor.

I meant the USB display device, not the uCurrent.

Still a bit dim

Werner
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For example with my android phone I get around 0.1A less current with the charger doctor between…

Danglerb
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Werner wrote:
For example with my android phone I get around 0.1A less current with the charger doctor between…

Measured how?

Still a bit dim

Werner
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With battery app, shows charging current. With device in between its correct about 7xxmA and without the current increase to 8xxmA. I have tested it several times.
If I choose a cheap cable current decreases further, sometimes funny. For example I have a retractable 3in1 cable from fasttech, mini usb, micro USB, iPad dock connector(old) and this is really garbage.

On my ipad it makes no difference, but I have a 2m cable which almost charges nothing when the screen is on, I now have measured it and current with long cable is 0.8A vs 1.8A without…I played around with a ihustle and other things.
The charger doctor is a neat device, but it is always good to have measuring tolerances and failures in mind…0.1V is still much drop

I don’t know if maybe the datalines are corrupted in the bad cables so that the devices don’t go to fast charge mode or if the voltage over the cable is so high that it doesn’t charge higher. Maybe I should check if the cable get warm…

The ucurrent reminds me on the current measuring PCB I have laying around since HKJ review. I extra ordered the amp range which has 0.1V per Amp or so, that I can use it with multimeter without calculating so much…

HKJ
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Werner wrote:
The ucurrent reminds me on the current measuring PCB I have laying around since HKJ review. I extra ordered the amp range which has 0.1V per Amp or so, that I can use it with multimeter without calculating so much...

It was not really a review, more a "build you own current measuring device with low voltage drop" article.

My website with reviews of many chargers and batteries: http://lygte-info.dk/

fartybum
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Werner wrote:

The charger doctor is a neat device, but it is always good to have measuring tolerances and failures in mind…0.1V is still much drop.

Possibly less drop, than the production tolerance in individual chargers.
Danglerb
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First rule of measuring stuff, everything matters. I would make a test rig, a dummy load on one end of a USB connection and voltage test points on both ends and do some testing.

With a 1A different I suspect you are correct and its not switching to high current mode. Stock I think USB is only good for 500 ma. but some do more.

Agree, cute device, not much of a measurement tool.

Still a bit dim

Chloe
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I think you might be expecting a little too much, given the price.

spaceboy
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Works fine for me.

bguy
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spaceboy wrote:
Works fine for me.

Same here. For the about $3, it tells me what I need.

I tested 2 iPhone 5 lightning cables. One got 500ma no matter what charger I plugged it into. The second got 750ma in all the chargers. My Galaxy S4 got 1A. Both phones were around 95% charged, so that may have lowered the current a little too.

That was testing chargers, both cigarette plug and AC. All capable of 1A or better. On a PC, I get 300ma on my S4, which is reasonable, but takes forever to charge.

asval
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Mine arrived a few days ago and I finally got around to testing it with some solar panels

2 Brunton explorer solar panels rated at 1000ma, first one gave out around 700ma and the second one around 500ma

Cottonpickers solar panel rated at 330ma gave out around 100ma

As others said it’s hard to see the display under the sun

Werner
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I have opened the Case to investigate why the shunt resistor is hanging around a bit angled and it seems to be something small red underneath, maybe to give some distance to the PCB or so? Over the display there was a protection foil which I removed, not sure if this make reflections worse?
I will play with that next week as I want to add a switch to shortcut the data lines for high current charging of phone and tablet with any USB source…

leaftye
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estore999 did well.  Ordered mine on 9/10, delivered today, 9/23.

The low mode should be lower.

Reviews: Efan IMR18350 700mAh 10.5A

watalee
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HKJ wrote:

I can see that Chloe got the nice version, mine is not very nice in soldering:

 

many products made in china are not so good because the prices have to be cheaper and cheaper.

(This post/thread “may” contain referrals,a little contribution I “earn” in form of points ONLY if you buy the item. The purpose is to redeem items using the points and then making reviews of them in the forums to share info about them. It will not cost y

Pinetreebbs
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Glenn7 wrote:
Getting me one of these, you can still preorder http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/david-toledo/the-practical-meter-kno...

Thanks! I ordered one to get their Fast-Charge 3-in-1 Cable.

Danglerb
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Pinetreebbs wrote:
Glenn7 wrote:
Getting me one of these, you can still preorder http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/david-toledo/the-practical-meter-kno...

Thanks! I ordered one to get their Fast-Charge 3-in-1 Cable.

Yipes, $19 for 5 bar led, vs $3 for digital readout.

Still a bit dim

Werner
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I played around with my doctor and it seems that my phone and my ipad go into high current mode if the datalines are shorted…so I soldered a big blob of solder on the 4 data pins to make them one big pin.
It has worked perfectly.

HKJ
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Werner wrote:
I played around with my doctor and it seems that my phone and my ipad go into high current mode if the datalines are shorted...so I soldered a big blob of solder on the 4 data pins to make them one big pin. It has worked perfectly.

Shorted data lines is the standard usb way to signal a high current charger, but not everybody is following it.

My website with reviews of many chargers and batteries: http://lygte-info.dk/

Werner
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I have a ihustler stick which is designed for apple products and this has a bunch of resistors in it so I thought apple devices would need a special thing.
That was the reason for adding a switch, but the housing is so small even with grinding the switch didn’t fit perfectly and the tests with open housing showed me that the shorted wires are always better for my devices.

Shorted wires have a second benefit you don’t need to mind where you charge your device, I always have a bad feeling on public chargers…

HKJ
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Werner wrote:
I have a ihustler stick which is designed for apple products and this has a bunch of resistors in it so I thought apple devices would need a special thing.

Apple is using another ways to signal current on their own chargers, but they must also have added support for the usb standard in some product.

My website with reviews of many chargers and batteries: http://lygte-info.dk/

Chloe
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Werner wrote:
Shorted wires have a second benefit you don’t need to mind where you charge your device, I always have a bad feeling on public chargers…

Are you concerned about security or something else?

Pinetreebbs
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Danglerb wrote:
Pinetreebbs wrote:
Glenn7 wrote:
Getting me one of these, you can still preorder http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/david-toledo/the-practical-meter-kno...

Thanks! I ordered one to get their Fast-Charge 3-in-1 Cable.

Yipes, $19 for 5 bar led, vs $3 for digital readout.

Yes, however that price includes one of their Fast-Charge 3-in-1 Cables that enable faster charging of devices, including Apple devices plugged into non Apple USB ports.

I also appreciate them developing a legitimate business selling a well designed/made product versus a cheap and flimsy clone. FWIW, I did buy one of the cheap devices to get the current/voltage readings. Fine for initial testing of chargers and USB ports at home. Once I know their characteristics, I can use the Fast-Charge 3-in-1 Cable to take full advantage of them, at least that is my plan.

Danglerb
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Does the cable work, does it enable faster charging?

Still a bit dim

Pinetreebbs
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Danglerb wrote:
Does the cable work, does it enable faster charging?

I can’t say until I receive the cable.

What I read here convinced me to buy the cable: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/david-toledo/the-practical-meter-kno...

This is a link for the cable itself: http://www.thepowerpot.com/product/3-1-fast-charging-cables?ref=cat_img

I hope this helps.

picrthis
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Danglerb wrote:
First rule of measuring stuff, everything matters. I would make a test rig, a dummy load on one end of a USB connection and voltage test points on both ends and do some testing.

With a 1A different I suspect you are correct and its not switching to high current mode. Stock I think USB is only good for 500 ma. but some do more.

Agree, cute device, not much of a measurement tool.

Works very good as a measuring tool that it is. I used it to weed out cables used on the same charger that gave me very long charge times and now I can see why. Same charger different cables gave me from 400mA up to 1,700mA so I sorted out my cables using this Tool and my charger works faster now; I got my measurement tools from DX, can’t be beat for the price.

Fenix TK12, TK15, TK21-U2, TK61, TK75 Olight M20S, M21<span style="color: #0000ff;"

Danglerb
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Good for that task, sorting cables, but not for actually measuring values since its insertion in the circuit changes the current too much.

Still a bit dim

fartybum
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fartybum wrote:
Been waiting 33 days for mine, contacted the seller yesterday, he said wait a bit longer Sad , I’ll be claiming when it gets to 40 days.

Claimed a refund from the ebay dealer, it never did arrive. Sad
Danglerb
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Chloe wrote:
You are really expecting too much from a 2-3 USD device. Oops

Not really, I have no expectation regards price these days, you just never can tell. Its a useful device, but only to compare A vs B, or to see if a device is working or not.

Still a bit dim

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