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Old 02-05-2015, 01:53 PM   #1
roadkill0000 OP
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waterproof smartphone gps

ive decided to still stick with my phones gps after my last post, and ive been thinking maybe just upgrade to a h20 proof galaxy s5, and id be set. my current phone, galaxy s4, has overheating issues. partially due to strapping it into a waterproof case in 90 degree heat. the h20 proof s5, could get cooled by the wind by leaving it out since it doesnt need a case, and the touch screen is right there with nothing blocking it. Plus, using my phone as gps keeps it charged for the duration of the trip, and i use my phone alot while gone.

the only issue i can think of is the cord. On my last trip the mini usb cable would not stay connected well at all. i lost charge and almost got lost in the forest in the cold with my gf on her own without food. never again. I dont think wireless charging would be sufficient, and might ruin the waterproofness.

Also, i can h20 proof the cord connected to the battery, but there will still be a tiny bit of metal entering the phone that will be exposed... how can i keep it from vibrating loose, and sealing it from the rain?

I think this setup is the best in terms of simplicity, efficiency, and practicality, and i can see it becoming the norm. what do you guys think of it
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Old 02-05-2015, 09:53 PM   #2
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My micro USB plugs NEVER come out.
Probably two reasons. One, I attach the cable to the plate behind and near the middle of the phone. So when the charging cable is plugged into the bottom of the phone, it is trying to actually lift the phone UP. It CAN'T come unplugged. Two, micro USB plugs have retaining clips. If it fails out easily, those clips are defective. I've seen them damaged on some peoples cables.
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Old 02-06-2015, 02:19 AM   #3
abhibeckert
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Perhaps you just need a better quality Micro USB cable. Like one of these for example:

https://www.3brpowersports.com/produ...d_Band_USB.php

As for how you keep the USB cable sealed from the rain.. I'm not an electrician but I don't think you need to. It's only 5 volts which is too low for water to be a problem. Only high voltage (eg, 110 volts) has problems with water.

However, the S5 does have internal high voltage components and I'm not sure if those are protected when you have a USB cable plugged in - doesn't it have a rubber plug over the charging port on the phone? That must be there for a reason?

To be on the safe side, I would probably unplug the phone from power and run it off battery while riding in the rain or crossing a creek.
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Old 02-06-2015, 04:16 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roadkill0000 View Post
ive decided to still stick with my phones gps after my last post, and ive been thinking maybe just upgrade to a h20 proof galaxy s5, and id be set. my current phone, galaxy s4, has overheating issues. partially due to strapping it into a waterproof case in 90 degree heat.

1) the h20 proof s5, could get cooled by the wind by leaving it out since it doesnt need a case, and the touch screen is right there with nothing blocking it.

2) Plus, using my phone as gps keeps it charged for the duration of the trip, and i use my phone alot while gone.

the only issue i can think of is the cord.

3) On my last trip the mini usb cable would not stay connected well at all. i lost charge and almost got lost in the forest in the cold with my gf on her own without food. never again.

4) I dont think wireless charging would be sufficient, and might ruin the waterproofness.

Also, i can h20 proof the cord connected to the battery, but there will still be a tiny bit of metal entering the phone that will be exposed...

5) how can i keep it from vibrating loose, and sealing it from the rain?

6) I think this setup is the best in terms of simplicity, efficiency, and practicality, and i can see it becoming the norm. what do you guys think of it
1- non-waterproof is passable with a GOOD case, but after using a rugged phone, waterproof is the bare minimum level of acceptance. rugged = no worries at all.

2- maybe, maybe not. it depends on the application used, the cellular signal, and the supplied charger voltage. not enough voltage = it will discharge the battery. make sure before you go.

3- worn out connectors (usually the usb cable) are annoying. it should stay well connected, without vibrating loose. if not, replace it.

4- my personal experience with a palm-pre hack was that it only supplied about .5 amp across the inductive loops. this wasn't enough to supply JUST the display while in airplane mode without depleting the battery. had the phone been accessing cellular towers, it would have been dead within 3-4 hours given the fringe of service. the waterproofness would not be harmed with inductive charging.

5- sealing it from rain = put the cover flap on. vibration= it should stay connected unless BOTH the connectors are worn out- the put some tape on it ? i dunno.

6- i tend to agree. waterproof/rugged phones are very good for gps services, the applications develop very quickly, and accessories are cheap. using one of the waterproof / rugged devices has a really nice added bonus of not having to dick around with a protective case, the cooling that you mentioned, and easy of use as far as button/screen access goes.



if the application you're using doesn't automagically turn the screen on (from an off state) for directions/waypoints/turns notifications, find one that does. this + airplane mode will save a LOT of battery juice, while riding in fringe cellular areas. using downloaded maps instead of online maps is a huge battery saver too. the combination of these recommendations should net you enough battery life to wear your hands/butt/feet out far longer than your phones battery. let the phone charge overnight while you camp, and it's ready to go in the morning.

good luck :)
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Old 02-06-2015, 06:36 AM   #5
worwig
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abhibeckert View Post
As for how you keep the USB cable sealed from the rain.. I'm not an electrician but I don't think you need to. It's only 5 volts which is too low for water to be a problem. Only high voltage (eg, 110 volts) has problems with water.

However, the S5 does have internal high voltage components and I'm not sure if those are protected when you have a USB cable plugged in -

5 volts is a HUGE issue if it gets wet. In particular the cable end have a very thin plating, maybe even a thin flash coating of gold. Electrolysis will destroy that in just a minute if it gets wet with power applied. And even without power, moisture will corrode the metals. So the connector will fail.

I can't think of a single thing in an S5 that would be over 5 volts. The processor is probably operating at closer to 1.1 volts. Probably some 3.3 volt logic. A boost converter to generate a volt for the OTG output. The AMOLED display doesn't even have a backlight to drive. Nothing I can imagine over 5 volts. So tell me what the 'internal high voltage' is in an S5.
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Old 02-06-2015, 10:19 AM   #6
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Excellent help. Ill look for the internal voltage on the s5. Im thinking now i could juse use a lifeproof case on my current s4, but, still have the issue of possible water damage from the usb cord where it connects to the phone. If i could rig up a simple h20 proof hood, skirt, seal thingy on the tip where it meets the phone, i think id be set. And just making sure its staying connected firmly, and your done.

I will look into it. Just now im seeing other people posting new threads regarding the same stuff, heres the next step in motorcycle gps evolution.
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Old 02-06-2015, 02:25 PM   #7
abhibeckert
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Quote:
Originally Posted by worwig View Post
5 volts is a HUGE issue if it gets wet. In particular the cable end have a very thin plating, maybe even a thin flash coating of gold. Electrolysis will destroy that in just a minute if it gets wet with power applied. And even without power, moisture will corrode the metals. So the connector will fail.
I've never seen a USB cable corrode, and I've used them in rain for years.

I haven't got power on my current bike yet (12V AC...), but my last bike had a non-water-proof USB charger permanently mounted where spray from the front wheel would splash around it (there was some protection, but not enough). Only failures I've ever had were from vibration/etc (which takes a very long time, and it was cheap/easy to replace).

Filthy with mud/etc and have to be cleaned, sure. But I haven't seen corrosion.

Quote:
I can't think of a single thing in an S5 that would be over 5 volts.
What about capacitors?
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Old 02-07-2015, 07:58 AM   #8
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What about capacitors?
What???

And yes, the only failures I have ever had are the micro USB connectors getting rained on. (not the large USB connector) Once that happens, they no longer reliable charge. I used to buy cables 4 or 5 at a time. Now simply push the end of the cable up into a rubber boot to keep water out when not being used. I can't remember when I last had a cable go bad now.
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Old 02-07-2015, 12:24 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abhibeckert View Post
What about capacitors?

Don't mean to be rude but EE's usually find these kind of responses humorous.

Quote:
Originally Posted by worwig View Post
What???
What he said...
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Old 02-18-2015, 12:57 PM   #10
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still unsure of the solution to this.

my plan so far is to buy a waterproof phone, like the sony z3 or something, and use a simple mount like the ram moto x one. still though... How can i keep my phone plugged in and charging in the rain? like you said, the mini usb port, or any for that matter will get ruined once water gets on it, and could potentially fry your phone, even if it is waterproof I do not want to take this chance.

Placing the phone in a zip lock bag and running the cable up through it might work, but ive heard of phones slipping out of the mount when this is done.

Also, what rubber boot can I place on the end of the cable when its not in use to protect it?

thanks, this is a question im sure alot of us need answering, especially since phones are taking over stand alone gps's from the looks of it.
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Old 02-18-2015, 01:08 PM   #11
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Why not just run the phone on the battery for the time that it's raining?

My S4 will do about 4 hours at full brightness, running GPS, Locus & streaming music via Bluetooth.

You cold get a lot better battery life if you turned d the screen off and set it to automatically come on when you are 2 miles from your next turn.
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Old 02-18-2015, 01:42 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by roadkill0000 View Post
still unsure of the solution to this.

my plan so far is to buy a waterproof phone, like the sony z3 or something, and use a simple mount like the ram moto x one. still though... How can i keep my phone plugged in and charging in the rain? like you said, the mini usb port, or any for that matter will get ruined once water gets on it, and could potentially fry your phone, even if it is waterproof I do not want to take this chance.
I use a Sony Z3C as my daily phone. Not on the bike GPS, but maybe eventually. The nice thing about it is that it is a waterproof phone, and it has two charging options. The USB, AND, the much nicer, easier to use magnetic charger. Using the magnetic charger will keep the phone waterproof. I think. I guess its possible the magnetic charger itself wouldn't be. Dunno. The xperia line is the sleeper of cell phones IMHO. I've had a Z2 and this Z3C. They rock.
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Old 02-18-2015, 02:16 PM   #13
roadkill0000 OP
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i have to look into that magnetic charging, whether it is waterproof or can be, and if it will keep it charged while riding and using the applications.

I could detach the phone in the rain, this is true. But my galaxy 24 runs out of batt faster, although i need to experiment with airplane mode etc.

still looking for more options, but this is a start. I think I definitely want a waterproof phone on the bike. someday we will all have waterproof phones standard
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Old 02-18-2015, 04:42 PM   #14
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the USB cords are available at every gas station I've been to. it gets wet, toss it.

the will last through a downpour on battery power a lot longer than I will.

I'd rather drag the bike across marshes than drone on and on down a street.

personal preferences of course.

there is always the option of caring another battery or three. you'll have to stop to change it, do you might as well stop somewhere dry.
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Old 02-18-2015, 05:12 PM   #15
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the USB cords are available at every gas station I've been to. it gets wet, toss it.
One issue is that many of these phones have a flap over the USB port. Once you undo the flap to plug in the cable, the phone itself is FAR from waterproof.
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