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Old 08-25-2013, 02:50 PM   #1
Shov3BR OP
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Smartphone Fast Charge Cable Solves GPS Slow Charge Rate Issue

Do you have a problem with your Android or Windows Smartphone running out of battery when you use it as a GPS even though it is plugged into a USB power port?




The problem is not with your phone or your USB power port. As strange as it may seem it is a problem caused by Apple!

Without going into a bunch of technical stuff (we'll save that for the following post) the 3BR Powersports Red Band™ family of charge/power cables are now available with technology that takes advantage of the maximum charge rate capability of your Android or Windows smartphone. This max charge rate will enable your smartphone to keep up with heavy battery demand apps such as GPS and video when plugged into any generic UBS charger.

Check out our Red Band™ cable page for more information.

http://www.3brpowersports.com/products_Red_Band_USB.php

-Shov
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Shov3BR screwed with this post 08-25-2013 at 04:02 PM
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Old 08-25-2013, 03:59 PM   #2
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Smartphone Fast Charge Cable - The Long & Boring Technical Stuff




Android and Windows smartphones have two charging modes, full rate (just under 1.0A) and low-rate charge (just under 500mA or 0.5A). The low-rate charge mode is required due to the fact that the old USB 1.0 Industry Standard only provided 500ma (0.5A) max current draw while the new USB Industry Standards allow for 1.0A or more.

To ensure the smartphone won't try to pull too much current from a source such as an older laptop that may be limited to 500ma, they throttle their charging requirement back to the low-rate mode. The smartphone does this by sensing the data lines. If they see any signal on the data lines they throttle back to less than 500mA.

This means that even if you plug your smartphone into a new laptop computer that can output 1.0A or more, the phone will only charge at low rate due to the fact that it senses data on the lines.

USB chargers such as wall warts or car chargers are a different story. These chargers are considered "DUMB" chargers in the sense they don't "talk". There is no data on the data lines and in fact, some of the cheap ones don't even have the data wires in the power cable. Most dumb chargers are rated to at least 1.0A with the newer versions going up to 2.0A or more. This means that they can easily charge a smartphone at full rate if only the smartphone knew that it was connected to a dumb chargers.

That's where the brainiacs on the USB International Standards Committee come in. They figured since the dumb charger didn't need the data lines they could use them to provide sense information to the smartphone. The solution was simple and elegant - short the data lines so when the smartphone was plugged into a dumb charger it would be in loopback mode and be talking to itself. If the phone finds that it is talking to itself it says, "Self, we are talking in circles and therefore plugged into a dumb charger. Crank up the power Scottie, we can take all she's got."
All factory dumb chargers, i.e. the one that comes with the phone, have shorted data pins to enable full rate charging on their phones.

Problem solved. EXCEPT Apple screwed up the whole plan!

In Apple's infinite wisdom (and arrogance) they signed up for the USB Standard and immediately violated it. I'm sure that you are already aware that they don't use the industry standard USB plugs on their device end. I must say that I really like the Lightning Connector but it isn't the standard. But I digress.

What's worse is that Apple requires voltage on the data pins even when plugged into a dumb charger. Don't ask me why or what they do with it but there it is. This is of little concern to the Android or Windows smartphone manufacturers, they could give a rat's patootie about Apple so they short the data pins in their dumb chargers and their phones charge at full rate.

However, it sells manufacturer's of generic USB power ports such as 3BR Powersports down the river. We have to meet the needs of Apple users as well at all of the other manufacturer's of USB powered devices including phones, GPS, cameras, etc.

Manufacturer's of generic USB chargers can't have two version, one for Apple and one for everybody else since many, many customers have both types of devices and want to charge from a common dumb charger. That means we make one version with an output resistor network to provide the Apple data voltages. That's not as bad as it sounds for non-Apple products as most will charge OK with the Apple configuration albeit at the low rate. There are only a couple of exceptions that we are aware of that won't charge at all unless the data pins are shorted, some Blackberry devices and the Casio G'Zone Commando phone.

However, generic USB chargers configured to meet the Apple requirement appear to smartphones as "Smart" USB devices and thus force the smartphone to reduce their power requirement to 500mA or less. The result is a phone that goes dead when used for apps that suck a lot of power such as GPS. This is spite of the fact that they are plugged into a dumb charger.

Now along comes the guys at 3BR Powersports (that would be us) who said to themselves, "Piddle on the Apple dilemma, we'll just make a cable that shorts the data pins at the device end so it appears to the device that it is plugged into a dumb charger." Thus was born the 3BR Powersports Red Band™ power cable.

So what's with the Red Band? We needed a way to indicate that the cable could only be used for charging or power. Since the data pins are shorted it cannot be used as a data cable. We put a short length of red shrink tube on each cable to easily identify them as a charge/power-only cables. It was only natural to call them Red Band™ cables.

Whew! that's a LOOOOOONNNNNGGGG story.

BTW - Red Band™ cables are the hot action for Kindle tablets too. We have a huge following on the Kindle forum. And remember if you have a Blackberry or Casio Commando that won't charge from a generic charger, a Red Band™ cable will do the trick.

Cheers,
-Shov
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'11 KTM 990 ADV Dakar, '08 KTM 690 Enduro, '09 H-D Road King, '82 H-D FXRS (Shovelhead)

Shov3BR screwed with this post 08-25-2013 at 07:08 PM
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Old 08-27-2013, 10:12 AM   #3
bikyto
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I have one of those cable for my nexus 4 and it charges much faster with the 3BR red band cable than the standard USB cable.

WOOT! Get them while they're available!

Thanks 3BR!!
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