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  • 1 Post By eblade
  1.    #1  
    Lovely webOS community I have an interesting problem for you!

    After deciding I should get myself a set of Touchstones for home and car use. I set about researching the best method for car installation. After looking at the different hacks and methods I decided on the magnetic strip technique.

    So I installed the Touchstone in my car, routed the USB power cable under my dashboard and plugged it all in.

    Now, when I'm driving along the Pre holds firmly on the Touchstone with not even the slightest wobble. However, when ever I press the brake pedal, indicate or switch on main beam the phone will display the charging message.

    I'm assuming that the voltage to the 12V output is dipping at the point more power is required and then recovering a second or two later.

    So my question is, do any of you have any idea how I can 'smooth' the voltage to a constant 12V?

    I was thinking I could use portable USB charger plugged in to the 12V and the Touchstone plugged into that.

    I am 100% sure it is volt drop and not, for example, loose wiring or the Pre not being secure enough on the Touchstone.

    What do you guys think?
  2. #2  
    what brand car charger you using?
  3.    #3  
    Quote Originally Posted by laingman View Post
    what brand car charger you using?

    I'm using the official Palm in car charger with a 1 foot USB extension.

    The wiring is not the problem. I have done extensive testing with different leads, with and without the Touchstone too.
    The same problem happens no matter what leads I use. That's why lm so certain its volt drop.
    Last edited by billyboy; 04/26/2012 at 10:22 AM.
  4. #4  
    What's the amp output on one of those? You might want to consider finding one that has higher amperage. There are some available that put out 2.0 amps, enough to charge a TouchPad, and maybe one of those might work?
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  5.    #5  
    Quote Originally Posted by sledge007 View Post
    What's the amp output on one of those? You might want to consider finding one that has higher amperage. There are some available that put out 2.0 amps, enough to charge a TouchPad, and maybe one of those might work?
    Interesting. So you think the adaptor might be the problem? Surely the official Palm car charger should be capable of charging the phone just fine? I suppose it couldn't hurt to try. I have a Jabbra USB adaptor around somewhere so I'll see what kind if output it has and give it a whirl.

    Any other ideas folks?
  6. #6  
    Unless you want to install a capacitor of some sort on your power point.....seems a little excessive If you can find one locally that you can bring back if it doesn't work, might be an option is all. I'm thinking that if you're having a power draw when you're using electrical on your vehicle, then this may work....but I'm no electrician.
    Due to the cancellation of the penny, I no longer give 2 about anything. I may however, give a nickel
  7.    #7  
    Well the Jabbra is out. It's only 500mA.

    managed to borrow a 1.5A adaptor from a work college. Unfortunately, it didn't work. Same as before.

    Think I'm going to try using a portable charger inbetween the supply and the dock and see how that goes.
  8. cvendra's Avatar
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    #8  
    Get this - PowerJolt Plus Mobile - Car charger for USB mini/micro devices - Griffin Technology. It solved my exact problem. Plus you get your charging port back. You will need to grind the micro-USB port plastic a bit to fit the touchstone though.
  9.    #9  
    Quote Originally Posted by cvendra View Post
    Get this - PowerJolt Plus Mobile - Car charger for USB mini/micro devices - Griffin Technology. It solved my exact problem. Plus you get your charging port back. You will need to grind the micro-USB port plastic a bit to fit the touchstone though.
    So you had the same issue as me? And that fixed it? I'll need to extend the wiring slightly as I don't think that will be long enough. Do you think that will be an issue?
  10. #10  
    This is similar to a long thread about trying to find an adapter to charge the touchpad in the car. The best solution in my opinion...
    Go to a West Marine store or to their web site and order a portable inverter. They have a 400 watt model for $49 and a 150 watt model for I think around $28. Either of these is capable of powering a laptop computer. Just plug one end to the cigar lighter and plug in your house power charger and off you go.
  11. cvendra's Avatar
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    #11  
    Quote Originally Posted by billyboy View Post
    So you had the same issue as me? And that fixed it? I'll need to extend the wiring slightly as I don't think that will be long enough. Do you think that will be an issue?
    I had the problem while braking. Since the jolt has a telephone cable, the length should not be a problem.
  12. #12  
    Your problem is your cars alternator is not putting out enough amperage to maintain a TS charge when the extra load is being put on the system.

    Now this could possibly not be the fault of the alternator, but of the wiring/circuitry going to your 12 volt outlet. You are getting a dip on that circuit.

    I would guess some of the above suggestions may work, and some may not. As your results are a combination of your cars amperage, and the ability of the Palm adapter to convert the 12 volt to the desired input of the TS.
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    #13  
    Quote Originally Posted by OldSkoolVWLover View Post
    Your problem is your cars alternator is not putting out enough amperage to maintain a TS charge when the extra load is being put on the system.

    Now this could possibly not be the fault of the alternator, but of the wiring/circuitry going to your 12 volt outlet. You are getting a dip on that circuit.

    I would guess some of the above suggestions may work, and some may not. As your results are a combination of your cars amperage, and the ability of the Palm adapter to convert the 12 volt to the desired input of the TS.
    The power comes from the battery, not directly from the alternator. I would suspect either a dodgy battery or some sort of short in the brake light system if the voltage is dropping dramatically. Try turning your lights on and see if the same thing happens.

    Even so, there is a chip in the charger that drops the voltage to 5V (i think) and thes chips generally operate over a voltage range, so should handle any voltage drop (unless it drops below the rated range)

    Maybe the magnets are affecting the touchstone?
  14. #14  
    I have orignal Palm car charger (1000mA) which I bought together with Palm Pre and I have recently installed touch stone in my car without any modification (magnets) and it is charging my Pre 3 without any problem.
    I have tested also other no name car chargers (all with 1000mA) and they are working OK. Any good one using IC (chip) for DC->DC conversion like Texas Instruments MC33063 or from Active-Semi ACT4065 or simillar should do.

    Just as information: travel chargers with 500mA are not able to charge HP Pre 3 trough touchstone (when they are connected to Pre 3 directly they can), but 1000mA travel chargers (also no name ones) can charge it through touchstone.
  15. #15  
    Quote Originally Posted by NoApple View Post
    The power comes from the battery, not directly from the alternator. I would suspect either a dodgy battery or some sort of short in the brake light system if the voltage is dropping dramatically. Try turning your lights on and see if the same thing happens.
    This is technically incorrect. If the power from your car while running is "coming from the battery" your alternator is grossly under performing and you will sooner or later end up with a dead battery (because the battery has no way to charge itself, this is a function of the alternator). The function of the alternator is to power ALL of the accessories (lights, stereo, cig lighter, etc), power the engine functions (spark, fuel pump, ecu, etc) and top off the battery charge.

    When something like the high beams gets turned on, or brake peddle is pushed (illuminating lights), the load is increased. Thus in this case causing a dip in power that other items are seeing. Every item mentioned above pulls a certain amount of amperage, when something spikes, causing a dip the issue the OP is experiencing can happen. The best example of this, is those folks (like me) that run aftermarket stereos with big amps and subs. When the alternator cannot produce enough amperage and say the headlights are on, and there is a bass hit, you will see headlights dim.



    @The OP basically if it is/was the battery, I would guess you would be seeing other issues beyond just the TS issue. Hard to start/cold start issues, dimming of the headlights when the car is under excessive load. This really sounds like a load vs. available amperage issue to me. Also it doesn't sound like a short in the breaking system as OP already mentioned it seems to happen with all lighting functions (head lights shouldn't be on same circuit as indicators or brake lights).

    Quote Originally Posted by NoApple View Post
    Even so, there is a chip in the charger that drops the voltage to 5V (i think) and thes chips generally operate over a voltage range, so should handle any voltage drop (unless it drops below the rated range)
    To this statement, it has been found in the past that certain cars do not have the correct output even when using a 100% palm supplied setup to power a TS. I can't remember the specific vehicle(s) that were discussed. But all cig lighters/AC adapters are not created equal. IIRC at least one was a EU version of a US based auto maker, but I could be wrong, it was an OLD thread.
    I love physical keyboards... but there is two devices that would make me consider a slab, one is something running a full version of Open webOS. The other is an iPhone!!!! HA HA just kidding (about the iPhone that is)...
  16.    #16  
    Quote Originally Posted by NoApple View Post
    The power comes from the battery, not directly from the alternator. I would suspect either a dodgy battery or some sort of short in the brake light system if the voltage is dropping dramatically. Try turning your lights on and see if the same thing happens.

    Even so, there is a chip in the charger that drops the voltage to 5V (i think) and thes chips generally operate over a voltage range, so should handle any voltage drop (unless it drops below the rated range)

    Maybe the magnets are affecting the touchstone?
    It happens without the magnets too.
  17. #17  
    Yea it is more than likely current drop, and the technical answer is most likely capacitors. The practical answer, is probably to get a device that is between the 12V outlet and the car charger cord, which will have a more regulated current/voltage output. Another practical answer would be to wire in a new 12V outlet (or wire the car cord directly) to a circuit that isn't experiencing that drop.
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  18.    #18  
    Quote Originally Posted by eblade View Post
    Yea it is more than likely current drop, and the technical answer is most likely capacitors. The practical answer, is probably to get a device that is between the 12V outlet and the car charger cord, which will have a more regulated current/voltage output. Another practical answer would be to wire in a new 12V outlet (or wire the car cord directly) to a circuit that isn't experiencing that drop.
    Can you suggest a device that might suit that application? I've been advised that a portable usb charger will not like charging and being charged at the same time.
  19. #19  
    I would be replacing or removing the USB extension, If its wiring is very thin it will cause another voltage drop.
    also make sure where you plug the 12V adaptor in the contacts are clean, try rotating it in the socket.
    The wiring to socket should be ok usually rated 12V 10A or 15A , adaptor will only use 1A or 2A

    Make sure the big earth cable linking 12V battery to chassis and to engine has good clean and tight contacts. Check alternator belts is correct tension and good condition. A bad earth will cause the alternator regulator to not fully charge the battery.

    A fully charged battery will supply any spikes that are above the alternator max load, but the wiring and connectors need to be in good condition, if bad you will get resistance and that will cause voltage drop.
    Last edited by Firepower; 04/19/2012 at 05:51 PM.
  20.    #20  
    Thanks for all the help guys.

    Eventually I went and bought a 5000mAh Power Bank. I had to mod the USB lead to get it to charge but now it's all working perfectly, plus I get my 12v socket back so I can charge my BT head set.

    Thanks again guys!

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