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  1. qkrthnu's Avatar
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       #1  
    So I just got a Pre this weekend and was loving life; root access, bunch of homebrew goodness, mp4 vids & mp3s all transferred, email accounts and contacts all setup. Pandora is just awesome, had the Pre hooked up to the home stereo and enjoyed my Tom Waits mix all weekend.

    Wanted to try out listening to Pandora through the Aux input on my car stereo (which I had already done by itself the previous day) while testing out the Sprint Navi on the way to work. I figured this would drain the battery pretty quickly so I thought it would be best to plug into a power source.

    I haven't purchased a Pre specific car charger yet, but I have a USB car adapter from a GPS unit that I figured I'd try. Should work, I mean USB is pretty standardized right? I thought the worst case would be that the adapter wouldn't put out enough current to charge the Pre as I've read others in various reviews.

    Needless to say, it didn't go well.

    Plugged in the USB and then the audio cable. About 5-10 seconds later I smelled an oddly sulfuresque smell mixed with burning electronics odor. "OH CRAP!" went through my mind as I frantically unplugged everything. Looked down to see smoke comming out of the top of my Pre.

    Hopefully I can get it swapped out under warranty.

    Can anyone think of why that would happen? I won't be attempting to use that USB car adapter again, but I can't imagine how that would cause the a USB device to fry.
  2. fritzk3's Avatar
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    #2  
    Wrong power rating of the adapter comes to mind... possibly too strong for the Pre to handle. From what I have read I believe 1000 mA is the correct power source strength needed for the Pre.
  3. #3  
    The adapter may have been putting out 12 volts to the pre.. The pre Takes 5 volts at 1.0 Amps.

    The power supply could have also only been a 500Ma output, the Pre requires 1 amp and this may have caused the transformer inside the power adapter to fail, due to the pre trying to pull more than is available. causing it to send a surge to the pre of 12 volts.
    <I accidentally the whole pre>

    <Palm Pre Speed Test>

  4. #4  
    why u think every phones or electronic devices come with its own cables/chargers??? just for fun?? jajajajajajjajajaja
    obviously u never had an electronic device before !!
  5. NxTech3's Avatar
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    #5  
    good luck with the warranty, dont tell them you used the wrong charger.
  6. #6  
    I would say that it had to be a voltage issue. If the adapter was putting out 5 volts the Pre will only draw what it needs (1 amp) and there is no way the Pre could be damaged. If the adapter put out 12 volts then its smoke time because the Pre has no way of stepping down the voltage.

    The maker of that USB adapter did a very bad thing by not following USB standards for power output and putting a USB port on the adpater (if thats is indeed what happened)
    Pilot 1000 -> Pilot 5000 ->Palm Pilot Professional -> HP 620LX -> TRG Pro -> Palm V -> Palm Vx -> Palm M505 -> Palm i705 -> Palm Tungsten|T -> Samsung i500 -> Treo 600->Treo 650 -> Treo 600-> Treo 700p ->Centro ->Treo 800w + Redfly C8n -> Palm Pre -> HP Touchpad
    R.I.P Palm 1996-2011
  7. #7  
    I wouldn't think that just because they have the same sized plug that any plug would work...you made a mistake, I hope it doesn't cost you big time as that is not a warranty issue. You have insurance?
    "When there is no more room in hell, the dead will walk the earth"


    PM me your questions, If I cant find an answer, I'll show you who can.
  8. #8  
    My guess would be wrong voltage, the Pre will only draw the current it needs so even if the adapter had a high current rating it wouldn't kill it. High voltage on the other hand would very easily and quickly fry it.

    To the OP don't take this the wrong way but I hope they don't replace it for free, you killed it yourself. If you do try to get it replaced under warranty than all I can do is say shame on you, as it's people like you that make everything cost more for the rest of us.
  9. atlanta's Avatar
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    #9  
    Was it usb mini or usb micro most gps's use mini. And the pre uses micro that could be a problem lol
  10. stubbs's Avatar
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    #10  
    Look at the charger you used and tell us what its specs are. It shouldn't be anything other than 5 volts, since that's the USB standard. Anything else and it's not a USB device, just something hacked together with a USB connector (BAD!).

    The old standard is also 500mA power, but the Pre charger puts out 1A to charge it faster. However, that's simply the maximum that the charger can output. Actual current is controlled by how much the device draws, so it shouldn't ever hurt the Pre. While you should have looked at the label on the charger to see what its output was, I can't blame you for thinking that any USB charger would work.
  11. qkrthnu's Avatar
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       #11  
    Quote Originally Posted by jovanny27 View Post
    why u think every phones or electronic devices come with its own cables/chargers??? just for fun?? jajajajajajjajajaja
    obviously u never had an electronic device before !!
    Well, that would be true if we were dealing with a proprietary charging technology, but it's not. It's USB.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Universal_Serial_Bus#Power



    The only explanation (other than a defective Palm Pre) is that the adapter is delivering more than the 5V that is standard for USB.

    Current should be irrelevant, other than the fact that not enough available current won't allow the Pre to charge. I doubt the Pre is drawing as much power when I plug it into my Netbook compared to what it draws using the 120VAC adapter.

    I'll throw a volt meter on the adapter when I get home. If it's 5V then I guess the Pre was just defective.
    Last edited by qkrthnu; 08/17/2009 at 03:10 PM. Reason: fixed link
  12. #12  
    There are different types of USB power adaptors, and since your's was for a GPS device, that might be the problem. I discovered this difference when I got my Garmin Oregon 300 GPS.

    With the GPS, I can connect it to my computer to transfer data to the GPS via a miniUSB cable that they provide. When I hook up the GPS, it turns one and gives me a screen that says it is connected, nothing more. I can't use the GPS, it just sits there but does show up on my compter desktop.

    The Gramin GPSs do not have internal rechargable batteries, you have to change them to use the device. But they can be used with a car charger to power the unit when you in the car. There is a type A and Type B (I can't remember which is which). With one type, the unit will power on and function normally. With the other one, it will only power on like it does when it is hooked to my computer, ie, I get a screen that says "Garmin" and nothing more. I learned about this when I tried to use the cable for my Blackberry to use the Garmin in my car. It wouldn't work. I then went to the Garmin website, where I learned about the differences between the two miniUSB connectors.

    This is what Garmin says on their website:


    "Garmin GPS units require a type A to mini-B USB data transfer cable. Some digital cameras, cell phones, and other electronic devices use the same type of cable. We have however found that some cables do not work with our GPS units. The cable will not work if it is labeled as a "USB Charging Cable"."

    I did get the Garmin specific cable for my GPS, and it also works with my BlackBerry 8330. This may or may not be your problem, but just wanted you to be aware there are different types of miniUSB cables.





    Quote Originally Posted by qkrthnu View Post
    So I just got a Pre this weekend and was loving life; root access, bunch of homebrew goodness, mp4 vids & mp3s all transferred, email accounts and contacts all setup. Pandora is just awesome, had the Pre hooked up to the home stereo and enjoyed my Tom Waits mix all weekend.

    Wanted to try out listening to Pandora through the Aux input on my car stereo (which I had already done by itself the previous day) while testing out the Sprint Navi on the way to work. I figured this would drain the battery pretty quickly so I thought it would be best to plug into a power source.

    I haven't purchased a Pre specific car charger yet, but I have a USB car adapter from a GPS unit that I figured I'd try. Should work, I mean USB is pretty standardized right? I thought the worst case would be that the adapter wouldn't put out enough current to charge the Pre as I've read others in various reviews.

    Needless to say, it didn't go well.

    Plugged in the USB and then the audio cable. About 5-10 seconds later I smelled an oddly sulfuresque smell mixed with burning electronics odor. "OH CRAP!" went through my mind as I frantically unplugged everything. Looked down to see smoke comming out of the top of my Pre.

    Hopefully I can get it swapped out under warranty.

    Can anyone think of why that would happen? I won't be attempting to use that USB car adapter again, but I can't imagine how that would cause the a USB device to fry.
    Phones: Sprint Blackberry Bold 9650, Sprint Blackberry Tour 9630, Nextel Blackberry 8350i Curve (Everything Plus Family Data 1600)



    "When I die bury me deep, put two speakers at my feet, a pair of ear phones on my head, and always play The Grateful Dead."
  13. qkrthnu's Avatar
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       #13  
    Quote Originally Posted by ivhs72 View Post
    There are different types of USB power adaptors, and since your's was for a GPS device, that might be the problem. I discovered this difference when I got my Garmin Oregon 300 GPS.

    With the GPS, I can connect it to my computer to transfer data to the GPS via a miniUSB cable that they provide. When I hook up the GPS, it turns one and gives me a screen that says it is connected, nothing more. I can't use the GPS, it just sits there but does show up on my compter desktop.

    The Gramin GPSs do not have internal rechargable batteries, you have to change them to use the device. But they can be used with a car charger to power the unit when you in the car. There is a type A and Type B (I can't remember which is which). With one type, the unit will power on and function normally. With the other one, it will only power on like it does when it is hooked to my computer, ie, I get a screen that says "Garmin" and nothing more. I learned about this when I tried to use the cable for my Blackberry to use the Garmin in my car. It wouldn't work. I then went to the Garmin website, where I learned about the differences between the two miniUSB connectors.

    This is what Garmin says on their website:


    "Garmin GPS units require a type A to mini-B USB data transfer cable. Some digital cameras, cell phones, and other electronic devices use the same type of cable. We have however found that some cables do not work with our GPS units. The cable will not work if it is labeled as a "USB Charging Cable"."

    I did get the Garmin specific cable for my GPS, and it also works with my BlackBerry 8330. This may or may not be your problem, but just wanted you to be aware there are different types of miniUSB cables.
    Well, The Type A & Type B just refer to the different form factors. They're literaly different shaped plugs. You can't plug the wrong one in, it's like putting a square peg in a round hole.

    See: (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Universal_Serial_Bus#Connector_types)

    Also, I was expecting results like you described with your GPS. You GPS just didn't function when it wasn't receiving enough power, it didn't go up in flames.
  14. qkrthnu's Avatar
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       #14  
    Quote Originally Posted by stubbs View Post
    Look at the charger you used and tell us what its specs are. It shouldn't be anything other than 5 volts, since that's the USB standard. Anything else and it's not a USB device, just something hacked together with a USB connector (BAD!).

    The old standard is also 500mA power, but the Pre charger puts out 1A to charge it faster. However, that's simply the maximum that the charger can output. Actual current is controlled by how much the device draws, so it shouldn't ever hurt the Pre. While you should have looked at the label on the charger to see what its output was, I can't blame you for thinking that any USB charger would work.
    Unfortunately I did look, and it didn't have any lableling on it. But like you said, it's USB so I didn't really have much of a concern. That and the fact that I had used it with other USB powered devices before meant that I expected it to work.

    I should have checked it with a volt meter first. I'll test it when I get home.
  15. #15  
    I like turtles.
  16. #16  
    Most likely the voltage was correct, but the pin configuration was not. From what I understand, GPS chargers do not comply with the same USB standards as chargers meant for phones and other devices. I believe there are two primary differences:

    1. The standard calls for a short circuit between the D+ and D- pins. GPS chargers, however, typically either leave this circuit open, or put a resistor on it, rather than simply shorting it.

    2. The standard calls for an open circuit on the ID pin. Again, most GPS charges do not do this. There's typically a resistor between the ID pin and ground. The Ohms of this resistor are highly variable, from make to make, and from model to model.

    This is why most GPS units will not charge off a computer's USB port. When the unit detects the computer's USB configuration, it goes into "data mode", and operates on internal battery power. Only when it detects the proper voltages on the proper pins (or, more accurately, improper voltage on improper pins, in reference to the standard) does it begin to charge.

    Devices whose power adapters DO comply with the standard, the Pre included, don't typically have any way of detecting, much less adjusting for, variability. There's only one type of circuit meant to be used, so there's no mechanism in place to deal with anything else.

    Bottom line, even though the U in USB stands for "universal", it's a misnomer when it comes to power adapters. No adapter for ANY device should ever be plugged into any other device unless you're absolutely certain you have full knowledge of the circuitry involved.

    That said, it's a pretty easy mistake to make. It's not an unreasonable assumption to figure USB is USB is USB. Sorry to hear of your misfortune, qkrthnu.
    Last edited by ABBlockhead; 08/17/2009 at 11:58 AM.
  17. JKTex's Avatar
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    #17  
    Quote Originally Posted by qkrthnu View Post
    Hopefully I can get it swapped out under warranty.

    Can anyone think of why that would happen? I won't be attempting to use that USB car adapter again, but I can't imagine how that would cause the a USB device to fry.
    Good luck with that. They may actually do it, but where do you think warranty costs fall? On us, the consumer.

    You screwed up, you learned a lesson, or at least I hope at some point to admit it and learn from it. Just because a power cord looks like "it'll fit", doesn't mean it'll work. Electronic devices wouldn't come with their own power source if everyone already had generic power sources that work with anything that "looks" like it.

    All these endless charger threads and people still don't get it.
  18. #18  
    Wrong charger plain and simple forget all the spec crap.. I did that once with a housephone.. It burned like a bad spanking! Wrong voltage, wrong current equals pyrotechnics. Weeeee...

    oh and FAIL.
    Are bad people born that way? Or did something go terribly wrong?
  19. jrtesq's Avatar
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    #19  
    Doh! You let the Magic Blue Smoke out. Getting it back is harder than putting toothpaste back in the tube.
    It may seem like I am doing nothing, but on a cellular level I'm really quite busy.
  20. qkrthnu's Avatar
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       #20  
    [QUOTE=JKTex;1829617]Just because a power cord looks like "it'll fit", doesn't mean it'll work. Electronic devices wouldn't come with their own power source if everyone already had generic power sources that work with anything that "looks" like it.
    QUOTE]
    Ummm, again....This is USB. It's not like I took a generic 19vdc adapter and plugged it into a 5vdc device. The only question is whether or not the adapter was bad or not. It is indeed meant for a 5v USB device.
    Here's the manual for the GPS unit that the adapter came with:
    www (put a . here) globalsat.com.tw/mana_php/support/file/BT-368_User_Manual%20_V1.0_Eng.pdf

    If I plugged the Pre into my laptop or a USB Hub and the same thing happened would you still say that it's my fault for plugging in a USB cable into a USB port just because it doesn't have a Palm label on it?
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