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  1. #21  
    I am a new touchstone owner thanks to the best buy debacle. Will the touchstone only work with the oem pre wall charger? What about the monoprice 5v/1a ones?
  2. #22  
    Quote Originally Posted by TechFirstAid View Post
    I am a new touchstone owner thanks to the best buy debacle. Will the touchstone only work with the oem pre wall charger? What about the monoprice 5v/1a ones?
    We have an entire thread about Touchstones and power adapters that work. Search for "Touchstone working 3rd party adapters".
    Palm Vx -> Treo 600 -> Treo 700p -> Centro -> Pre (Launch Phone 06/06/09) -> AT&T Pre Plus with Sprint EVDO swap -> Samsung Epic 4G w/ Froyo
  3. #23  
    I just tried a mono price usb cable (shaved down to fit) with an oem wall charger and touchstone and it make my pre flip out. charge indicator flashed and dinged, so I take it regular usb cables won't always work?
  4. Arclight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TechFirstAid View Post
    I just tried a mono price usb cable (shaved down to fit) with an oem wall charger and touchstone and it make my pre flip out. charge indicator flashed and dinged, so I take it regular usb cables won't always work?
    Not sure, I've been using Monoprice cables with the Monoprice 1A car and home adapters without issue.

    Apparently they don't work with Touchstone which I have no idea, perhaps they need the pins 2 and 3 shorted, but with the phone they're working fine.
  5. Arclight's Avatar
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    Update - I just opened up one of the cheap $1.80 Monoprice USB 1000ma (supposedly) power adapters and bridged USB pins 2 and 3 right on the circuit board with a blob of solder. Took less than 2 minutes from start to finish once the soldering iron heated up. Faster, easier, and cleaner than jacking up a bunch of cables.

    I saw the same effect others have seen when doing a cable mod - prior to this, plugging in the phone took about 5 seconds before a charging indication/notification (tone plus icon change) showed up. Now, I get an instantaneous charging notification just like the OEM charger.

    Not sure if this means it will work with the Touchstone this way, and I don't have a Touchstone to work with, but maybe someone does and can try it.
    Last edited by Arclight; 07/29/2009 at 08:07 AM.
  6. Arclight's Avatar
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    I had a different thought, if pins 2 and 3 being bridged are what tell the Touchstone it can go live, and some car adapters dont have enough juice, then maybe the solution is just to splice a microUSB cable on a 2 amp car adapter for a GPS (mini USB plug)... This one is only about $4 shipped:

    A hassle and 5 minutes of wire stripping and soldering, but maybe worth it to someone...

    Or, rather, no wiring needed now that I looked further, just plug a Motorola Mini USB to Micro USB charger converter plug/cable on the end of that 2 amp car adapter, $1.50 shipped roughly. No clue if this shorts 2 and 3 for you or it is straight pass-through and still requires whatever's feeding it to have pins 2 and 3 shorted if you want to tell the Touchstone to accept it.
    Last edited by Arclight; 08/05/2009 at 07:30 AM.
  7. JKTex's Avatar
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    Then again, there's the, couple more bucks ($20) for am OEM charger, no soldering, no shaving, no splicing, just reliable, safe power, solution.
  8. Arclight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JKTex View Post
    Then again, there's the, couple more bucks ($20) for am OEM charger, no soldering, no shaving, no splicing, just reliable, safe power, solution.
    Which may be true, though it's more like 14 more bucks, and for in-car use it can still be occasionally hit and miss with the Touchstone even with the "official" chargers based on the other thread probably because the Touchstone was never intended for car use and needs a true 1 amp or better which not even some of the official car chargers can put out consistently in use as a TS power supply across all charger units sold.

    So, at 2 amps claimed, my solution above is more likely to work given the failure of lesser adapters even with pins 2 and 3 crossed fundamentally seems a lack of amperage.

    And since the thread title is "USB Cable Mod for generic USB adapters and Touchstone Dock" it inherently is about soldering/shaving/splicing and not using an OEM solution to begin with.
  9. #29  
    I like your idea of modding a 2A supply, Arclight. I think it'd be a nice test. I'd just be real hesitant of the stats on that brandless unit labeled as "+/-2A".
  10. #30  
    If you want to experiment the motorola micro/mini adapters are great. Easy to open and the pins spread out wide enough to solder.
    I jumped data+/- pins (2 and 3) using a switch so i could turn the jumper on and off. Here is where it gets tricky. Some power sources turn on full blast as soon as the power starts to flow. Some open the "faucet" slowly. See, even though all the circuits get 5v while electricity is flowing, stopping electricity flow is like throwing a wall up and there is suddenly a large pressure on the stopgate. I've plugged my 1A garmin nuvi 350 wall and cigarette lighter chargers into it.
    Switch on means pins are connected, off means not jumped.
    Touhstone: Works every time, when the switch is on. Doesn't work when switch is off. A 500mA charger (from a Jabra bluetooth headset) did not work with switch on or off.
    Micro USB port on Pre: Works 5/6 times when plugging in slowly (switch on); phone can be awake or asleep, (power pins contact a little before data because they are longer). Plugging in rapidly, switch on, 2/5 while awake, 0/5 while asleep. Plugging the motorola adapter into the phone first and then charger into adapter, switch on, everytime while awake, switch off, not at all. Plugging it in rapidly, switch on or off, then flipping the switch, 1/2.
    Tonight I'll try and insert my multimeter in the loop and try find if the amps jumps up or turns on slowly.
    I'm going to try and go over the usb spec and try and make sense of it.
  11. #31  
    OK everyone, there is some confusion here and this thread.

    First of all brentlpgus, very nice experiment!!

    So, what is the difference between USB A and USB B? The cables I bought from monoporice say 'B' on the micro side. When used with the Palm AC charger that came with the Pre, it charges instantly. When used with a generic car charger, I get the delayed charge. What is the point of the delay again?

    I have been using the USb 'B' cables at work for the computer to charge and in my car with my generic 700mA car charger which barely keeps up while using the Pre's Navi and streaming music, but still it's better than nothing until my 1.2amp car charger comes in this week.

    In the beginning of this thread, there was talk about splicing the cable and connecting the 2 middle pins to allow for the touchstone to work, but no data transfer would work anymore. This is wrong. Data transfer works fine with the USB cable that came with the Pre if plugged into a computer, and it's the same cable that can be used for the Touchstone.

    When I did a search on this site with using the Touchstone (which I just bought two weeks ago) in the car, I came across a thread that explains opening up the car charger and shorting the two middle pins so the Touchstone can activate so it knows the device that is providing the voltage is not from a computer or a DC car charger. But if you have ever looked at the tiny print on the Palm AC charger, that tiny tiny print shows that there is a DC output of 5 volts at 1 Amp. So the Touchstone just has its security feature of not working with most car chargers because most of them do not provide the proper output to the Touchstone hence causing a possible problem.

    So again, I shorted the two pins on my car charger but the 700mA is not enough Amperage to keep the Touchstone from doing the on off on off routine. So I will wait until my new heavy duty charger comes in.

    So my point of this whole post is that the USB B cable will work fine as long as the two middle pins on the car charger are shorted. I don't know why they are not to begin with. If someone can clear this up, it would be a grand 'ol time for me.

    Pea soup.
    Last edited by voltageROCK; 10/26/2009 at 09:12 AM.
    I am equivalent to a man dammit.
  12. #32  
    I am equivalent to a man dammit.
  13. SirWill's Avatar
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    I take it as the wall wart (stylish at that) from palm is a "Fast" charger, with pins 2-3 shorted. What this signifies is that it can pump more juice throw the charging wires without interfering with the usb data signals on the other wires. The touchstone requires the higher juice to function. By using the usb cable with a power supply that doesn't have the pins 2-3 shorted, it will only take the lower .5 amp or what ever through the cable so as not to interfere with usb data. I'm sure it's a matter of time now before all 12v micro usb car chargers are 1amp high speed. I say this because recently the micro usb charger was accepted as a standard by all of the cell phone makers. It is a very simple modification to the charger to short those 2 pins.
    Palm III, Palm IIIc, TT, T3, T5, TX, Pre from Day 1.
  14. #34  
    I did some testing and built the simplest cable that would work.

    I ended up with a 2.2A 5v power supply soldered to a microusb plug. On the plug, it is connected:

    • Pin 1: +5v
    • Pin 2 shorted to Pin 3
    • Pin 4 (ID): No connect
    • Pin 5: Ground
    • Shield: No connect

    No other connections, no special resistors, nothing. This works with the Touchstone and with the Pre. The Touchstone does not do the charging/not charging thing. The Touchstone does require the data pins shorted together.

    I also did some testing of current with my meter. Although a decent meter, response time is not instantaneous so surge amounts may not be completely accurate.

    With the stock Palm adapter that came with my Pre, the Pre surged to 1A, then charged at 475mA. Idle, the Touchstone pulled 30mA. When setting the Pre on it, it surged to 1.2A, and then settled to charge at a stable 1.02A.

    With one of the MonoPrice 1A chargers (modded to short the data pins), the Pre surged to 950mA and settled to 500mA to charge. The Touchstone surged to 875mA and the Pre said charging, then current went down near 0 and the Pre said not charging, and repeat.

    With a 2A charger, the Touchstone surges to 1.33A and then charges around 1A.

    I now have a cable set up for testing so if someone is interested in additional tests, let me know.
  15. #35  
    so thats why you cant plug your ts into the computer to charge, i might have to make one of these cables so i can charge my phone with the laptop instead of across the room!!
    i1000+ -> i90 -> i530 -> i730 -> i530 -> i730 -> i560 -> i930 -> i215 -> i860 -> i930 -> i860 -> i870 -> i880 -> i870 -> i850 -> i870 -> i830 -> i9 -> Pre
  16. SiLlY's Avatar
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    I might be wrong but.. I don't think that is why. I believe the reason is because the USB port on a PC or laptop, put out 5 volts but not enough amps for the touchstone. That much draw might damage your PC/laptop power supply.
  17. bbroecker's Avatar
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    I've got one of these DC-DC universal power adapters. It is rated at 2 amps and comes with a variety of tips for connection to various devices, and a dial to set the output voltage (very important, make sure to set the correct voltage).

    More specifically, it comes with two USB tips that look identical except that one is marked with an 'N' and claims to be for iPhones. I had been using the standard, in the case, tip with no markings and getting the usual 5 second delay before charging. After reading this thread (for the second time) I was inspired to try the other USB tip marked 'N'. Lo and behold, instant charge and the battery level climbed from 23% to 48% in under 30 minutes.

    Also comes with two mini-usb tips, one of which is specifically listed for Blackberry. I'm assuming this is the same situation. No Micro-USB, unfortunately.

    Sears Item# 02871521000 - currently $9.99 on the website or in stores

    Full Disclosure - I'm a Sears salesperson in the department that sells these (otherwise I probably wouldn't even be aware of them).
  18. #38  
    First of all Id like to thank you for all the inspiring input here. I also have to excuse my english, I am german, so dont take it to seriously if I got something wrong . I have read this whole thread and will get to try a "shortened" supply the next days.
    I have purchased some MiniUSB/MicroUSB adapters to be able to use my older supplies (from my HTC TyTN) They work flawlessly with the pre jack (if you grind the bulky housing a bit) but the Touchstone stayed dead. I will modify one of them and tell you about it later. Maybe that could be a convenient solution for you guys, too - that way you dont have to modify cables or chargers.

    My question is, since I want to go a little further, will the MintyBoost work with the Touchstone if I shortwire the middle contacts? The MintyBoost is a small homemade "Powersource" for USB charging cellphones.
    Id like to post the link but I am to new to this forum bit if you search for it you will surely find it.

    If I could get the MintyBoost to work for the TS, i could build my own touchstone Solar Charger like with the MightyMintyBoost that uses the Mintys electronics along with a LiPo Battery as Buffer charged by a Solar.
    As you can look up in those great "instructables"...

    Any suggestions? What do you think of the idea? Any feedback is good feedback. Just dont tell my Im crazy -I know that already
    Thanks in advance
  19. #39  
    Here's that MintyBoost page for everyone else:

    Minty Boost! - USB charger for your gadgets

    You won't be able to run a Touchstone off of this even if you short the middle contacts though, as the Touchstone needs 1000mA of current and the switching regulator used in the MintyBoost is only rated for 200mA at 5V. You can see in the test results on the Process page of the MintyBoost site that he pushed it to 250mA when trying out his inductor choices, but even with the better inductor the output voltage collapsed down to 4.68V -- there's no way it'll source 1000 for the Touchstone. Also, even if the efficiency at 1000mA was the same 68% he got at 250mA, that would mean a 2.5 amp current draw from the AA batteries; which I doubt they could do for more than a few minutes without burning up.

    What I'm pretty sure you could do is use it to extend the running life of your Pre by directly connecting it, just do not short the middle contacts or the Pre will try to fast charge off of it, which would give you all the same problems as trying to run the Touchstone.

    Good luck! It's a fun little project...
    Yeah, uhh... it's Kevin. (KevinT was already taken.)

    PalmPilot Professional, Palm V, Kyocera 7135, Treo 600, Treo 650, Treo 700p, Palm Prē & Prē 2, HP TouchPad & Veer
  20. #40  
    Thank you for posting that link and for your answer. I must have overread the current capability of the minty board.
    So my decision is clear now. I will build a solar harvester with a 12V battery and hook up one of the working 12V car chargers, thay way there will be no chance of messing up that board while soldering.
    Thanks again and I will keep you posted. Maybe better in a new / another thread. Got to get the ten posts somehow to be able to post the pictures of the project and - if there is any interest -building instructions
    Sorry Im a forum newb...
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