New Charger - Anyone tried this yet

neon0107

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Dec 19, 2007
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#1
I got this today in one of my email lists that I am signed up for. Looks pretty cool. Might be nice to keep at the office or while traveling. Anybody seen this before? If so, has anybody tried one yet. Did not see if this will be anything in the Apple stores or not.

http://www.ipowerrush.com/
 

JoeT

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Dec 18, 2007
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#3
I don't have these, but I have a similar product that doesn't 100% work with the iPhone: http://www.gomadic.com/battery-backup-cat.html

This is essentially like the Powerrush except that it has interchangeable tips for when you either need to charge a different device or upgrade devices. I used it with my Treo and Archos (and there is a USB charge cable, wall charger, car charger, etc all that take these tips).

However, when I got the iPhone and ordered its tip, I discovered that it would not charge with the Battery Backup but it WOULD with the USB cable. When I talked to their tech support, they said that the iPhone is much more finicky about input voltage than an iPod. Most devices want to see their rated power input +- 10%, the iPhone is apparently much stricter than that. How strict? Brand new batteries are too much voltage. :)

So, their workaround is to use 3 new batteries and 1 partially discharged one to bring the overall voltage down. When it comes time to replace the batteries, you keep one of the three, chuck the others, and put in 3 more. Alternatively, you could use rechargeables, which have 1.2v per cell as opposed to 1.5v for alkalines. However, those are more of a pain to travel with and eliminate the possibility of just walking into any shop and buying AAs in a pinch.

I haven't tested this "1 old battery" trick yet, but be aware that it might be a similar issue for any other similar product and that you might want to check with the manufacturer to ensure complete iPhone compatibility before you spend your money.
 

bsharp

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Jun 21, 2007
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#4

JoeT

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#5
This device has a built-in Lithium-Ion battery, so you don't add your own, like the ipowerrush. It also has the adapters to use with other devices/cell phones. But, with an iPhone, who needs another device?

True, but then you need to worry about keeping both the iPhone and the PowerPort charged. Plus, the manual specifies that it is 5V at 7.8wh, giving it a total amp-hour capacity of 1.56a. Compare that with your average AA rechargeable at 2.2A and it suddenly doesn't seem like a bargain. The 4-AA battery powered units would have 40% more power at half the price, and it'd take you a while to eat the cost difference in disposable batteries.


This gave me a chuckle - from the PowerPort manual.
 
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JoeT

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#6
I haven't tested this "1 old battery" trick yet, but be aware that it might be a similar issue for any other similar product and that you might want to check with the manufacturer to ensure complete iPhone compatibility before you spend your money.

OK, I put 4 new batteries in and charged the Treo for 15 minutes with them. It now charges the iPhone. :)
 

bsharp

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#7
True, but then you need to worry about keeping both the iPhone and the PowerPort charged. Plus, the manual specifies that it is 5V at 7.8wh, giving it a total amp-hour capacity of 1.56a. Compare that with your average AA rechargeable at 2.2A and it suddenly doesn't seem like a bargain. The 4-AA battery powered units would have 40% more power at half the price, and it'd take you a while to eat the cost difference in disposable batteries.


This gave me a chuckle - from the PowerPort manual.
Wow! You know your sh*t. I'm not an engineer (I don't even play one on TV). Do you think the difference in capacity might damage the iPhone? That's my major concern.
 
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JoeT

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#8
Wow! You know your sh*t. I'm not an engineer (I don't even play one on TV). Do you think the difference in capacity might damage the iPhone? That's my major concern.
Nope. Difference in VOLTAGE can harm devices. Here's an easier way to think of it:

Imagine a water tank supplying water through a pipe. The water is pushed through the pipe at a certain pressure - that is the voltage, measured in volts. Too much pressure (too many volts) and things break. Too little pressure/volts and nothing happens (work with me here, the analogy is not perfect).

The water flowing through the pipe is the current - the physical electricity moving from one point to the other. We measure that in amperes, often simply called "amps".

The tank can hold a certain amount of water just as a battery can hold a certain amount of current. Just as a tank of water can supply X amount of water for Y amount of time at Z pressure (think about it - if the tank holds 100 gallons and you pump 10 gallons per hour, you'll get 10 hours of water out of it), a battery can supply X amount of current for Y amount of time at Z voltage. This is usually expressed in amperes/hour, or amp hours.


Putting this in practical terms, let's take a common AA battery. It is 1.5 volts, and most have a capacity of 1.5 A/h (but usually expressed in mAh, so 1500 mAh). That means it can provide 1.5 volts for about an hour. C cells and D cells are also 1.5 volts - but have more capacity, as you might imagine.

Rechargeable AA batteries now commonly come in capacities as high as 2400 mAh. If we put four of them together (at 1.2v), we will have a 4.8v battery with 2400 mAh capacity. Now, to determine the number of watt-hours, we multiply the volts times the A/h - so 4.8 x 2.4 = 11.52 watt/hours. Compare this with the 7.8 w/h (listed in the manual) of the PowerPort.

(For those who are up on all this, yes, we could wire the four batteries differently to get 1.2v and 9600 mAh, but series versus parallel wiring is beyond this discussion).

OK... So now we know what we can supply - but how long will it last to power a device? Now we look at the device. Find the specifications for how much current it consumes (usually in the specifications section of the manual) in mA at a given voltage. If your devices consumes 200 mA at 5V, then our battery pack (with the same voltage, the .2v is negligible) will last 12 hours (2400 mAh / 200 mAh).

Now with the iPhone, we're really just moving the current from one battery to the other, so we're not talking (really) about how long it would power the iPhone, but how much current it can provide to the other battery to recharge it. That's where things aren't as exact due to losses in the charging circuitry and other minor things. But we do know for sure that a battery pack with a higher Ah capacity will do the job longer.

One more battery-related tidbit to share that you should be aware of. Alkaline batteries start out at 1.5 volts and gradually lose voltage as they discharge. At some point, they will be below the voltage that can power your device, and then of course you replace them. Lithium batteries don't work that way - they maintain a constant voltage until just before they have expended all their energy and then drop like a rock. So in many devices with a battery meter, lithium batteries will show "full charge" until seconds before they drop dead. Devices designed with or for lithium batteries generally decide how much charge is left for meter display purposes by time - which is one reason why you have that information in your Settings on the iPhone. This should also explain why with my charger problem I am not going to use lithium batteries - they would only be at the required voltage for the last few moments of their life.
 

neon0107

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Dec 19, 2007
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Round Rock TX
#9
JoeT

Thanks for all the information. I think I will stay clear of this device. I usually do not have a problem with my battery, just thought it was a cool toy :laugh2:
 

JoeT

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Dec 18, 2007
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#10
Oh, and it is, but it's twice the price for 2/3 the power. :) I'd try to find it (or a similar product) cheaper. For that price I picked up a pack with more power and with a solar charging panel to boot.
 

ZipZap

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Dec 15, 2007
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#11
Check out ebay there are some there made for iPhone.
 
Dec 23, 2007
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www.novembersdoom.com
#12
I got this today in one of my email lists that I am signed up for. Looks pretty cool. Might be nice to keep at the office or while traveling. Anybody seen this before? If so, has anybody tried one yet. Did not see if this will be anything in the Apple stores or not.

http://www.ipowerrush.com/
I actually just got this in the mail today. I have not had a chance to try it out yet, but give me a few days, and I'll let you know what I think of it!

Being on the road or on long flights to Europe with my band all the time, I need something like this for my iPod touch and iPhone for traveling. This looks to be a simple solution, and with a supply of AAA's or rechargeable AAA's, I should never run out of power.
 

psylichon

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Oct 31, 2007
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#13
I can't really visualize a graceful, comfortable phone call with that thing attached
 
Dec 23, 2007
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#14
I can't really visualize a graceful, comfortable phone call with that thing attached
I wouldn't use this to actually call. I bought it for video use, or music playing, so when I land after a long flight, I still have a full change on the phone to make calls. This will even work well to power the phone on a tour bus, when there's no outlets to charge the phone.
 
Dec 23, 2007
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www.novembersdoom.com
#16
So I have had a chance to actually play around with my iPowerRush today. Here are my thoughts on this product...

In your hand, the unit feels pretty inexpensive, and a bit flimsy. I was hoping the unit would feel more solid after the batteries were put in. There is no markings on the unit, and the company adheres a large sticker with the units name and logo on it. It was stuck on the unit crooked, and added a real cheapness to the unit, so I immediately removed that sticker.

After the 6 AAA batteries went in, the unit took on some weight, and did in fact feel solid. One think I did notice, was after the cover was placed back on with the batteries installed, was the sides now began to bulge, and stick out from the cover. It's not a lot, but enough for me to question the $30 price tag for this.

Using the unit, it attaches to the dock port of the iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPod, and when you turn on the power switch of the iPowerRush, the iPhone for example goes into charge mode. The instructions that come with the unit claim on an iPhone: up to 4 hours of extended talk time, up to 120 hours of extended standby time, up to 3 hours of extended internet use, up to 3.5 hours of extended video playback, and up to 14 hours of extended audio playback.

This is what I was looking for to travel with, when there is no power option to plug in the phone (like an airplane) and use the battery reserve for video, so the phone is at a full charge when I need it, so for that I am quite pleased. I'm just not sure this is worth the price they are asking for it.

Here's some photos. Sorry, they are taken from the iPhone in less then perfect light conditions. The photos are with an iPod Touch.
 
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JoeT

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Dec 18, 2007
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#18
I'm starting to think I should have picked up this instead...

To be honest, I'd go with the unit I have (Gomadic, mentioned above) solely on the basis that 4 AA batteries provide much more power than 4 AAA batteries at about the same cost.
 
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Dec 23, 2007
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#19
To be honest, I'd go with the unit I have (Gomadic, mentioned above) solely on the basis that 4 AA batteries provide much more power than 4 AAA batteries at about the same cost.
How do you like it? Does it give you several hours of playback time? For $20, the price it right!
 

bsharp

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Jun 21, 2007
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#20
I found a similar device at Radio Shack called the PowerPort. Has anyone tried it?
I'm very pleased with the PowerPort. It came in handy on a trans-Atlantic flight a couple of weeks ago - Kept my iPhone charged for video and music.

I'll try it again in a few days when I return and let you know how well it worked.
 
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