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Strange behaviour with Samsung Galaxy Ace
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Please be positive and constructive with your questions and comments.

Strange behaviour with Samsung Galaxy Ace

by n00bstar on Fri Jun 14, 2013 3:33 pm

Hello!

I'm having a bit of a weird issue with my MintyBoost. I've built the kit properly, and I tested it with a Samsung MP3 player and my old Samsung Galaxy S and everything works just as expect. However, I get something totally different with my Galaxy Ace (my current phone, for which I bought this kit). Here's what happened in order:

1- Built and tested MintyBoost with my old phone and mp3 player, all was good, so I cased it.
2- Plug in the Galaxy Ace, and I got a loud 'beep' type sound from the MintyBoost like some piece in there was about to explode. It lasted about 2 seconds then stopped. The phone, meanwhile, showed no reaction at all that it was charging (it usually vibrates for a brief moment to indicate it's starting to charge)
3- I unplugged the phone and proceeded to remove the MintyBoost from the case, thinking it could perhaps be the tin causing a short somewhere.
4- I plugged the Galaxy Ace back, and got nothing at all.
5- I fiddled with the kit to make sure the IC was well seated and no piece had broken or gotten abnormally hot. While fiddling around I got a little buzz from the phone to indicate it was charging, but that stopped almost immediately.
6- Did some reading on this website to see what could be the problem and saw something about blobbing the data lines together.
7- I plugged the phone back in, got nothing as expected. With a tip of a screw driver I shorted the data lines and the phone started charging. Yay! Problem solved I though! I should perhaps have waited more than a second however...see below.
8- I tested that my other devices still charged correctly when the data lines are shorted, and seeing that it was the case, I blobbed those two pins together permanently.
9- I plug the Galaxy Ace back in, and I get the 'beep' noise again coming from the MintyBoost. It lasted about a second this time.
10- And now the phone keeps switching between charging and not charging as if I was plugging it in and pulling the plug rapidly. It loops there and can't start charging properly. I tried half a dozen different cables and batteries and it's all the same behaviour.

So there it is. I know the build is good and working because most of my devices charge up normally with it. On the Galaxy Ace however, nothing happens unless the data lines are joined together. And when they are, the phone just loops between charging and not charging.

I'm sure there's some kind of easy hack I could do to fix this? My guess is that I'll have to short the data lines somehow, but add a resistor somewhere in there, right? Any help would be appreciated :)

(PS: the batteries I am using Duracell rechargeable NiMH 2450mAh, and I sadly do no have a meter for taking any measuring)
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Re: Strange behaviour with Samsung Galaxy Ace

by n00bstar on Fri Jun 14, 2013 5:19 pm

Hmmm. After further testing. Even if my Galaxy S and MP3 player display that they are charging, letting an entire set of freshly charged batteries drain into the device does *nothing* to actually charge them. I've let both devices completely drain overnight to gauge how much charge a fresh set of AAs would give me and I have spent the last hour draining a fully charged set of batteries into each of them and...nothing. Both devices were off all the way through so as to not consume any power as they charged.

I'm wondering, what are the actual experiences from people here? Did I just buy a cute gadget that won't truly be able to charge my devices?
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Re: Strange behaviour with Samsung Galaxy Ace

by adafruit_support_mike on Tue Jun 25, 2013 12:03 pm

Hi - I apologize for making you wait so long. This isn't one of the forums I usually cover.

I don't know what happened to your MintyBoost yet, but from your description something certainly went wrong. Nothing in that device is supposed to make noise. If you heard a loud 'beep', something was badly overloaded. The fact that the noise stopped on its own means one of two things: something burned out, or a failsafe in the control chip shut things down in an attempt to prevent damage.

I've never heard of anything like that happening before, so let's go back to basics: post a couple photos of the PCB, front and back, and we'll make sure everything looks good there. If you have a multimeter, measure the voltage across the output pins (VCC and GND) to make sure the device is still putting out 5v.
When you void a product warranty, you give up your right to sue the manufacturer if something goes wrong and accept full responsibility for whatever happens next. And then you truly own the product.

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Re: Strange behaviour with Samsung Galaxy Ace

by adafruit_support_rick on Tue Jun 25, 2013 12:05 pm

n00bstar wrote:the batteries I am using Duracell rechargeable NiMH 2450mAh

NiMH cells run at about 1.2V, as opposed to alkalines which run at 1.5V, so you're feeding 2.4V to the boost converter. It will work at that level, but its performance will be marginal at 2.4V.

Try a pair of fresh alkalines and see what happens.

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Re: Strange behaviour with Samsung Galaxy Ace

by n00bstar on Thu Jun 27, 2013 11:19 pm

I don't know what happened to your MintyBoost yet, but from your description something certainly went wrong. Nothing in that device is supposed to make noise. If you heard a loud 'beep', something was badly overloaded. The fact that the noise stopped on its own means one of two things: something burned out, or a failsafe in the control chip shut things down in an attempt to prevent damage.

I've never heard of anything like that happening before, so let's go back to basics: post a couple photos of the PCB, front and back, and we'll make sure everything looks good there. If you have a multimeter, measure the voltage across the output pins (VCC and GND) to make sure the device is still putting out 5v.


The beep sound is definitely from a piece that is not acting like it is supposed to. I would first have guessed that the problem is with the building/soldering of the kit, but in all honesty, I've been doing electronics for well over thirty years now and (as the pictures will show) I know all the pieces are in the right place, and soldered properly. So my guess is one of those components was defective to start with.

I don't have a multimeter available right now because mine took an early retirement from me, committing suicide in a dramatic plunge from the third floor balcony to the concrete pavement, but I did borrow my friend's meter and the readings, both plugged and unplugged were ~5v and ~2v for power and data lines respectively, even after the beeping incident.

NiMH cells run at about 1.2V, as opposed to alkalines which run at 1.5V, so you're feeding 2.4V to the boost converter. It will work at that level, but its performance will be marginal at 2.4V.

Try a pair of fresh alkalines and see what happens.


That is quite a shame that you would tell me this because this page here http://learn.adafruit.com/minty-boost/batteries tells me they should give me a 70% charge on "my phone." I will assume this is referring to a fairly run of the mill smart phone, let's say a three year old Android device. I have tested the mintyboost with a ~10 years old Samsung YP-S3 mp3 player that charges with nothing more than a stern look going its way (seriously, I can charge it from a 4v solar panel on a rainy day) and I have gotten nothing out of it. The AA drain appropriately down to nothing from a fresh charge, while the mp3 player remains as dead as disco. You will notice from the picture that the data lines are soldered together, that was something I tried from your 'read this first' thread here since my phone wasn't even detecting the charge until that modification was done. However, both with this mod and without, I get no charge on any device I try it on. I have purchased NiMH because of the recommendation on your website since they are rated in the top three of what should give me quantifiable amounts of charge on the device. Do not tell me now that I shouldn't expect more than 'marginal' performance out of them.

Now the way I see it, either I have received a unit that is defective in some way or another, or more likely the mintyboost is nothing but a novelty item. I base that opinion after having spent more time than necessary on this forum and read other posts about people not getting any decent amount of charge from your device. It seems that just about everybody is getting next to nothing for their money with this gadgets. In which case, it would appear that the compatibility list you are giving, and the batteries recommendations, and the technical details about the amount of charge one should expect of the product are grossly misleading. In both cases, I do believe I am entitled to a refund for this purchase. I have been nice, have tried to contact support many times, have waited longer than I should have for any response from Adafruit and didn't get any attention until a paypal dispute was filed. I have even came back to this forum for 'support' when I clearly demanded you kept all communications into the paypal dispute chat so everything could be traced. Now please stop jerking me around and refund the 30$ I wasted on this.

http://postimg.org/image/4a1asfcgp/
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Re: Strange behaviour with Samsung Galaxy Ace

by n00bstar on Thu Jun 27, 2013 11:26 pm

also note: the gunk in the first image is glue residue from removing the sticky tape, not a bad solder job. And the last picture shows the way the power cables were soldered before I unsoldered them. I didn't bother to put them back on because there's only so much time I am willing to spend debugging a faulty item.
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Re: Strange behaviour with Samsung Galaxy Ace

by adafruit on Fri Jun 28, 2013 7:53 am

we're sorry we did not meet your expectations, we have tens of thousands of customers from all skill ranges and ages making mintyboosts, it looks like you opened a paypal claim, we'll follow up via the paypal interface.

thank you,
adafruit support

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Re: Strange behaviour with Samsung Galaxy Ace

by khaledm on Mon Sep 23, 2013 9:49 am

I, too, am finding I'm having trouble charging my Galaxy Ace with my newly assembled Minty Boost. I liked the Minty so much I bought three, one for myself and each of my daughters' phones. So far I've assembled two of the three and they both work with my iphone 4 and a HTC smart phone, but will not charge a Samsung Galaxy Ace. It doesn't even recognize that it's connected. I followed your last posters comments and wonder if this model of phone is unique.
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Re: Strange behaviour with Samsung Galaxy Ace

by adafruit_support_bill on Mon Sep 23, 2013 10:20 am

Since it is working with two other phones, the most likely cause is that the Galaxy has a different charging protocol. Most likely it is trying to pull more than 500mA.
Have you tried shorting D+ & D- (the two center pins of the USB socket)? Most current generation phones work with this configuration.
If you have a multimeter, measure the output voltage as you are connecting the phone. Too much of a drop indicates that the phone is trying to pull more current than the Mintyboost can deliver.

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Please be positive and constructive with your questions and comments.