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Thread: The power pack thread

  1. #1

    Default The power pack thread

    Tonight I just upgraded the power pack for my phone and it got me to thinking that the gadget geeks at CPF probably have some mighty fine ones.

    Mine was a 3000+ mAh Insignia that was given to me a few years ago and has been fine for its intended role. It was one of three like it and was shared by the whole household. We always had at least one charged, but usually all 4 would be used at some point in the day as our phones aged.

    I just acquired a USB C phone and from full charge it would be depleted while only charging my phone 30-50%. No biggy, but boy did it get hot when my USB 3.0 cord was sucking power from it.

    So I bought a 12,000 mAh thing called a Pocket Juice because the store was out of the 15k Anker I wanted. It charged my phone lickety split and remained cool the whole time. It has an off switch and 2 ports. So Mrs. Fixer can also charge her Samsung next to me while watching our favorite crime show on the video player.

    Anyway I'm just curious what others here use as according to the internet they have some monsterous capacities these days. 26k+ mAh and up. With the ability to send massive currents and still stay safe...
    John 3:16

  2. #2

    Default Re: The power pack thread

    I bought an iMuto 30,000 mAh battery with the digital display. Cost less than $40 on Amazon.

    The one I bought had a digital display that didn't work quite right, and the company stood behind their battery. I got a very good deal on a replacement battery , direct from the company.

    The digital display was the main draw for me, so I knew how much battery was left. It's kind of nice when you get used to it.

    There's a decent weight penalty with that battery, but it'll recharge my phone serval times before it dies.

    One nice thing is that it allows you to charge a device while charging the battery. Charging the battery itself takes a fairly long time, even with nothing else connected to it.

    From maybe 50% to full took probably twelve hours or more, I think. I can't remember exactly how long it took, though.

    Both Anker and iMuto are good products, and I'd get either one.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: The power pack thread

    My usage of these USB output/input battery packs has evolved from a simple start. I thought that the lipstick-sized packs were sufficient, until I discovered that the mAH number on the pack did not translate to an equivalent battery charge in the smartphone, tablet, or whatever. The 18650 inside was not necessarily the true rating of the cell, the efficiency of the battery pack electronics varies widely, the efficiency of the smartphone charging system varies widely, and ability of the smartphone battery to absorb the current being supplied, were all contributing factors.

    Hence I gave away all of my single-18650 packs in the 3000mAH to 3300mAH range and switched to larger packs depending on where I was headed and length of absence. I have not tried a lot of different brand units. Generally I like the Anker best, followed by the RAVPower units. I have no doubt others are also good. but the listed capacities do not translate well to the mAH actually absorbed by a smartphone battery - too many variables to be specific. my derating factor? maybe 80% of listed capacity. maybe less.

    USB battery pack sizes in use: 5200mAH the most. followed by 13000 mAH, 16000 mAH, 20100 mAH. I prefer the units with dual USB outputs since I may have more than one device to charge or power up. eg: A Smartphone and a USB based battery charger from XTAR which in turn may be charging Eneloops or 18650s.

    I have zero interest in the USB-C output chargers since a 'fast charge' is usually not conducive to long life of the battery being charged. I very rarely need to replace a cellphone battery and my extended family still have the Samsung Galaxy S3, S4, S5, S6 and S7 units with original batteries and adequate charge retention/capacity.

    I have had poor results from solar cell charging solutions. The Sun simply does not shine at full brightness long enough to provide satisfactory results. I tried up to 16W units.

  4. #4

    Default Re: The power pack thread

    I had reservations about quick charge as default as well. It seems like run time is greatly reduced and yeah battery life is affected. But it seems that's where things are going. I'm definitely not into being first on the block, but my old phone had gone into a death spiral along with a battery that was giving out at an alarming rate. I bought an updated number not knowing anything about this USB C thing.

    I do remember thinking my lipstick charger was becoming a pipe bomb when using it to charge an HTC M8. So my son (still) uses it to charge his iPhone 5c from time to time.

    I went with the pocket juice after reading a bunch of thumbs ups from gamers. Instead of purchasing an Anker from the faceless internet I chose to speak to an actual person at checkout (while we still can).
    Meanwhile I'm learning about cords and how some can reduce the rate of flow in a way that prevents the high flow capable USB C device from becoming damaged (or the electrical host for that matter) and perhaps the slower charge rate will pack in power more efficiently.

    Right now a full output capable wall charger and a full power capable cord has sent enough current to my phone to raise the battery meter displayed number from 64% to 83% in the time I typed this. Crazy.

    Edit:
    Thanks for moving this to the proper place.
    Last edited by bykfixer; 09-24-2017 at 11:01 AM.
    John 3:16

  5. #5
    *Flashaholic* idleprocess's Avatar
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    Default Re: The power pack thread

    Anker seems to be one of the better makes in the powerbank business. Their products seem to be of good quality and their performance claims are more plausible than most.

    I've used the 3A pack-in USB-C charger with my phone a number of times. Can't say the cable has gotten noticeably warm. The ultimate solution for fast USB charging will be greater voltages. The proprietary quick charge technologies and USB-PD all specify maximum currents of 5A - with 3A being more typical - and up to 20V to increase the power delivery. 100W into a phone would be living dangerously, but that's decent for a laptop with USB-C looking to omit the power connector. Might want something other than a lightweight nominal 3A phone charge/synch cable for that kind of current, however.

    For phones, I find that the ~2.4A peak that standard USB-A spits out is quite sufficient and charges the phone in a reasonable amount of time.
    I apologize that this letter is so long; I did not have time to write a short letter

  6. #6

    Default Re: The power pack thread

    USB PD. Wow!!
    Supposedly able to power a laptop, or the connected monitor? In a powerpack?
    Wow!!

    Things are about to get interesting.

    I'm using a 2.4A to C cord with the pocket juice.
    For data I'm using Belkins USB A3.1 to C cable in a 3.0 port. 10gigs a second? Uh, no, but definitely a noticeable increase in transfering photos back n forth.

    Thanks for the link IP. I learned a lot from it.
    Last edited by bykfixer; 09-24-2017 at 12:51 PM.
    John 3:16

  7. #7
    *Flashaholic* idleprocess's Avatar
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    Default Re: The power pack thread

    Quote Originally Posted by bykfixer View Post
    USB PD. Wow!!
    Supposedly able to power a laptop, or the connected monitor? In a powerpack?
    Wow!!

    Things are about to get interesting.

    I'm using a 2.4A to C cord with the pocket juice.
    For data I'm using Belkins USB A3.1 to C cable in a 3.0 port. 10gigs a second? Uh, no, but definitely a noticeable increase in transfering photos back n forth.
    Powerbanks that deliver 100W via USB Type C? Perhaps not right now - that looks to be limited to AC adapters. But given that there are powerbanks that deliver 120V AC (I'm aware of units from RAVPower and Chargetech) @ ~100W, suspect it's really only a matter of time until they skip the inverter and just deliver that power via DC. USB Type C is building momentum in the smartphone space and the laptop space as it steadily moves towards being a credible single connector to handle routine I/O, power, and other more specialized tasks with adapters.
    I apologize that this letter is so long; I did not have time to write a short letter

  8. #8

    Default Re: The power pack thread

    Quote Originally Posted by idleprocess View Post
    Powerbanks that deliver 100W via USB Type C? Perhaps not right now - that looks to be limited to AC adapters. But given that there are powerbanks that deliver 120V AC (I'm aware of units from RAVPower and Chargetech) @ ~100W, suspect it's really only a matter of time until they skip the inverter and just deliver that power via DC. USB Type C is building momentum in the smartphone space and the laptop space as it steadily moves towards being a credible single connector to handle routine I/O, power, and other more specialized tasks with adapters.
    This stuff is all new to me. I'm used to gadgets with either micro usb or otg micro usb. But when I read charging my phone with the wrong cord could damage something I took up to reading a few reviews. The battery life on my phone meant I could read for hours and hours. But when I wanted to top up using my favorite powerpack it got so dang hot, and quickly that I started reading about next gen power packs.
    Along the way I ran across some predictions that PD may be capable of at some super geek sites. All that reading had me more confused. Your comment about the USB A to C cord answered the question I looked for.
    Can my celhelmet USB A to C cord be used safely to charge my phone from a modern powerpack? Yup....
    Now to set about learning what I've just learned....
    I can speak proppelerhead lingo to my kids on their terms now

    Thanks for the input folks. Please keep it coming.
    Last edited by bykfixer; 09-24-2017 at 01:05 PM.
    John 3:16

  9. #9
    *Flashaholic* StarHalo's Avatar
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    Default Re: The power pack thread

    - Mind the amp rating on packs with 2 outputs; cheaper models will give you 3A total, which means one port will give you 2A while the other gives only 1A, not a big deal for older phones that can only charge at 1A, but plugging in two tablets will mean only one will charge at a reasonable rate. Same goes for wall chargers and 12V car USB plugs.

    - Lipstick chargers almost always charge at only 1A, some can nudge 1.5A.

    - The concern about charging faster wearing the battery faster is valid, but take the/your upgrade cycle into consideration; all iPhone 3-series and earlier are no longer supported for example, and the original iPhone no longer even has a compatible cell signal.

    - The USB cord is usually the biggest point of resistance that slows charging. Anker's Powerline cables have been rated by electricians as consistently providing the least resistance (the newer series II is essentially identical in design and performance but twice the price, find the originals or original plus/braided models for bang-for-the-buck.)

  10. #10
    *Flashaholic* StarHalo's Avatar
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    Default Re: The power pack thread

    Should also mention: If you're in an area where power outages aren't uncommon, you should be in the habit of having a battery pack in your cable chain when you charge your device overnight, this way if the power goes out while you're sleeping, your phone continues to draw power from the fully charged battery pack and you wake to a fully charged phone regardless of the utility status. There are combo wall wart hub charger + packs that simplify this, but you can of course use any regular battery pack.

  11. #11
    *Flashaholic* idleprocess's Avatar
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    Default Re: The power pack thread

    Quote Originally Posted by StarHalo View Post
    Should also mention: If you're in an area where power outages aren't uncommon, you should be in the habit of having a battery pack in your cable chain when you charge your device overnight, this way if the power goes out while you're sleeping, your phone continues to draw power from the fully charged battery pack and you wake to a fully charged phone regardless of the utility status.
    A good suggestion, if your power bank supports pass-through or can otherwise gracefully manage simultaneous shore power with a charging device, unattended. No small number of them do neither.

    Quote Originally Posted by StarHalo View Post
    There are combo wall wart hub charger + packs that simplify this, but you can of course use any regular battery pack.
    I have one of these - fantastic concept that I'm surprised took so long to develop. Great if you need both a charger and a power bank for on-the-go usage.
    I apologize that this letter is so long; I did not have time to write a short letter

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