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Old 11-18-2010, 01:43 PM   #1
dirtygreek
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Nook Color - Charging

So the documentation for the NC says that plugging into a USB port will not charge the device, you must use the included charger and cable. This is true about getting the "fast charge," but overall, this appears to be untrue. While plugged into USB, the NC DOES charge, though there's no indicator... except that the charge level does go up. I just had mine plugged in for a few hours, starting at 85%, and when I looked at it again it was topped up.

I assume this will also be the case using a regular Micro USB cable and not just the included cable. I'll test that out next. FYI.
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Old 11-18-2010, 02:10 PM   #2
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That's good to know. Thanks!
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Old 11-19-2010, 02:47 PM   #3
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update - you can indeed charge the same way using a generic microusb cable. It does charge relatively slowly, but I got from 50%-63% in less than an hour. 30 minutes, maybe?
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Old 05-11-2011, 02:11 PM   #4
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I wonder if this is still true... i've tried this several times and never gotten a charge.
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Old 05-11-2011, 03:30 PM   #5
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I wonder if this is still true... i've tried this several times and never gotten a charge.
The NC will charge from any USB charger of USB port. It just takes longer (some 8 hours to fully charge with my USB charger).
But you cannot use the NC while charging, the display needs to be off, otherwise the NC uses more power than it gets from the charger.
(If you look at the settings there will be a message that the NC is not charging, that message changes only when using the NC power charger).
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Old 05-11-2011, 03:54 PM   #6
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Maybe my computers just don't provide enough juice - with the nook completely shut off, it only ever shows a few percent charge per hour.

I have to say that it is pretty obnoxious that they used USB as their charging connector but apparently require 2000mA to charge properly (standard USB only provides 500mA).
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Old 05-11-2011, 04:13 PM   #7
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Maybe my computers just don't provide enough juice - with the nook completely shut off, it only ever shows a few percent charge per hour.

I have to say that it is pretty obnoxious that they used USB as their charging connector but apparently require 2000mA to charge properly (standard USB only provides 500mA).
The advantage of using the USB connector is that if you do not have the NC power charger available, you can at least use any regular micro-USB cable or charger to charge your NC (slower, but you can at least charge it).
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Old 05-11-2011, 05:07 PM   #8
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The advantage of using the USB connector is that if you do not have the NC power charger available, you can at least use any regular micro-USB cable or charger to charge your NC (slower, but you can at least charge it).
Agreed. The reality is that it's a high capacity battery, so it takes a lot of juice to charge it. I much prefer B&N's solution to a proprietary cable like what Apple requires. Not sure what there is to complain about, USB standards are what they which is no fault of B&N and they provide you with the "proper" charger when you buy it. And don't forget that port isn't just for charging.

I've never actually measured the charge rate using a regular USB, but I would guess about 10% or so per hour.
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Old 05-12-2011, 12:54 PM   #9
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I much prefer B&N's solution to a proprietary cable like what Apple requires. Not sure what there is to complain about, USB standards are what they which is no fault of B&N and they provide you with the "proper" charger when you buy it.
Many, many 3rd parties can sell you an Apple iPod cable (I assume that's what you are referring to) for a couple of bucks. I have been unable to find a 3rd party that sells a B&N charging cable or A/C adapter that will charge at the higher speed - every 3rd party adapter that I've found that claims compatibility actually has the standard micro-usb plug, which appears to be too short to trigger high-speed charging on the NC. (I could be wrong about that - I haven't actually dismantled my NC to see why they have a longer plug than the standard specifies.)

The problem is that they took an industry standard cell-phone connector and they modified it in a non-standard way so that it does not work with standard equipment. For example, I've also discovered that you can't use the B&N cable to charge a cell-phone - B&N's connector is too long to fit into a standard micro-usb port, which means that on a trip I have to carry 2 chargers and 2 data cables instead of just one of each.

Pretending to be industry standard while actually being no such thing is considerably worse than simply using a proprietary connector from the beginning.
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Old 05-12-2011, 01:55 PM   #10
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Many, many 3rd parties can sell you an Apple iPod cable (I assume that's what you are referring to) for a couple of bucks. I have been unable to find a 3rd party that sells a B&N charging cable or A/C adapter that will charge at the higher speed - every 3rd party adapter that I've found that claims compatibility actually has the standard micro-usb plug, which appears to be too short to trigger high-speed charging on the NC. (I could be wrong about that - I haven't actually dismantled my NC to see why they have a longer plug than the standard specifies.)

The problem is that they took an industry standard cell-phone connector and they modified it in a non-standard way so that it does not work with standard equipment. For example, I've also discovered that you can't use the B&N cable to charge a cell-phone - B&N's connector is too long to fit into a standard micro-usb port, which means that on a trip I have to carry 2 chargers and 2 data cables instead of just one of each.

Pretending to be industry standard while actually being no such thing is considerably worse than simply using a proprietary connector from the beginning.

If 3rd parties don't sell their current cable, what makes you think they would sell a different design proprietary to a minor industry player like B&N? Even if they did, you would still be stuck with two chargers.

They are not pretending to be anything. They use a proprietary charger and port which is backwards compatible with microUSB. Which is actually more than they claim. I don't understand what you expect from them when an industry standard needed to charge their high capacity battery while maintaining a USB data connection doesn't exist, at least not that I'm aware of. iPad, Xoom, and Tab all use proprietary chargers.
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Old 05-12-2011, 02:36 PM   #11
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I don't understand what you expect from them when an industry standard needed to charge their high capacity battery while maintaining a USB data connection doesn't exist, at least not that I'm aware of. iPad, Xoom, and Tab all use proprietary chargers.
Funny. I wonder how phones, Blackberries, Sony Readers & Android devices manage to charge using stock connectors, then?

And, again, I don't have a problem with proprietary connectors - I have a problem with a proprietary cable that poses as a standard one - and costs $30 to replace.

Oh, on the subject of the Xoom - I can walk into any Radio Shack in the world and come out with a jack that will fit the Xoom's connector. It's quite standard.
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Old 05-12-2011, 03:30 PM   #12
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Funny. I wonder how phones, Blackberries, Sony Readers & Android devices manage to charge using stock connectors, then?

And, again, I don't have a problem with proprietary connectors - I have a problem with a proprietary cable that poses as a standard one - and costs $30 to replace.

Oh, on the subject of the Xoom - I can walk into any Radio Shack in the world and come out with a jack that will fit the Xoom's connector. It's quite standard.

Phones and e-ink readers have much smaller capacity batteries, so they don't need the 2000mA chargers. This was mentioned before. A smaller battery takes less current to charge. My Blackberry has a 1400mAh battery. The NC has a 4010mAh battery. Again, you CAN still charge your Nook Color with a standard microUSB charger, it just takes longer.

And just because you can buy something at Radio Shack that does not make it a standard. The Xoom does not support USB charging at all. You may prefer that, but I certainly don't.

Obviously with the popularity of tablets a new standard is needed. At that point everybody will be happy. But for now, I am satisfied with B&N's solution. Separate data and power ports cost more money and the NC was built to a very low price point, and another completely proprietary charger/data cable combination would be just as expensive as what they did and offer less flexibility for people like me. You may not like it, but you at least should understand that there is no perfect solution at this point.
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Old 05-12-2011, 04:18 PM   #13
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Again, you CAN still charge your Nook Color with a standard microUSB charger, it just takes longer.
And, again, that depends on the USB port, obviously. Ports that don't provide more power than the spec requires (100mA) certainly aren't going to be able to charge a running NC, and may not be able to charge it even if its completely shutdown.

Quote:
The Xoom does not support USB charging at all. You may prefer that, but I certainly don't.
Something that's electrically safe and readily available is considerably preferable to having a wall-wart that generates between 2 and 20 times the amount of power generated by other wall-warts, but which will happily let an unsuspecting user plug their phone into it.

Hey, quick question: Why do 110v and 220v outlets have different plugs?

Personally, I'm trying to figure out how my asking the question "do NCs still charge from USB ports, because mine doesn't seem to" turn into you spending several posts telling me how wrong I am, first by complaining that at least the B&N connector "wasn't proprietary", and then turning around and saying "of course it's proprietary!"

Last edited by mwheinz; 05-12-2011 at 04:22 PM.
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Old 05-12-2011, 05:04 PM   #14
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And, again, that depends on the USB port, obviously. Ports that don't provide more power than the spec requires (100mA) certainly aren't going to be able to charge a running NC, and may not be able to charge it even if its completely shutdown.



Something that's electrically safe and readily available is considerably preferable to having a wall-wart that generates between 2 and 20 times the amount of power generated by other wall-warts, but which will happily let an unsuspecting user plug their phone into it.

Hey, quick question: Why do 110v and 220v outlets have different plugs?

Personally, I'm trying to figure out how my asking the question "do NCs still charge from USB ports, because mine doesn't seem to" turn into you spending several posts telling me how wrong I am, first by complaining that at least the B&N connector "wasn't proprietary", and then turning around and saying "of course it's proprietary!"

I never said you were wrong that your PC USB ports aren't charging the NC. But you said yourself they did charge it, albeit very slowly. I said my standard USB charger (which is 500mA) works at about 10% per hour. If yours is 100mA the problem should be obvious. I also never said the NC cable wasn't proprietary, although reading through the post I can see the misunderstanding. I was pointing out that it also was designed to support the microUSB standard on top of the proprietary charger, which most of its competitors do not do.

The NC charger cable has extra pins that stick out longer that make it impossible to use on other microUSB devices. Other USB cables plugged into the wall wart would not have these extra pins that carry the extra power and therefore should pose no danger. I'll admit I've never tried it and am not postitive on that point though.

edit: I also apologize if my posts are rubbing you the wrong way. I tend to be a bit blunt but I do actually enjoy these kind of discussions as I think it is helpful to others to get the whole story out there.

Last edited by pl001; 05-12-2011 at 05:17 PM.
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Old 05-13-2011, 12:25 PM   #15
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edit: I also apologize if my posts are rubbing you the wrong way. I tend to be a bit blunt but I do actually enjoy these kind of discussions as I think it is helpful to others to get the whole story out there.
LoL - agreed; I've been a bit thin skinned lately which is bad when I'm also quite plain spoken.

BTW - I did find a 3rd party source for Nook Color chargers.

http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho....php?p=1537363
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