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Charging aftershokz in the field

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Charging aftershokz in the field

Old 01-10-22, 10:25 AM
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Charging aftershokz in the field

This is a bit of an obscure question, but maybe someone here has figured out a solution.

I've got an Aftershokz Aeropex headset that I wear when riding. I've found that it will charge from a charger plugged into a wall socket, but not from a USB power bank--it draws so little power when charging that the power bank just shuts off after a minute. I'm wondering if anyone has found a magic power bank that will charge it, or knows of a way to force a power bank to keep charging it.

I've got an upcoming event that will last considerably longer than the batteries on the headset, so I'd like to be able to recharge it in the field. I'll have a pit station, but without utilities, so I'll need to provide my own power. I'm not going to rent or borrow a gas generator just for this.
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Old 01-10-22, 01:57 PM
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Good question - essentially you're looking for a powerbank with a very low threshhold for auto-shutoff.

Just tried my Aeropex with the Aukey powerbank I had handy and it shuts off as you describe. .

Here's a thought - what if you try a two-port powerbank and plug your phone into the 2nd port? Would that keep it awake sufficiently? Or perhaps one of those USB fans? Basically something to draw enough current to keep the powerbank from shutting itself off.
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Old 01-10-22, 02:07 PM
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If you are looking for something with a low constant draw on a USB port, perhaps something like:
https://www.ikea.com/us/en/p/jansjoe...lack-70291232/
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Old 01-10-22, 04:35 PM
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I wondered whether having two drains on a USB power bank would keep it awake. It seems that they're smart enough to have separate detection on each port, which means I've been outsmarted. Perhaps if I had a really old and dumb power bank…
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Old 01-10-22, 04:54 PM
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I picked up one of these on a recommendation from Klite, for that exact reason. It has an on switch you need to press to start charging, which is maybe they key.
https://www.jaycar.com.au/5000mah-po...-bank/p/MB3724
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Old 01-10-22, 06:53 PM
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Hmm. That particular item is out of stock and discontinued (also halfway around the world), but I did do a little more snooping, which led me to this (being offered by the same place I got my K-lite system), which advertises "provide low-current flow with no automatic shut off (this is critical for some low-current-draw devices - like the 40mA kLite Qube)"

Spendy for a power bank, but I may give it a shot.
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Old 01-11-22, 01:43 AM
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That Voltaic battery was $29 until last August when they hiked the price 30%.
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Old 01-11-22, 09:11 AM
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Originally Posted by adamrice View Post
I wondered whether having two drains on a USB power bank would keep it awake. It seems that they're smart enough to have separate detection on each port, which means I've been outsmarted. Perhaps if I had a really old and dumb power bank…
Maybe use a splitter so both draws are from the same port?

https://www.amazon.com/usb-y-splitte...splitter+cable
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Old 01-11-22, 09:17 AM
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Originally Posted by gpburdell View Post
Maybe use a splitter so both draws are from the same port?
Maybe? Hadn't thought of that.
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Old 01-11-22, 09:21 AM
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Originally Posted by adamrice View Post
Maybe? Hadn't thought of that.
Just spitballing, don't know if it'll work but I'd think it would. I'll be curious to learn if it does.

Or perhaps a tiny two or three port hub?

Example only, I've not tried this one - https://www.amazon.com/Splitter-LOBK.../dp/B095YBDCP2
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Old 01-12-22, 09:01 AM
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I use power banks that are shells for 18650 batteries. The brand name is Tomo. My Aftershokz are OpenComm and I also have wired Sportz Titanium. They draw around 100mA when charged, 80mA for OpenComm and 125mA for Sportz. Those banks seem to charge them without shutting down.
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Old 01-13-22, 02:15 AM
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Originally Posted by 2_i View Post
I use power banks that are shells for 18650 batteries. The brand name is Tomo. My Aftershokz are OpenComm and I also have wired Sportz Titanium. They draw around 100mA when charged, 80mA for OpenComm and 125mA for Sportz. Those banks seem to charge them without shutting down.
Do you like the Tomo P2 or another one?
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Old 01-13-22, 08:11 AM
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Originally Posted by BikeLite View Post
Do you like the Tomo P2 or another one?
I have P2, P3 and P4, but in practice use P2 and P3. They are decent in general but over time drain power just sitting idle, so it is a bit a pain to remember to recharge them ahead of any situation when you need to rely on them. Above 3 cells I move to a huge power bank by a little known brand off AliExpress, with 8 cells, that can power my laptop, soldering iron, small drill, etc. The latter has USB-C and an outlet for which the voltage can be set manually.
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Old 01-15-22, 07:00 AM
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Originally Posted by 2_i View Post
I use power banks that are shells for 18650 batteries.
I always called these "lipstick" batteries. I don't think they have enough circuitry to shut down. When I started using bigger packs, I was a bit surprised that my garmin would act like it wasn't being charged, because I would plug it in when fully charged and the pack would shut off.

It's a technical challenge to design a current controlled circuit to be stable from zero current on up, so I suppose I shouldn't have been surprised that they refuse to charge at lower current draw
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Old 01-15-22, 09:31 AM
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Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
I always called these "lipstick" batteries. I don't think they have enough circuitry to shut down. When I started using bigger packs, I was a bit surprised that my garmin would act like it wasn't being charged, because I would plug it in when fully charged and the pack would shut off.

It's a technical challenge to design a current controlled circuit to be stable from zero current on up, so I suppose I shouldn't have been surprised that they refuse to charge at lower current draw
I am not sure what you are saying. For a long time Tesla cars have been running off 18650 batteries. I had been pulling 18650 cells from laptop batteries. In recent years, to optimize space, laptops have more often dedicated batteries shaped to particular space. E-bikes have been running off just slightly larger cells, 26650, close in size to 21700 mentioned as the newer option for the Tesla car. E-bike frames can be shaped to packs out of individual cells. The 18650 batteries with extra protective circuitry are a tad bulkier than the regular ones. Personally I avoid them since they may not fit into one space or another. For power banks I rely on the circuity that comes in the shell for protection. The laptop and E-bike batteries, that I was taking apart, also contained just plain cells, either 18650 or 26650.

My reliance on individual cells makes the system extremely versatile. If an old laptop cell dies, I just replace it with a newer of higher capacity. The cells get circulated, between use and charging and devices.There have been no problems with the system, neither at low or high current end.
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Old 01-15-22, 02:21 PM
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On the occasion of this discussion, I looked around whether anything surfaced regarding the battery drain for Tomo power banks. As an alternative to Tomo, Xtar banks have been actually suggested as exhibiting far less drain and better efficiency. I got Xtar PBS2 and it charges Aftershokz fine. Incidentally the ability to charge Aftershokz in the field is important for me too - I just did not realize that there might be a potential problem there.

Xtar is bulkier than Tomo, in my opinion unnecessarily. Another advice online is to modify circuitry in Tomo to eliminate drain and to change diodes to increase its efficiency. However, my reliance on the Tomo units does not justify going this far. For the moment it will be Xtar for 2 cells and will be trying Qidian for 3 cells. My 8 cell bank was made by Qidian as I determined.
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Old 01-24-22, 12:55 PM
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Originally Posted by adamrice View Post
This is a bit of an obscure question, but maybe someone here has figured out a solution.

I've got an Aftershokz Aeropex headset that I wear when riding. I've found that it will charge from a charger plugged into a wall socket, but not from a USB power bank--it draws so little power when charging that the power bank just shuts off after a minute. I'm wondering if anyone has found a magic power bank that will charge it, or knows of a way to force a power bank to keep charging it.

I've got an upcoming event that will last considerably longer than the batteries on the headset, so I'd like to be able to recharge it in the field. I'll have a pit station, but without utilities, so I'll need to provide my own power. I'm not going to rent or borrow a gas generator just for this.
There are a number of power banks that have a way of turning the power bank power sensing off so they charge low power devices completely. Sometimes its a double click of the power button or something. You have to read the specs carefully. For example, this one from Omnicharge says "Auto-shutoff can also be toggled on and off, allowing you to recharge small devices like Bluetooth headphones without the Omnicharge shutting off due to low power draw." I've used it in just that application. This one will work too.

J.
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Old 01-24-22, 02:23 PM
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I did wind up purchasing a Voltaic power bank, and can confirm it charges my Aftershokz headset, but I wish I had thought to check for other sources. Looks like the Anker power bank that JohnJ80 links to would do the trick at a considerably lower price.
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