Julie’s Gadget Diary – 2nd look at Qi wireless charging

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A few weeks ago I published a gadget diary post sharing my experiences with trying to get Qi wireless charging working with my Verizon Samsung Galaxy S3. Long story short, I ordered a wireless charging patch (receiver) and a Nokia DT-900 Wireless Charging pad and it didn’t work. One of our frequent readers (Haesslich) left a comment suggesting that the Nokia DT-910 Wireless Charging Stand might be a better choice… I took that advice, sent the DT-900 back to Amazon and ordered a DT-910. I’ve had a lot better luck with that one except for a couple new problems…

Note: Images can be clicked to view a larger size.

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The charging stand itself is great. Instead of laying the phone flat, it keeps the phone standing upright. There’s a tiny white LED on the base, that is a little bright, but I just covered it with a piece of tape. There’s even a built in NFC tag that you can program to do certain tasks whenever you place the phone on the stand.

I bought the DT-910 to use on the night stand next to my bed. It along with the WakeVoice Android app I had found earlier, it completed my ultimate alarm clock setup. Or so I thought… Unfortunately, around 1am in the morning, I discovered a fatal flaw… Once the phone was fully charged, the display would come on and a beep-boop chime would signal that charging was completed. The sound wasn’t enough to really wake me up, but the light from the display did. After a several seconds, the display would automatically turn off, but then minutes later, I would hear the chime and the display would pop back on. This happened again and again and again until I removed the phone from the charger stand. Talk about annoying.

With the help of a couple apps, I was able to solve the beep-booping chime problem. But after hours of scouring forums trying to find a way to keep the display from turning on, I came up empty handed. I became more than a little obsessed with trying to find a solution for the screen issue. That is until Haesslich posted another comment talking about the fact that Android version 4.2.2 had some fixes for wireless charging algorithms.  Our resident Android guru Ian Lim had been trying to get me to at least root my SGS3 for months, so I decided it was time.

After a lot more research, I found that rooting from a Mac is less than easy unless you have Windows installed on it too. I didn’t want to install Windows on my Macbook Air, so I ended up making a trip to Walmart last weekend to buy their cheapest laptop currently in stock at my local store – an Acer Aspire One for $268. I got it home and after a little trial and error, I had my Verizon Samsung Galaxy S3 rooted. Then it was a matter of wading through thread after thread on XDA and other Android forums for advice on which ROM to try first. I knew I wanted the ROM based on Android v4.2.2, and I settled on one called Carbon. More research was required to actually figure out how to flash the new ROM on my phone, but I finally was able to get it done last night… just in time for bed… and guess what? It worked!!!!!! No beep boop chime and no glaring display popping on and off! Problem solved at last! Thanks Haesslich! :)

I may try another ROM based on v4.2.2, now that I know how to flash, so recommendations are gladly accepted. But as is, I’m very happy that I can now use my SGS3 on the Nokia DT-910 wireless charger next to my bed and not have it wake me up in the middle of the night any longer.

Update 04/29/13 – I celebrated too soon, the nightly display turn ons started again a day or so later. It was suggested that I try Samsung’s official inductive charging back, which I’ve ordered from Amazon…

Update 05/04/13 – I received the Samsung charging back and last night I did not notice the display popping on in the middle of the night. It will take a few nights before I trust that it’s really working… But so far so good. Thanks Coco!

Update 05/06/13 – After 3 nights of not seeing the display turn on, I think the issue is resolved by using the Samsung OEM wireless cover. I’m not sure if it’s a combination of that cover and the v4.2.2 custom ROM (CarbonROM) that I’m using though. I like the ROM, so I don’t really want to go back to the stock ROM to test…

Update 05/16/13 – I just wanted to circle back and let everyone know that charging using the OEM wireless cover, the Nokia DT-910 wireless charging stand and the CarbonROM custom ROM is working flawlessly. I also have some info from someone affiliated with the Qi people…

Taylor: I also wanted to flag your most recent piece on Qi: Julie’s Gadget Diary – 2nd look at Qi wireless chargingThe original wireless charging patch you bought (mentioned in the previous article) was actually not Qi certified, which is why it was not working. The WPC is taking action against such uncertified Qi products.

Julie: Thanks for that info about that wireless patch… After buying Samsung’s Wireless charging back, I’ve not had any more troubles. Are there any patches that are certified?

Taylor: Sure thing! Glad you haven’t been having anymore issues. Only replacement backdoors are certified. Patches are problematic because they tend to provide insufficient magnetic shielding.

Posted in: Articles, Cables, Batteries and Chargers

18 comments… add one

  • haesslich April 26, 2013, 6:47 pm

    Nice to see it worked! You turned me on to Wakevoice, which is also what I’m using for my current alarm setup with the proximity sensor.

    Sadly, the NFC tag is of no real use to me at this time, but the stand feature and consistent charging makes it all worthwhile.

  • Rob Tillotson April 26, 2013, 8:26 pm

    While I can’t give any specific recommendations for the GS3, if you find yourself wanting to try another ROM, I’d suggest giving AOKP or CyanogenMod (10.1, theoretically it’s still in development but the milestone releases are generally good) a shot. Both of them are solid multi-device ports that maintain the fundamentals of stock Android while adding useful tweaks without a lot of overdone theming and other bullshit.

    Once you’ve got past the initial hurdle of unlocking the bootloader and flashing a custom recovery etc., it gets easier to change ROMs whenever you have an hour or so to spare, so don’t be reluctant to try new ones.

    Also, buy Titanium Backup Pro, and use it before flashing a new ROM. When you install the new ROM and go through initial setup, uncheck the box that says “restore from google to this device” — that will prevent it from downloading all your apps from Google Play again, so you can use Titanium to restore them along with all of their settings etc. Much quicker and less annoying, IMO. Also note that in Titanium’s menu is a “back up data to XML” option that lets you back up messages and call log too.

  • Neomotion April 26, 2013, 9:23 pm

    You bought a laptop to root a Phone? You couldn’t find someone with Windows? Or install it on your mac, use it and delete it again? Just wondering.

    • Julie April 26, 2013, 9:30 pm

      @haesslich Yes, I’m liking the stand a lot. Expensive and a pain to get the problems fixed, but fun learning something new (ROM flashing).

      @Rob Yeah, once I learned how to do it once, it will be easy. Flashing ROMs seems to be one of those topics where you feel like you don’t know what the heck is going on … till you do ;)

      @Neomotion I didn’t want to pollute my Macbook Air with Windows ;) I tried to use my work laptop, but I didn’t have the right permissions to install Odin. So I just bought a cheap laptop. It will be good to have around for different things.

  • Matt Penning April 26, 2013, 11:17 pm

    It will be good to hear of your further experiences with the S3, now that it has a custom ROM. I’ve been tempted, started to research, but always hesitated to root and flash my phones. You’re experience has nudged me a bit further. Thanks.

  • Haesslich April 26, 2013, 11:29 pm

    I guess I got lucky with the DT-910 stand, as it was going for the same price as the DT-900 up here… which didn’t work well for me either. But the NFC is a nice extra, as is the stand functionality in not-too-big a unit (excepting the plugin).

    As for ROMs, I always used ParanoidAndroid as its AOKP origins made it more stable than CM for me. I’m currently running stock Google, though, as CM and AOKP always had niggling issues for me with the GNex. I hear the S3 support is better, though.

  • Ian Lim April 27, 2013, 4:07 am

    Resident Android guru…..wowsers :)

    Glad it all went well, my S3 was rooted and rommed before I even it’s first full power one, but ironically, after trying probably half a dozen different roms (touchwiz, aosp, kang) I’m now just running an “optimised standard” (but much slimmer after removing lots of apps using Rom Cleaner and ROM Toolbox) Touchwiz Rom :)

  • Julie April 29, 2013, 8:22 am

    Well folks, I celebrated too soon. It started coming on again the past 2 nights. But I think I have figured out that once it is actually fully charged, it stops turning on. I’ll do some more testing…

  • Haesslich April 29, 2013, 8:46 am

    Huh. And it’s resting fully on the stand, with the infuction coil roughly center ed in the Nokia logo?

    • Julie April 29, 2013, 8:56 am

      @Haesslich Yes and yes. Last night at bed time, I placed it on the dock with the battery at around 83%. About 15-20mins later the display pops on. I look over and it’s at 87%. I let the display time out and about 5 mins later it turns on again. I don’t even look at it and let it time out. After the 3rd time, I just reached over and removed it from the cradle.

  • Coco April 29, 2013, 5:41 pm

    Julie,

    Good posts about these products.

    The problem with the display sounds like the phone is having trouble maintaining a connection with the charging base. However, don’t be too quick to blame the charging base for this issue….

    One thing I would recommend is trying to find the OEM charging solution for your phone. I noticed on your previous post that you may not actually be using a Qi-certified product (at least it doesn’t show up in the list of registered products on the Qi website: http://www.wirelesspowerconsortium.com/products/). Despite the label on the product, not all Qi-adapters for phones are the same. The solutions developed by the OEM (meaning Samsung in this case) are designed and tested to work specifically with your phone.

    I would suggest you look at the Samsung option for wireless charging:
    http://www.amazon.com/Samsung-Galaxy-Wireless-Charging-Inductive/dp/B00BI3KMKQ

    Hope this helps!

    • Julie April 29, 2013, 5:52 pm

      @Coco from what I’ve been reading, I don’t think this is the issue, but what the heck, I ordered the OEM wireless back cover. We’ll see what happens :)

  • Coco April 29, 2013, 5:44 pm
  • Julie May 6, 2013, 11:34 am

    I received the OEM cover a few days ago and so far it seems that the issue with the display popping on has disappeared. :) Thanks Coco!

  • James June 2, 2014, 10:01 pm

    Any chance you have a Nexus 7 and does it work with the DT-910?

    • Julie Strietelmeier June 3, 2014, 7:28 am

      @James Yes, I have a Nexus 7 (2013) and it works just fine with the DT-910 as long as you set it on the stand in landscape orientation.

  • James June 3, 2014, 8:42 pm

    Hi Julie thanks for your reply!

    I have an ASUS PW100 charging stand and it is quite slow.
    Charging my Nexus 7 (2013), I manage to get around 6% charge on wired (10 minutes) and with the PW100, I manage about 2% (10 minutes again).

    I have a charging pad also (Koolpad), which charges as fast as a wired connection but it gets very hot and I’d much rather have a standing charger for use as night clock as you have.

    How much slower is the DT-910 compared to wired?

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