Qi wireless charger + Car = I want


Last week I posted an article about two of my Cummins Inc. co-workers who had integrated a Nexus 7 tablet into the dash of their vehicles. Since posting that article, I’ve become a little obsessed with figuring out a solution for my MINI Cooper that doesn’t involve replacing the stock radio or any other extreme mods to the car itself. I’m looking for relatively inexpensive ways to use my current phone – the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 as the brain of the system. One thing I know I’ll need is a way to keep my phone powered during my drives. I know that I can use a regular micro USB cable plugged into a cigarette lighter adapter, but since I already charge wirelessly indoors, I want to do the same thing in my car. So I’ve been shopping for a Qi wireless car charger. There aren’t very many on the market, but I did see two potential chargers on Brando’s site. He’s selling the Universal Wireless Car Charger and Holder for Smartphones ($36) which uses rows of suction cups to hold your device as well as a suction cup to hold the charger to your dash or window. If suction cups to hold your device sounds a little sketchy, Brando sells another Wireless Charging Car Holder ($48) that features 3 charging coils to make it easier to position your device. This one uses a clamp to hold the phone, which seems safer than the suction cups. Both of them look nice enough, but my preference would be a magnetic holder, so my search continues. Stay tuned for updates to my car modding adventures.

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13 comments… add one
  • Mike June 24, 2014, 12:15 pm
  • herrner June 24, 2014, 3:25 pm

    I’m using a qi car charger with my nexus 4. It’s really comfortable, but the current is not enough to even keep the charge when navigating using google maps. Also, wireless charging produces a fair amount of heat that has forced the phone to shut down a few times (also while navigating).

    • Julie Strietelmeier June 24, 2014, 5:02 pm

      @herrner Hmmmm, thanks for that info. I’ll have to see what happens when I try it. I’ve ordered a cheap $20 wireless puck charger that I’m going to try modifying.

  • Dave Ziegler June 24, 2014, 7:06 pm

    I’ll keep you posted on the $10 ebay pad that I’m hacking to fit in a cup holder on my MX-5 Miata.

  • herrner June 25, 2014, 6:55 am

    Btw, I’m using one that’s similar to this one: http://goo.gl/tIxZjH

  • David Ong June 25, 2014, 8:05 am
  • Brett June 25, 2014, 8:32 am

    I was looking at this one https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rr3gbkesPQ4

    Kind of expensive.

    Let me know how the cup holder project goes as I am interested as well.

    Samsung Galaxy S5 is what I use.

  • DStaal June 25, 2014, 2:33 pm

    The biggest problem I’ve found with Qi chargers in the car is that the phone has to be held close and relatively motionless in relation to the charge pad, or they don’t work. In my case I bought a system that was similar to most of the above, but with a removable Qi pad. In the car, the phone would tilt forward, slightly off the pad and stop charging – but it charges just fine when I remove the pad and use it flat on a table.

    I’ve relegated the charging pad to my nightstand and use the rest of the system in the car. I like the idea, but I see why the one uses suction cups.

  • DStaal June 25, 2014, 6:25 pm

    @Julie – I was more talking generically. Magnets may or may not work on any particular phone, but if they work for you they should solve the problem I was having.

  • Tina Qu July 31, 2014, 11:56 pm

    that one is single coil, and the red LED light flashing when driving, not good.

    That one is 3coils charger, which is much better.

    Powerqi have many new models car charger, charging stand, Bluetooth speaker wireless charger
    contact me if needed.

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