Off-brand portable power supply - safe?

Discussion in 'iPhone Accessories' started by Vay, Feb 17, 2012.

  1. Vay macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2012
    #1
    I was given a portable USB power charger as a gift. I don't recognise - nor can find anything on - the brand. On a full charge, it's supposedly good for 5 iPhone charges.

    I tried it out and it seems to work fine, but started wondering -- given that it may not be a reputable brand, is there any chance that this thing could damage my iPhone 4S or iPad?
     

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  2. daemonite macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2010
    #2
    It should be fine, iPhones have the ability to detect charge and control the rate built into the phone.

    I've used many different chargers (android, blackberry, usb, knock off iPhone chargers, car chargers plugged into wall adapters, no name wall chargers), external battery packs and even solar chargers with my phone without issue.

    Sometimes some chargers will cause the touch screen to be glitchy when i try to use it while it's charging but if i just dont use it while it charges, it'll charge up fine.
     
  3. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2006
    Location:
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    #3
    Yes, there is a chance you could damage your devices.
     
  4. takeshi74 macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2011
    #4
    There's always a chance. Impossible to say what your odds are without any information on that device.
     
  5. Bobioden macrumors 68000

    Bobioden

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2007
    Location:
    Denver
    #5
    12,800 mAh, yes , I would be a bit worried. I see them 1800, and 1950, even 2200 mAH. You are at like 6 times that.
     
  6. webslinger85 macrumors 6502a

    webslinger85

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2010
    #6
    Morphie, Luckypacks, and Scosche all make battery packs above the 5000 mah mark. iSound even makes a 16,000 mah pack
     
  7. Mikesus macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2011
    #7
    Its amazing how much bad information there really is on here.

    the mah rating = total storage in this case. It relates to how many times you might be able to recharge a given device. 1100mah vs a 12,000mah will yield in more charges to your device per charge of the external battery.

    The big issue is how stable it is at a particular voltage. IOW, if it has a 5v usb connector, it better be 5v. Under 5v and your iDevice can over heat or usually just not charge, and over 5v can cause the internal voltage regulator to be overworked and heat up.

    The biggest risk with these batteries is its internal voltage regulator. If it blows and sends 12v to your iDevice (as an example) instead of cutting off, it will toast your phone.
     
  8. solo118 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    May 16, 2011
    #8
    I have been using a stitchway charger from Amazon. No ill effects, but you never know. Its a chance you take.
     
  9. Rocko1 macrumors 68020

    Rocko1

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2011
    #9
    There is a risk with ANY thing you plug your phone in to. These portable power sources are being made cheap becuase they take older or outdated Li-Ion or Li-Poly batteries and throw them in a cheap case and wala, you have portable power. The MaH ratings on the off branded products are almost always grossly exaggerated. I would bet that pack has closer to 5000 MaH if you are lucky, maybe enough for one full charge.
     
  10. TJ61 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2011
    #10
    I wouldn't worry too much about damaging an iPhone or iPad with it. I think there's enough charging control in the iDevices themselves. I think the most likely failure modes, given that it's an unknown brand (therefore unknown reputation), would be failure to supply the rated capacity, failure to supply full spec current, and taking forever to recharge the power supply itself. But these are all things you can check, and it sounds like you have.

    So, I suggest you use and enjoy. If it supplies anything close to 12,800 mAh, that's a sweet gadget!

    Regards,
    Tom
     
  11. scottness macrumors 65816

    scottness

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2009
    Location:
    Room 101
    #11
    On a related subject... When I get this annoying message when using my generic charger, is it a problem? I unplug it, plug it back in and it charges for another few minutes or so. Doesn't give me an error if iPhone is not being used.
     

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  12. littlehouse macrumors newbie

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    Dec 12, 2010
  13. Tranworld macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2012
    #13
    I agree with most of what was said by this poster except for the last sentence, most of these batteries contain a single Li-Poly cell at 3.7v, the electronic then boost it up to 5V to charge the iPhone so if it fails, most likely it will go down rather than up. Even if the design is 2 cells, it is still just 7.4V and with a bit of luck your iPhone will simply ignore it or say overvoltage.
    There is no 12V in these batteries.

    The 12,800mA relate to just the capacity of the battery and can't damage your iPhone, it's like how big your petrol tank is, the more you can fill up the farther you go, having a large petrol tank is impossible to damage your engine. However it is also unlikely that it contains a 12,800mA battery, most likely it is a "marketing" figure !!! If you dare to open it up you might be able to read up the real capacity as printed on the battery itself, probably 6000mA, but its already good going if so.
     

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