Which battery packs support passthrough charging?

Discussion in 'iPhone Accessories' started by TheIntruder, May 15, 2014.

  1. TheIntruder macrumors 6502a

    TheIntruder

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2008
    #1
    I'm looking at the external battery packs for an upcoming trip.

    The oft-mentioned units from Anker, Ravpower, and Jackery all seem to be suitable, but all but one model (from Ravpower) lack one feature I find useful -- passthrough/passive charging (simultaneous charging for both devices).

    It's one feature that is rarely mentioned by either the manufacturers or user reviews. Having to charge two devices separately, or with multiple chargers seems less convenient to me.

    The Patriot Fuel line has it, but I was wondering if there were any others.

    Also, it seems that most of what I've read indicates that these are OK (and in fact should be) as carry ons. But one Jackery user noted that they had one confiscated by the TSA, though seems like an isolated incident rather than the rule.
     
  2. Zmanbaseball2 macrumors 68040

    Zmanbaseball2

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2012
    Location:
    New York, USA
    #2

    This one has tons of reviews and it is stated in the description that it has passthrough charging. "Pass-through charging charges devices while battery pack is being charged!" I come in many sizes. I. An help you choose which one. Just tell me how many times you want the battery pack to charge your devices on one charge of the battery pack.
    USB External Battery Pack 15600mAh 5V/4.2A (Black Limefuel Blast L1... http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00BZDK3XK/ref=cm_sw_r_udp_awd_w0EDtb18PPKM0
     
  3. TheIntruder thread starter macrumors 6502a

    TheIntruder

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2008
    #3
    Thanks.

    I've been looking at something in the "medium" range that will charge a phone at least a couple times, so...~6000mAh to account for inflated ratings and charging losses, plus less frequent charges of the pack itself?

    No need for dual outputs or tablet-sized capacity, though a high-amperage or smart port would be nice.

    Actually, with the exception of the pass-though feature, the Jackery Bar is closest to what I'm looking for. Even the token flashlight is a bonus.

    The Limefuel also looks good, but the build quality seems a little rough around the edges.

    But, I am willing to give up the passive charge and the frills for something that gets the fundamentals right -- honest capacity, proper output and speedy input charge, good construction and good support.
     
  4. Zmanbaseball2 macrumors 68040

    Zmanbaseball2

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2012
    Location:
    New York, USA
    #4

    You may also like these, which I also have:
    RAVPower Luster 6000mAh Backup External Battery Pack Power Bank Cha... http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00GZGS4JM/ref=cm_sw_r_udp_awd_g4kEtb156F6E3

    Anker 2nd Gen Astro 6000mAh (2A Output) Portable Charger External ... http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00EF1OGOG/ref=cm_sw_r_udp_awd_24kEtb15QSD8B

    Lepow Moonstone Series 6000mAh External Battery (Power Bank, Porta... http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00DWKK6WW/ref=cm_sw_r_udp_awd_C5kEtb1N4CDCH

    EasyAcc U-bright 6000mAh Ultra Compact Power bank with 0.5W Super ... http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00H963GT0/ref=cm_sw_r_udp_awd_U5kEtb1D7SW00

    Amzdeal 1st Gen ALU-TAG 8000mAh (5V/1A Output) Li-Polymer External... http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00HQEABD4/ref=cm_sw_r_udp_awd_q7kEtb0RKCE9D

    I can answer any questions about them.
     
  5. TheIntruder thread starter macrumors 6502a

    TheIntruder

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2008
    #5
    Thanks.

    The EasyAcc looks like a nice overall package. The high current input/output and bright flashlight also look good on paper.

    I also came across the Romoss units, which do support passthrough, but their Amazon listings are a bit of mess. I understand they have two official retailers, but trying to figure out the difference between the models, and how they're listed can be confusing.

    I haven't had time to really delve into the merits of each brand, but reading reviews brings to mind certain potential issues.

    Do some, or all of these packs have issues charging from the small 5W Apple adapter? In particular, or any 1A adapter? Do they require something larger? Some have said that the Apple adapter won't charge some of these packs (I don't recall which, exactly), even at a slower rate.

    Do you prefer the intelligent, or manual on/off? I guess the former is more convenient, but only if it isn't fooled into premature shut off like some have experienced.

    Which cables are shown in your reviews? I see a short, thick one, but there was another as well. Since Lighting cables aren't bundled with these things, that will also be a need. I was just going to use either a standard 6ft Apple cable, or a longer 3rd party cable I have, but I understand cable length can have an effect on charging efficiency, though I haven't seen anyone quantify it.

    With the rate at which these things fail, customer support/service is also a consideration.

    Yeah, I'm probably overthinking things, but I like to be thorough.
     
  6. Zmanbaseball2 macrumors 68040

    Zmanbaseball2

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2012
    Location:
    New York, USA
    #6

    Along that the wall charger is charging at the input of the battery packs spec, it will work fine.
    I don't really have a preference but intelligent ones I like better.
    I'm using the ismooth 7 inch lightning cable. Anker has the best support in my experiences. Along that the cable is aplle certified it does not matter which cable you use.

    I'm guaranteeing that I have any battery pack that you look at including easyacc, romoss and anker. Ask me any question about them! I'm here to help you!

    Any more questions, please ask. Sorry if I missed a few in your last post.
     
  7. sophiamendezzz1 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 20, 2014
    #7
    I literally just bought a battery pack on ebay for REALLLLY cheap and most of them charge simultaneously. And there are different ways to set the battery pack. You can have it so that it's constantly charging, charge when it reaches a certain level, or simply whenever you want to charge it. And it's nice because I don't even have to take my phone out to charge at night. If i leave the battery pack on and plug my battery pack into the charger it does it at the same time! Hope that helped!
     
  8. TheIntruder thread starter macrumors 6502a

    TheIntruder

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2008
    #8
    Which one did you get? Can you provide a link?

    I haven't checked eBay yet, but I suspect that it's fertile with generic or off-branded versions of the packs that these companies get from the same ODMs.

    Whether the cost savings offset the lack of support is the question though. If they go bad, then they're basically disposable.
     
  9. sophiamendezzz1 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 20, 2014
    #9
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/4200mAh-Ext..._Phone_PDA_Batteries&var=&hash=item3a8dd1626d

    This one comes with a year warranty so I'd say it's worth checking out for less than 25 bucks and free shipping.
     
  10. Zmanbaseball2 macrumors 68040

    Zmanbaseball2

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2012
    Location:
    New York, USA
    #10
  11. TheIntruder thread starter macrumors 6502a

    TheIntruder

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2008
    #11
    Ok, I'm finally ready to buy one of these things, but my parameters have changed -- I've got an iPad Air to consider as well, in addition to my iPhone.

    The Air has a 8827 mAh battery, the phone 1440 mAh. Total, 10267 mAh.

    I figure that if I want to have the capability to give both a full charge while on the road, it calls for something in the 12000 mAh range or higher.

    I doubt that even that would be able, since that allows for only a 15% loss. IIRC, even the most efficient packs out there have more than 20-25% charging loss, and most are even higher.

    It seems the better, and more flexible strategy would be to get two separate chargers -- one large enough for the iPad, and with high input amperage so it doesn't take forever to charge itself, and a lipstick-style mini for the iPhone.

    Oh, and something like a four-port charger so all four devices can be charged simultaneously. I know some are still concerned that a lot of these wall chargers lack certifications, but I figure that one from a recognized brand should be ok. It's not like the fully certified chargers from the huge brands haven't had issues either.

    Any suggestions?

    IIRC, Ravpower has run combo deals like that before, but I haven't noticed any lately.

    I've abandoned the idea of passthrough charging, since it's not a common feature, and can possibly be detrimental to the battery.
     
  12. Stin.com macrumors newbie

    Stin.com

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2015
    #12
    It is possible to charge your phone that way, especially if you do not have enough adapters. But we would not recommend it for the following reasons:
    1. The power bank heats up, what shortens the lifetime of your powerbank. Also, every power bank only has a given amount of charges, which means a given amount of power that can pass through it before it breaks. Thus, when you charge your phone through the power bank, more electricity flows through it until it is fully charged --> this brings the bank closer to its 'breakdown point'.
    2. The power bank takes longer to be fully charged, since you already pull a part of what you put into the bank, out again when charging your phone.
    3. With some power banks, your phone charges slower than through a direct connection to the power plug.
    Hope this answer helps :)
     

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