Tossing and Tortured 'Till Dawn

I come back to you now, at the turn of the tide.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Portable Electronic Charging confusion:

I've got my Garmin Edge 305 cycle computer, and my Motorola
phone. Both have a trapezoidal plug thing that I accidentally found out is
identical. Both included a wall adapter to 5.X volt DC. The Edge's supplies 350 milliamp hours, while the Razr juices up at 550 mAh. If I plug the Edge into the Razr's charger, it will indeed charge, but it's not a great plan to use an overly-powerful charger. The phone, though, is Too Smart for its Own Good. Plug it into the (weaker) edge charger, and it will exclaim "unauthorized charger!" and do nothing. Well, and I thought perhaps I could only take ONE charger with me on trips. When will these things learn to be universal? Oh, that's right. So that if you lose the proprietary charger that came with the phone that was supplied free with your phone service contract, they can charge you $35 for a new one instead of letting you hook up a generic from radio shack for $5.

Another quirk: the Edge also has a USB cable to both charge the unit, and download data to a desktop computer. If I plug the Razr into it, the computer will recognize that it's looking at a "Motorola V3c," but will be unable to understand where to go from there. Maybe someone makes a pirate driver to let me download the pictures my phone's camera has taken. You might think it would include software to let you do that? Oh, no, that's right. They won't because Verizon would prefer to charge you $10 a month for a "service upgrade" so that you can putter the pictures through their cDMA network instead of just USBing them over.

And while I'm on the subject of USB, there's a very fancy cycling computer that
measures not just speed, but power in watts. It's called a Powertap. Older versions included a serial cable to download the information to your PC. Of course, Mac's don't have a serial port; neither can they handle the software for this thing. You can use a PC-emulator to run the software, but the port becomes a problem. People were at first happy that newer Powertaps are supplied with a USB-ended cable, but frustrated to find out it was a trick: not a USB cable at all, but a cleverly disguised serial-to-USB adapter. For some convoluted programming reason that's beyond my meager skills, this Doesn't Work Very Well if your computer didn't have a serial / COM port from the get-go. Fakers.


  • At 10:46 PM , Anonymous wchane said...

    lol..quite hilarious. stumbled over from | anyways that trapazoid thing as you call it is a mini-usb adaptor and you can download pictures off your razr by[ they get you again] downloading a copy of motorola phone tools for $30 or so right off motorola's customer support site.

    thanks for the laugh, and happy cycling.


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