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Onboard charging bad?

Discussion in 'VV/VW APV Discussion' started by NCC, Jan 20, 2020.

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  1. NCC

    NCC Vaping Master Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Jan 14, 2010
    Fla Panhandle, USA
    I know of one vendor that states onboard battery charging via USB could shorten the life of batteries and/or the device itself. With regard to the device, I think the concern was that the USB connector itself could be damaged/worn out by repeatedly plugging & unplugging. But, the batteries too? They recommend charging the cells in a dedicated charger.

    I usually do use a charger. But, it sure is convenient at times to be able to use the onboard charging capabilities. Is this a real concern?
    • Like Like x 1
  2. Punk In Drublic

    Punk In Drublic Vaping Master ECF Veteran

    Aug 28, 2018
    Toronto, ON
    There was a user on Reddit that conducted a USB charging test across several devices and found many continue to apply a trickle charge after the batteries reached 4.2 volts, and in some cases, to very concerning levels. Charging beyond 4.2 volts is not only damaging to the batteries life span, but can also be very dangerous should that voltage reach a critical state.
    • Informative Informative x 2
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    • Agree Agree x 1
  3. Hawise

    Hawise Ultra Member ECF Veteran

    Mar 25, 2013
    AB, Canada
    It depends on the design of the device and the quality of the chip.

    You're right about the connector being the weak point as far as the mod is concerned. They don't tend to be very sturdy and often break.

    The batteries are another issue or four:
    • Air doesn't really circulate when the batteries are in the mod, so they're susceptible to overheating which is very unhealthy for batteries.
    • How well the chip controls the charge is unknown and presumably varies by brand. Is the charging rate accurate? Does it stop at the correct voltage? With multi-battery mods, does it balance the change properly? I wouldn't worry about a DNA mod, for instance, but I'd be less comfortable relying on a SMOK chip. With the more common brands of external chargers, we often have access to third-party testing data and other reliable evidence.
    • In-mod charging often opts for higher charging rates, which are harder on the battery. You generally have more control with an external charger.
    • External charging gives you the opportunity to see what's going on with your batteries. You can inspect them visually, and it's easier to tell if a battery starts heating up more than it used to when it's outside of the mod. The flip side of this one is that it's also much easier to damage the wrap if you take your batteries out, so you really do need to be sure to do a visual check.

    I use an external charger, and I'd recommend that others do the same. That said, I probably would be willing to charge in-mod in a pinch, but I usually use DNA or Yihi chips. I don't think I'd want to risk it with a SMOK.
    • Agree Agree x 2
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  4. r77r7r

    r77r7r ECF Guru ECF Veteran

    Feb 15, 2011
    I wonder if the warning is just to cover themselves. But, I've stuck to lipo's from the beginning because of not finding a small enough dna or yihi mod.
    Was looking @ that Collosal mod, but they had that disclaimer also. Probably as good as or better than a Pico which many use that way.
    Can't agree with folks that say about the fragility of the usb port, have never had an issue. Altho some of my home devices and mods I had switched over to magnetic connectors for convenience.
  5. DPLongo22

    DPLongo22 Open mind for a different view... Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    Dec 17, 2011
    As a rule I prefer to charge externally. I'd by lying if I said I NEVER used the USB though. It's rare, but I do it.
  6. vaper1960

    vaper1960 Ultra Member

    Apr 24, 2019
    California, US
    I wouldn't make a habit of doing it... but, if you must charge it with USB, don't leave it too long.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  7. AngeNZ

    AngeNZ Vaping Master ECF Veteran

    Mar 24, 2018
    New Zealand
    For me, the biggest risk of charging via USB is damaging the USB port itself.

    I've had a phone, and a tablet, that can no longer be charged, due to the micro-usb port becoming either loose or damaged.

    I fixed this from ever happening again by only using magnetic micro-usb chargers. It is a micro-usb cable, which magnetically attaches to the micro-usb port. The port stays in your device permanently. This just means, no wear and tear on the actual micro-usb port.


    The round port ones seem to work the best - eg:
    Amazon: Magnetic Phone Charger Cable - 3 in 1 Pack - Fast 3A Charging - Universal Cable
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  8. r77r7r

    r77r7r ECF Guru ECF Veteran

    Feb 15, 2011
    I Did have an issue with a Joye lipo batt tho. It was unusual and seemed like it might not have liked the 2a higher heat. Didn't help that the air vent was on the bottom and I didn't respect that. Got quite warm, it did. Lost a fair amt of storage capacity, lol.
  9. r77r7r

    r77r7r ECF Guru ECF Veteran

    Feb 15, 2011
    Wow, I could never bring myself to buy a no-name brand w/o reviews.
  10. NCC

    NCC Vaping Master Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Jan 14, 2010
    Fla Panhandle, USA
    It would help if USB ports were idiot-proof. I'm certain a good deal of the damage comes from trying to insert the plug upside-down. The engineers who designed them seem to have left out the human equation. I guess that magnetic adapter is a good work-around. I don't guess it's a solution for APVs though.

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