A cheap wireless charger for Qi enabled devices

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/06/04/a-cheap-wireless-charger-for-q.html

You should know that Ikea do a Qi charging dingus which is designed to be embedded in a desk, with the wire underneath (they sell desks with an appropriate hole, otherwise you’ll need to also drop like $10 on a hole saw). They also do a free-standing charger for $18, and a couple of different lamps with chargers in the base.

I have something similar to this, its the official samsung wireless one though. I managed to get it for a great deal and the downside to these kinds of chargers is that they inherently will generate heat when working. Not my preference for a charger, especially if i intend to leave the phone on it for a while but for short periods of charging the wireless charger is great.

I’ve been using a Qi charger for at least 6 months and haven’t noticed any heat problems. When playing around I think it’s only a problem with a poor connection and maybe poor equipment or a thick case.

I started with a cheap charger like the one linked. I had to be selective about which USB cable I used, which ac adapter I used, and how I placed it. The lower rated ones wouldn’t work or were really flakey. I ended up tossing it and getting a Samsung Qi stand (that included the adapter), I use Apple’s leather case, and it all works great. My wife has a credit card sleeve on her case and wireless charging doesn’t work at all (I’ve also seen problems with other cases and was kind of surprised mine worked so well).

I do have leather case on mine which might be causing the charger to work a bit harder than it needs to, i don’t know i’m not knowledgeable on said chargers. It works fine for the most part but the heat situation did make me want to use it less. I try not to use it unless i really don’t want to plug in my phone.

There’s nothing wrong with cheap chargers and cables, but they definitely need to be rated correctly. Especially for fast charging to work. For instance, the included charger with an iPhone is garbage.

Thickness of the case, and it’s material is a larger factor. Generally, the thinner the better and non magnetic obviously.

I bought 3 of these in October for different locations:

And this QC3 rated charger 3-pack:

I prefer the elevated style for placing it on correctly and being able to glance at it on my desk or night stand.

I have 2 different vent models in our cars, and I’ve noticed they more sensitive to heating up. I think this has more to do with with Waze taxing the battery more than other application when it’s on my desk. Both those units are more sensitive to the case too. My wife’s case is slightly thicker than mine, and we had to switch which charger is in her car. But, at home, her’s works just fine too.

I have considered popping the case off while doing the wireless charging but honestly thats extra effort i’d rather not go through. I still use the wireless one, just seldomly used though.

Without clear labeling, cheap equals lower rated and lower rated cables and chargers often don’t charge at all (I agree the charger Apple includes with their phones is embarrassing, but it does reliably work). Qi charging isn’t the only time I’ve been burned by lousy USB cables. Half of the mini USB cables I have laying around won’t work to charge my PS4 controller…which isn’t exactly a power hog.

Ironically I bought these back in December and they work fairly well. My LG G7 does get a little warm while charging, but I’ve monitored temps on it and they never rise more than 5 degrees Celsius. My wife has a cover on her iPhone XR that doesn’t sit flush against the back. That gap makes it harder for the charger to get a good connection so you have to place it just right. Overall for the price they were worth it.

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