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Charging batteries

phitar

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I cannot charge batteries from my computer: a MacBook Pro 13 (2019) with USB C ports, even on power itself. It cannot charge the Anafi batteries at all. It will charge many other devices: iPhone, charger, batteries for cameras... no problem.
Is there anything I am doing wrong?
 

phitar

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Yes, I tried different cords and the same cord on my MacBook charger will charge, not off the Mac.
I also tried pressing the power button, holding it for a long time... to no avail.
 

phitar

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Yes, they will. There is something about doing it through the mac that seems to prevent the charge
 

phitar

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The battery, when plugged into the MacBook through a usb-c usb-c cable, blinks all LEDs at the same time, and does not charge.
When the battery is plugged into the same MacBook though a usb-c to usb-a adaptor, then through the usb-a to usb-c cable into the battery, it recharges. Only the top LED blinks until battery is full.

When the battery is plugged into a wall charger (either usb-c or usb-a) it charges normally as well. Very fast using the MacBook power brick with usb-c.

There must be a form of usb-c communication between the MacBook and the battery that messes with the charging. I am guessing it has to do with usb-pd (Power Delivery).

I tried all sorts of usb-c cables (100W, 3.1 v2...) but that does not make a difference.
System information on the Mac does not identify the battery on USB at all.

The Anafi battery will charge at 5V from a regular usb charger (limited through a usb-a port) but since the battery is 7.6V, I suspect it can trick the Mac into wanting to be charged. I wish there was a way to force a given usb-c port into delivering power only...

I can upload a video if anyone cares or has questions.
 
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pmh1nic

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The battery, when plugged into the MacBook through a usb-c usb-c cable, blinks all LEDs at the same time, and does not charge.
When the battery is plugged into the same MacBook though a usb-c to usb-a adaptor, then through the usb-a to usb-c cable into the battery, it recharges. Only the top LED blinks until battery is full.

When the battery is plugged into a wall charger (either usb-c or usb-a) it charges normally as well. Very fast using the MacBook power brick with usb-c.

There must be a form of usb-c communication between the MacBook and the battery that messes with the charging. I am guessing it has to do with usb-pd (Power Delivery).

I tried all sorts of usb-c cables (100W, 3.1 v2...) but that does not make a difference.
System information on the Mac does not identify the battery on USB at all.

The Anafi battery will charge at 5V from a regular usb charger (limited through a usb-a port) but since the battery is 7.6V, I suspect it can trick the Mac into wanting to be charged. I wish there was a way to force a given usb-c port into delivering power only...

I can upload a video if anyone cares are has questions.
I'm wondering if there is some element of these "intelligent" batteries that prevents charging when connected to some other smart device? Or if there is some strict parameter with respect to charging (current/voltage) that is not being fulfilled by the MacBook that prevents the charge? You would think that is the MacBook usb is simply seen as a power source the Anafi batteries would charge.
 

phitar

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After a little bit ion digging I am now certain it has to do with USB-C PD. https://www.st.com/content/ccc/resource/sales_and_marketing/presentation/product_presentation/group0/5a/b1/8e/6c/2b/0d/46/3c/Apec/files/APEC_2016_USB_Power.pdf/_jcr_content/translations/en.APEC_2016_USB_Power.pdf
Above 5V (the Anafi batteries delivers 7.6V) you enter a new type of system where there is first a conversation between the devices and only then a power exchange in a specific direction. A failure in that exchange is what is probably preventing the Macbook from charging the Anafi battery.
The good news is we should really take advantage of usb-c PD chargers to speed up the recharge of the batteries :)
 

Island Xpress

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If the battery charges normally when using a wall mounted power adapter I would suggest to use this.
They are made for just this pupose, to charge a battery.
The USB connector of a computer is primaryly an interface to other compatible devices like Memory Sticks, external Hard Drives etc.
To avoid the need for an independent wall mounted power supply for these accessories the computers have also the capability to power via USB a connected device. To some extend, but it's not their primary function.
The Anafi battery needs quite a bit of juice and probably the computer protects itself from overload and therefore doesn't charge at all.
 

phitar

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I received a USB tester and have a much clearer understanding of what goes on. Here is a preliminary set of tests. Please ask if you would like more tests.

On my MacBook USB-C charger, the MacBook charges under 20V. Plugging the Anafi battery into the same power brick charges at almost 9V and 1.8A, a tad above 16W (image 1764). On the wall USB-A charger, the voltage is reduced to 5V but 2.4A of current (as specified on the wall charger) and only 12W (image 1769). The second USB-A plug on the charger is specified for 1A but only goes to 0.4A and therefore 2W! (image 1773)

Bottom line: using a USB-C PD charger should accelerate charging, 50% faster than a fast (2.4A)USB-A charger. I haven't looked at total charging time but it is quite boring to babysit a battery ;-)

With regards to changing the battery from the MacBook using a USB-C cable, it fails (4 blinking green LEDs on image 1777) but works when going through a USB-C to USB-A adapter, albeit at a slow speed (1778). I am convinced now the USB-C PD implementation of the ANAFI battery is incomplete or buggy.
 

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Buck

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To some degree I agree with you, but is the OUTPUT of the MacBook PD compliant? We can assume the input is but.........Also as mentioned in another thread here, not all USB C testers are created equal and PD compliant.
 

phitar

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That's a good question. The recent MacBook pros are designed to charge the two first plugged devices with at least up to 15W and some indications point to 18W when charging an iPad Pro (at 9V) but I can't confirm that. The MacBook Pro is actually designed to power and charge other devices which is really handy when travelling. Being able to charge 2 batteries at once would have really helped me recently.
 

AnafiPilot1

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Interestingly I got myself a PowerAdd 20,000mAh PD type power bank, and I noticed that when I use one of the USB tester devices between the power bank and the Anafi battery it will actually charge using PD - at 18W (12v 1.5A).

At least with normal USB-A output the Anafi battery will attempt to draw 2.5A, so charging at 12W, while not as good as 18W, still pretty fast.

Everything points the Anafi battery USB-C PD input is broken - all my other devices communicate correctly with the powerbanks and my PD chargers, why does the Anafi battery not!
 

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