Here are a few issues you might encounter
Remember that any product is perfectible through its users’ contributions. Be gentle. 🙂
1. App does not connect to Chargie
Please check the cable connection between your phone's charger and the Chargie device. Just to make sure, try replacing the cable and/or the charger - but only one at a time, and retry. When powered, Chargie has a green LED switched on. When it passes power through it, the red LED is lit.
2. I woke up with 100% charge
Before releasing production versions, we test the app on these phones:
- Google Pixel 3a, Android 10
- Huawei P8 Lite, Android 6
- Huawei P20 Pro, Android 10
- OnePlus 7T, Android 10
- Samsung Galaxy S6, Android 7
- Xiaomi Pocophone F1, Android 9
- iPhone 12
- iPhone 6s
Google Pixel is generally considered standard in Android development. If it works on a Pixel, it works on any phone. However, Google's original Android suffers heavy modifications by 3rd parties, so Samsung, Xiaomi, Huawei, LG and others may introduce additional power saving measures than those originally implemented by Google. The Chargie app asks to be listed as a non-power optimized app at startup, and checks that each time, but it's still not enough for some phones.
Our app presents itself as a foreground service, which means it has a notification that's visible to the user and should NOT be put to sleep by the operating system. Some phones don't respect that and you will sometimes wake up with 100% charge because if the Chargie app is put to sleep, there's no other entity (at least in HW v1) to send the "stop charge" signal to the physical device. Our next device will have a programmable timeout in its firmware and will be able to stop after a preset amount of time, even if the app is no longer controlling it. That makes for a safer charging method, as the battery won't stay fully charged for the entire time it's plugged in. We will implement a reporting feature that sends us the phone's physical characteristics (no personal data) whenever a 100% charge is attained and held while using Chargie. That will be communicated in advance and you will be able to opt out.
You can also check out https://dontkillmyapp.com to see various ways you can skip your phone's power saving measures for a specific app.
3. "Chargie found but not plugged"
This message is shown by the app whenever it can't establish if the Bluetooth device you're connected to is the same device that the phone charges from.
We call this "validation." Since an Android app can't scan in the background, the app does these tasks on plug in:
- it polls through the list of previously connected devices
- for each device, it tries to connect
- if connection is successful, it takes down the line. If the phone is connected to that power line, it senses the "unplug" event and reestablishes the power line state according to the charge level cutoff setting (the battery slider) and the allowed charge drop (Settings menu).
- if the above event does not happen within a set time frame, it moves on to try a connection to the next device.
- When the phone is plugged in, this is carried out indefinitely until it's unplugged. When the phone is not plugged in, this is carried out only for the number of times set in Settings - Maximum connection retries.
If you understand all of the above, you can try observing this happen and you'll understand the timings involved in detecting a properly connected Chargie. This is necessary because the device is using a Bluetooth connection and a power connection. Had it used only USB to communicate, this would not have been necessary, but the USB line is reserved for communication between the device (DFP) and the charger (UFP). The simplest and universal solution is to have a second communication channel, and that is nowadays Bluetooth. Extra communication hardware would have raised the production cost by a lot and the product price with it.
Many of the above-mentioned scenarios have these potential causes:
- charger is too weak (use at least a 2A charger if your battery is larger than 3000mAh). When the charger is weak, the power surge at the moment of "on" switch will cause a voltage drop which will reset the Chargie device and connection will be lost.
- TX power of the Bluetooth chip in Chargie is set too low. Increase it from the dedicated icon in the app. Try maximum for a start and see what works for you.
- Android's buggy Bluetooth API: try to either reboot your phone or just toggle Bluetooth on and off.
- If none of these work, write an e-mail to [email protected] describing the situation. Please include details such as: phone type, Android version, screenshots of the Settings menu, charger power, other bugs you may have noticed manifesting on your phone.
- Phone not linked properly via Bluetooth at plugin time. It's the most embarrassing situation for us, but it's actually happening to some customers due to the app being put to sleep by the OS. Please make sure you have a working setup before leaving it unattended. We are working to improve this, every day. And we also value every feedback we get from our customers.
4. App can't see my Chargie
This can have multiple causes:
- if the green LED is not on, it's either a malfunctioning charger or a bad USB connection. Please try to use a different (newer) charger or clean the contacts inside your old one.
- go to Settings and activate "Show all BLE devices."
- replug your Chargie. There are various environmental conditions (heat, humidity, electromagnetic fields) that may get it to not advertise anymore.
- reboot your phone. This (and #3) are usually the ultimate solutions that work in 99% of the cases.
Keep in mind that we test each and every Chargie we ship to prevent situations like this from happening. Your Chargies are most likely not faulty as their parts are ESD protected up to 10000 volts and no Chargie that was not Bluetooth-visible or with a bad switch has ever been shipped from us.
5. Power keeps toggling on automatic connection
Make sure you're not using a PD charger. Chargie is currently not compatible with them. Before stabilizing their power output, PD chargers first turn it off, which disrupts the Bluetooth connection to the Chargie device. If you still want to use a PD charger, make sure you uncheck "Automatic Chargie validation" in the Settings menu or connect manually each time before letting your phone charge.
6. One of my Chargies no longer connecting to any of the phones that it was previously working with. It shows in the app during the scan, but will not connect when selected (shows as not plugged). All cables and chargers work fine with the other Chargie.
Please reboot your phone first. Then, check that you have the latest app version and that the cable is making firm contact with both Chargie and your phone. If this still doesn't work, try replacing the cable and/or seeing if it works with another phone. The general rule of thumb is that if you can see your Chargie via Bluetooth, you should be able to connect to it.
If nothing else works, please email us at [email protected] and we'll find a solution together.
7. Other issues
We try our best to make this guide as comprehensive as possible, using the most asked questions from our users. Let us know about it at [email protected]. If we do not reply in useful time, it may be because of time constraints, but rest assured that your question has been read. However, we strive to reply to 99% of the questions sent to us.
If still in doubt,