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For a device that is portable and can charge an iPhone 4 or Nintendo 3DS:


I wonder, if this device outputs 5V, and iPhone or the 3DS also has a 5V battery, then the electromotive force (EMF) at both sides should be the same. If the force is the same at both sides, just like we we push a block on the table with 1 Newton force to the left, and there is also a 1 Newton force pushing the block to the right, the block will not accelerate to the left or right. So when the iPhone is slightly charged, when it reaches 5V, then how can it be charged further?

Also, say, if the external device is 11,000 mAh, then, what if at some state, such as when it reaches 3,000 mAh, the voltage falls to 4.3V, then can it still charge another device that is 5V? Or can the full 11,000 mAh energy all go to the other device?

A third related questions is, say if the device reaches 3,000 mAh, while the iPhone or 3DS or any other device reaches 6,000 mAh, won't the iPhone "reverse charge" the charger, or the energy keep on going both ways, and dissipate gradually as heat in the copper USB cable that connects them?

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1 Answer 1

up vote 2 down vote accepted

These devices have DCDC converter, so it make battery voltage higher in expense of higher current consumption.

In fact, phone does not need 5V, usually 4.2-4.5 is ok.

Battery itself also does not provide 5V, it provides 3.7-4.2V. These 3.7V are fed into DCDC, and you have 5V output with any input voltage, so you always can charge devices out of it until all energy is sucked up.

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so let's say, to charge these portable charger devices using the USB port... since USB port (from a PC or Mac) is 5V, and the device is 5V... does the device actually take the 5V and has to use some transformer to up it to 6V and then charge its internal battery? –  動靜能量 Dec 23 '11 at 2:49
Internal battery is 3.7V usually, so in general yes, voltage conversion happens both at charging internal battery & external device. –  BarsMonster Dec 23 '11 at 11:38
DCDC converter is "DC-to-DC converter", which is just a DC voltage converter? –  動靜能量 Aug 24 '12 at 3:35
Yes............. –  BarsMonster Aug 24 '12 at 8:02
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