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I need your ideas -- is this some interrmittent problem?



     I appear to have some interrmittent problem, and one thing that occurred to me as a possible fix isn't!  :-O  :-)


     My Galaxy S II phone has NEVER FAILED to recharge when plugged into a recharger.


     I had one vehicle dock.  And, every once in a while, I use it -- primarily for the Google Nav App (which is SO EXTREMELY USEFUL if you aren't familiar with the roads to get help to know exactly where to turn, etc.)!


     Every time I "plug" the end of the vehicle dock into the phone, the phone knows it -- even if it doesn't have power at the same time!  I have it locked.  ONLY when I have plugged the vehicle dock into the phone, the "keypad" used to enter the digits to unlock it shows up very briefly, but it immediately goes to the talk app.


     (For those who may not have seen the vehicle dock, the end of it "moves" back and forth.  You put the Galaxy S II into the plastic portion with the four corners, and then move the end, with the plug, toward the phone, thus connecting the plug on that "movable portion" into the "jack" of the phone.)


     My problem involves power.


     Most of the time, when I plug the Galaxy S II into the vehicle dock (of course with the cigarette lighter end portion of the cord plugged into the appropriate "power port" of the vehicle, and I've used my Toyota Corolla and Mom's F-150 pickup truck), I hear a little "beep" and I see a "lightning-bolt" type of symbol in the green battery indicator/icon.  Also, when it has power, the 4 "buttons" on the end (menu, applications, return, etc.) light up and never go dark, and the screen never goes dark -- if it has continuous power.


     However, occasionally, it doesn't get power.  I do NOT hear a beep, see the "lightning-bolt" symbol, and when using the Google Nav app, the screen will go "very dim" if it has been a few seconds to minutes since it last spoke or the screen was last touched.  At these times, it DOESN'T have power, so it is running on battery power.  When it is like this, the screen will get brighter, temporarily, when it is speaking to me.  This afternoon, coming home on I-95, it said "in 2 miles, take exit 201" and the screen got bright -- temporarily.  It returned to very dim after a few seconds.


     When this first start happening, I was thinking there was something in my vehicle dock, either the cord itself or the plastic portion the phone sits in, likely the movable end that "plugs into the phone".


     So, I ordered another vehicle dock!


     It came the end of last week.


     Sunday I used it in Mom's truck.  It worked.


     I used it every day this week coming home from work.  I know the way very well, but I just wanted to use it a lot to assure it continued working.


     It worked every time I tried it -- until yesterday afternoon on the way home!  Same symptoms.


     I pulled over.  I plugged it into a different place in my car, in the console where I have a CHARGER for the phone.  No power.


     Exact same this afternoon.  No power.


     Well, I just did some additional experimentation in my car and Mom's truck...


     Using a volt meter, I have confirmed that the "power ports" in the vehicles have power.  Even though they have power, and I have certainly assured the more obvious things like the cigarette lighter portion is plugged well into the "port", no power.  This was true with BOTH vehicle docks, in both vehicles, just now.


     As I think in troubleshooting mode, I am now thinking it is less likely that both vehicle docks (and both are not that old, as I only got the phone in October of last year, and the second dock is a week old) are having the same problem!


     I am not sure where to touch the red and black leads of the volt meter to the metal portion of the cord, to confirm power.  I have not confirmed power on the metal end while the other cigarette lighter end was plugged in, but I am not really sure it is that.


     Can anyone provide me any ideas on what this may be; what I may check next?


     Thank you!


  • 1. Re: I need your ideas -- is this some interrmittent problem?

    I'm thinking that you're getting a power surge within the docking station.  It's like the DC to AC converter inside of the docking station is shorting and/or over heating.  I really don't know why you would continue to buy the faulty device when you could get a phone holder and use the USB charger.  Since all you need is a holder this combination works just the same.

  • 2. Re: I need your ideas -- is this some interrmittent problem?

    I don't see how this could be a problem with the phone (since an issue accepting a charge would be a big deal and talked about here), so it possible that particular dock just has a flawed design that causes them all to occasionally not provide power.

  • 3. Re: I need your ideas -- is this some interrmittent problem?

         Thank you, animaleyezz and jaylanphnx, for your comments as we continue to
    try to find the cause of my power problem!


         For animaleyezz, among my thoughts on what you wrote, well I have to
    admit I hadn't even considered that, or at least that as I interpret and
    think on what you wrote!  I would say the overheating isn't likely, as
    when I touch the cigarette lighter portion as well as the "power portion"
    of the vehicle dock that plugs into the phone -- even after it has been
    been connected to my phone with no power for just over an hour, my commute
    time home on Friday, they aren't even that warm.  Power surge?...  well, I
    just don't know.


         As to the "why I would continue to buy the faulty device", I hadn't
    decided for sure where the problem was.  I was *thinking* it was likely
    the vehicle dock, but when I got a second one, and when the phone stopped
    getting power from one, it also didn't get power on the other, and when it
    had power on one, it appears to have it on the other, I was thinking "what
    else could it be", thinking it wasn't as likely the two vehicles docks had
    this same power problem at the same time...


         (I even rebooted the phone, wondering whether the length of time
    before connecting it to the vehicle dock [along with whatever else had
    been run, etc.] potentially made a difference!  It didn't seem to...
    Friday, even after rebooting the phone, it didn't seem to be getting power
    from either dock...)


         I'm a software engineer, and am "more familiar" with troubleshooting
    software, and I'll have to admit I'm not as familiar with troubleshooting


         But -- for both of you -- I had considered this as a possibility but
    don't know enough about the "jack" of the phone to know whether it could
    happen, I wondered whether there was some "pin?" in the connector of JUST
    THE VEHICLE DOCK that may connect to the phone, and this "pin?" either
    doesn't have some signal or it may even be INSIDE THE PHONE.


         (When I look into [compare] the end of the metal part that plugs into
    the phone, there appears to be possibly one additional "pin" on the
    vehicle dock when compared to the rechargers I have...)


         In fact, I'll have to say I was thinking more along the lines of it
    MAY BE inside the phone since I had the problem with 2 independent


         That the phone has a different behavior when plugged into the vehicle
    dock that it DOESN'T HAVE when plugged into a recharger makes me think
    there is SOMETHING that indicates it is a different type of connection.
    It has never failed to recharge when plugged into a charger.  When plugged
    into the vehicle dock, EVEN WHEN IT DIDN'T HAVE POWER, it behaved in "that
    different way" as soon as I moved the end of the dock to "plug into" the
    "jack" on the phone!


         But, from what both of you say, it doesn't appear "as likely" in your
    eyes that it is a problem in the phone itself.  (And, it may not be
    normal, so it may not BE an issue, but a malfunction in perhaps my phone.
    That's just the "troubleshooter" inside of me, until I understand the
    real/true cause of the problem.)


         For animaleyezz, can you give me a URL that describes this "phone
    holder" and USB charger?  In my car, I don't (by default, unless I
    purchase something with this) have a USB connection on the cigarette
    lighter plug end, though it plugs into the same jack on the phone (if I'm
    properly reading/interpreting what you wrote).


         For jaylanphnx, thank you for your taking the time to read and
    consider what I posted!  Do you think the possibility of something not
    right with my particular phone is enough of a possibility at this point to

    consider, or go right to perhaps what animaleyezz suggested, and find a
    different mechanism for holding the phone on my car's dashboard and
    providing power?


         Thank you both and anyone else who winds up commenting!  :-)



  • 4. Re: I need your ideas -- is this some interrmittent problem?

    Could you post a link so we can see exactly what kind of dock you're working with? I'd be more likely to declare it the dock's fault if it's some cheapo third-party Chinese KIRF than if it's an official or name-brand accessory.

  • 5. Re: I need your ideas -- is this some interrmittent problem?



         An excellent question!


         I believe it is made by Samsung!


         I purchased the first one from T-Mobile, at the same time I purchased
    a couple of other accessories, such as the extra battery and a memory
    card.  Here is the URL of that one:




         (That purchase was probably early November of last year.)


         The one I got just a couple of weeks ago, I got directly from
    Samsung.  Here is that URL:




         They are IDENTICAL.  Even small things such as small bends in the
    cigarette lighter portion, etc.  I believe Samsung made both.



  • 6. Re: I need your ideas -- is this some interrmittent problem?

    It very well could be that vibrations could be the culprit here. 

  • 7. Re: I need your ideas -- is this some interrmittent problem?

         Well, animaleyezz, that is also something that never occurred to me
    as even a possibility!  Your postings are quite intriguing!  :-)


         I wasn't thinking so...


         The one in my car didn't work last Friday on the way home from work,
    just over an hour commute.  (So, vibrations would have been occuring
    during that no-power time.  So far as I know, power NEVER came on.  The
    "beep" and the lightning-bolt symbol in the battery icon and the brighter
    screen, they probably would have made it obvious if power had come on,
    albeit briefly.)


         After getting home Friday, I took the power meter out and tried in my
    car as well as Mom's truck, and neither worked, and neither vehicle was
    moving -- the engine wasn't even started -- during that test.  No power
    then, either, with numerous plugging and unplugging of first one of the
    vehicle docks and then the other dock...


         And, so far as I know, when it has worked (has had power) and I've
    been in moving vehicles, I have never ever seen it NOT have power even

  • 8. Re: I need your ideas -- is this some interrmittent problem?

    I don't know what else to say, other than I don't think I'll be buying that model of car dock anytime soon.

  • 9. Re: I need your ideas -- is this some interrmittent problem?

    I'm thinking that the intermittent connectivity caused a short or blown fuse.


  • 10. Re: I need your ideas -- is this some interrmittent problem?

         I want to thank both of you for continuing to read my messages and
    trying to help!


         Actually, I do have to report something I've noticed...


         The manual says "Start your vehicle before connecting the car adapter
    to the Vehicle dock."


         I really am about certain that on the older dock, I have in fact
    started the nav app and put the phone in the dock BEFORE STARTING THE
    CAR...  :-(


         It says that "Temporary voltage surges during ignition may damage the
    Vehicle dock or the attached mobile phone."


         I haven't done this with the newer dock, but I wonder whether my
    having done that could be the cause of this problem??


         Status, though, it continues intermittent!


         Yesterday, coming home from work, with the smart phone in my vehicle
    dock in my car, no power.  This morning, going to work, power was there
    and all was fine!


         (Hmmm.... as I think on this, I had the vehicle dock already plugged
    in yesterday morning when I started the car [and it didn't have power!]
    and yesterday afternoon I had left the vehicle dock unplugged and I had
    started the car this morning before even plugging in the cigarette
    lighter, and it worked this morning!  I wonder whether that could be it??)


         (If so, it may be a good design... in that if there is any potential power

    problems, it just doesn't work until it is unplugged and plugged back in!)


         That doesn't seem to fully explain it, though...


         Last Friday night, I didn't even start the vehicles, but had to use
    the key to turn on power for the Corolla, I don't have to for Mom's truck,
    and I had them both plugged in and unplugged several times in both
    vehicles, and there was never power...


         I WILL be paying SPECIFIC ATTENTION now to assuring that the vehicle
    dock cigarette lighter portion of the cord is NOT PLUGGED IN when the
    vehicle is started, and that I plug it in afterward.  And, I'll see
    whether that happens to bring an "it has power!" every time...


         There doesn't seem to be any fuses in the vehicle dock.  I know there
    is in the car, but I haven't yet (using my power meter) NOT found power in
    the port into which I plugged in the cigarette lighter portion of the


         If this now assuring that the dock is not plugged in when starting
    the car doesn't seem to fix this, do you suggest I look for a different
    type of vehicle holder, as animaleyezz first mentioned, or see about how I
    may check my phone, to see whether there is indeed some problem in it?
    (And I don't know that there could be a problem in the phone that could
    explain this intermittent behavior.)


         If getting a different type of phone holder is a suggestion, I would
    like to ask, can you give me a URL where I can see a phone holder (for a
    car) that would provide the power (though the one I have also provides a
    "jack" for a 3.5mm audio plug, and I do have an AUX port in my Corolla), I
    may consider that, too...



  • 11. Re: I need your ideas -- is this some interrmittent problem?

         Well, a "status" message from the last few days is since realizing
    that the manual mentioned to have the engine started before even plugging
    in the vehicle dock as well as the smartphone, it hasn't once (yet) failed
    to provide power!


         I've used it at least once a day in my car, usually coming home from
    work, though I used it this morning, as well.  At least six uses.


         In Mom's truck this weekend, I have used it at least 7 times, between
    errand destinations.


         (Since I now have 2 docks, one now "lives in" Mom's truck and the
    other "lives in" my car, where I used to have to take the one I have
    between the two vehicles.)


         It had worked a number of times before, so I'm going to continue this
    usage (for both of them) but I'm hopeful that there is no problem with


         And, in fact, it really may be a very GOOD design if upon possibly
    getting some power surges or something because it is plugged in as the
    engine is starting it decides to handle that by "shutting down" and
    perhaps not working until it is unplugged and reconnected, rather than
    allowing the dock or the possibly even connected smartphone to suffer any


         This still doesn't explain that first Friday night, to me, though,
    but if they continue to work, providing power every time, being used as
    the manual does indicate they are supposed to be used (which is a negative
    on me), I'm happy!  :-)



  • 12. Re: I need your ideas -- is this some interrmittent problem?

    Say Barry glad to be of some help, if you catch my drift.  It'll be nice to get that helpful on my initial answer.

  • 13. Re: I need your ideas -- is this some interrmittent problem?

    That's totally their fault for putting that in the manual. Who reads those?

    Stuff like that is one reason I love my car. It provides power to the outlet at all times, so this provision wouldn't be a problem for me.

  • 14. Re: I need your ideas -- is this some interrmittent problem?

    Yea I have a 2001 Buick Regal GS, it has a passive outlet (center console) and an active outlet (passenger side of center console) so this would be an issue for me either.

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