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16 years ago, mid-March | 6 Comments

Ok, we all know that the Neo 1973 GTA01 power management isn’t quite there yet but we’ve had the recent good news that NXP have made the user manual available for the PCF50633;

We have carefully reconsidered how to best serve the OpenMoko community in supporting our PCF50633 product, and our decision has been to allow you to publish the full User Manual on the OpenMoko website. This is more effective for the development community then having to reference to 2 documents, being the DS already sent to you and the addendum containing the register description. We therefore prefer that the full UM get’s published. The Company Confidential notice has been removed. We hope to see the successful application of our device and hope to see many OpenMoko products in the market, using our PCF50633.

So really, we should have hundreds of pairs of eyes looking at this for the GTA02. Anyway, in the meantime I’ve been testing out a little battery pack, usb powersupplied by Portable Power Supplies in the UK, which is charged and charges via USB ports. Just the ticket for the Neo GTA01. The unit takes an initial, approximate 6 hours to charge and can be done from a standard USB port on a desktop or laptop. There is also a wall charger available but this obviously bumps up the price. Once charged the unit will happily sit there for months at a time doing nothing, which makes for a good emergency backup. Of course the battery pack will not indicate to the Neo that it can do fast charging but it is capable of doing so – indeed it can serve up a healthy 700ma – but that problem is solved by Bobby Martin (wurp2 irc nick) who has produced a python application to help out. This little application allows you to force the Neo to do fast charging (draw 500ma). Obviously by doing this you override the safety checks, but as I already know that the battery pack is capable of serving more than the Neo will take there’s really no risk here. So far my Neo has been running off it for more than 24 hours and I’d expect it to go on for a lot longer too. This is going to mean that I don’t have to turn off my Neo to save power, especially when I do those overnight trips to and from The Netherlands. I’ll update here when the battery eventually dies, I’m expecting at least 3 or 4 days but we’ll see.

update: at about 4am this morning the Neo had managed to suck the life out of the battery pack and its own battery. This is horrific, showing just how thirsty a Neo is. The total time ended up at about 30 hours, but I’m going to rerun the test to be sure.

update 2: I’ve repeated the test 2 more times now and the results are very similar, sadly.

Standard TipsExtra tipsPower packPower pack button


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March 8, 2008 23:51


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6 Comments so far

  1. Jonas Meyer on March 9, 2008 19:26

    So does NXP releasing this manual mean that things may get fixed for the GTA01 also, or are we all going to have to get these power packs? That is to say, is this chip in both the GTA01 and the 02, or just the 02?

  2. ScaredyCat / Andy Powell on March 9, 2008 23:50

    According to the wiki the GTA01 has a PCF50606, but I can’t give any detail on compatibility.

  3. Felix on March 10, 2008 13:15

    I am also very disappointed by the power management of my GTA01. I often had the case that it won’t turn on when I wanted to work with it, because I forgot to hook it up to the usb port 24/7. Even when taking it somewhere, you have to take out the battery or chances are it is empty when you arrive.
    I really hope this will be fixed for GTA01 too.

    I know it’s a developer preview, but I at least thought I can use it as (unreliable) second phone. Really takes the fun out of developing for it…

  4. Fredrik Wendt on March 13, 2008 13:17

    How did the rerun do? Same result?

  5. ScaredyCat / Andy Powell on March 13, 2008 15:16

    I actually need to use my Neo as a phone at the moment so I’ve postponed the test until Saturday.

  6. Fabian Rodriguez on March 18, 2008 22:14

    This is very similar to the Noma RX4 which I recently acquired and wrote about. The main difference is this device has one single Li-Ion battery block, compared to the XR4 which uses 4 standard rechargeable batteries.

    See the full manual here:

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