I just bought a PowerCore+ 26800mAh. It looks great, but I noticed that as soon as I plug the USB-C plug, the 2 other USB plugs stop charging my devices. Is there a problem? I would really like to change my battery and my devices with only charger (like most other batteries do).
Is it possible? Does my PowerCore+ has problem? Did I miss something?
Most chargers do not let you charge the battery at same time the battery charges devices, that pass-thru is rare, if it does work anywhere it is on a battery about to be fried from the overload of doing 2 things concurrently, or they explicitly state they support pass-thru (rare) and then you often (in all cases I seen) you suffer in size or performance or cost due to the effort to do pass-thru causes something else to give (usually cost).
If you want to charge a battery and devices then do not wire in sequence but wire in parallel, have a multiport charger, have it charge your powerbank and your devices and they get charged independently at their own pace. This does not then place load on the battery and you can recharge faster in total from a higher wattage charge.
There are a few multiport USB-C chargers out there, but none from Anker really yet.
Also bear in mind what you actually bought is a large capacity battery, it is large so you can use it recharge the devices multiple devices and then you can recharge the battery.
The PowerCore Fusion does support passthrough. Another example I can think of off the top of my head is laptop. Some sources are saying Anker is adding passthrough to future versions of their USB-C devices.
To add to what Nigel mentioned, the PowerCore+ 26800 PD benefits from rapid recharge via the USB-C port and the includeded wall adapter (if buying through Amazon US, that is). I believe it can be recharged fully in about 5 hours.
ATTM, Anker offers multiport chargers with one USB-C port, but none yet with multiple.
You trade one problem for another with pass-thru, the chargers problem for example the charger has a limit per port and a limit in total wattage so say a 30W charger powering a pass-thru charger would recharge everything in double the time of say a 60W dual socket charger each giving 30W to each port for the battery and the devices.
The larger the battery the worse this problem potentially causing via double the time an overnight recharge of everything completed without pass-thru becoming not compete with pass-thru.
The smaller everything is the more viable to charge everything overnight with pass-thru, and golly, we have the Powercore Fusion for just such a scenario.
So Anker is doing the right thing overall, when you also factor cost.
Where Anker is most failing is they do not for example sell a dual-socket 60W 30W per socket charger. Anker’s current biggest weakness is in their chargers, about 6-12 months behind.
I don’t trade one problem for another. The point of a big battery for me is to travel. When I travel, I wish to be the lightest possible. And when I get to the hotel, I often have also issues with the number of plugs on the wall.
So my problem is I spend more than 8h in that hotel, and I don’t want to carry more than one charger.
I also don’t know like when a company tells me what is right for me and what is wrong.
I totally understand physics. If I have 30W charger, and I have 90Wh battery and another 30Wh battery, then I will charge them 4h.
I don’t care if it will be together or one after the other. It looks like the anker marketing wants to make sure their batterie will charge the fastest possible. So perfect, let’s do it.
The anker battery will always charge first! But when the battery is full, please, do the pass-thru, without user action! So in one night, all my batteries will be charged. With the anker batteries being charged first and the fastest possible!
I won’t have to carry multiple charges, and I won’t have to carry plug multipliers.
I don’t really want more powerful chargers. They are bigger.
What is required is a dual USB-C PD charger then it can do two things at once, such as charge a USB-C PD Powercore and a USB-PD laptop. Anker is almost there if they made a 60W charger with 2 PD and 2 or 3 TypeA. That one product would then serve a wide variety of current needs.
Also your maths is wrong slightly as recharge is slower as approach full. The fastest recharge occurs when nearly empty. A crude estimate is to double the time. So 90Wh + 30Wh from a 30W would be nearer to 8 hours. The trickle charge is greater when the Wh gets nearer to W.
I can’t magic up Anket to do what I want, I can only buy devices to match what Anker makes, or buy non Anker. The fastest change is always from within.
Probably very interesting, but way too long to read. And no matter what you said, I will continue to want a passthrough battery (no matter what charger I have, since I don’t need to choose between a good charger and a passthrough battery).
I will continue to ask for a passthrough battery, search for who can build it, and put bad reviews if I buy one that doesn’t have that feature.
That’s like asking why do you have to choose between either growing older or being dead, who does anyone think they are giving you only those two options.
The issue with passthrough is it is inherently less reliable and more expensive than a parallel added port from a charger, you have two DC-DC conversions going on inside the battery. Some power standards are easier than others. The recharge speed is limited thermally more so for bigger batteries.
USB-PD is becoming more an any voltage any current type standard so it is going to become easier to support pass through, than say QC3, but there are two other reasons not to do pass through of reliability and cost which forever makes pass through the worst idea.
Take a simpler problem say just 5V 2A 10W. The wall charger is output 5V 2A and it goes through a cable to the MicroB input and due to the resistance in the cable and the port the battery sees 4.5V 2A input. The first DC-DC conversion is to step down to a variable voltage for the internal battery, that has to step down initially to 3.6V eventually to 4.2V with the corresponding step up initially to higher current later lower current. Such conversions generate heat and the heat of the lithium cells. The conversion is still a voltage step down as 4.5V > 4.2V. Then you must also output DC for the pass through. Well if you simply passed your input to the output then that 4.5V output is then at the end of it’s cable is now 4V due to sequential cable power loss, the device at the end sees 4V from the original 5V because you had two cables and two ports in series each causing voltage drop as nothing can be electrically perfect (unless you used liquid cooling superconductor). So then the end device at the end of two cables cannot step down as it’s got to make 4.2V from 4V so it fails.
So pass through is inherently going to be less reliable as you only have two devices is series each with only step down conversion. This is why it isn’t popular, if it does work it’s by luck where the device on the end is able to work through the equivalent of a really bad cable. In pass through if either of the first cable or the input port of the 1st device in series failed then both devices don’t recharge.
So then you can solve that two ways, one easier and more reliable, one harder and less reliable.
One way is the first device in the pass through steps up it’s output. So in this case the Powercore takes it 4.5V input, in addition to the variable step down 3.6V to 4.2V itself need for it’s cell, it also steps up the 4.5V to make 5V. That can be done but then it is doing two conversions each generating heat. That Powercore then has 3 sources of heat the two DC-DC conversions and the lithium recharge heat. That makes the Powercore either slower or less reliable. And you made it larger and more expensive as you added a DC-DC step up circuit. Relative to the next idea you added heat and cost. There is a step-up circuit inside the Powercore already to take the 4.2V-3.6V of the cells and step it up to 5V but that is designed and optimized to step-up from lithium, not to step up from the USB input and it is running non-concurrent with the step-down. You also have still any failure in the 1st device stops both devices recharging. You also increased the complexity of the 1st device because you added the step up electronics so you have even more chance of both devices flat. So pass through with step up option is bad.
The step up in the middle device in pass through problem is more challenging in bigger batteries because lithium recharge heat is linear on total lithium. The cells in the center of the Powercore have the heat from themselves and the heat from the neighboring cells. So the biggest Powercore have to recharge each cell slower. Biggest batteries charge slowest from a Watts vs Watt-hour. So also pass through is then proportionately harder in bigger Powercore, a pass through Powercore 26800 is the worse imaginable idea.
The other approach is to change from sequential pass through to parallel. Here the original 5V 2A is presented to both devices in parallel then each sees 4.5V and they compete for the 2A. The first device sees 4.5V, as does the 2nd device, each does it’s step down DC-DC 4.5V to 3.6V-4.2V. This actually succeeds, each device has only it’s own cheaper step down, each only has 2 heat sources.
That easier parallel is what I said, it’s a two port charger.
What Anker need to make is a dual port output charger.
In parallel recharging if either device or either cable failed then only one recharge fails, in parallel either can fail but not cause consequences to the other. In series you have more chance of waking to both devices being flat vs in parallel the 1st device failure still meant the 2nd device charged. Parallel good, series bad.
Do you now Electronically understand?
Now looking from the present to the future, USB-PD standards are evolving into an any Voltage standard 20V to 5V. So once the devices also support that standard then you can support pass through. Then the wall charger output 20V 3A, the 1st device sees 19V 3A and the 2nd device sees 18V. As both see > 4.2V they can do just step down. But hang on if each can handle anything, why not just have simply them sharing the wall charger 20V it’s the same quantity of cables and it’s the same 110V/240V AC-DC conversion to 20V 3A and just and added port. That’s what I said earlier. It’s a lack of dual port USB-PD Powerport.
Currently the USB-PD standards are not any Voltage so currently Anker cannot cheaply make PD pass through. They can make cheaply a parralel port hub which they do. They could make a parralel port PD charger which is my ask. Also, if you think about it, you’d not actually want them cabled in series as it is less reliable and higher risk both Powercore and laptop is flat.
In summary, the minimum cost maximum reliable is parallel connection via multiple port wall charger.
To your point about minimum weight, well that is a choice of say Anker made in the future a dual port 30W vs dual port 60W. You could then decide a weight vs recharge decision. That is equivalent to the choice non PD you now between the Powerport2 and the Powerport2 Lite of sharing 24W or sharing 12W. That should be what you ask for if you prefer a smaller 30W to a larger 60W that the 30W comes in a 2 port version. Anker is not too far away from that, the newest Powerport2 is a smaller 24W so if they make it 30W instead then Powercore and laptop each get 15W could work, but then… possibly not as if your laptop needs 30W it might simply not cooperate with 15W. So one way Anker could solve that problem is have a port 1 and port 2 labelled and say Port 1 is always given priority and Port 2 is given lower priority then Port 1 is 30W til the device (laptop) stops drawing and then Port 2 is cranked up to then charge your Powercore. It is already sounding too complicated but that’s the sort of challenges to solve, and still easier and better to solve them in the charger than the battery.
Neither of us is going to particularly modify Anker thinking, they already know pass through is the dumbest idea and particularly dumb in Powercore 26800, they also have a complex USB-PD standards to figure out. They figured it out for non PD it’s the IQ and the multiport current Powerport range. Their challenges are multiport USB-PD, but it’s always going to easiest and cheapest and most reliable to attempt to solve it at the charger than in the battery.
Probably very interesting, but way too long to read. And no matter what you said, I will continue to want a passthrough battery (no matter what charger I have, since I don’t need choose between a good charger and passthrough battery : I want both).
I will continue to search for a passthrough battery and buy it if I find one. And I will continue to make bad review if I buy a battery that doesn’t do passthrough.
Well, you didn’t listen to what I said. I’m not going to waste my time neither.
I know that is not efficient, but it is definitely convinient when I don’t have enough USB plugs. If it is done right, for 5V battery, once the battery is charged, the passthrough can be turned on, and the 5V input will be send to the 5V output. Little energy should be wasted in heat.
I agree it is more tricky with USB-C since more voltage are involved. But it is definitely convinient when no other choices are possible (instead of waking up in the middle of the night and unplugging and plugging devices…).
If you read every word then you’d know its not just that problem. I talked about reliability and performance and other factors, and did not give opinion but traced back to electronics and chemistry which is a good predictor of what Anker can realistically reliably make. As this is physics, everyone including Anker competitors have the same problems, so if you seek out non-Anker then there will be consequences.
That is physically impossible using today’s commodity electronics. The reason is that electrons flow using the valence bonds in a conductor or semiconductor, and there is always a little loss in energy, plus the physical port is orders of magnitude gap the electrons have to jump across than the size of a molecule so they “land” on the other side of the jump with less energy than they jumped over. So ports lose Voltage. It is physics.
The cable and the ports lose voltage, and as cables age they fracture their internal structure so molecular bonds break and then electrons have to “jump” more often.
This has been known since 1827.
The 5V in is not the 5V out there is resistance, you must either step-up or have devices tolerant of lower frequencies so that is either expensive or luck.
As cables age they add resistance, that resistance manifests as heat, the heat increases the resistance so you end up basically turning a wire into a hand warmer. Anker overcome this to a degree but none can make a perfect conductor at room temperature now.
Good luck with a cheap powerful reliable pass-thru option.
Anker’s response to the voltage loss due to resistance problem has been to tend to make 2.4A to 2A to cover for energy lost as heat in the cable and ports and voltage boost which gives usually a 10% voltage boost at the source (Powerport) so the device gets 5V despite the resistance. Anker call this, along with others, “fastest possible charge” and is part of why Anker is a good brand.
Ultimately pass-thru will be viable but not til all devices support basically any voltage, which will happen as DC-DC conversion miniaturizes and becomes more efficient.
As a parallel port is physically much simpler, that is what Anker has done with Powerport2, 4,5,6,10, etc but Anker currently lacks multi-port in PD, that is actually what I am waiting for, I’m “surviving” longer on older technology to avoid the two-charger problem you are wishing to avoid carrying. I did read your post, I do understand and I would prefer to set off on travel with an inherently more reliable configuration. Accept the current situation is imperfect but: