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How play indefinately while keeping the battery FULL! (wired)


It seems a lot of people struggle with the battery life of the Quest 3.
No matter what you try the juice is gone right when the fun gets intense, what a bummer...

The supplied charger does not help, same for any other charger you might have.
And the expensive strap with the added battery is far from offering the usage time we expect - even with a charger connected....

Wouldn't it be nice to at least not to worry about the power when watching movies or playing seated experiences ?
I found an option that does not just that but also CHARGES the headset to full WHILE playing.
Problem is that this won't work with any charger you might have....

The solution (for me) is to use a power supply for a laptop.
Some fancy laptops these days only come with a USB C port to do the charging and power supply.
Turns out those 65W monsters are conform with the weird standards Meta uses to regulate the charging and power supply on the Quest 3, probably other models as well.
Where a charger is stuck at 5V and less than 2A no matter what it is capable of a power supply goes into overdrive.

I won't name my favorite Youtube channel for Quest things but if you read this .....
I tried the worst possible case for the battery - playing a demanding Steam title while recording it and streaming it to the TV.
Airlink is great but all this drains the battery VERY fast....
I went from about 80% battery power to full while doing this - using the power brick from my laptop.
And best of all: The headset does not even get overly hot either, unlike when trying a PD rated USC C charger....



How does this work ?
I can only assume that Meta did not get the USB standards right and failed to included proper management for USB CHARGERS.
A USB POWER SUPPLY not only provides the standard charging protocols but also the standard power supply protocols.
Don't know why Meta did not include similar for USB charger but it seems USB power supplies can rescue us.
Instead of wasting a lot of power and creating heat trying to charge the battery and from there power the device and USB power supply does it the other way around.
It powers the Quest with all the required juice to run while having enough to spare to charge the battery.
NOT the SAME 😉
In this case the battery is not really used at all to power the device, reducing the heat and it should also give a better lifespan for the battery.

Don't go with some generic laptop power supply though.
Lenovo, HP, Dell and so on all have laptops in their range using a USB C power supply.
They should be in the 65W range, anything below 50 should be avoided but the big ones for 100W work fine as well.
Pay attention to the specifications!
The power brick has to be able to provide 5V, 9V and 12V and must be PD rated - Power Delivery.


Ok, but I have a 35W or more charger - why doesn't it work with that?
The chargers work fine for basically any other device, just not a Meta headset LOL
I guess the devil is in the detail(s).....

For starters we have how Meta uses or not uses charging standards.
Then we have what the cables and ports on the charger provide - by far not all have every line connected here!
If the charger won't provide the required lines for power delivery it can still charge devices fast but it can't POWER them, at least not at full rate...
Same if your cable won't supply them.
And quite a few people have a charger with an ORANGE USB port of the old kind while using a cable with the required USB C port on the other hand.
The normal USB connector and port can really provide what is required no matter how high cable and charger are rated.
This ONLY works if the connected device takes care of the voltage switching and power drain - which Meta does not do.
With a USB power brick that basically has USB charging as a bonus things are very different.
ALL lines required for charging and power delivery are connected.
And the brick monitors all of them and the corresponding signal lines.
Don't think Meta is aware how well this way works and how beneficial it is for some users....

Meta COULD of course change the handling of things on the device so normal PD rated charger would at least be able to provide what they can rather than limiting the output on the headset side.


What are the implications here for the serious gamer or person preferring to work in the virtual world?
Well, if you don't have to walk or run around, like when working on your virtual desk you could do this without the fear of running of running out of juice - ever.
For the dedicated gamer of course having a wire is big no can do....
After all, we went standalone to NOT worry about wires....

But if one would now check what lines on the USB C port are used when connecting a power brick and what happens on the data lines....
We could whack up some power tools batteries with a belt clip and run them trough a little circuit board dealing with the power delivery and signals on the data lines.
Thankfully for this there is already ready to go boards available and where not a little PIC will do just fine.
Like this our battery pack would directly power the headset and only once the pack runs empty the internal battery will be used.
The internal battery has, I think, around 16Wh of power - on 3.7V.
A 5Ah battery pack for power tools usually comes in 18V and equals to a whopping 90Wh of power.
So even with the losses from the Voltage conversions and additional electronics we are looking at more than 4 times the possible run time here!
On a SINGLE power tool battery.....
And they charge back to full before your internal battery runs out, although having two to keep going does help...
Jokes aside though:

Making a battery pack providing the USB POWER SUPPLY and USB CHARGING STANDARDS on the output side of things would mean one could keep playing for as long as there is a charged battery around.
And that WITHOUT stressing the internal battery or charging circuits....

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