Powering Theia

Bloovy One

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Hi all,
In a few threads there are getting to be some posts about how Theia will be powered as we get closer to release day. Lots of terminology is being thrown around; some understand, some don't. Hopefully we can get it all nailed down in this thread. :)

Here are some common types of USB connectors that are currently popular:
connectors.jpg



USB type C is the connector on the Theia itself and is reversible. USB type A (USB-A) or USB type C (USB-C) will be used at the other end of the cable.

To hopefully eliminate some confusion, USB Micro B has been often used for Android phones and Lightning has been often used for iPhones. Included here for reference, neither will be used for Theia at all. Most newer phones seem to be migrating to USB-C as well.


Many newer vehicles have either USB-A ports or USB-C ports built in that supply 5 volts. If Theia were to be powered from the vehicle, the cable used will have to match on one end.
My 2018 car for example has USB-A ports so I will need a "USB-A to USB-C" cable if I want to power Theia from the car itself.

Another option is to use an adapter that either plugs into the older cigarette lighter socket or
"hard wires" to the fuse area where the vehicle typically provides "12 volts". (Typically 12 to 14 volts)
thumb.png
sku_390045_1.jpg



These adapters usually have USB-A outputs on them, but some might have USB-C instead. As above, the cable chosen should match the adapter.


I look forward to getting more information from Radenso about powering Theia in these various scenarios. :)
 

Jon at Radenso

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We are planning on having a hardwire kit that has a very small buck converter at one end and usb c on the other, so you can install it just like you would a traditional hardwire kit.
 

riseboi

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Jon at Radenso

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Bloovy One

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Mini USB is also still common, especially among dash cams.
Yeah, I was trying to find a good pic of USB-A and USB-C and the others were part of the pic so I addressed them. I didn't want to make it even more confusing by adding some of the other types.

Not for nuthin, but a lightning cable is NOT a "usb connector".
Fair point. The pic I used called it a USB connector. :)

We are planning on having a hardwire kit that has a very small buck converter at one end and usb c on the other, so you can install it just like you would a traditional hardwire kit.
I love the lack of multiple points of failure in that design. The fewer movable parts, the better!
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Yup, exactly.
Do you have a rough idea of cable length yet?
 

sdrawkcaB

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For the hardwire kit, my hopes are that the components inside the step down converter are good quality. I would hate to have to deal with the components failing, and then having to rip out the cord and reinstall a replacement. I always worry about poor quality step-down converters getting too hot from inefficient components.

While I realize it is not the same, I have observed firsthand the noticeable difference in at least the laptop world from OEM AC to DC adapters compared to Chinese generics and the name-brand fakes. The poor quality ones work, but get ridiculously hot, some to the point that I can’t even hold the power brick longer than 2 seconds before burning my hands.
 

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Do you have a rough idea of cable length yet?
Honestly you really shouldn’t need anything over 10 feet. Even the 8-foot cable included with the V1 was overkill for my F250. If you’re doing something oddball like powering it from the back seat or something, you should really consider finding a 12V power source closer to the destination rather than trying to run a super long USB cable.


For the hardwire kit, my hopes are that the components inside the step down converter are good quality.
100%. A number of dashcam manufacturers have found out the hard way that finding a consistently high quality 12V-to-5V converter can be difficult, especially at higher amperage (vs like 0.75A), and poor quality converters can cause all sorts of problems, including hardware damage over time.
 

Bloovy One

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Honestly you really shouldn’t need anything over 10 feet. Even the 8-foot cable included with the V1 was overkill for my F250. If you’re doing something oddball like powering it from the back seat or something, you should really consider finding a 12V power source closer to the destination rather than trying to run a super long USB cable.
Agreed. When I was renting all the Dodge Chargers a few years ago, I did need 10+ feet to reach the center cigarette lighter outlet in each one. That was a unique case as I'd drive each one to roughly 40,000 and then they'd make me change to another Charger which occurred every 3-4 months. I needed to be able to remove it all easily and I had lots of practice temporarily hard-wiring those. :) (I went through 8 in a row and had a few more prior to that with other cars in-between)

Cable length for Theia might be more of an issue though as people might be able to plug into a USB port in the armrest or center console for power. It's still unclear how we might be able to run data through this same cable with a hardwired power supply at one end and I can envision some trial and error happening with various adapters.

What is encouraging is that Jon has been testing the prototype(s) for a while. They must have found something that works unless it's being powered by the laptop.
 

Boxman

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Cable length for Theia might be more of an issue though as people might be able to plug into a USB port in the armrest or center console for power. It's still unclear how we might be able to run data through this same cable with a hardwired power supply at one end and I can envision some trial and error happening with various adapters.
That's why I was recommending a second USB-C port. That it being a linux based PC I kinda want to be able to hook it up to a KB and monitor and take a peek around...although if it retained an ethernet port a remote console would be more convenient. Alternatively something like this:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07Q7MYQW4/?tag=rdf0cd0c-20
might solve for most of the issues, I use this exact unit with my Android tablet from time to time. Power it from a USB-C charger, plug it into the USB-C on Theia and away you go....maybe, hopefully.
 

Jon at Radenso

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There is no need for a second USB port simply to use a KB and monitor with the detector - you can simply SSH into it. The USB C port can provide both data and power when plugged into a computer, it's how we are doing a lot of our dev work right now. We aren't building a pretty desktop gui, so either way you'd be stuck with the terminal. Might as well SSH.
 
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InsipidMonkey

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Instead of adding a second USB-C port, why not just have people who want to run additional peripherals buy a USB-C hub that supports pass-through charging? That would allow you to add several USB ports for things like SDRs, cameras, flash storage,etc, an ethernet port if you wanted, HDMI out, etc. It would also provide additional flexibility with cable lengths as you'd have a central hub to connect everything to that you could mount in a convenient location.

Edit to add visual example:
1580829135108.png
 
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TechnoRave

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There is no need for a second USB port simply to use a KB and monitor with the detector - you can simply SSH into it. The USB C port can provide both data and power when plugged into a computer, it's how we are doing a lot of our dev work right now. We aren't building a pretty desktop gui, so either way you'd be stuck with the terminal. Might as well SSH.
For SSH tho, will it show up as a comm port, like If you use putty. Other wise it we will need to use the WiFi of it and will Theia be a access point or bridge at that time or still a client? Just thinking out loud. Because if hooked to a PC or Mac I would think you would need drivers loaded and Comm Port assigned, or in Linux a dev/ttyx ? Also at that time to be useable while driving have to dock the laptop and let the laptop power Theia at that time.

Or am I over thinking it?

Got to thinking. To SSH it needs a IP:port

If it’s Comm Port it’s technically Consoled into Theia. Like Cisco Routers etc.




Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
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Boxman

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There is no need for a second USB port simply to use a KB and monitor with the detector - you can simply SSH into it. The USB C port can provide both data and power when plugged into a computer, it's how we are doing a lot of our dev work right now. We aren't building a pretty desktop gui, so either way you'd be stuck with the terminal. Might as well SSH.
To SSH I'd first need to configure an SSID and IP addy on Theia via some form of console connection or directly with KB and monitor ;)
 

Boxman

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Then Theia becomes a access point at this time. Hence what I was asking 2 post up.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
I suppose one could config it in client mode via WPA or directly configuring eth0, but a console connection or direct KB and monitor would be preferable.
 

Saleen556

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Honestly you really shouldn’t need anything over 10 feet. Even the 8-foot cable included with the V1 was overkill for my F250. If you’re doing something oddball like powering it from the back seat or something, you should really consider finding a 12V power source closer to the destination rather than trying to run a super long USB cable.



100%. A number of dashcam manufacturers have found out the hard way that finding a consistently high quality 12V-to-5V converter can be difficult, especially at higher amperage (vs like 0.75A), and poor quality converters can cause all sorts of problems, including hardware damage over time.
I believe I had to use about 10’ in my C7 Corvette. The fuse box is in the trunk. It’s quite a ways from trunk along door sill to the lower dash and then up the A pillar and across the headliner. Definitely more than I thought when I started.
 

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