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Add Wireless Charging to Any Phone: Using the LG-V20 As Example

by Peanut Boy

If you are like me and plan on keeping your phone for more than 2 years, then your phone must have

1. A replaceable battery, because the battery only lasts about 2 years, and
2. And wireless charging so you don't wear out the charging port.

Now the easy solution is to add a charging reciever to the back of the phone that just plugs into the USB port.
However, that option gets in the way of using the USB port. There may be times when a wireless charging pad is
not available or you want to connect the phone to your computer. So I prefer to wire the receiver into the inside of
the phone to keep the USB port open.

I added wireless charging to my previous phone, a Galaxy S3, but it is now 5 years old and needs replacing. So I
went looking for a new phone. One with good features but still sporting a replaceable battery. My choice was the
LG V20. What follows will be a discussion of how I added wireless charging to the V20, but also with general notes
for those that may which to try it on their own phone. The concepts are the same, but implementation may vary.


do not do this if you are uncomfortable with any step.


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Add Wireless Charging to Any Phone: Using the LG-V20 As Example: Page 2
Step 1: Gather the Materials You Will Need

You will need a clean, safe place to work that has good light and no one to disturb your work. You will be handling
tiny screws, chemicals and a hot soldering iron. Make sure you have a safe place to stow the soldering iron so you
or others will not get burned.

Items needed:

1. Tools needed to disassemble your phone. I.e.:Jewelers screwdriver set, etc.

2. USB cable that fits your phone. One you don't mind destroying.
3. Knife or blade to strip and cut wires
4. Possibly a small cutting/grinding tool for shaping plastic and making holes, etc.
Mine would have looked better if I had used one.
5. Soldering tools:
Soldering Iron with VERY FINE TIP.
Water soluble rosin to help tin the Iron and the wire.
Rosin core solder, NOT acid core!
A wet sponge to clean the tip with.

6. 90% Isopropel alcohol if you can find it. 70% is probably OK, but use it conservatively.
7. Magnification: Head mounted, free standing or an eye-loop. Phones have very tiny parts.
8. Flashlight
9. Lots of guts to do this on a new phone. I was risking quite a bit of money.

Seems like a lot, but each item has a part to play.

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Step 2: Get a Charging Transmitter and Receiver

Charging Types

Qi ("chi") charging is currently the charging standard. There is the regular (5 watts & 1 amp) and
now there is a "Fast" option (15 watts & 3 amps). For Fast charging you need both a Fast receiver
and transmitter. I opted for the standard since I find that it is adequate for overnight charging and the
battery on most phones will last the day under normal use.

Operation and Considerations:

Wireless charging is nothing but a split transformer, where one half transmits power via a high
frequency magnetic field to the receiver side that then rectifies and smooths it to 5 volts DC.
Many phenomenon (like light) fall off in strength via a squared distance function (Strength / DxD).
However, magnetic field strength is a cubed function (Strength / DxDxD). What this means is that
the power transfer capability drops off very fast. Therefore, separation between the Transmitter and
Receiver must be kept to a minimum, less than about 4 mm. Therefore, large fat and thick cases
can make charging next to impossible unless you consider how to get the receiver closer to the
transmitter. Receivers built into a phone prevent the use of thick protective cases. Also metal cases
prevent the use of a receiver inside the case due to excessive currents in the case that use up the
power and overheat the circuits. In my Galaxy S3, I used a thick case but got around it by taping the
receiver to the outside of the phone back and removed the inner layer of the two piece case so that
the separation was less than 4 mm.
Note that charging receivers have a special magnetic shield on the back side. This shield helps to
keep the material behind the coils from interfering with the magnetic field and thus improving
performance. if you decide to expose the receiver coil, do not remove this shield. You also want to
make sure the receiver is mounted face out. The outside face will be marked in some way, perhaps
as illustrated.
On the charging receiver if the positive and negative terminals are not obvious or marked then you
may have to place it on a charging pad and use your voltmeter to identify the positive and negative
points to wire to.
You can use most any transmitter since the new QI standard is backward compatible. That is it will
detect if your receiver is capable of fast charging and if not will not overload it.

I chose a charging receiver that seemed reputable and I had seen evidence that when opened it had pretty copper
wires. I wanted to see the insides, but additionally, removing the cover also gets the receiver coil closer to the
transmitter coil. I intended to add a clear insulating case to protect it.

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Step 3: Disassemble the Phone

You need to get into the phone to identify a place to as I did and as it turned out I didn't need to. Be
connect your charging receiver. I will not go into detail thinking ahead about how to route the wires out of the
here, since nearly all phones have disassembly phone. At this point you may decide that this is not
instructions somewhere on the web. Suffice it to say I something you want to do based on the difficulty of
reviewed several of these videos for the V20 before I disassembly or soldering.
chose to buy the phone. The V20 is very easy to take
apart. You may not need to remove the motherboard

Step 4: Be Familiar With the USB Pinout

You should learn what you can about the USB shown in the lower part of the second figure.
socket's pin-out. This is readily available on line for However, there was no obvious +Vbus location to
any type of USB socket. Shown is the USB Type C solder to. The pins on the socket are way to small to
used on my LG V20. solder to, therefore, we must find another place to
solder that we will verify with a volt-ohm meter. You
In my research I guessed that the 24 pins of the USB have to make your own decisions about where to
Type C socket were arranged as shown in the upper solder the wires and your capabilities.
left of the second figure. Using the pin-out diagram on
the right I deduced the topside pin assignments as

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Step 5: Verification: Make a Test Cable

You will need a cable to plug into the phones Find a cable that fits your phones charging port. For
charging socket. You will use this to find the +Vbus me this was a micro usb with a Type-C adapter.
inside the phone as well as verify the ground. Ground
should be the socket casing itself. DO NOT PLUG A Strip the wires and identify the wires that are for the
LIVE POWER CORD INTO THE CHARGING PORT. ground and the +5vdc (+Vbus). For a Micro-USB this
Placing power on the mother board when should be Black for ground and Red for +5vdc.
disassembled and probing around could destroy the

Step 6: Find a Place to Solder the +5 Vdc and Ground.

Ground site: Set your ohm meter to "Resistance", +Vbus site: Now connect your ohm meter to the red
"Ohms" or "Continuity". Plug your test cable into the wire of your test cable. Now look for a "Large" spot
phone. Attach one lead of your ohm-meter to the with continuity to the red wire. You may find more
black wire of your test cable. Now touch the other than one. As you probe around, consider how you will
lead to the socket casing and other places you may route your wire each site you find.
have identified as ground. You should get a zero
ohms reading or a continuity signal. Now decide V20 Results: In the figure you can see a plus and
where you want to solder your ground wire. As part of minus sign. These are the negative and positive sites
deciding, look at any other phone parts that might I chose. As we continue you will see how fantastically
obstruct that location. Also consider how you are great a location these turned out to be for routing the
going to route the wire out of the phone. Keep in mind wire in my LG V20.
also that you need a "large" spot to solder to. (As you
will see later, soldering is difficult in these tiny

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Step 7: Solder Your Wires On

Now, very carfully solder the two wires, red to you can find. I used the wire out of the USB cable
Positive Vbus and Black to Negative. After soldering that I had used for my test cable. However, I found
the wires, double check your continuity to the Black out, and you can see in the figures that the insulation
and Red wires of your test cable. Make sure they are melted. Wire with a high temp insulation would be
not shorted to nearby components. Clean the resin off better. Some heat shrink might work, but would likely
with the Isopropel alcohol and allow time for it to dry. make the wire too large.

CAUTION: I had an almost needle point soldering NOTE: Isopropel alcohol is non-conductive.
iron with temperature control and had a hard time. As Therefore, it will not harm the electronics and it will
you can see in the first figure that it looked like I had also dry quickly. Excellent tool to have handy if you
bridged to the capacitor on the left. In the second I drop your phone into water. Rice can dry a phone but
had used a razor blade to slice off a bit of the solder. it can not clean it. Water often has dissolved salts
Then in last figure I had cleaned it with 90% Isopropel that will leave conductive films on components when
alcohol and it doesn't look to bad. Notice the melted dry. A bath in Isopropel alcohol can clean and help
insulation. Notice how "big" this tiny wire looks. dry the phone and has a better chance of restoring
full operation.
NOTE: You should use the smallest insulated wire

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Step 8: Routing the Wires

You should have already considered how to route was add a couple of small notches for the wires. I
your wires. Once I found the location of the wire also added some clear packing tape to the metal
attach points, I was able to make a better assessment back for insulation.
of routing possibilities. Now that the wires were in
place I could get even more specific. My V20 has a NOTE: I was planning on laying the wires on top of
plastic cover over the mother board that I knew I the inner plastic and having some very thin copper
would have to "sculpted" but it turned out to be easier bend over the metal back into the inside to contact
than expected. I was able to run the wires alongside with the wires. However, I decided it would be easier
the USB port and then up at a right angle through the to just attach the wires outside the phone. But I had
plastic cover. I know I did not want to drill holes in the removed the insulation from the ends of the wires
back of the phone case, though I was prepared to if before changing my mind. It would have been better
required. As it turned out the passage through the to have left it on, decreasing any chance of shorting
plastic cover just missed the metal back. Also the to the back cover. Some day I may move it inside
solder on the ground wire interfered with the cover, so anyway, but that will require additional sculpting of
I had to trim some material off of the inside of the the internal plastic shield.
cover at that location. The end piece of the V20 is
plastic (contains the antennae?) and all I had to do

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Step 9: Finish

Make sure you don't cross positive to negative and important as minimizing separation
complete your installation. My V20 came with a clear
plastic protective cover on the back so I did not need You can refer back to the first figure for the final
to add additional protection except for the bottom appearance. The receiver causes the back to bulge a
edge where the wires might short. So I put two layers little, but less since I removed the little round piece of
of clear packing tape over the edge. metal in the center of the coil. I had put that there to
assist with centering on my transmitter, which
Placement of the receiver coil is up to you. Most contains a magnet. However, it was not very effective
phones center the coil however, depending on your and caused excessive bulge and separation, so I took
transmitter size and shape you may have other ideas. it out.
Centering the coils on each other is almost as

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Step 10: Results

Wireless charging is much slower that wired The V20 could probably use a "Fast" charger since it
charging. I read that some expectations could range is designed for fast WIRED charging. I just did not
from 4 hours on up. A quick test on my V20 despite choose that. Partly because I already have regular
the note that it is "Charging Slowly" is that it might "slow" chargers and the "Fast" ones cost more.
take up 6 hours to charge. This is quite acceptable
since I will charge at night and so far battery life has I hope this helps others, especially those LG V20
been excellent. owners that miss the wireless charging.

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