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Lil' Sync Portable USB PDA Charger Review
A quick review of the Lil' Sync portable AA battery iPAQ PDA USB charger adapter sold by the Pocket PC Techs.

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HP iPAQ HX4700 PDA
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Pocket DVD Studio Movie
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Watching Video On TCPMP

Recently the tiny Ni-MH rechargeable backup battery in my HP iPAQ HX4700 PDA wore out.

This prevented me from being able to swap out the main battery pack for a second generic Made In China 3.7V 1800mah battery that I bought on eBay to keep the entertainment going on long plane flights.

Along with a new "Varta V6 HR" Ni-MH Backup Battery ($15.00), I also ordered this handy "Lil' Sync" AA battery adapter USB PDA charger ($19.99) from the Pocket PC Techs.

I figured that if for some reason the new backup battery didn't stop the HX4700/4705 from hard resetting every time I changed the primary battery pack, I could just keep it charged with the Lil' Sync.

I was able to give the Lil' Sync a good workout on a recent trip to Las Vegas for the SEMA automotive show.

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Extra 3.7V 1800mah Battery
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Lil' Sync USB Charger
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Size Comparison
Before the trip I charged all of the AA Ni-MH batteries that I have for my Canon S5 IS digital camera and Canon 430EX external flash unit. Then I loaded up the iPAQ's 2GB CF card and SD card with compressed movie files that I created using the Pocket DVD Studio software.
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AA Ni-MH Batteries Collection
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Voltage Reduction Circuitry
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AA Battery Compartment
The Lil' Sync has a Voltage Reduction Circuitry (VRC) feature that prevents the iPAQ from being damaged when Lithium Ion or Alkaline batteries are used since they both operate at 1.5V. Four of them together add up to 6.0 volts which is higher than the 5.0 volt charging sytem of the HX4700 PDA. All of my rechargeable NiMH AA batteries (Powerizer, Energizer, Accu Power & Powerex) are 1.2V cells so they total up to just 4.80 volts.


 
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2600mah Digital Power AA
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Alkaline NiCad Battery Switch
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Female USB Plug
The VRC warning label on the back of the Lil' Sync had me believe that with fresh batteries I should set the "Alk." or NiCd" switch to Alkaline to enable the voltage reduction. I quickly learned that with 1.2V NiMH batteries this caused the power to drain from the PDA's battery to charge the AA batteries in the Lil' Sync. Choosing the "NiCd" option turned off the VRC and began charging the iPAQ. I guess in a pinch I might possibly be able to charge my AA camera batteries from the PDA, but I doubt that will be necessary since I rarely need to change batteries in my Canon S5 or 430EX flash when on an outing.
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HP USB PDA Sync Cable
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Lil' Sync & Charge/Sync Cable
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HX4700 Charging From Lil' Sync
The Lil' Sync performed flawlessly on my long airplane flight across the country. Each four pack set of my 2500mAh to 2700mAh AA Ni-MH batteries were able to keep the iPAQ HX4700 at 100% fully charged for an entire full length feature film (about 1.5 to 2 hours). On the way to Vegas I watched three movies, using up two sets of 4 AA's and 70% of the iPAQ's main battery for the third flick.

For more PDA info, check out my HP iPAQ HX4700 iGuidance GPS Navigation Review, and the iPAQ Backup Ni-MH Button Cell Battery Replacement page.

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