Why your iPod won’t charge (and what to do about it)

Show of hands if you’ve seen this message on your iPhone or iPod touch:

“Charging is not supported with this accessory”

Why not?  The music and video still works… why wouldn’t charging be supported?  It upset me too.  I tried connecting it to an older Alpine stereo and it flashed me the error.

The short and sweet of it?  Previous to the 3G iPhone and 2G iPod touch, the pin-out configuration of the connection used a FireWire standard for the location of the charging pin.  The newest generation switched to using a USB pin-out standard, and low and behold, the charging pin is different!

Enter the Scosche passPORT charging adapter.  The $20 adapter (Apple actually sells it, as well as many other retailers) switches the charging pin-out, but allows the rest of the data stream to pass-through.  However, there are limitations… this from Scosche’s website:

“The charging adapter is specifically designed to fix the charging error associated with several iPod and iPhone accessories. If the accessory you are intending to use does not initially support the audio or video functionality of the iPod or iPhone , the charging adapter will not enable these features.”

What bothers me is there had to be some poor tech from Scosche who took this call:

Customer: “Hi, I’ve got a problem.”

Tech: “What can I help you with?”

Customer: “Well, I bought your charging adapter for my iPod touch, but I can’t see the video on my TV!”

Tech: “Are you connecting your iPod to your home theater system?”

Customer: “No, I’ve got it connected to a wall-mount charging adapter.”

Tech: “Great, now we need a disclaimer…”

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Jared Burham

is a computer technician by trade, but in his free time a gamer, car buff, motorcycle enthusiast, horsepower junkie, and all around modern engineering and technology addict. He writes on subjects that revolve around his passions in life, including the integration of tech in automobiles.

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