Your Questions Answered: SimulCharge FAQ

By: Adam Swimmer

6 Min Read

7 Nov, 2021

LAVA’s SimulCharge adapters offer a great solution for businesses and consumers who need to be able to charge their mobile devices while using Ethernet and/or USB peripherals at the same time.

However, for those unfamiliar with the technical side of mobile devices, this can be confusing.

We’ve compiled a few frequently asked questions from our customers about tablets, LAVA technology and our SimulCharge products.

Why is my tablet’s battery not holding a charge or failing to recharge?

There could be a number of reasons why the tablet is not charging properly.

Something could be draining the battery at a rate faster than it can charge. This could be memory-intensive apps or built-in devices (such as Wi-Fi and GPS) running on the tablet, power-hungry USB accessories or the tablet’s own screen. The screen is a major power hog, especially when it is running at between 80% and 100%. Reducing the screen brightness by just 25% could make a significant difference.

The battery on the mobile device may no longer be able to properly hold a charge. Lithium-ion batteries lose their energy-holding capacity over time but this deterioration can be exacerbated if the mobile device is regularly overcharged, which occurs when it is left turned on and charging after it has reached 100%.

These batteries can also fail if they are exposed to too much heat, such as when the device’s display is continuously left on at a higher brightness.

In extreme cases, the battery or mobile device will need to be replaced. However, you can minimize or at least stop the effects from progressing by using a SimulCharge adapter with Battery Modulation technology.

Why is Battery Modulation technology useful?

Battery Modulation is an automated process to ensure batteries don’t overcharge. Charging a lithium-ion battery beyond 100% capacity can cause it to degrade over time and lose its ability to hold a charge. In extreme cases, overcharging can result in battery bloating. The constant charging literally causes the battery to swell and warp. This is especially a concern in a retail setting, such as a checkout kiosk or mounted display that is left charging for long periods of time.

LAVA’s eSynC and eSTS adapters come with Network Recovery & Battery Modulation (RBM) technology that ensures the battery does not overcharge.

RBM communicates with the LAVA Tablet Manager (LTM) app to determine the exact charge level of the battery and the user can set specific percentage thresholds for when the battery should start and stop charging. (The LTM app needs to be installed on the Samsung mobile device for use with an eSynC and eSTS adapter.)

In contrast, LAVA’s uSynC and uSTS devices use Continuously Active Battery Modulation (CABM), which measures the charging at the beginning of the charge cycle and disables it when the adapter detects that the mobile device is near a full charge. The mobile device is then allowed to discharge over a preset number of hours (user modifiable), after which, the battery begins to charge again. It is less accurate than RBM but doesn’t require additional software to run.

Battery modulation helps preserve the longevity of the battery and the lifespan of the mobile device, and prevent any further damage from overcharging or battery bloating if they have already begun to affect a mobile device.

Systems using RBM-capable units have the additional benefit of having Screen Brightness Management available to them.

What does the Screen Brightness Management feature in the LTM application do? Why can I not control the brightness from the tablet’s native settings?

Screen Brightness Management is part of the LTM app which must be installed on the Samsung mobile device for use with an eSTS and eSynC adapter.

The feature allows users to choose two brightness level presets for daytime and night time to reduce the screen’s drain on the battery and prevent the device from getting too hot. This, in turn, helps to preserve the lifespan of the mobile device.

As for why you can’t just use the Samsung device’s brightness settings on the tablet itself, it depends on the implementation. For example, if the tablet is being used in a customer-facing application, it would make sense to block their access to tablet settings. Similarly, if MDM (Mobile Device Management) configurations are in effect, you may be locked out of the tablet’s native settings.

Additionally, manually turning the brightness settings up and down on tablet kiosks each day could become impractical.

What type of accessories can be used with a SimulCharge adapter?

LAVA’s SimulCharge adapters come in a variety of configurations, with up to as many as five USB Type-A ports (depending on the product family and model) and support a number of potential USB peripheral options. This includes standard peripherals, such as a mouse and keyboard, to peripherals designed for commercial uses, such as credit card readers, printers, scanners or scales. (Some SimulCharge adapters also feature Ethernet ports.)

To work properly, the peripherals must have native drivers or be successfully enumerated by Android. An easy test is to see if Android recognizes them via an OTG adapter.

SimulCharge adapters offer a number of applications, including digital signage, POS tablet kiosks, fleet management systems, and video conferencing.

What is Power over Ethernet (PoE)?

Power over Ethernet is an electrical standard that allows devices to draw power over an Ethernet cable. This means you don’t need a power supply, such as an AC power drop for mobile device. As long as the cable is connected to PSE (Power Sourcing Equipment), such as a PoE-capable switch, it will power the device, and be connected to Ethernet.

The Ethernet cable also gives you more flexibility regarding where you place a connected mobile device. PoE can power devices up to 328 feet (100 meters) away.

SimulCharge adapters with PoE can draw up to 13.5 watts of power (Class 0 devices), which is enough to charge a mobile device and power USB peripherals.

PoE-capable LAVA adapters are available across all SimulCharge product families.

Can I use my nSTS or eSTS adapter with USB-C devices?

No, nSTS and eSTS adapters require a Micro USB connection and therefore cannot be used with a USB-C device.

If you have a compatible Samsung tablet or smartphone, you will want to purchase a eSynC or nSynC adapter, which are for USB-C devices. You can see the list of compatible

Are nSTS and nLTS adapters the same thing?

LAVA’s nSTS adapters are designed to be used with select Samsung mobile devices and nLTS adapters are for select Lenovo mobile devices.

However, they both come in most of the same configurations as our Commercial Off-The-Shelf products. (The one exception is that the nLTS line does not include a 1U model, which has one USB-A port.)

Hopefully, this article answers a few of the questions you might have about tablet troubleshooting our SimulCharge adapters and the technologies associated with them. For more information about our products, you can check out our website or give us a call at (416)-674-5942.