Teracube 2e: USB PD Chargers Do Not Work

I just got my Teracube 2e and noticed that all USB C-to-C chargers with Power Delivery do not work. The phone lights up a bit and then stops charging almost immediately. This affects the Google Pixel Charger, Mac Book Charger and any third party GaN/PD type charger. I’m left with having to fish out an ancient USB A charger. USB C-to-C should be an auto-negotiation process such that if the device does not accept PD wattage, it should continue to consume at an appropriate level (5V/2A as specified) instead of refusing to charge entirely. This is quite a let down so I’m wondering if it’s a hardware-specific issue or something that a flash-able firmware can resolve?

2 Likes

Hi @YST - Congrats on receiving your Teracube 2e. We are very excited that the deliveries have started to happen :slight_smile:.

Sorry about the USB-C charging experience. This is a limitation of the Mediatek charging protocol.

Teracube 2e can only charge with USB-A (regular USB socket) to USB-C chargers/cables and can not charge using USB-C PD chargers.

What to do if your charger is not working: All you need is a regular USB-A to USB-C cable. Like this one (US) and UK. This cable can be used with any old USB charger that you may have.

We have added this to our FAQ.

2 Likes

Any chance upstream can take a look at this in the future?

I’d be happy with “Can’t charge at PD rates, but will still charge safely on PD equipment”

3 Likes

Yes - we will look into this for future phones. Hopefully, the gap will also reduce by itself. What I mean is more chipset makers might start supporting PD by default.

4 Likes

I think it’s a bit misleading to say “Teracube 2e is compatible with almost all USB-C chargers and cables.” in the Indiegogo campaign if it doesn’t work with native USB-C chargers…

7 Likes

Now that most all of my devices are c-type, including tablet, phone, and external batteries you deliver a phone that needs a charger with an A socket? That is just wrong. This, on top of the delays in shipping and today’s news that ATT and Cricket are incompatible until you fix something, 8-10 weeks out makes this a really terrible purchase. You’ve had my money since the fall and you’ve done nothing but screw it up. I am more than disappointed, I’m angry. I won’t be doing business with you again.

2 Likes

Why would you choose a protocol that doesn’t work with the current hardware? Someone in product management really screwed up

2 Likes

I don’t care about PD rates, which a number of factors could make not possible for a device, but it still should be able to handshake with the charger and negotiate a legacy charging rate. My Lumia 950, for instance, does that.
This seems like a firmware issue with the charge controller.

As for PD rates, I’ve not seen a device with both PD and removable battery, so perhaps there’s something in the spec that prevents it with removable batteries?

3 Likes

This is pretty amazing. I only want to carry a few charges. You have now created a situation that my phone requires a special one. This is not good.

1 Like

And worse because I received my phone on travel I am going to have to purchase a new charger to make my phone work. Very sad about this.

3 Likes

Eh you are right this sucks. But you know the phone and the price and the values are so much better. I hope they fix it on the next rev. But better I hope they sell a million of them. I want to see after market parts. Back cover replacements that allow wireless charging. The stupidity of slick and thin glued together phones that are so expensive you have to buy $100 cases for them is just do dumb. Cool case idea. Replacement back cover with integrated bump points and armor. I don’t get why you would ever want a phone that requires a case. Heck custom cases you can swap the parts into. There are so many great possibilities here. Some might not make business sense. But really happy to be part off the teracube community.

6 Likes

Hopefully engineering can fix this with a firmware update.

I find this troublesome due to this being printed in the box (and a big reason I supported this phone):

Where is the Charger?
What you have in your hand is the world’s most minimalistic and eco-friendly smartphone packaging. Made with 50% less materials, recycled paper, soy inks, while eliminating redundant accessories like the charger. The shipping volume and weight are reduced by 35%, allowing for a smaller carbon footprint.
Teracube 2e is compatible with all USB-C chargers. If you need one, you can get it at myteracube.com/charger.

Reach out to other engineers, this surely can’t be fixable only in hardware, unless there is a significant design flaw.

Make it right, Teracube…

5 Likes

Like you, I’m of the mind this is a firmware/charge-controller software-level issue.

Hopefully MediaTek and/or the ODM can get this sorted.

Like I said, I understand there are physical/electrical reasons why TeraCube_One and TeraCube_2E might not be PD compliant, but they SHOULD still be able to negotiate a legacy charge rate from a PD charger no problem.

If my Lumia950 from 2015 can handle it, surely a much newer/better SOC can.

1 Like

Speaking as a software engineer since 1985 – it’s fun and exciting to back new products, but if you’re signing up for version 1.0 of anything, you should stop to consider your own tolerance for development slippage and initial teething problems.

Is this something that you need right away? Is this something where unexpected problems will be critical to you?

Indiegogo means you’re investing in the development cycle – not just the ultimate product. First-time development and manufacturing cycles commonly slip. And the first version of a new model is always, always, always going to have some problems.

Can’t tolerate that? NEVER get version x.0 Wait half a year, read the reviews including the worst ones, and get version 1.3 (or so.) Or 2.3.

8 Likes

A post was merged into an existing topic: Cricket wireless issue with Teracube 2e (Update: AT&T is working fine)

Well said, PatriciaJH.

Yes, I know what I was getting in to when I invested. I just want to make sure the developers are listening, as some of us are patient, but the retail consumer typically is not.

2 Likes

Yeah, this is a major issue for me. The battery lasts long enough that I don’t really care how fast PD chargers work, but the fact that most of the USB-C chargers in my house don’t work at all is really frustrating. If there’s any way to get this working in the firmware it would be a huge improvement.

2 Likes

Curious - are the PD chargers not charging at all? We tested recently with 2 PD chargers - Apple and an Amazon brand. Both chargers charged the phone fine if the phone was booted into Android. However, they failed to charge when the phone was powered off.

3 Likes

I tried several chargers, although I guess they’re all made by Anker. The ones I tried are:

Note: Only the USB-C ports use PD. If I plug in a USB-A to USB-C cord, it works (but I don’t have very many of those cords).

2 Likes

@Sharad What exactly do you mean that the phone cannot charge with USB-PD chargers.
USB-PD is backwards compatible!
The phone is supposed to have two 5.1K pull-down resistors on the CC1 and CC2 pins to signal to the USB-PD charger that it does not support the PD protocol. Then it receives up to 3A/5V from the PD charger.
Just two tiny resistors, very simple, it’s part of the PD standard.
Don’t blame Mediatek for it.

I have myself build several USB-C devices that charge just fine with USB-PD changers by following the above specification.

Does this mistake on your side mean that I need to carry around two chargers and two cables for my devices?