Belkin Battery Pack “Can” Charge iPod | iLounge News


Belkin Battery Pack “Can” Charge iPod

The Belkin Battery Pack states that it will not charge the iPod, rather it will just provide power to the iPod when you plug it in directly.  I’ve discovered that when you plug the battery pack into the dock, place the iPod on the dock, it will charge your iPod and allow it to function normally as if plugged into the adapter.

Editor’s note: Please click ‘Read more’ for an official comment from Belkin on the above discovery.

Thank you for the heads-up.  You are right, we just tested the Battery Back-up unit with the iPod with Dock Connector and IT IS charging it.  According to our product managers this behavior will happen. It is an issue with the way that Apple implemented their accessory detection scheme.

Basically the iPod can only recognize one accessory attached to the FireWire connector. In this case the accessory is the Docking Stand. When the Battery Pack is attached to the Dock the iPod does not see the Battery Packs identification so it cannot disable its own charging circuit.

In order for Apple’s accessory detection scheme to be fool proof, no accessory can have the male and female connectors.

This will not harm the iPod in any way so it is safe to continue using it.

John Soriano
Sr. Sales Representative
Belkin Corporation

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Interesting… Thanks.

One more question though.  If this is an issue with the *iPod’s* own accessory detection, does the Belkin AutoKit also NOT charge the iPod directly, or can it?

Posted by Jerrod H. in Irvine, CA on August 13, 2003 at 4:14 PM (CDT)


i will have to try it with my battery pack.

Posted by mac_gladdy in Irvine, CA on August 13, 2003 at 4:20 PM (CDT)


this is sooo interesting. i think im gonna get myself a belkin battery pack. cheapest is around $47. Look it up at

Posted by phester in Irvine, CA on August 13, 2003 at 4:27 PM (CDT)


I’m lost. Why would you want it to charge the i-pod? Isn’t the battery pack used when the internal power runs out on the move? Don’t you want to save your AA batteries for those occaisions?

Posted by Chris Matchett in Irvine, CA on August 13, 2003 at 4:41 PM (CDT)


Chris… an example.

You’re out camping for a week.  (No electricity, of course).  During the week, you take a couple hikes a day, and you don’t want to carry around iPod + battery pack.  So, you can leave the belkin and the AAs in your tent and charge overnight, as if you were plugged in.

Many similar situations apply.

Posted by Jerrod H. in Irvine, CA on August 13, 2003 at 4:57 PM (CDT)


Good answer Azdude.  Chris, its really a matter of choice or opinion.  Either way, it

Posted by jsmoove7 in Irvine, CA on August 13, 2003 at 5:02 PM (CDT)


Its good to know that the dock will bypass the ipod accessory id.  Maybe we will see some ‘hacking’ of future products to work through the dock.

Posted by freezone in Irvine, CA on August 13, 2003 at 6:39 PM (CDT)


The auto kit is a blessing.  Its builtin amp is pretty cool and you get line-out volume.

Posted by tetro in Irvine, CA on August 13, 2003 at 7:33 PM (CDT)


Interesting to see how many full charges you could get out of a set of AA then.

Posted by Chris Matchett in Irvine, CA on August 14, 2003 at 12:02 AM (CDT)


And Belkin is now charging $70 for this $1.98 piece of plastic?  Wow!

Posted by Obadiah in Irvine, CA on August 14, 2003 at 8:25 AM (CDT)


I have a Belkin battery pack. My intent is to use it backpackiing for a week. I do not want to use AA batteries.

I used NIMH recharageable for a test. They lasted about 15 hours. I’m not quite sure how long because the 4 LED’s on the Belkin are calibrated for AA’s which have a couple tenths of a volt more voltage than rechargeables. You have more charge than the LED’s show. I still had two LED’s on after about 8-10 hours.

If you use NIMH’s don’t charge them with a standard NICAD charger or else they will only run the iPod for about 5 hours (my first attempt).

I don’t recommend charging the iPod via the Belkin unit for this kind of use. The reason is that—for every unit of charge you put in a battery, there is a loss. NIMH only get out about 66% of what you put in. You waste 1/3 of your battery power.
See this site:

I got a small pouch at REI that holds the iPod/Belkin combo around my neck. It works great.


Posted by Steven in Irvine, CA on August 14, 2003 at 11:05 PM (CDT)


so you HAVE to have the dock present on your camping trip or whatever? I don’t want to bring the dock, can’t someone find a way to charge the ipod with the pack DIRECTLY? Basically hack it to disable the “only recognize dock accessory” feature?

What’s the point of “only recognizing the dock”? Is that supposed to be some kind of feature?? Also, how come you can charge it directly to the dock cable (without the dock), if the only thing it recognizes is the dock? or is the dock the only “Accessory”?

And if so, why only the dock? Why limit to the dock?

Posted by spirit in Irvine, CA on August 17, 2003 at 8:27 PM (CDT)


STEVEN, what bag is that? The REI bag, I would like one!! THanks

Posted by spirit in Irvine, CA on August 17, 2003 at 8:30 PM (CDT)


Does anybody know if the Belkin Battery pack will power the ipod if the internal batter has died?

I know it would be bulky, but at least it would still be useable.

Posted by Jill in Irvine, CA on September 3, 2003 at 1:29 AM (CDT)


I believe that’s what it’s for.

Posted by Jerrod H. in Irvine, CA on September 3, 2003 at 7:08 AM (CDT)


No, what I mean is completely died, as in dead,can’t be replaced! I believe you can’t replace the internal battery, so when it goes, the ipods no good. Would the battery pack work with a completely dead internal battery?

Posted by Jill in Irvine, CA on September 3, 2003 at 7:12 AM (CDT)


The Belkin WILL power the iPod if its internal battery is dead.

I don’t have the dock present when I’m backpacking. The Belkin has rubber suctions that piggyback it to the iPod. The Belkin’s connector plugs into the iPod. Me and my iPod in its REI “Lowe Alpine 4 inch X 6 inch by 2 inch case can trot off into the mountains for about 20-25 hours (close guess).

Here are some links for REPLACING the iPod’s internal battery:

Posted by Steven Sanders in Irvine, CA on September 5, 2003 at 4:59 PM (CDT)


I didn’t understand the “dead” question…
If the iPod battery is dead (as opposed to discharged) and you want to piggyback a Belkin as a permanant solution to powering the iPod, it should work IF the dead internal battery is not shorted.

[ Tech discussion: Older NICAD’s sometimes shorted out when they went dead. Acutally, they were shorting all the time, but when charged, the shorts would quickly “unshort” as the battery “anealed” the short. A discharged battery can’t “unshort” anyying.] 

I don’t know about the NIMH in the iPod.

Just take the iPod to an Apple store that sells Belkins + 4 batteries & see if it’ll power your iPod with the dead battery. If it does, the internal battery is not shorted. Buy it.

Posted by Steven Sanders in Irvine, CA on September 5, 2003 at 5:43 PM (CDT)


Thanks for the help. The internal battery doesn’t last long (on the way out I think!) anymore, so I was looking for an alternative to buying a new iPod and wondered if the battery pack would keep the iPod powered….better than throwing it out. I’ve looked at   the first website you listed for a replacement internal battery but they don’t ship outside the U.S or Canada, so I’ll probably try the battery pack! (ordered from the U.S at Smalldog) Apple Stores don’t sell them here. (Australia)

Posted by Jill in Irvine, CA on September 6, 2003 at 2:20 AM (CDT)


I recently purchased the belkin battery pack and I attempted to charge it after I read this article.  The ipod shows no increase of battery charge.  Is there something special you have to do or should it charge automatically?

Posted by Skye in Irvine, CA on April 15, 2004 at 3:30 PM (CDT)

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