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2014 Mazda5 Sport: Say Hello To Tom's Hardware's Project Car

Dismantling A Qi Wireless Charger

Ever since wireless charging debuted a couple of years ago, I thought it'd be the perfect application for in-car use. Toyota thought so too; it includes Qi wireless charging in the optional $1950 Technology Package when you buy a top-rung Avalon Limited. For those of you unfamiliar with Qi, it's the interface standard for inductive electrical power transfer from a transmission pad to a device with a compatible receiver. The phone I currently use, Google's Nexus 5, does in fact support Qi. 

As you might imagine, every car is different, so finding the perfect spot for a wireless charger varies on a case by case basis. Many vehicles come with pockets and cubbies capable of accommodating your phone, so a suitable spot should exist. When we bought the Mazda5, we noticed that the little slot below the shifter fit my Nexus 5 perfectly.

Naturally, my first choice of wireless charger to dismantle and install was Google's official offering, since it integrates little magnets to help keep the phone in place. After completely dismantling it and getting it ready for the car, I ran into a problem. The Google Qi charger is too thick; it would have required removing the USB port and auxiliary input, leaving a giant hole in the panel.

Alright, so I'd need something slimmer. Adata stepped up and sent its Elite CE700 wireless charging stand, which sells for $50. There are less expensive options available on eBay, but this wasn't a job I wanted to go cheap on.

The CE700 receives power through a micro-USB port, so it became necessary to hard-wire a connector for the stand. That's where EDO Tech Supply comes into play. The company is the only one I could find with a micro-USB adapter. Its current rating is 1.2 A, which comes close to the CE700's 1 A output.

Here's where the fun begins. You have to completely dismantle the CE700 to get its charging coil. I ran a flat-head screwdriver along charger's seam. Since the chassis gets tossed out anyway, there's no real need to be gentle with it. You won't find any screws holding the case together; rather, it's secured by plastic snaps. With the cover off, you'll see that the coil is held into place with glue. Gently pry the charging coil off (the metal back area) and toss out the casing.

At this point, you'll need to remove the panel or cubby in the car where you want to install the wireless charger. I can't really walk you through that part, unfortunately. Depending on your vehicle and where you're installing the hardware, the process is going to vary. At least in my Mazda5, I was able to pry panels off with a purpose-built tool fairly easily.

  • Gelid03
    Looks great cant wait for the rest of the planned mods.
    Reply
  • Amdlova
    nice mazda 5 you have sir :) I liked the wireles charge.

    I want see some night vision on car. drive without lights...
    Reply
  • Matthew Busse
    I might have to upgrade the wife's 2010 =)
    Reply
  • tuanies
    Thanks guys. Next up will be a Blind-spot monitor system from Gosher's, ScanGaugeE, and some sort of wireless storage. Even have a set of Mazdaspeed 3 wheels ready to go, just waiting on tires :)
    Reply
  • SinisterSalad
    I recently picked up a non-Nav equipped CX-9 Grand Touring AWD. I look forward to the head unit reviews. So far, I've put on an aftermarket trailer hitch, and half installed a Pyle backup camera system.
    Reply
  • tuanies
    13496279 said:
    I recently picked up a non-Nav equipped CX-9 Grand Touring AWD. I look forward to the head unit reviews. So far, I've put on an aftermarket trailer hitch, and half installed a Pyle backup camera system.

    How do you like the CX9 so far? The CX5 is still one of my favorites to drive. I've yet to get into a CX9 but I do love the Ford Flex, its platform mate.
    Reply
  • SinisterSalad
    It's been good so far. I got it at the end of April, so haven't had it too long. The only thing I don't care for is the headroom up front. I'm 6'3", and If I have the seat adjusted more upright like I prefer, my noggin hits the roof.
    Reply
  • tuanies
    13496518 said:
    It's been good so far. I got it at the end of April, so haven't had it too long. The only thing I don't care for is the headroom up front. I'm 6'3", and If I have the seat adjusted more upright like I prefer, my noggin hits the roof.

    How's the driving dynamics? The CX-9 is supposed to be fairly sporty compared to the usual dreadful driving CUVs.
    Reply
  • SinisterSalad
    It does drive very much like a car. I'm coming from a '02 Durango. I had also test drove the Acura MDX. Very similar ride at a lower price point.
    Reply
  • tuanies
    The first gen Durango's are awesome. I still love how they look. The MDX is nice. I drove the latest one and its a very nice car minus the annoying dual screen infotainment system. The price tag didn't help sway me either. As much as I enjoy driving expensive cars, I'm quite frugal when it comes to my own car :)
    Reply