Embed a Qi charger in an HP Chromebook 14

I’ve recently purchased a chromebook 14 that I have been very pleased with. I also scored a deal on some Qi chargers that our Nexus 4 phones support and have been pretty pleased with those. For some reason, I thought it would be neat to put a Qi charger in my chromebook so it can charge my phone while I’m watching netflix. Not particularly practical to be honest, but that’s hardly the point is it :) I wanted to put the charger in the LCD, but it didn’t have enough space and made the LCD discolor when everything was back together, so I used the keyboard deck instead.

First you need to crack the chromebook open. I didn’t take pictures of this process because Warrenbert did a great job of it already in his post on how to install a new SSD in the cb14 so check that post out for guidance.

The Qi charger needs to be opened up. It’s best to do this in two steps. First remove the adhesive cover on the top of the unit. You can use a screwdriver to run around the lip between the sticker and the case to pop it off. Remove the cover slowly as the thermistor may be stuck to it and those wires are thin.

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Once that is off you’ll need to remove the 4 adhesive feet from the bottom of the unit to find the Philips head screws underneath.  Unscrew those and the case will come apart, again be very careful.

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The little blob on the two thin wires is a thermistor to determine if the charger or your device is overheating.  We wont be relocating it because we are dangerous like that, but you might want to.   The coil is the part that sends out the power to your Qi device, again, be careful with it but you need to peel that adhesive goop off the back.   Next we identify where we are going to get power. The Qi charger needs 5v at 2amps which a USB 3 port can easily supply. We just so happen to have 2 USB 3.0 ports on the chromebook, so once I identified where the 5v supply is at, I just tapped into that.  I used small gauge magnetic wire and a regular solder iron (no hot air required) and had no problems getting this together

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The Anker charger that I used only transmits power through about 5mm of stuff, so the coil needs to be very close to the phone. We can’t keep the coil with the controller because the spacing would be too far off, so I unsoldered the coil and used heavier gauge wire to relocate it to underneath the keyboard deck on the opposite side of the controller.

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And now for the moment of truth.   The laptop put back together, powered on and boom. we have charging

 

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The Qi charger works, but it burns a bit more power at idle then I would have liked, so I cracked the whole thing open again and added a switch.  I drilled pilot holes and then rounded out the hole with a flat file. The switch itself is resting on a bed of hotglue and its all wired back to the original power supply.

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