PA-B5 charing issues with sleeping MacBook

Overview: When the pa-b5 is connected to a sleeping MacBook, the charger reboots approximately every 60 seconds. This causes the MacBook to chime and wake the screen showing the battery is charged.

Details: I have a 2017 15" MacBook Pro which was just serviced by Apple, so I know it’s charging is functioning properly. The MacBook sleeps fine with both a 61W and 87W Apple charger.

But, with the pa-b5 charger, the issue described above occurs after the battery has fully charged. Using a power meter to measure the charger output, it can take a few minutes after the MacBook falls asleep for the power draw to fall between 5-10W. Once doing so, the power supply will fall to 0W for approximately a second before returning to the 5-10W, causing the MacBook to chime indicating it was reconnected to power.

Aside from this being annoying, especially during the night, I have some concerns about the MacBook internal power rails having 100s of additional plug-in equivalents every night potentially causing undue wear and charging malfunctioning over time.

Please contact our service team at support@aukey.com

This is also noted in the amazon reviews for the product, see here:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/customer-reviews/R2J6CV1AT005V1

Given this problem doesn’t appear to be isolated it would be great to get a comment from the company.

Update: Aukey support has been wonderful and they quickly issued a replacement. Unfortunately, that replacement still exhibits the same issue, which likely confirms the entire design is flawed.

Everything about this product is wonderful, aside from the constant waking from sleep. I hope that in the future Aukey can recognize the flaw and release an updated charger design. I’ll be the first to buy it. In the mean time, I don’t think the few saved ounces and dollars are worth the increased risk of killing the laptop’s logic board.

Does the output fall while the laptop is in use? You would probably see the power indicator change from charging to battery. It might be actively negotiating for the correct amount of charge and never falling below a certain minimum draw at that point.

I’m wondering what exactly is different than an apple charger. In both cases, it should stop starting power when fully charged, and only start again after a certain percentage drop I would have thought. So I am surprised to hear it is drawing more power again very soon after being fully charged. Is it going back up to full power draw for a little while each time, and how frequent / far apart is that?

I’m just curious how it works, no big deal if you don’t have details.

I’m speculating that the aukey model turns off completely to save power, which drops the negotiated power delivery session, and then checks in intermittently. Whereas apple’s version possibly never switches the communication circuit off, just runs continuously waiting for a power request.

Confirming I’m seeing the same issue. In fact I shut off my MacBook and it kept renegotiating the charge that the laptop just turned back on which is an Apple thing when it’s plugged back into a charger from off. It just shouldn’t happen while it’s plugged in

I haven’t seen any behavior that indicates the negotiation issues occur when the computer is awake. I think you’re right about the minimum draw on the charger causing it to time out.

The only time I have noticed the behavior is when the laptop is charged and been sleeping long enough for the fans to shut off and the power draw to drop to 5-10W. Once the power draw stabilizes, the charger will time out regularly (every 60-90s) where the draw drops to zero before returning nearly immediately to the previous power draw. The laptop, even when asleep will have power demands, which I think is reflected by this low draw even during deep sleep.

A little more experimentation shows that behavior occurs independent of the power saving settings (power nap, turn drives off when unused, etc.). But, when the MacBook wakes up during sleep, say for a TimeMachine backup, the power draw becomes high enough, or continuously negotiated, to prevent the charger from timing out.

I left my usb-c power meter at work, but come Monday I’ll look into how the power and communication negotiation works with the Apple charger in the same circumstances. MacOS Catalina 10.15.5 introduced new battery wear reduction features, and I wonder if these changes aren’t compatible with the Aukey’s design and cause the timing out. Is anyone experiencing these issues on a MacOS build other than 10.15.5?

Is Aukey manipulating their Amazon reviews instead of addressing this problem? A few days ago the top rated reviews were a couple 2 star reviews, each with 16 ‘helpful’ designations. Come this morning and suddenly 8 reviews, all with 5 stars, received over 20 ‘helpful’ designations each. To me it seems like a conceded effort to whitewash your Amazon page instead of addressing a functional issue.

is this problem fixed or still present? Any official word from Aukey? I’m looking to buy for 16 mbp but obv not if it is doing this.

To the best of my knowledge, they have not addressed the issue. With the other reports of the issue within Amazon reviews and r/usbchardware, I wouldn’t trust that it is fixed until Aukey official recognizes this problem. At this point in time, I’d think you’d be better off getting one of the other Navitas / GanFast chargers (pretty much all GaN chargers use Navitas gan transistors). https://ganfast.com/products-m/

Aukey support told me that the charger behaving like this is correct behavior and would not replace my charger. Not sure why you would design the charger this way but at the same time I’m wondering if this is just isolated to the Apple MacBook Pro. If anyone else here has tried seeing similar behavior with another high draw laptop then It’s just poor design. Even if this is just isolated to Apple, you can’t necessarily blame Apple for it because their own chargers and other 3rd party chargers don’t have this behavior

Thanks for the link to the GaN chargers site. I really like the look of the Aukey Omnia series and have had good experience with prev Aukey purchases, but if this thing is cycling on and off every 90s throughout the night a) that’s not good and b) it’s concerning that the reps from the company don’t recognize this is a problem.

Hi all. I’ve shared this information with our team. Hopefully i’ll have a better explanation :slight_smile:

Please contact our service team at support@aukey.com.

What does “fixed closing lid issue” mean here?

Furthermore, if this means you guys actually addressed the issue, how about changing out all the faulty units (like mine). I’ve already replied back to my previous email thread with support and I hope this gets swapped out and the new one truly is fixed. Otherwise I’m going to be very disappointed and this honestly won’t be my first time with Aukey

I ordered a new “upgraded” charger and I’m still getting the power negotiation issue. But, I’ll afford Aukey the benefit of the doubt that I may have received old stock. (I can provide the serial number if that can confirm if it is “upgraded” or not.) Anyways, I will reach out to support to see if I can get an exchange for another charger to try one last time.

Hi @name123

As this is a technical issue, I advise you to contact support as you mentioned. I’m sure they’ll be able to confirm it or not with the serial number and other info :slight_smile:

@name123

Can you comment on what cable you’re using? My Macbook Pro (2017 15") when connected to my past 2 Aukey chargers will experience the charger resetting every few minutes. I hear the power chime every 2 minutes or so (it can vary).

I’ve been using this Anker USB C to C (braided and high quality) for years now, but I’m beginning to think that may be the cause. I tried swapping it out for the standard Apple 2m cable and the chimes have gone away for the last 10 minutes or so. I’m going to do further testing, but I can’t imagine Aukey has not tested their chargers out with MacBooks.

I’ve used both the Apple 2m 100W USB-C to C cable and the Cable Matters 2m 100W Thunderbolt 3 cable. Both cables are USB-IF certified- I wouldn’t buy them otherwise. I did not notice any difference in behavior depending on which cable is used.

We do infact test our products with a wide range of products, from smartphones to MacBooks. :slight_smile: