Modifying a Freeloader Pro

Firstly… Happy Yorkshire Day peeps!

The Freeloader Pro doesn’t work with the Dell Streak… it won’t charge it – unless you’re willing to pass on your warranty and modify the device.

Here’s a step by step guide… note that this does NOT apply to the Freeloader standard which at present will NOT charge the Streak.

  1. Open up the main part of the Freeloader Pro using a PH1 screwdriver. There are four screws around the charge indicator ring – keep these safe.
  2. Click off the cover to the charger – taking care around the solar panel. You should be able to get it off without any tools.
  3. Inside is the solar panel, battery underneath, and the PCB with the four plastic lenses for the charging ring. On the PCB are three screws. Remove these and keep them safe.
  4. Unplug the battery connector from the PCB (it’s a little white connector with a red and black wire on it). Gently lift the PCB out being careful to avoid damaging the battery and solar panel wires. You need to twist it over, whilst keeping it in place to avoid damaging the solar panel wires.
  5. On the back of the USB plug you will see four prongs. The outer two are soldered to the PCB and the inner to go nowhere. Using a soldering iron and some solder bridge the gap between these inner two tangs, being careful not to damage the nearby capacitor (the blue cylindrical thing) and being careful not to short across any more than you need to.
  6. Once it’s cooled, loosely re-assemble the PCB back into place and re-connect the battery. Check that none of the indicator lights come on, and then press the centre button to check the indicator lights work (they will show your battery charge amount).
  7. Carefully insert the USB charge cable from your Streak into the USB socket and connect the other end to the Streak – if you’ve done it right the red lights on the freeloader Pro should come on, and your Streak should show a lightning bolt charge symbol.
  8. Re-assemble carefully and enjoy!

My initial tests show that with a three lights charge in the Freeloader you’ll get at least 40% from totally empty in the Streak… I reckon it could go as high as 70-80% from a full Freeloader charge.

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