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USB Flash Drive - Power Consumption Observation

Discussion in 'Model S: Battery & Charging' started by ArtInCT, Jul 22, 2016.

  1. ArtInCT

    ArtInCT Always Learning

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    #1 ArtInCT, Jul 22, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2016
    I am going to share with you all an observation that I recently made regarding my USB Flash Drive. The brand is probably not too important however I am using SanDisk Ultra Fit USB 3.0 Flash drives in 128GB and 32GB sizes. These are the very tiny USB thumb drives which are just barely larger than the USB interface itself.

    Now for the observation.... I was removing my drive from my parked and turned off Model S in order to add some new FLAC music files to the drive... Well, when I removed the drive it was actually HOT to the touch even though the music system was paused and off for the last 12 hours. How could this be? What was going on I thought to myself?

    It appears that the USB drives are powered on by the Model S at all times if they are plugged in. What I found interesting and somewhat alarming, was the heat component that was being generated. My solution was to purchase a USB 3.0 harmonica, with each USB port having an on/off switch. When I get out of the S, I press the button on the USB harmonica and turn the USB drive off. No more heat... No more wasted DC power. And hopefully, less 12 volt battery wear and tear.

    So, beware all, your USB drives are ON and consuming some power even with the Model S is OFF and the entertainment system is paused.
     
  2. bkp_duke

    bkp_duke Member

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    The Ultra Fit's are known to get hot (I own two), regardless of if you use them in your car or elsewhere.

    Check out feedback on best buy and other retailers, as well as the sandisk forums, it's a known issue for these.
     
  3. peter_wallace

    peter_wallace Member

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    I'm sure this issue will be fixed in due time.
     
  4. BertL

    BertL Active Member

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    OP, the issue is what some of us call the "USB Phantom Playing" bug which has been discussed in a number of older threads. A side effect people notice is that sometimes when you are playing USB music, park, and return, you're not on the same song. Yes, your MS was playing to itself, even if it can't be heard... It does not seem to happen in every circumstance, but it does for many. I tested this last Fall, and with my non-scientific trials, found that phantom playing consumes an additional 2-3 miles of Rated Range per day when I don't drive my S90D. I also have a number of USB sticks including a 128GB Ultra Fit, but as you say, have not found the type of stick makes any difference with Phantom Playing, only the heat issue you describe which appears to be more related to the SanDisk Ultra Fit form factor.

    Phantom Playing is an acknowledged bug by Tesla. Others have also reported it, as I did last December (if you have not, please do so officially.) Some owners have reported the bug was introduced around the 6.2 firmware drop, oh, so long ago. Unfortunately, Tesla says this bug will be resolved by a future firmware update of which there is no ETA. IMHO, today's workarounds are to either:
    1. Unplug USB devices each time you exit MS, then plug it back in when you want to listen to USB music. (This may be fine for people with a small number of tracks, but for those like me, it can take 15 minutes or more for MS to scan my USB stick with 6K tracks in a single directory, before any of it's music can be played. This isn't a good solution for me most of the time, especially when I'm running errands and don't want to drive between destinations in silence.)
    2. Try leaving your USB stick plugged-in and switching to another music source like an FM station before exiting MS -- then switch back to USB upon entry. While I've not tested it in a couple months (and firmware drops including 2.28.19), I previously found Phantom Playing does not take place if USB wasn't what Media Player was doing when you turned off your MS. Note that I've read reports that some Media Player sources (SiriusXM?) may still allow Phantom Playing to occur -- I've not encountered that, and it's not important enough to me to research and try all the variations, so YMMV.
    Me? I fortunately have a 90kWh battery, and just live with the Phantom Playing bug -- loss of range, hot USB port, and all -- sort of cursing Tesla every time I get into my MS having wasted energy for no reason except Tesla not prioritizing resolution, and my not being on the same track and place within a song where I was when I left (as was always the case when I played USB or hardwired iPod in my former Lexus and MBZ). The couple of times when I have had a lower remaining charge or may be leaving my MS for a few days without being plugged-in, I remove the USB stick.
     
  5. ArtInCT

    ArtInCT Always Learning

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    My drives at present only take about 15 seconds or less to read and become ready to play. I could see how a drive with many files could take longer.

    The Hot USB drive issue with the SanDisk Ultra Fit is not good in my opinion. The driver REALLY becomes very hot and this is not good at all. I have to check the other drive types I have to see if they also become warm. I hope Tesla can turn off the phantom playing. It really makes listening to an audio book a real challenge.

    Let's hope this gets fixed.
     

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