Odd micro usb power issue with Graber/Zebra blinds

I have an odd issue that has me baffled.
I have several (7) of the Z-wave roller blinds that have the external power packs. I got tired of changing the batteries and so I purchased several 12v rechargeable packs, planning to mount them to be swappable or rechargeable in place.
But here is the odd part. If I connect the battery packs directly to the micro usb connector coming out of the roller blind, the green light on the blind comes on but the blind will not move and the blinds show as offline in the Smartthings app… But if I connect an extension between the pack and the blind they work fine.
I considered it might be a power or over voltage issue and so I purchased a nifty inline volt/amp meter and did some testing. Testing shows the blinds seem to work fine anywhere from 11v to 15v (I also have a factory Graber wall-wart power supply supplying 15V) so I think I can rule out the voltage. The blinds pull from .20a (lowering) to .35a (raising) and the packs supply that easily.
I considered perhaps my adapter from the 12v pack to the blind (5.5mm barrel to micro usb) was wired wrong, maybe it needs power on all 4 connections? But simply adding the extension to the adapter makes things work so unless the extensions are wired to short the Data wires to the Power wires somehow It seems unlikely to me?
The rechargeable packs also work if I plug them directly into the rear of the empty factory battery holders. But I want to put the rechargables where the factory AA packs are.
Has anyone wired their own micro USB for the Grabber blinds and have any ideas for me to test?

Id just call ZebraBlinds and have then figure it out. Thier support is excellent.

Btw all mine are rechargeable (10 units, six were converted from AA packs) and never had this issue.

Edit - one last question you are talking about the official Somfy rechargeable pak and not a roll your own?

Tagging Neal @ZebraBlinds

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Its not the official Somfy rechargeable pack. This is a DIY project.
Its got to be something in the extension cable that makes them work. I have looked again and the micro usb terminated extension cables I bought are specifically labeled as compatible with Zmodo and Wyze cameras so I am wondering if perhaps they have a different pinout?


Yeah there is a custom pinout and something unique about the voltages amperages etc. for the real packs. These only use USB for convenience - its not a real standards compliant USB. I know that part as fact.

Id still contact them for the official docs and specs before you fry those expensive motors. But tbh at more than 200 each im not risking the warranty.


Thanks for confirming the pinouts are custom.
Right now I am leaning toward the power going to both the regular data pins (1&5) for part of the power like maybe the motor only, and then the data pins (2&4) giving power to the control board. Something like that. If the pins 1&2-4&5 are shorted together that might explain things. I looked through the reviews and questions of the cables I bought and they are definitely somehow different from a standard cable.
I have ordered a USB cable tester and will test the cables I have that work. The tester will check for continuity and shorts between pins.
I bought the blinds back in 2018 so I think the warranty is past and the amount I spend on batteries makes it worth my effort to come up with a fix.

If you bought them in 2018, warranty would only run out in 2023. I would recommend getting the official rechargeable battery packs since Springs doesn’t provide any kind of documentation on the exact pin out etc.

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