USB C Cables / Connectors

The subject may already be familiar to many other people, that there now exists ‘a type of USB connector / plug / jack, with which they do not need to worry, in which direction it’s facing, when they plug it in to a compatible port’. The type of connector I’m referring to is a USB-C connector, which brings with it, USB-C cables, that connect from a Type-A to a Type-C jack.

One fact which I should point out is that even though we live in a relatively modern time, in which we might think that companies can do anything, If it’s also a requirement that they’re supposed to mass-produce equipment cheaply, they can no longer just do anything. The tolerances for a Type-C USB jack are quite small, and manufacturing machines themselves have limits to their precision.

One experience I seem to have made not once but twice, is that when I purchased USB-C cables that were visibly meant for Apple products, they did not seem to snap in to my ‘Google Pixel C’ tablet snugly, the latter of which could also be seen as a kind of Samsung-like, Android product, in direct competition with Apple. I needed to repurchase each time, and then for made-for-Samsung jacks, before those would seem to have a satisfactory fit into my Pixel C.

If we’re forearmed with this observation, we can make sure either to buy USB-C cables made for Apple, or, cables made for Samsung, since there are many suppliers of cables.

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I suppose that a more-nefarious question which some people might have could be: “Did Apple deliberately change their USB-C ports, to make those incompatible with the Android-related ports?’ But my guess at an answer to that question would be ‘No.’

Continue reading USB C Cables / Connectors

Be Careful when Inserting a Micro-USB Jack.

I recharge my Samsung Galaxy Tab S tablet, via a ‘normal’ Micro-USB cable, attached to a prescribed Samsung Fast Charger. What I have learned, is that we must be careful every time we insert the micro-jack into the device, to insert it only with gentle force and while keeping it straight.

If we fail to do that, we may damage the tiny contacts in the cable, or in the device.

At some point, during charging, the Tab S would show me a battery icon that had a red ‘X’ over it, instead of the usual icon, that has a black lightning-bolt over it. This red ‘X’ actually means, that we are only slow-charging, not fast-charging.

So what must have happened, because for a long time I was inserting the Micro-USB-Jack in a hasty, forceful way, was that I damaged the data pins, that a Samsung device will use to tell a Samsung charger, that it wants the 9V and not the 5V, for a fast charge.

I was able to solve this problem 100%, by replacing the charge cable. Hence, I was lucky, that most of the wear I had caused, seemed to affect the cable more than the socket in the device. It could have been the other way around.

This type of concern was also my reason, for getting a wireless charger for my phone, where I noticed that always to insert the tiny jack physically, could lead to problems one day. But in the case of my phone, I did not wait for erroneous behavior, before making this change.

Dirk