USB Cable Charging Speed Question

Discussion in 'Mobile Phones and Media Players' started by Wildblood, Aug 27, 2014.

  1. Wildblood
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    Wildblood Advanced Member

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    Hi all,

    I recently lost my phone's USB cable. When I used a different third party cable I noticed that the charging time dramatically increased (from 3 hours to 8+ hours, despite using the same wall adapter). This leads me to think that USB cable quality and/or specifications dramatically affect the charging speed of devices.

    After exhaustive google searches I haven't been able to understand how this all works, or what kind of cable I should be looking to buy (apart from one site which said I should get a 28/24 cable...whatever that is).

    Does anyone here know?
     
  2. Pedeadstrian

    Pedeadstrian GBAtemp's Official frill-necked lizard.

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    The 28/24 part is the gauge (or size) of the wire itself. The amperage is what you wanna look for in cables. I'd try going to Amazon and finding the best-reviewed cables. I assume your phone is somewhat recent, and therefore is easy to find a cable for.
     
  3. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

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    Did your old cable just do charging or did it also function as a USB cable?

    If it just charged then quite often it will have a component to indicate that it is a fast charge cable. The iphone is a good example here -- USB2.0 has four wires, the iphone will tie the data lines together with a certain resistance (that the phone then measures) and act as a normal USB or a fast charge (at double the Amps, and about half the time as a result).

    It could have also been a data cable and had active components to tell the phone/charger what is up but usually it is just a passive one. You did not mention make or model though so we can not go further.
     
  4. Wildblood
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    Wildblood Advanced Member

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    Thanks for your replies. The cable was some no-name one, so I couldn't tell you who made it - some dude in China I guess. The phone is a Sony Xperia Z2 if that helps. The stock cable and wall-charger could pump out 1.5A (if I understood correctly). Going by the slow charge time of the other cable, I'd guess it let <500mA through (using the same wall-charger).
     
  5. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

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    Doing some reading and it looks like it is simpler than others I have seen. Apparently on the phone end* the data wires are shorted (green and white if you have a standard coloured cable, this can vary with the cheap cables I have seen in the past) and that tells the phone it can draw the the current it can, it might vary for some models but that is for qualcomm and they seem to be the supplier for the bigger plays (samsung, sony...).

    *leave the charger/PC end dangling, though if you want to tape each end up to avoid shorting on the other or the shielding them too then that is good.
     
  6. Wildblood
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    Wildblood Advanced Member

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    Ah sorry, I did read your post before properly. My old cable was supplied with my phone, so it was a Sony one I assume. It did charging and transferred data (though it would charge slower from my PC's USB 3.0 port, than it would when it was plugged directly into the wall adapter). The no-name cable was the one that slow-charged.

    I didn't quite understand what your last post implied - are you saying my no-name cable has a couple of busted wires internally?
     
  7. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

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    I saw the suggested diagram for the qualcomm/sony stuff and did some further reading, you could probably make it transfer as well as charge (though maybe not at the same time) but if we have to make a cheap cable into a fastcharge you might have to sacrifice data capability.

    The no name cable is probably fine (if it charges and can also do data then it is fine), the post was saying what mods could be done to make it possibly charge a bit faster. It might not end up like the original one (cheap cables can still use cheap wire and get limited that way) but it should still be enough to notice.
     
  8. Wildblood
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    Wildblood Advanced Member

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    I'm willing to buy a proper cable so I can carry it around and use it for any purpose (and if it's able to be used for MHL 3, for sending video to compatible TVs, even better), but I'm having a hard time identifying which cables are good and which aren't. They mention if they're USB 2.0 or 3.0, but nothing about low/full/hi-speed, and nothing about power capacity. I'll call up companies individually to ask for the cable I need, but I need to educate myself on what specifications I need to be asking for...and I can't seem to find a clear answer for that.

    The safe alternative is to buy a cable directly from Sony...but ouch (the price).
     
  9. Joe88

    Joe88 [λ]

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    Many off brand cables I found will only provide 0.5A or less (average seems to be around 0.3A) compared to the official cables which provide 1-2A when I tested them with a multimeter
     
  10. Sicklyboy

    Sicklyboy Resident Mechanical Keyboard Addict

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    Keep in mind length matters too. Monoprice cables tends do be decent but only up to 6 or 10 feet for USB, 10 feet being a little slower. But at 15 feet the charge time dramatically increases. If your new cable is a lot longer then that could be an issue too.
     
  11. Wildblood
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    Wildblood Advanced Member

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    Many thanks for the feedback. I wish they provided the specs on the packaging, but I guess that's too much to ask for. I'll buy a brand cable and hope for the best :angry: