How USB Chargers Work And How To Use A USB Charger
“USB-powered” is becoming the most common phrase you see on the packaging of gadgets today. As a matter of fact, the number of gadgets that depend on a USB port or charger for power source or as a battery charging medium is steadily increasing. It’s no wonder that there are, in turn, so many types of USB chargers on the market, ranging from AC adapters to battery packs. The advantage of using these devices is apparent – they are extremely portable.
There is, however, more to USB charging than simply going out and buying the first charger you find. To cover all the basics, here’s a quick guide that should help navigate the uncertain waters of USB charging and keep your gadget from turning into a very expensive paperweight.
First, USB charging is very safe. You have to try really hard to fry your gadget’s software with USB charging. There are existing situations that would make you a very unlucky person, but they are few-and-far-between. The simple reason for this is that USB charging is standardized worldwide. You don’t have to worry about the various voltages of different countries because all USB ports and devices give and use 5V, respectively. The difference lies in how much milliampere power is provided or required by the devices. But even mismatched amount of milliamperes means that the USB-powered device will work with no problems or will just charge at a slower rate. Trouble only rears its head when companies use USB connectors that are not set at 5V. Fortunately, you can easily guard your gadget against this by checking USB chargers and making sure that they only provide 5V.
Next, know that the one reason your USB charger isn’t working is that your gadget’s manufacturer may have blocked USB charging. Apple, Creative, and Sony are a few of the big-name brands that have started to do this. Note that blocking USB charging works around the USB cable’s design. When a device is connected to a computer or a company’s official charger, the four pins of a USB cable, two for data and two for power, are activated or tripped, so that the device starts charging. Unofficial chargers, however, use only the power pins, and companies take advantage of this fact by disabling charging when the two data pins aren’t activated.
Now that you know the basic do’s of USB charging, you can now enjoy your devices longer. Always remember, being cautious is key to safer and longer use!