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Topic # 185375 20-Nov-2015 03:14
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Can anyone give me a little concrete info on USB type C cables.  It seems there is quite a bit of noise around 'unofficial' cables causing issues.  To the point where there are articles from a Google engineer is saying that you shouldn't be using them.

Is this another 'Monster cables' case, or what is the actual story here?

A Google engineer’s crusade against dangerous USB-C cables has implicated a high-profile offender.  Engineer Benson Leung is telling people to avoid buying OnePlus’ USB Type-C charging cable and adapter, or at least to avoid using them with fast-charging USB-C devices such as the Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, and Chromebook Pixel. Otherwise, users may damage the charger, hub, or PC to which these devices are connected.  As Leung has explained previously, many USB-C to legacy USB charging cables and adapters are not using a proper resistor value. This can cause charging problems, and in a worst case scenario can cause damage to whatever device is plugged in on the legacy side. For the past couple weeks, Leung has been reviewing cables (both good and bad) on Amazon, prompting a website where users can find compliant and non-compliant products. 


Want another USB-A to USB-C cable for my 5X, but don't want to ruin my phone.

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  Reply # 1431508 20-Nov-2015 08:12
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there are loads of USB2.0 and USB3.0 C-to-A cables are definitely non-compliant.

If you use those cables to connect a USB-C to your PC, you stand the risk of damaging your PC. 

A crude way to tell if your cable is OK: Connect your phone to your PC using the cable, and then open a battery info app on the Phone.
It should say either 500mA if it is a 2.0 cable, or 900mA if it is a 3.x cable. Anything higher, and it’s not compliant.

In Type-C the current level is communicated using new pins on the connector (CC pins), and it is either DefaultUSB, 1.5A, or 3.0A. 1.5A and 3.0A


For a C-to-A cable, obviously the new pins don’t exist on one end, so the cable has to advertise to the sink that it can only draw DefaultUSB from the host, because it is obviously going to be a legacy host.

What these cables are doing is they advertise Type-C levels (1.5A in the USB2.0 cable, and 3.0A in the USB3.0 cable, not sure what logic they applied there) instead. So that’s what the Phone tries to draw, because it cannot distinguish between an actual Type-C host on the other end, vs. a legacy host connected through a C-to-A cable.

What happens after that depends on the host: either nothing will happen, or you may see an overcurrent warning, or it may just cut power, or it will get fried. You probably don’t want to find out.



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  Reply # 1431516 20-Nov-2015 08:24
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nathan: A crude way to tell if your cable is OK: Connect your phone to your PC using the cable, and then open a battery info app on the Phone.
It should say either 500mA if it is a 2.0 cable, or 900mA if it is a 3.x cable. Anything higher, and it’s not compliant.

I have multiple cables that report charging my S4 at 1800mah, backed up by timing tests that show when it reports higher numbers it does charge faster. So the cables may not be compliant but they work great for data and charging.

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  Reply # 1433845 24-Nov-2015 12:01
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interesting thoughts, and worth keeping that in mind. 

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  Reply # 1433857 24-Nov-2015 12:09
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Non compliant cables risk frying your USB host simple as that. I wouldn't go plugging them into a PC I cared about

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  Reply # 1433880 24-Nov-2015 12:34
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On the Nexus 5X/6P you can use the app CheckR to see if the connected cable is compliant, otherwise Benson has a website reporting compatible and incompatible cables he has tested. As a general rule reputable brands like Belkin seem to be fine, as one might expect.

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  Reply # 1434021 24-Nov-2015 17:18
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Just buy any cables he's reviewed as compliant from

 got my wife the iOrange and one from google, the google one looks like an overpriced monoprice one (the latter being out of stock)

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