Saturday , August 19 2017

It’s about to get a lot safer buying USB-C cables from Amazon

unnamed

Since the launch of USB-C, there’s been a lot of ‘dodgy’ cables going on-sale. Unsafe USB-C cables are able to draw higher amounts of power and possibly damage equipment. Amazon has now implemented a change to their prohibited items list, which will make it eventually a safer place to source USB-C cables.

Google Engineer Benson Leung first highlighted the problem with buying USB-C cables, reviewing the various USB-C cables available on Amazon and drawing attention to the issue. In one of his original review, he explained the issue with USB-A to USB-C cables not made to spec:

The reason that the Google chargers and cables are capable of 5V 3A support is because not only the cables but the port on the other end is certified for the higher 3A ceiling. You will notice that the cable that came with your Nexus 5X or 6P has USB Type C on both ends.

This ensures that not only the cable, but the connectors and the charging circuitry on the other side of the cable can support 3A before the phone starts to charge.

When you have a legacy cable like this one, the connector on the other side is a USB Type-A connector, which can be plugged into any USB port built since 1997, for example your ancient Pentium II PC may have a USB port that this cable could be plugged into.

NONE of those USB Type-A ports are rated to support 3A, so many of the USB Type-A to Type-C cables available on Amazon that claim they are rated at 3A and configure the identifier resistor to tell the phone to charge at 3A are not in compliance and could do damage to your charger, hub, or PC if you try to charge at 3A.

When you have a legacy cable like this, 2.4A, which is negotiated over a BC1.2 protocol like CDP or DCP, is appropriate over the Type-A connector. Any cable that you buy that claims 3A support I would be extremely wary of plugging into any of your hubs, PCs, or dedicated chargers.

That update came through back in November and now, almost 5 months later, Amazon has updated their list of Prohibited Items to include USB-C cables or adapters not made to specifications. The line added to the list reads:

Any USB-C™ (or USB Type-C™) cable or adapter product that is not compliant with standard specifications issued by “USB Implementers Forum Inc.
The change means that Amazon can effectively ban any suppliers or sellers who supply poorly made or non-USB-C compliant cables. It does mean that sellers need to be reported still so that Amazon can action any ban.

To report a listing to Amazon, you simply :

  1. Go to Contact us.
  2. Click Selling on Amazon and then Other issues.
  3. Select Report a violation and enter all relevant information, so we can conduct an investigation.

It’s a good move by Amazon, and one hopefully one adopted by other marketplaces selling USB-C cables and adapters.

Have you bought a dodgy USB-C cable?

 
Source: Amazon.
Via: BensonLeung.

Daniel Tyson   Editor

Dan is a die-hard Android fan. Some might even call him a lunatic. He's been an Android user since Android was a thing, and if there's a phone that's run Android, chances are he owns it (his Nexus collection is second-to-none) or has used it.

Dan's dedication to Ausdroid is without question, and he has represented us at some of the biggest international events in our industry including Google I/O, Mobile World Congress, CES and IFA.

Join the Ausdroid Conversation

8 Comments on "It’s about to get a lot safer buying USB-C cables from Amazon"

avatar
Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
Alex Kelly
Valued Guest
Alex Kelly

Speaking of, can your sales team please get back to me about the dodgy cable I got from the store?
cheers

ButterBalls
Valued Guest
ButterBalls
I’m thinking of getting the Nexus phone that will becoming out at the end of the year but I’m not feeling easy about having to upgrade all my chargers and cables to support the type c connection. I already have so many standard USB chargers for 95% of the android devices out there. I even use my phone charger to charge my Sony DSLR. Type c seems like an apple style move to me. Would I need dedicated chargers and cables for a nexus 6p? How does this type c thing work if everyone is mostly on the old technology?
Member

I had 10+ mini-USB cables and devices.
When micro-USB cables/devices came out, I had to bin all my mini-USBs.
Now that USB-C is out, I will eventually have to bin all my 15+ micro-USBs.

When writable blueray came out, I had to bin all my betamax and VHS equipment.

Progress they say?

Phill Edwards
Valued Guest
Phill Edwards

I think you can get USB-A to USB-C cables, but they don’t charge as fast.

H0OIler
Valued Guest
H0OIler

Much thanks to Benson Leung for all the testing and bringing this issue to the forefront. I’m sure that this saved a lot of devices from being fried

wpDiscuz

Check Also

Google Home Bluetooth connectivity is active again – pair your phone or tablet now

After a false start in late June, it appears Google has flicked the switch on …