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Author Topic: Looking for a USB Type C - SPI (or serial) bridge - recommendations?  (Read 1457 times)

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Offline funkathustra

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Re: Looking for a USB Type C - SPI (or serial) bridge - recommendations?
« Reply #25 on: August 05, 2017, 07:05:58 AM »
I [...] am seriously considering using Mini-B due to all the issues I've experienced using micro USB in consumer devices. You see all these articles and studies where micro is better / last longer but reality seems to be otherwise.

We ran into issues with USB cables and dev boards that we used for several years with hundreds of students. We did a ton of experiments and testing with different setups, and the TL;DR is essentially "of course USB mini appears more reliable; it's not used for anything these days with high insertion rates"

Here's what we concluded:
  • Most problems with USB micro can be traced to old cables that people have used every day for five years or longer with several generations of smartphones. These cables have probably seen thousands of insertion cycles.
  • There are lots of really cheap USB micro cables out there, and these have a high failure rate. When we switched from $1 bulk USB micro cables to $4 name-brand ones, all our problems went away with bad cables.
  • USB mini connections appear to be more reliable these days, but our hypothesis is that most USB mini cables people have laying around these days were never used daily with smartphones — and instead, have only been used with dev boards. Most of these cables have probably less than 50 insertion cycles on them.
  • When we've used USB mini receptacles on boards that have similar use to USB micro receptacles, the minis fail more quickly
« Last Edit: August 05, 2017, 07:08:45 AM by funkathustra »
 
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Offline sporadic

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Re: Looking for a USB Type C - SPI (or serial) bridge - recommendations?
« Reply #26 on: August 05, 2017, 07:45:37 AM »
I [...] am seriously considering using Mini-B due to all the issues I've experienced using micro USB in consumer devices. You see all these articles and studies where micro is better / last longer but reality seems to be otherwise.

We ran into issues with USB cables and dev boards that we used for several years with hundreds of students. We did a ton of experiments and testing with different setups, and the TL;DR is essentially "of course USB mini appears more reliable; it's not used for anything these days with high insertion rates"

Here's what we concluded:
  • Most problems with USB micro can be traced to old cables that people have used every day for five years or longer with several generations of smartphones. These cables have probably seen thousands of insertion cycles.
  • There are lots of really cheap USB micro cables out there, and these have a high failure rate. When we switched from $1 bulk USB micro cables to $4 name-brand ones, all our problems went away with bad cables.
  • USB mini connections appear to be more reliable these days, but our hypothesis is that most USB mini cables people have laying around these days were never used daily with smartphones — and instead, have only been used with dev boards. Most of these cables have probably less than 50 insertion cycles on them.
  • When we've used USB mini receptacles on boards that have similar use to USB micro receptacles, the minis fail more quickly
You bring up some good points, appreciate it.  Thanks!
 
The following users thanked this post: Dave92F1

Offline alm

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Re: Looking for a USB Type C - SPI (or serial) bridge - recommendations?
« Reply #27 on: August 05, 2017, 11:57:10 AM »
That makes sense. USB micro-B is rated for many more insertions than mini-B. And micro-B was designed so the cables fail before the connector fails.
 

Offline westfw

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Re: Looking for a USB Type C - SPI (or serial) bridge - recommendations?
« Reply #28 on: August 05, 2017, 09:49:22 PM »
Quote
When we switched from $1 bulk USB micro cables to $4 name-brand ones, all our problems went away with bad cables.
Care to name names?  Especially for the "good" $4 cables?
There are a LOT of cheap, bad, cables out there, and no one is likely to want to spend $15/cable.
I expect USB-C cables to have the same quality problems, except that even the cheap cables will be more expensive.
 

Offline funkathustra

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Re: Looking for a USB Type C - SPI (or serial) bridge - recommendations?
« Reply #29 on: August 07, 2017, 04:06:20 AM »
Care to name names?  Especially for the "good" $4 cables?
I wasn't involved in the purchasing process, but I'm almost positive that we went with Anker cables — might have worked directly with them, or just bought them from Amazon/eBay.

So far, my favorite USB-C cables for USB 2.0 applications are the Cable Matters ones — they're $6 on Amazon, have a great matte feel, super thin cable, and have gold-plated connectors that are a lot stricter-tolerance than other cables, which means they never lose a connection — even when subjected to a ton of lateral force. They have the most satisfying "click" I've heard, too, which gives me a ton of confidence for more rugged applications.

Just remember: the great thing about USB-C and the worst thing about USB-C are one in the same: it's one connector to rule them all. Those simple USB 2.0 A-to-C cables are going to be worthless for connecting actual USB 3.1-capable devices (external hard drives, capture cards, etc) to your computer. For that, you'll need a more expensive, bulkier USB 3.1 A-to-C cable that actually has all 22 signals bonded out.

 

Offline westfw

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Re: Looking for a USB Type C - SPI (or serial) bridge - recommendations?
« Reply #30 on: August 11, 2017, 06:46:21 AM »
Quote
I'm almost positive that we went with Anker cables
Good to know, I guess.
Recent facebook post from tech-savvy (network engineer) friend:
Quote
does anyone actually make a micro-usb cable that lasts. I now have a pile of anker high end cables that have died in under six months of use each
 

Online Monkeh

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Re: Looking for a USB Type C - SPI (or serial) bridge - recommendations?
« Reply #31 on: August 11, 2017, 08:26:07 AM »
Does anyone make a user who doesn't destroy cables needlessly? I've used the same ones daily for years.
 

Online hermit

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Re: Looking for a USB Type C - SPI (or serial) bridge - recommendations?
« Reply #32 on: August 11, 2017, 08:34:33 AM »
The only one I have 'destroyed' is a cheap 10 footer.  It will charge but I can't transfer data. 
 

Online Monkeh

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Re: Looking for a USB Type C - SPI (or serial) bridge - recommendations?
« Reply #33 on: August 11, 2017, 09:19:21 AM »
The only one I have 'destroyed' is a cheap 10 footer.  It will charge but I can't transfer data.

The only one I've destroyed I haven't dared test - it got left on the back of a chair and fell into a loose joint. It's very flat now.
 


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