Author Topic: High quality USB cables?  (Read 2042 times)

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Offline Bootalito

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High quality USB cables?
« on: March 25, 2019, 11:50:25 am »
Does anybody have a reliable source of high quality USB charging cables for mobile phones?

It seems like I've tried every brand, sheath type, connector plating type, price, and vendor(Amazon, AliExpress,etc). I've never been able to find charging cables for all of my family devices that last more than a few months when used daily, except the original cables supplied with the devices, they seem to last forever.

I need lengths from one foot to 10 ft 8n both B micro, and C. And at this point I'm willing to pay any price, lol. please help! :)
 

Offline frmdstryr

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Re: High quality USB cables?
« Reply #1 on: March 25, 2019, 12:01:34 pm »
Startech has good stuff. Can be bought pretty much anywhere but they're good quality.

https://www.startech.com/ 
 

Offline pix3l

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Re: High quality USB cables?
« Reply #2 on: March 25, 2019, 12:06:45 pm »
A while back I had to select a micro USB cable to package with a product we sell and after comparing the voltage drop of many cables (amongst which the more expensive Anker cables) we ended up with Tronsmart cables. These were the best performers in terms of voltage drop under load and also very affordable. Hope this helps!
 

Online ataradov

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Re: High quality USB cables?
« Reply #3 on: March 25, 2019, 08:27:46 pm »
Cables are consumables. Lasting a few months of every day use is pretty good. Original cables last about as long for me. I don't really notice much of a difference.
Alex
 

Offline 0culus

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Re: High quality USB cables?
« Reply #4 on: March 25, 2019, 10:46:15 pm »
I prefer Anker cables where possible. I've not yet had one fail on me. The only exception to Anker right now is I use Apple USB-C PD cables since that's what I have for my iphone x and 12" macbook. Those have to be handled with kid gloves though. I like Apple hardware but their no strain relief cables suck.
 

Offline Halcyon

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Re: High quality USB cables?
« Reply #5 on: March 26, 2019, 04:53:36 am »
Cables are consumables. Lasting a few months of every day use is pretty good. Original cables last about as long for me. I don't really notice much of a difference.

What are you doing with them? Chewing on them? I don't think I've *ever* had a USB cable supplied with a mobile handset fail. I still have many of the original LG, Sony and Motorola cables in my collection from many years ago.

I currently have a Samsung cable/charger which I travel regularly with, it just gets thrown in my laptop bag. It gets used (plugged/unplugged) at least once a day however in some cases (especially when traveling) 20 to 30 times a day. It has also been sucked up by my Roomba robotic vacuum several times after it has fallen on the floor beside my bed.

Still, the cable works fine and the strain relief is intact.

(I have however had several Apple cables fall apart, they are in their own category.)
 
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Online ataradov

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Re: High quality USB cables?
« Reply #6 on: March 26, 2019, 04:57:11 am »
What are you doing with them? Chewing on them?
Typical failure mode for me is the hardening and cracking of the outer shell close to the phone connector, where it gets handled all the time. They do last more than 2-3 months, more like a year or so. But I find it better to eventually replace them, even if wear is tolerable. Cables are cheap, no real need to make them last long, IMO.

Alex
 

Online Berni

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Re: High quality USB cables?
« Reply #7 on: March 26, 2019, 08:06:58 am »
For my phone i switched to using USB cables with a magnetic connector on the end.



Everyone in our house is now using these now for over a year and they show no wear at all. The mating forces for these are low so the cable doesn't see as much rough handling. But the biggest reason i use it is that its quicker to plug/unplug. I just let the charger cable lay on the table, lay the phone on the table and slide it closer until i hear the click of the magnet latching on. No need to even grab the cable, just roughly glance where it is on the table so you can bring your phone close. For unplugging i just grab the phone and yank it away, the cable just pops off.

Now that i have this cable i really see no point in wireless inductive charging. Just set the phone down and it charges, without the complications and inefficiencies of wireless charging. Plus this has USB data in it so it can be used to transfer files at the same time.

Tho a lot of these cables do violate the rule of connecting ground before other signals. But in practice due to ground being at the edge it does make connection first due to you never mating the magnetic connector perfectly straight. So far i have not blown a USB port with it, but the cable end does love to jump onto ferrous things such as bundles of keys, shorting out the pins in the process.
 
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Online bd139

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Re: High quality USB cables?
« Reply #8 on: March 26, 2019, 08:33:03 am »
I just buy the amazon basics ones. When they fall to bits they send you new ones out without complaining free of charge.

Failure modes I see are the sheath on the outside of the lightning connector coming off and the cable getting frayed at the phone end where people use the phone while it’s on charge.
 

Offline Rick Law

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Re: High quality USB cables?
« Reply #9 on: March 27, 2019, 02:48:50 am »
I am not sure my experience is typical.

With micro-USB phone charging cable, I found the most frequent problem to be jiggling.  When one needs to unplug the cable from the phone, one's reflex action would be to jiggle the plug from side to side.  After a while, the plug is no longer firm inside the socket.

I think the connectors are getting too small to be mechanically sturdy.
 

Offline 0culus

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Re: High quality USB cables?
« Reply #10 on: March 27, 2019, 02:53:44 am »
I am not sure my experience is typical.

With micro-USB phone charging cable, I found the most frequent problem to be jiggling.  When one needs to unplug the cable from the phone, one's reflex action would be to jiggle the plug from side to side.  After a while, the plug is no longer firm inside the socket.

I think the connectors are getting too small to be mechanically sturdy.

Sometimes the connectors themselves are out of spec. I own two Playstation 4s, and I decided to get a super long charging cable for the controllers so you can sit on the couch playing with the controller plugged in. However, the male microUSB end is too small! It stays in but there's way too much play and the contacts are intermittent at best. Every other microUSB I have fits the Dualshock 4 perfectly.
 

Online Berni

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Re: High quality USB cables?
« Reply #11 on: March 27, 2019, 06:43:49 am »
I think the connectors are getting too small to be mechanically sturdy.

Yes i agree. I think we should have stuck with the miniUSB connector. It was already a standard commonly used connector before even touchscreen smartphones became popular and i had plenty of phones that used it. It was great having random cables simply fit my phone for the first time.

Then microUSB came around and its not really much smaller. Its just as wide, just skinnier, but much more fragile. I seen miniUSB connectors ripped off a PCB before, and yet despite all that force the connector was showing no damage, all i had to do was solder it back down, the connector was easily stronger than the solder holding it down. With microUSB i have replaced many broken connectors in things like tablets, they didn't rip off the board but the connector itself was just completely ruined.

Since we are once again changing the connector to USB-C i hope these connectors are at least more robust.
 

Online bd139

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Re: High quality USB cables?
« Reply #12 on: March 27, 2019, 08:32:42 am »
I think they are very stable, some of them at least. Micro usb is horrid but I have yet to see a single broken lightning connector.

I think the main facet of connector crapness is whether or not it was designed by committee. More than three engineers in the same room can’t make a sound decision.  :-DD
 

Offline IDEngineer

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Re: High quality USB cables?
« Reply #13 on: March 27, 2019, 03:27:33 pm »
Getting back to the original topic of this thread....

I just went through this process as our family switches to new phones and, thus, USB-C connectors. After buying, trying, and returning several that either bragged about or actually appeared to be high(er) quality,  I found cables from a company called McDodo. Yes, I know the name is stupid.

In additionl to being pleased with their design and ruggedness upon arrival, these cables also have two other handy features (I wouldn't have specifically chosen them for these, but they're nice):

* Both ends are right angle, so the objects into which they're plugged can get closer to other things without forcing the cable into a sharp bend radius.

* Both ends are also reversible. That's native to USB-C, but the USB-A connector is ALSO reversible. Right angle connectors are wonderful if the cable goes in the convenient direction, but far less so when the cable goes in the "wrong" direction. These cables don't have that problem on either end.

The USB-C end has an LED too, if you're into that sort of thing. Not something I'd have paid extra for but I must admit it's proven handy to find the cable end in the dark a couple of times when climbing into bed long after my wife has already fallen asleep (and I don't want to turn on a light).

Bottom line: These are finally some very high quality USB cables. Easily as good, and in most cases better, than the OEM ones that ship with equipment. They are available in a variety of lengths too. I picked up a few extra just to have them around.

For reference, here is the link to the eBay listing where I purchased mine: https://www.ebay.com/itm/MCDODO-USB-C-Type-C-Cable-Heavy-Duty-Charging-Sync-Charger-Samsung-Note-9-S9-LG/153355403963 but they are available from multiple online sources, just do a search on the name.

Highly recommended!

EDIT: Standard disclaimer, I have no relationship with the manufacturer nor seller other than as a very happy customer.
 

Online tooki

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Re: High quality USB cables?
« Reply #14 on: March 27, 2019, 06:45:06 pm »
I think the connectors are getting too small to be mechanically sturdy.

Yes i agree. I think we should have stuck with the miniUSB connector. It was already a standard commonly used connector before even touchscreen smartphones became popular and i had plenty of phones that used it. It was great having random cables simply fit my phone for the first time.

Then microUSB came around and its not really much smaller. Its just as wide, just skinnier, but much more fragile. I seen miniUSB connectors ripped off a PCB before, and yet despite all that force the connector was showing no damage, all i had to do was solder it back down, the connector was easily stronger than the solder holding it down. With microUSB i have replaced many broken connectors in things like tablets, they didn't rip off the board but the connector itself was just completely ruined.

Since we are once again changing the connector to USB-C i hope these connectors are at least more robust.
Actually, mini-USB was so unreliable for mobile devices that this was part of why they created micro-USB. It was designed to handle forces that were breaking mini-USB. Now, it’s debatable whether they achieved this goal, and it seems that nowadays, they do make more reliable mini-USB sockets, too.
 

Offline ConKbot

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Re: High quality USB cables?
« Reply #15 on: March 27, 2019, 07:30:08 pm »
+1 to Anker, specifically the powerline series. I finally bought a new set as the latches had worn out on the previous set. Amazon informed me that I had last bought that item 3 years ago.  :o
 

Online Berni

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Re: High quality USB cables?
« Reply #16 on: March 28, 2019, 06:14:35 am »
]Actually, mini-USB was so unreliable for mobile devices that this was part of why they created micro-USB. It was designed to handle forces that were breaking mini-USB. Now, it’s debatable whether they achieved this goal, and it seems that nowadays, they do make more reliable mini-USB sockets, too.

Well then i must have been handling my devices so gently or i happened to have well made connectors in them, since so far i have never seen a miniUSB connector fail under normal use.

There was even a 12 pin version of the miniUSB. It was fully reverse/forward compatible with the normal 5 pin miniUSB, but had extra pins that the device could use to carry other signals. This was mostly used for headphone or video output but could be used today to carry USB 3.0 if someone made such a cable. All in the same small footprint.

Tho looking at a microUSB connector its construction doesn't really look like it would handle more sideways force before breaking, if anything it looks like it would break with only half the force that miniUSB would take. One difference i do know about is that microUSB is rated for significantly more operation cycles, something that is obviously very important for a mobile device. Only problem is that these are "ideal world cycles", they probably do last significantly longer than miniUSB when a robot in there R&D lab is used to repetitively plug and unplug them for weeks on end. But that cycle test jig plugs it in perfectly every time, while a typical user will never plug it in perfectly straight. Especially people in a hurry to charge there phone will first jam the connector in 2 or 3 times the wrong way around, each time with more force, then realize the problem and flip it around and then plug it in at a slight angle with the same rough force while applying sideways load to it. Once they are done charging they might yank the connector out by pulling on the cable and again not doing it perfectly straight so the connector gets forced to the side. This is what breaks connectors, not the contacts wearing away.
 

Offline Halcyon

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Re: High quality USB cables?
« Reply #17 on: March 29, 2019, 12:48:41 am »
]Actually, mini-USB was so unreliable for mobile devices that this was part of why they created micro-USB. It was designed to handle forces that were breaking mini-USB. Now, it’s debatable whether they achieved this goal, and it seems that nowadays, they do make more reliable mini-USB sockets, too.

Well then i must have been handling my devices so gently or i happened to have well made connectors in them, since so far i have never seen a miniUSB connector fail under normal use.


Likewise, I've never had a Mini USB socket fail. In my opinion they are actually quite sturdy. I have seen many Micro USB sockets damaged by people forcing cables in when there is clearly an obstruction or the pins are bent.

I would say the reason for Micro USB is due to their low profile form factor. They take up far less room in thin and portable devices.
 

Offline wraper

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Re: High quality USB cables?
« Reply #18 on: March 29, 2019, 01:03:27 am »
Blitzwolf cables are cheap and pretty good, have high conductor cross section.
 

Offline wraper

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Re: High quality USB cables?
« Reply #19 on: March 29, 2019, 01:07:22 am »
Cables are consumables. Lasting a few months of every day use is pretty good. Original cables last about as long for me. I don't really notice much of a difference.
The question is, is your judgement based on crap from Apple? Their cables are less reliable than cheap Chinese junk (omitting lack of copper in those). Good micro USB cable will last for many years when used for daily phone charging.

EDIT: The reason is, they don't use PVC in their cables to be "green". Yeah, it very "green" when your cables are filling landfills after a few months of use.
https://www.pvc4cables.org/images/Case%20studies.pdf
« Last Edit: March 29, 2019, 01:22:13 am by wraper »
 
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Offline wraper

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Re: High quality USB cables?
« Reply #20 on: March 29, 2019, 01:12:14 am »
]Actually, mini-USB was so unreliable for mobile devices that this was part of why they created micro-USB. It was designed to handle forces that were breaking mini-USB. Now, it’s debatable whether they achieved this goal, and it seems that nowadays, they do make more reliable mini-USB sockets, too.

Well then i must have been handling my devices so gently or i happened to have well made connectors in them, since so far i have never seen a miniUSB connector fail under normal use.


Likewise, I've never had a Mini USB socket fail. In my opinion they are actually quite sturdy. I have seen many Micro USB sockets damaged by people forcing cables in when there is clearly an obstruction or the pins are bent.

I would say the reason for Micro USB is due to their low profile form factor. They take up far less room in thin and portable devices.
Unless micro USB connector does not have through hole mounting pins, they are extremely reliable. Way better than mini USB. If they don't have through hole pins, they can be torn off from PCB, often together with pads.
 
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Offline 0culus

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Re: High quality USB cables?
« Reply #21 on: March 29, 2019, 03:59:16 am »
Cables are consumables. Lasting a few months of every day use is pretty good. Original cables last about as long for me. I don't really notice much of a difference.
The question is, is your judgement based on crap from Apple? Their cables are less reliable than cheap Chinese junk (omitting lack of copper in those). Good micro USB cable will last for many years when used for daily phone charging.

EDIT: The reason is, they don't use PVC in their cables to be "green". Yeah, it very "green" when your cables are filling landfills after a few months of use.
https://www.pvc4cables.org/images/Case%20studies.pdf

Also no strain relief. I handle my Apple cables with kid gloves. I use Anker equivalents for "toss in bag don't care" use.
 

Offline Richard Crowley

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Re: High quality USB cables?
« Reply #22 on: March 29, 2019, 04:11:38 am »
USB cables are disposable consumables.

OTOH the connector in the phone has a value orders of magnitude higher than its actual cost.
If your phone is perfect but the USB connector is broken, then your phone is almost worthless.

A really excellent reason to use the magnetic connector things.  It saves the cable connector,
but mostly it saves the phone connector.
 

Offline james_s

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Re: High quality USB cables?
« Reply #23 on: March 31, 2019, 12:01:25 am »
I don't think I've ever had a USB cable fail, unless you count a few really cheap Chinese ones that were defective right out of the package, and others that were inadequate for carrying the full rated current for charging. I have torn the connector off the board on a couple things though, I don't like micro USB connectors.
 

Offline NiHaoMike

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Re: High quality USB cables?
« Reply #24 on: March 31, 2019, 12:54:50 am »
USB cables are disposable consumables.

OTOH the connector in the phone has a value orders of magnitude higher than its actual cost.
If your phone is perfect but the USB connector is broken, then your phone is almost worthless.

A really excellent reason to use the magnetic connector things.  It saves the cable connector,
but mostly it saves the phone connector.
If Apple had to use something other than standard USB, why didn't they just make a smaller version of their Magsafe connector?
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