Micro USB cables are the Devil's pubes. Discuss.

(14 Posts)
DisgraceToTheYChromosome Wed 11-May-16 09:03:27

When phones all standardised on micro USB some years, I thought "Yay! No more flocks of incompatible chargers! No more weird data cables! No more eyewatering prices for replacements!"
Wrong. There is now a choice between a cable that breaks in six weeks, a cable that takes six hours to charge, or a cable that does both. They're either £20 from a motorway services shop, or 1.99 off Amazon with a four day wait. I'm posting this because my current cable has somehow snapped internally despite not being moved overnight.
/rant.

daisychain01 Wed 11-May-16 09:13:15

#YChromosomerocks

spot on. It's my biggest technology bugbear. I just invested in the new iPad Air2 and lo and behold another connector type. So I had to literally throw away a perfectly good connector and extended length cable I bought for my previous iPad. How wasteful is that.

Governments should pressurise industry to standardise on the micro USB format for all new products.

WhyCantIuseTheNameIWant Wed 11-May-16 09:14:54

You are correct.

99p or pound shop are your friend.

Get a few cheap ones for general use. I think the plug is the bit that determines the charge rate. So... decent plug. Lots of cables.

daisychain01 Wed 11-May-16 09:16:25

Sorry, I missed your point that the quality is crap. I agree with that too! They should sort out the quality and standardise at the same time!

And don't get me started on device chargers for the car, they're crap as well. Fall apart after about 4 weeks.

CigarsofthePharoahs Wed 11-May-16 09:20:23

My dh has spent good money on two USB leads and my toddler has managed to knacker both of them. Both times he made a bee line for the charging item and knocked it on the floor so it landed on the cable. Broken. On the second occasion it was my laptop that was on my lap at the time. I just didn't react fast enough.
Ironically the free ones that come with things seem to last.

Osmiornica Wed 11-May-16 10:08:08

We have loads and they all work fine. What on earth are you doing to them for them to not work so often? We keep our spares wrapped up with the wire ties you get in sandwich bags. Just be careful of the joins and don't bend too tightly.

noeffingidea Wed 11-May-16 10:24:05

I've found the ones from poundland as good as any.
I find the problem isn't the cable, it's the port in my kindle. After a short while the connection gets loose so I have to buy a new cable. It's just my kindle, not my phone.

SouthDownsSunshine Wed 11-May-16 10:31:02

I agree totally! Thought they were amazing at first. Now they're just annoying - don't work half the time. My phone is only a year old, and already the port is dodgy so it only charges intermittently.

donotreadtheDailyHeil Wed 11-May-16 11:31:57

The thing that REALLY annoyed me is what Sony did to their walkmans (we're not an ipad/ipod family). So we all have Sony walkmans and two docking stations. The charger is not a micro usb but the walkmans and docking stations and chargers are all compatible with each other.

My son's walkman broke so I bought a new one. To discover that it has a different sized charger. It is not the same as our docking stations or current chargers. Or micro-usb. Or ipod socket. I wonder what went through people's minds at Sony when they created the new socket. Oh lets annoy everyone by making a walkman socket which is not compatible with anything we have made before for this product or indeed anything else on the market! I wrote to them about it and as ever they were totally dismissive. Just why?

So my walkman finally gave up the ghost too so I bought an old-style one from ebay. Hopefully it will last a few years.

Oysterbabe Wed 11-May-16 11:37:11

I've had the same one for years. I have a few and have never had one break.

TheDropBear Wed 11-May-16 11:46:06

Completely agree, in fact right now I'm holding my charger in place because otherwise it won't charge hmm

Sallyingforth Wed 11-May-16 12:44:51

The wires inside the cable are very thin, so necessarily fragile. You do need to treat them gently, in particular pull them out by the plug. Don't drag them out by the cable.

Ricardian Wed 11-May-16 14:01:57

The Anker cables are very good: nylon overwrap, don't tangle, decent strain relief. But the micro-USB connector is inherently fragile, because of its small size. If you want thin devices, you're going to have to put up with small connectors; Apple's change to Lightning from the 30-pin Dock connector, which had life of more than ten years, is that there physically isn't room to fit a two-row connector and its shell in some of the smaller devices and have it strong enough to have any sort of sensible insertion life.

But the problem is as old as computing: here's the entry from the Jargon File, aka the Hackers' Dictionary:

^connector conspiracy: n.
[probably came into prominence with the appearance of the KL-10 (one model of the PDP-10), none of whose connectors matched anything else] The tendency of manufacturers (or, by extension, programmers or purveyors of anything) to come up with new products that don't fit together with the old stuff, thereby making you buy either all new stuff or expensive interface devices.^

It's in the 1984 edition, my copy of which I can't put my hand to, and the KL-10 was introduced in 1974; it's not a new problem.

DisgraceToTheYChromosome Wed 11-May-16 18:21:34

Well, I have some good news. Stopped in a motorway services, went to Fone Bitz, and when I demurred at £15 for a Pama (good kit, built by CB enthusiasts) he did it for a fiver. PM me and I'll tell you which one.

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