Advice sought on why 6.8A USB charger melted USB cable today

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trader_4 wrote, on Mon, 30 Nov 2015 16:44:45 -0800:

Hey Trader,
I know you mean "cheap" as in cheaply made, but, try to find a USB multi-port charger that isn't made in China.
Besides, it's sold for $60 here, so, that's not cheap (if anyone is dumb enough to pay that much for it that is): (Amazon.com product link shortened)
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On Mon, 30 Nov 2015 17:00:06 -0000 (UTC), "Danny D."

I dont know why your cable melted, but a neighbor bought one of those car cigarette lighter adaptors for his hunting cabin, which has no electricity. He rigged up a cig lighter socket with clips on it, and brings a charged battery to the cabin, and clips this thing on to it to charge his cellphone.
One day he connected the clips backwards on the battery and that adaptor went up in smoke.
I guess I never thought about that, so if someone has a vehicle with POSITIVE ground, those adaptors would not work!
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Danny D:

You don't need to be an engineer, don't need all the technical details and power formulae. You just need to know that you bought a cheap, off-brand charger that was made in a country that is infamous for producing shoddy and dangerous electrical devices--like the surge protector that I bought that had the hot and ground wires soldered to the same terminal. Be glad that it melted the the USB connector and didn't set your house afire and kill your family. And next time, don't be penny wise and pound foolish; buy the manufacturer's original charger for each device.
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wrote:

based on what he's posted, it's more likely to be a shitty cable than a shitty charger.
either way, he did cheap out.
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On Tue, 01 Dec 2015 10:10:45 -0500, nospam wrote:

I do not see that this op did any thing other than what every one does which is they buy at a well good name brand reliable electronics store a common part that has a stated specification printedd on the pakcage.
He trusted the name brand well known store and he trusted the pakcage and he paid a fair price.
The issue seems to be that the pakcage is wrong. But you can not blame the op for finding out that the pakcage is wrong.
How many people bought the same part thinking it outputs more power than it really does?
The cable was also bought at a name brand well known reliable store and a fair price was paid for that cable. You can not blame the op for buying a common part at a good brand store and paying a fair price for that cable either.
I wish more poeple were like the op.
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he did not buy a good name brand of anything.

nope.
whether it puts out 35 or 40 watts makes absolutely no difference whatsoever.

it doesn't matter.
what matters is how much each port can source.
the total maximum only comes into play when all ports are in use, as it's an aggregate total.

the cable was not mfi certified and based on the photos, it was the likely cause of the problem. it internally shorted out, got hot and melted.

of course you do, because you're a sock puppet.
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On Tuesday, December 1, 2015 at 11:42:50 AM UTC-5, nospam wrote:

+1
He's down in the weeds. Whatever melted the cable, it wasn't because of the product being spec'd at 40 vs 35, etc. I didn't look at this in a lot of detail, but it looks like that charger is intended to charge 5 things at once. IDK what the max charge current is for USB, but with just one device on it, I'd bet it's impossible to pull anywhere the rated *total* capacity, whether it's 35 or 40. Something was wrong, but it's not the spec rating.

+1
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.. sadly these days, price is not an indication of quality. Neither is a brand name. Particularly since high and low priced, and "brand" and non brand products are largely made in the same factory. :)
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wrote:

in general it is, but there are always exceptions.
however, the issue is not so much price, but noname crap.
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I disagree on both counts. :)
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On 12/01/2015 03:46 PM, Bruce Sinclair wrote:

I bought some nice lighted Belkin USB cables at the 99-Cents-Only Store. A few weeks later I saw them for $10 at Fry's. Same package. I love the 99-Cents-Only Store.
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Bruce Sinclair:

It ain't necessarily so. In my 10 years living in Asia I found that the quality products were designed by U.S. engineers and manufactured in high-end facilities. The cheap junk was often farmed out by packagers/exporters to family workshops, forced child labor in schools, etc. The maker got a crude diagram and boxes of the cheapest available parts, and assembled the items without oversight or QC.
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Then your experience differs from mine. :)
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Bruce Sinclair:

How long did you live/travel in Asia, and where did you live? That could explain our differing experiences.
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Never. It could indeed. :)
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I think you're crazy. Of course I know you will agree. :)
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Davoud wrote, on Tue, 01 Dec 2015 10:04:31 -0500:

Try to find almost any USB charger that isn't made in China. Even Apple chargers are, I think, made in China. And that's as name brand as you get.
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the issue not where it's made, but that it was an *off-brand* charger.
name brand chargers, and not just apple, are made to certain quality standards.
noname chargers don't care about quality. they care about how cheap they can make it, so they end up cutting corners, which means they're generally crap.
plus, the likely cause was the cable, not the charger.
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Um ... what data do you have to back up that assertion (which seems completely wrong IME :) ). Chargers that come with apparently "quality" kit seem to crap out about as often as the non brand ones from what I've seen.
Beware particularly the "switchable voltage" supplies ... where it is possible to select 2 voltages at the same time (not good for the plug pack I can assure you :) ).

Chargers/power supplies are really simple things. Yes, manufacturers could cheap out and use nasty capacitors (saving a few cents) ... and yes I'm sure that happens. But why do you think this *doesn't* happen in the 'brand' or expensive ones ? Paper work and quality resultsa can be faked (easily). :)
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wrote:

open them up and look. the noname shit is usually garbage.
<http://www.righto.com/2014/05/a-look-inside-ipad-chargers-pricey.html Safety probably isn't something you think about when you plug in your charger, but it's important. Inside the charger is 170 volts or more with very little separating it from your iPad and you. If something goes wrong, the charger can burn up (below), injure you, or even kill you. Devices such as chargers have strict safety standards[14] - if you get a charger from a reputable manufacturer. If you buy a cheap counterfeit charger, these safety standards are ignored. You can't see the safety risks from the outside, but by taking the chargers apart, I can show you the dangers of the counterfeit.
in the chargers, he finds that the apple charger has a 5.6mm gap between high and low voltage sections but only a 0.6mm gap in the noname charger, which is so little that he considers it unsafe.
the transformer wires on the apple charger are triple insulated, while on the noname charger, they're uninsulated except for a varnish.
and that's not the only problem. the output is crap:
Lab measurements of the output from the chargers shows a couple problems with the counterfeit. First, the counterfeit turns out to provide at most 5.9W, not 10W. Second, the output voltage is extremely noisy and full of spikes.
noname chargers are not safe to the point where apple even offers a discount on a genuine charger to replace the shitty ones.
<http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2406185/Fake-Apple-Cheap-phone- chargers-burn-house.html> ŒThere are plenty of reputable companies that make accessories for Apple products, and as long as you go with one of them, you should be fine,¹ says David Price, online editor at macworld.co.uk.
<http://www.digitaltrends.com/mobile/cheap-iphone-charger-burns-man/ Charging your phone is a safe activity, but even plugging a device into a wall carries some risk. A Chinese woman reportedly died when she answered a call on her iPhone 5 while it was charging and an iPad giving a man such a strong shock that it sent him flying across the room. There have been enough high-profile incidents around iOS devices that Apple stepped in to provide discounts for its official ones. Even so, that didn¹t stop Tim Tyrrell from getting a knock-off charger for his iPhone 5 and suffering the consequences.
Tyrrell didn¹t want to spend the $25 ­ $30 that chargers from Apple usually cost, so he opted for a $10 combo from eBay that included two wall chargers and a car charger. Unfortunately, one of the wall chargers exploded, leaving Tyrrell with a nasty electrical burn. ³Basically, the charger turned black and, it¹s where the USB cord connects to the outlet, had a mini explosion,² said Tyrrell. ³It kind of bruised the fingers inside where I plugged it in.²

actually, they're not that simple anymore. most of them are much more than a transformer and a voltage regulator.
nothing is perfect, but the chance of problems with a reputable name brand charger is *much* less than with a noname charger because reputable companies have *way* too much to lose if they ship garbage.
nobody will notice if a noname company goes away, and it will reappear with a different name next month shipping the same crap.
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