Why is the micro USB so fragile compared to mini USB cable ends?
I bought a bunch of micro-USB cables recently from Frys, and
almost half of them have had the two little nubs on the top
of the male micro-USB connector disappear.
I don't know if they fall off, or if they get pressed down,
or if they bend, or what, but the cables just fall out of
the various devices I use them in (earbuds, smart phones,
Is it that micro_USB is inherently more fragile than mini_USB?
Or is it just bad cables from Frys?
It's deliberate ... with USB and miniUSB the contacts and retaining
springs are in the socket and wear out after 1,000 to 2,000 insertions;
with microUSB the wear is intended to happen within the plug, because
the cable can be more easily replaced, they're also rated for more like
I have sometimes managed to persuade the "nibs" back into life with the
end of pin, but cables are cheap.
I expect Frys probably just bought these cables in bulk from a Chinese
The mentality of consumers in China is different. In China, if
something is inexpensively priced they EXPECT it's not going to last
very long. The problem is that the buyers from companies like Harbour
Freight intentionally try to seek out suppliers in China that will
supply goods at the lowest cost, and to the Chinese that means the
"lowest quality". (See PS below)
I expect that if you purchased the cables from a well respected company,
like Belkin, then your cables would still have been made in China, but
would have been made to a much higher standard of quality. Most of the
products Apple sells in North America are made by a factory in China to
Apple's own quality control standards. So, the problem is not where
it's made or who sells it, it's in the fact that North Americans are
going to China looking for the least expensive products to maximize
their sales profits, and the Chinese understand that they're after
poorly made goods that won't last long.
Maybe buy a single Belkin micro-USB cable and see how well it stands up
compared to the junk you bought from Frys.
Exactly the same thing happened after WWII. Japan had been defeated and
it's manufacturing capacity had been destroyed along with two of it's
major manufacturing centers (Hiroshima and Nagasaki). Unable to produce
goods from steel anymore, Japan began producing inexpensive plastic
goods for sale in North America, and for a good decade after the end of
the war, "Made in Japan" was an indication of poor quality. The
Japanese themselves wondered why Americans wanted poorly made products.
Now that that little misunderstanding has been cleared up, Japan
produces some of the highest quality optical goods (like cameras,
microscopes and telescopes) in the world along with some of the best
On Wed, 20 Aug 2014 07:08:24 -0700, William Sommerwerck wrote:
'cause the phone makers got together and decided on a "universal"
connector for charging. Under pressure from the consumer about the
being fleeced for chargers with only difference being the propritary
Do people keep a phone that long? People here seem to upgrade every
tweleve months or when ever they can twist their provider in to it.
Personally I don't like micro USB. It's too small, doesn't self guide
on insertion, the orientation is non-obvious and with the lack of
self guidance is the thing not going together because it's miss
aligned or the wrong way up? Mini USB doesn't suffer those problems.
Main downside is that the contacts are all exposed on the
end of the cable. That hasn’t bitten me yet, but it will sometime.
Yeah, I'd much rather have the same connector on everything.
But particularly with some very small devices like the Nokia BH-505
bluetooth headset, I do like the tiny proprietary Nokia jack because
that has just a tiny hole in the headset, under a bit of rubber that
stops water and sweat getting in it when the headset is being used.
Michael A. Terrell wrote, on Wed, 20 Aug 2014 14:02:13 -0400:
I didn't know you *could* (easily) replace the connectors!
And, at 5 cents each, no less.
How can they possibly make money selling those micro usb connectors
for 5 cents each, with shipping from Szechuan China being 80 cents?
BTW, are they crimp on? Glue on? Solder on? What?
Avraham Bernholz wrote, on Wed, 20 Aug 2014 14:35:12 +0000:
Here is a picture of a few of the bad microUSB cables:
This 6 foot long Belken cable no longer has any nubs:
So the Belken (on the right) didn't have any more nub than
the no-name brand on the left (in this picture below):
I'm confused how I'm supposed to buy a good micro USB
cable when even the Belken brand loses its nubs.
I've got one that is used for the Logitech mouse and keyboard
charging and it hasn’t lost its nubs. Its been used every week or
so for charging both the mouse and keyboard, every week for
each. Came with one of them from logitech. From memory I
got one with each and have just used the one to charge both.
Ralph Mowery wrote, on Wed, 20 Aug 2014 09:15:02 -0400:
I don't think I'm using it any more than anyone else.
I was just guessing at the number of insertions.
It's only a couple times a day that it's used, on average.
Anyway, they failed in far fewer than 10,000 cycles, so, I'm
assuming the micro USB standard is seriously flawed, or, I'm
just getting bad cables from Frys.
Here is what Frys had today for USB cables in the components area:
So, I bought a 3 foot and 6 foot replacement:
We'll see how they fare, but, most seem to lose their nubs in
a few months like these two cables did:
The one at left is no name, the one at right has Belkin molded
on it. Maybe it's a fake? But I bought it at Frys, for sure.
Michael A. Terrell wrote, on Wed, 20 Aug 2014 14:02:13 -0400:
I also have to replace the Duracell USB wall charger I bought
from Frys, as it just fell apart in my hands today!
That could have been dangerous because it left that missing pin
in hot port of the wall socket!
I'm getting bummed out on Duracell chargers and rechargeables. Several
years ago (maybe 2008) I bought a set of the precharged Duracells --
supposed to maintain a charge while sitting on a shelf for nearly a year
-- and the spares (charged at the same time as the ones in my camera)
are dead when the ones I've been using in my camera die. The Duracell
charger (the BIG one!) stopped working within 2 years. I now carry more
Kirkland AAs with me Just In Case.
Are the Eneloops any better?
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