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Which USB cables will allow "fast" charging?

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By brent_strong, Junior Member on 29th June 2011, 10:50 PM
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I've been using a mix of old and new USB cables for charging and have noticed that some micro USBs from my Blackberry days will charge the TB but VERY slowly, even using the wall charger.

I want to order some more fast charging USB cables, but how do I identify the difference? What IS the actual difference between the cables?

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30th June 2011, 06:54 AM |#2  
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Usb charging is normally slower than AC wall charging. Most cables are designed exactly the same but some chargers are suited for more amperage per hour. I'd recommend downloading the app -"battery monitor widget" and plugging in your charger and seeing what type of miliamp per hour rating you're getting off of that particular usb port. If the port is in front of the computer, normally those get slightly less voltage than the main ones in the back. Also If you're rooted make sure you aren't on an old outdated kernel that has trickle charge coding thats messed up. I normally get 500-800ma/h based off the AC wall chargers, and anywhere depending on what computer (Work vs Home) USB ports anywhere from like 150-350ma/h. Hope that little tidbit helps.
30th June 2011, 02:56 PM |#3  
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It is a bit complicted.

When you simply apply power, the Thunderbolt (and most micro USB phone) charges at a slow rate. I have measured this at around 350ma max on the Bolt. This is mainly because the USB port power standard on a PC is 500ma max. They need to stay under that.

By the micro USB standard, if you tie the two USB data lines (D- and D+) together, then the Thunderbolt goes into a fast charge mode. I have seen around 850ma max. You can place a piece of aluminum foil on the charger end (large USB) to short out the two center pins only and switch it to high rate.

Some cables tie the two wires together. Those are fast charge only cables that you can't used for a USB connection. Some chargers tie the two wires together. So they fast charge with any USB cable.

What gets complicated is that of course the charger needs to be capable of about 1 amp for the fast charge to work. AND, some cables use such small wire diameter, that they can't carry the high current rate. I have a couple of cheap cables that even on the fast rate, only carry around 300ma.

AND, if you have time, charge at the low rate. The battery and phone will run cooler, and the battery will last longer. My overnight charger is the lowest rate that I can get by with. But I need to use a super high rate when using the GPS on my motorcycle to keep up with the bright screen and such.
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30th June 2011, 04:56 PM |#4  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by worwig

It is a bit complicted.
By the micro USB standard, if you tie the two USB data lines (D- and D+) together, then the Thunderbolt goes into a fast charge mode. I have seen around 850ma max. You can place a piece of aluminum foil on the charger end (large USB) to short out the two center pins only and switch it to high rate.

I did this for my CaseMate battery backup and was able to get 800ma charging from it...

If you are just looking for a good car charger, i highly recommend the Motorola Rapid Charger from amazon, they are about $5 shipped. Those charge at the AC "Fast Charge" rate.
16th July 2013, 07:34 AM |#5  
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Thumbs up converting usb standard to fast-charging
Basically, the cable that came with my tablet, which allowed fast-charging, crapped out. I bought what I thought was the same cable and it still didn't work the right way. In searching through the forums, a a phrase hit me... two-pin fast charging cable. Seeing that, I took a small knife and a pair of needle-nose pliers and extracted the two inner pins( data pins) from he USB side of my cable. The cable, without the data pins, became a dedicated fast-charging cable. I have done this process with three cables so far to see if it was a fluke and every one is capable of fast-charging. I hope anybody that has been hitting the wall on this, reads this, because I was getting very frustrated with the convulated answers some people were giving to address this (especially from Munich!). Try it out, you can bury me in ashes if it doesn't work for you!!!
24th July 2013, 04:58 AM |#6  
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It's not the cable, it's the brick you're using. My nexus 7 charging brick has a higher output than my tbolt brick, so I use my n7's to charge it in a fraction of the time. Never rely on your computer's usb port to charge your device especially if it's your daily driver
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