USB Cables

Discussion in 'Photography' started by knokinonabit, Aug 16, 2013.

  1. knokinonabit

    knokinonabit Funster

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    This question could be for computer people as well as photographers.

    Every time I buy a new device (camera, laptop etc) it comes with a USB cable. I now have a fair old collection of them and worry about mixing them up.

    Question: Are they all the same so does it matter if I mix them up ?

    It may seem like a numpty question to ask, but it is asked by a numpty as far as gadgets are concerned. :Confused: :BigGrin:
     
  2. rainbow chasers

    rainbow chasers Read Only Funster

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    If it is just a standard USB cable, then is doesn't matter what you use. Some are USB to Mini USB - in which case as long as the item is mini usb - it won't matter. They have no charging regulation, they are just a link cable.
     
  3. knokinonabit

    knokinonabit Funster

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    Thank you RC.

    I thought that would be the case but wanted it confirmed by someone "who knows stuff about stuff" :thumb: :BigGrin:
     
  4. Daveg

    Daveg Funster

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    Don't get caught out

    There is a "standard" mini USB which will fit quite a few things, but some companies have proprietary ones. My Olympus camera is a case in point. I assumed the standard cable would be OK and found it wasn't in Porto. Also kindles, blackberries etc have their own fittings.

    Moral - check every gizmo cable before getting on the road.

    Dave
     
  5. buttons

    buttons Funster

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    Some usb cables are produces of better conducting material so the more expensive ones should be better in some circumstances.

    The other difference is that some have a bulbous section in the cable, this is a magnet bolted on to the cable that meets EU legislation with regard to keeping electromagnetic interference under reasonable control but not needed in most situations.:thumb:
     
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  6. knokinonabit

    knokinonabit Funster

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    Thank you all for your informed replies.

    I think that I will just label each one up so that I know what it is for, that way, everything should be fine.

    All I have to do now is work out which one is which :Doh: :Rofl1:
     
  7. WynandJean

    WynandJean Funster

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    In my experience the problem is often, not so much plugging one into the 'wrong thing' but because many look fairly similar (especially at the device end) it's a matter of which will actually fit into the gadget. If it will fit it will work.

    Wyn

     
  8. thehutchies

    thehutchies Funster

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    Most USB cables have connections for a power supply and connections for data transfer.

    Some will only have connections for the power supply, to allow a device to be charged.

    The power-only cable obviously isn't much use if you are trying to transfer files from your camera to your computer, for example. :Smile:
     
  9. Deckard

    Deckard Read Only Funster

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    USB 1.x/2.0 standard pinout
    Pin Name Cable color Description
    1 VBUS Red (or Orange) +5 V
    2 D− White (or Gold) Data −
    3 D+ Green Data +
    4 GND Black (or Blue) Ground

    USB 1.x/2.0 Mini/Micro pinout
    Pin Name Cable color Description
    1 VBUS Red +5 V
    2 D− White Data −
    3 D+ Green Data +
    4 ID None Permits distinction of host connection from slave connection
    • host: connected to Signal ground
    • slave: not connected
    5 GND Black Signal ground


    All USB or micro-usb cables are the same - its a UNIVERSAL serial bus.....if it fits - its ok....Fortunately gone are the days of 25pin D-Types wired by a magician in the black forest under a full moon.....

    The discussion about cable quality on a short 5v connecting lead is of little significance in practical terms. If you were streaming audio or video - you could try a gold plated, OFC , cable - but I'd reserve that stuff for your audio system at home....I have leads I got cheap off ebay and some I paid £10 for....still charges stuff, still transfers photos, videos, music etc.

    The cheaper ones seem to go "slack" quicker (soft metal plug?) and the cable generally feels thinner....but for charging a phone/tablet??

    If using with a nice stills or video camera, then as I say, might be worth getting an upmarket cable to go with it....or just put the memory card straight into your pc :)
     
  10. thehutchies

    thehutchies Funster

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    Unless they only have the power connections and not the data transfer.

    It does make you wonder why the manufacturers would bother, though.

    :Smile:
     
  11. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    I think it depends what you are using it for.

    my kindle was supplied with a USB charging lead for connection to a laptop/pc.
    the recommended mains charger has a heavier gauge wire to aid faster charging due to reduced volt drop and capable of carrying a higher current.

    providing it isnt a speciialist item lead and all four pins are connected any USB lead will do either charging or data transfer but the better the quality the faster it should work.

    in the same way a gold plated audio/video lead plug/socket will work better than a cheap metal alternative.
     
  12. TheBig1

    TheBig1 Funster Life Member

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    if you look closely most usb mini connectors are the same, but there are a few micro ones about and some oddball ones related to a single manufacturer. what i have and carry in my laptop bag is one good quality USB lead and a set of adaptors to make it fit whatever

    like this but using a better cable
    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/USB-Data-..._USB_Cables_Hubs_Adapters&hash=item53fa41cc8a

    this way i dont need to carry loads of different cables
     
  13. mitzimad

    mitzimad Funster

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    as said if it fits it will work problem we find is cheap leads dont last and are sometimes slow for charging the ones that come with the apliances tend to match their quality to the apliance ie cheap chinese sat nav cheap chinese lead
    so any of the ones that have come with your tom tom or nikon camera will last longer and if they fit you can interchange them
    the other thing ive started to do is tippex the name of the gadget on every power supply i get to save confusion in the future
     
  14. knokinonabit

    knokinonabit Funster

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    Thanks to everyone for your replies.

    I am now going for a short lie down :active:
     
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