Computers & Electronics

Safe USB-A to USB-C cables?

  • Last Updated:
  • Dec 30th, 2020 1:51 pm
Tags:
[OP]
Deal Addict
User avatar
Aug 15, 2003
3139 posts
615 upvotes
Ottawa

Safe USB-A to USB-C cables?

I got a nice new wireless charging station recently, but it needs a USB-C cable and I've never had a need for one of those before.

Ordinarily I would order one of these from Asia using eBay or DX or whatnot, but there are alarming stories about those things lately.

Or I would look to the Clearance section at The Source, but there's nothing there at the moment.

I see Superstore has some nice ones that even include microUSB adapters, but they're still $7+tx.

Is it not possible to buy microUSB-to-USB-C adapters separately? Those should be safe, right? I have tons of microUSB cables at this point.
16 replies
Deal Expert
Aug 2, 2004
33994 posts
7634 upvotes
East Gwillimbury
If you are just plugging a cable from the charger to the wall, you can use any cable.

If you are plugging directly into a USB C device, you will need a cable that has a resistor to limit the voltage when using anything other than USB C on the other end.
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Oct 13, 2008
5104 posts
2012 upvotes
Jorpho wrote: I got a nice new wireless charging station recently, but it needs a USB-C cable and I've never had a need for one of those before.

Ordinarily I would order one of these from Asia using eBay or DX or whatnot, but there are alarming stories about those things lately.

Or I would look to the Clearance section at The Source, but there's nothing there at the moment.

I see Superstore has some nice ones that even include microUSB adapters, but they're still $7+tx.

Is it not possible to buy microUSB-to-USB-C adapters separately? Those should be safe, right? I have tons of microUSB cables at this point.
Amazon
16'x11' Living Room 11' Cathedral Ceiling. Hisense 65Q8G. Denon AVR-S740H 7.2 setup. Jamo Classic 10 280W Towers - FR+FL; Polk S35 - Center; Klipsch R51M - RR+RL; Klipsch R14M - Dolby FHR+FHL; Polk HTS10 Subwoofer x2. Unlocked Android Boxes from Taiwan x2
Deal Addict
Sep 14, 2012
1867 posts
1342 upvotes
Montreal, QC
Jorpho wrote:
Is it not possible to buy microUSB-to-USB-C adapters separately? Those should be safe, right? I have tons of microUSB cables at this point.
I've purchased a 2 pack of microUSB to USB-C adapter from Amazon (Anker brand). I purchased 2 of them (so 4 in total). There are less expensive options but I've used Anker products (portable battery chargers, AC USB brick charger, and USB card reader) and never had an issue with them so I opted to get the Anker brand for the micro-USB to USB-C adapter.

I keep one of these adapters in my backpack which has a charging compartment for a portable USB battery charger, keep one in my car's glove compartment, keep one at home, and keep one at work. They've never failed me and the devices that I've plugged them to haven't failed yet (and I've been using them on/off for over a year).
Deal Expert
User avatar
Mar 25, 2003
16262 posts
4800 upvotes
Markham
Jorpho wrote: I got a nice new wireless charging station recently, but it needs a USB-C cable and I've never had a need for one of those before.

Ordinarily I would order one of these from Asia using eBay or DX or whatnot, but there are alarming stories about those things lately.

Or I would look to the Clearance section at The Source, but there's nothing there at the moment.

I see Superstore has some nice ones that even include microUSB adapters, but they're still $7+tx.

Is it not possible to buy microUSB-to-USB-C adapters separately? Those should be safe, right? I have tons of microUSB cables at this point.
https://www.amazon.ca/ARKTEK-Adapter-Th ... B07C3MFS1W
96TB Mediasonic H82-SU3S2 / 72TB Raid 50 on Mediasonic H8R2-SU3S2
48TB Node 304 / i5-3570 / Server 2016 Essentials
12TB HP Mediasmart EX 495 (E8400, 3.0GHZ, 4GB Mushkin), with Server 2016 Essentials
16TB Qnap TS-459 Pro
Member
Jul 18, 2005
377 posts
91 upvotes
The Nintendo Switch had bad USB-C implementation and could have been bricked if using a "bad" cable or charger. So most of the work has been done in researching the best USB-C cables that actually follow USB standards. Could help you out.

https://switchchargers.com/cables/
Deal Fanatic
Jul 13, 2012
7717 posts
1012 upvotes
Ottawa
Gee wrote: If you are just plugging a cable from the charger to the wall, you can use any cable.

If you are plugging directly into a USB C device, you will need a cable that has a resistor to limit the voltage when using anything other than USB C on the other end.
I'm a little confused. What do you mean by "plugging into a USB C" device? Do you mean if item A is plugged into item B, and Item A uses non-usb C and Item B uses usb C?
Deal Expert
Aug 2, 2004
33994 posts
7634 upvotes
East Gwillimbury
ConsoleWatcher wrote: I'm a little confused. What do you mean by "plugging into a USB C" device? Do you mean if item A is plugged into item B, and Item A uses non-usb C and Item B uses usb C?
Sorry for the confusion, for power bricks

If both ends of the cable are USB C, then you fine. But if one end is USB C and other end is USB A, then you need a cable with a resistor to limit the draw. USB C Power Delivery (PD) devices may request more power than the adapter is able to provide and that is where the problem arises. USB A has a maximum output of 5 Volts and up to 2.4 Amps

Even USB C cables need to be of decent quality. Most good cables have a chip at each end to handle the PD
Deal Expert
User avatar
Mar 6, 2003
15902 posts
7476 upvotes
Ottawa
For my main charging cables, I always try to spend a bit more to get a good one if you're going to be plugging it in often, and with your expensive primary devices.

i.e. one that is USB-IF certified, and is also heavy duty. Some of the Anker ones are good quality (see the link 3 posts up about Nintendo cables).

I've also used the more expensive AmazonBasics braided cables and have nothing bad to say.
This is RedFlagDeals, not RedFlagCheapskates. Rich or poor, we all want our deals so we can buy even more stuff we may or may not need.
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
May 11, 2009
6149 posts
2672 upvotes
Debtario
Interesting. I'm not an EE but always thought poorly designed chargers were at fault (because there are lots of shoddy chargers out there), if a charger is rated at say 1A then it shouldn't be able to output more than 1A, at least not without the charger going boom. I thought the larger issue had to do with voltages, i.e. charger capable of 5v and 20v output misdetects the cable and sends 20V to the 5V device, but this does not seem to be the case as most of the issues I read about are beefy-battery devices like laptops, tablets, and phones that support the fast charging mode.

Anyhoo, I use AUKEY branded microUSB to USB-C adapters and thankfully have no issues charging from my power bar's built in 1A USB ports and the 500ma USB of my computer (though slow charge takes 5 hours...)
"I possess a device, in my pocket, capable of accessing the entirety of information known to man. I use it to look at pictures of cats and get in arguments with strangers"
Deal Addict
Feb 16, 2006
4708 posts
1647 upvotes
Vancouver
There was a Google employee - Benson Leung - who was documenting USB-C cables but after his Google+ page went down in 2019 I have not kept up to date on his work.

He's moved some of the USB-C pages to Medium and apparently has written product reviews on various Amazon products.

https://medium.com/@leung.benson

https://medium.com/@leung.benson/usb-ty ... e08047677d

This next page also mentions him but I'm not sure when it was last updated.

https://usbccompliant.com/


If you Google search "benson leung usb-c cable list" it will lead you to more info on this issue but this one page I found interesting. Need to find my Samsung chargers and identify them.

https://www.reddit.com/r/GooglePixel/wi ... e/usbcinfo


.
Deal Addict
Feb 16, 2006
4708 posts
1647 upvotes
Vancouver
PS....

I would check the wattage ratings, especially if you plan to use this assembly with a newer high wattage fast charging phone and its' oem charger.

.
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Oct 13, 2008
5104 posts
2012 upvotes
craftsman wrote: There are a lot of stories from US media sources that AMAZON cables are the ones causing issues - ie fires - Dozens of Amazon's own products have been reported as dangerous -- melting, exploding or even bursting into flames. Many are still on the market
To each his own.

I've purchased cables on eBay for the longest time and never had any issues with any cable.

They may be of cheaper quality ... but who cares.

Kept one/two in the office ... keep one/two in your car (sometimes your friends don't have the cable that fits your device) ... have a couple in the garage, in the basement ... big deal.
16'x11' Living Room 11' Cathedral Ceiling. Hisense 65Q8G. Denon AVR-S740H 7.2 setup. Jamo Classic 10 280W Towers - FR+FL; Polk S35 - Center; Klipsch R51M - RR+RL; Klipsch R14M - Dolby FHR+FHL; Polk HTS10 Subwoofer x2. Unlocked Android Boxes from Taiwan x2

Top