What is USB?
USB stands for Universal Serial Bus. It has been around since 1996 and was originally designed for connecting peripherals like keyboards and pointing devices to personal computers. Since then, it has developed to encompass a wide variety of devices and become the standard for charging.
7+ Different Types of Cell Phone Charging Cables and Pins:
Let us now look into the differences between the many types of cell phone charger cords available in the market:
1. USB-Type A Charger:
USB-Type-A chargers have male connectors that connect to the female Type-A ports present on a host device like computers or laptops. Typically, these cable cords have a rectangular shape with the bottom part comprising the pin connectors. On the recipient side, any device like a mobile phone, power bank, iPod, etc. can be connected using different charger ends like Type B or C. Type A chargers are quite rigid and can only accommodate specific ports which are now becoming obsolete in modern host devices.
2. USB- Type B Charger:
USB Type B connectors fit into the female Type B ports present on large peripheral devices like printers, scanners, and external storage devices. They have a characteristic square shape with sloped corners on the top. The other end of Type B connectors comes with either Type A or C connectors to connect to an external device like a computer. The idea behind the development of Type B connectors is to prevent the risk of connecting two host computers to each other instead of a peripheral device. Type B ports are slowly vanishing from the commercial market and giving way to newer types of USB Chargers
3. USB- Type C Charger:
USB- Type C Chargers are relatively new entries to the world of charger ports. Within just a few years, they are the best alternatives to most conventional charger ports like A or B. The key benefit of these connectors is the reversible option. You can plug the connector into the port in any direction to get a good fit. Also, USB-C is quite powerful in terms of connectivity, faster data transfer, and speed charging of other devices connected at the end of the ports. Many brands like Samsung, Nexus, etc. are making Type-C as their default phone charger type.
4. Mini-USB Charger:
Mini-USB Chargers have officially disappeared from the electronics scene now! But during the times of digital cameras, these chargers were game changers in the way devices were charged. As the name suggests, Mini-USB chargers are much smaller and thicker compared to other kinds of phone chargers. On one end of this charger cable is a standard flat-end USB and on the other end you can find a smaller version of either Type-A, B, or C Chargers. The main drawback is that these chargers are not on-the-go compliant, meaning they cannot support the switching between the roles of host and device.
5. Micro-USB Charger:
Micro-USB Chargers are one of the most widely sold types of chargers in the world. In fact, brands like Samsung and LG have pretty much made these their standard mobile phone chargers globally. There are many ways in which Micro-USB chargers are superior to mini-USBs. These chargers are physically smaller in size than Mini USBs and are OTG (On-the-Go) Compliant. Also, they support a high data transfer of 480 MBPS! There are two subtypes of these USB chargers – Type A and Type B, although the latter is more common.
6. USB 3.0 Charger:
USB 3.0 is the latest innovation in the mobile industry, which is also called Superspeed USB. Compared to USB 2.0, USB 3.0 offers a high data transfer of up to 625 MB/s and a fast charging of up to 900 mA, making it the fastest in the market so far. You can identify a 3.0 from a 2.0 using the blue color on the receptors. Today, we have USB 3.1, called Superspeed+, and USB 3.2 Chargers which combine superspeed and superspeed+ to give extremely high data transfer rates of 2500 Mbits/S. These chargers again have subtypes like USB 3.0 Type A, B, or C, of which the 18W Fast Charger USB- TypeC is quite popular.
7. Lightning Charger:
The Lightning phone charger chord is wholly owned and designed by Apple Inc. Lightning Connectors have replaced the original 30-pin dock connectors which came with iPhone 4 or iPhone 3. Instead of 30, Lightning chords come with just 8 pins and can be inserted into the female port in any direction. All the latest models of Apple, including the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Max, come with Lightning chargers. In 2018, Apple announced that it would replace all its lightning connectors with USB-Type C. However, we don’t see that happening anytime soon!
Types Of Charger
There are several types of electronic circuitry used within battery chargers for the marine market.
Ferro-resonant (or CVT)
These use a low-frequency MAGNETIC control system, which makes them very HEAVY, very BULKY, and is also only available with a poor FLOAT charge characteristic, therefore very SLOW recharging. They can also generate a large magnetic field which can upset other equipment on board. On the plus side, they are CHEAP and RELIABLE due to the low number of components used and they tend to appeal to boat-builders who put the price at the top of their list of priorities.
These also use a low-frequency transformer to reduce the input voltage to a lower level but then use transistors to control the current and voltage fed to the battery. This technique can be used for either FLOAT or 3-STAGE chargers but is very IN-EFFICIENT and therefore HOT, HEAVY, and BULKY. The biggest drawback is a LIMITED INPUT VOLTAGE range – not ideal for running from a generator or some marina supplies.
Switched Mode Chargers
These are more complicated than the previous two types and use the techniques perfected for and are now universally used in computers and televisions. The AC input is first turned into high-voltage DC. It is then turned into high-frequency AC using special types of transistors and a high-frequency transformer (one-thirtieth the weight of a low-frequency transformer!) reduces the voltage to the exact level needed to charge the battery. A sophisticated control circuit produces an overall design with HIGH-EFFICIENCY, SMALL SIZE, and LIGHTWEIGHT. The extra complexity adds to the initial cost but results in lower running costs and the ability to run from a SMALLER (and cheaper) GENERATOR if required. Switched mode chargers can be either FLOAT or 3-STAGE types.
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