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USB Cable Tester

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(@hilldweller)
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Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 111
Topic starter  

I've been suffering USB problems with Linux but this also raises the question of USB cables. All too often a charge only cable turns up as well as crap steel/aluminium cored cables which break easily.

I'm thinking of soldering up one right now. Chop off USB A and Micro USB female ends from extension cables. Solder to two sets of 5 pins and get the multimeter out.

 

OR

 

Get out an old UNO and do an auto tester. It would need a switchable load/supply to measure the cable resistance and shorts. OLEDs are cheap, may as well have a proper display. Maybe an ESP32 with built in display.

 

And of course the deluxe model has a TFT screen, web interface, appropriate test/fail sounds. Fail should burn out the cable to ensure it's never used again.


   
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(@hilldweller)
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Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 111
Topic starter  

I got the urge to solder. KISS. Take two genuine Molex pin headers, cut to 9, pull alternate pins. Cut up two extension cables for the female ends. Solder to pins. Coat in contact adhesive. Below you can see the M5StickC I've been discussing in another thread.

 

USB

   
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Ron
 Ron
(@zander)
Father of a miniature Wookie
Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 7287
 

@hilldweller Not sure if it's related, but there are such things as USB testers and USB cable testers. However I would bet the software drivers are the most likely problem, not the hardware.

First computer 1959. Retired from my own computer company 2004.
Hardware - Expert in 1401, and 360, fairly knowledge in PC plus numerous MPU's and MCU's
Major Languages - Machine language, 360 Macro Assembler, Intel Assembler, PL/I and PL1, Pascal, Basic, C plus numerous job control and scripting languages.
My personal scorecard is now 1 PC hardware fix (circa 1982), 1 open source fix (at age 82), and 2 zero day bugs in a major OS.


   
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(@hilldweller)
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Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 111
Topic starter  

W-O-W eye opener. Working my way through some cable there seems to be about 0.5E per wire generally, but the wow bit is a couple of cables used for charging show 30E, wriggle and a bit less, squirt of contact cleaner and down to 0.5E.

 

All that scanning of USB data and some problems could be as simple a dirty contacts.

 

One cable I had on the bench was charging only, I wonder if I fell for that one in all my feverish testing.

 

1E in the power lines is pretty significant if pulling max current out of the USB.


   
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Ron
 Ron
(@zander)
Father of a miniature Wookie
Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 7287
 

@hilldweller What is E?

First computer 1959. Retired from my own computer company 2004.
Hardware - Expert in 1401, and 360, fairly knowledge in PC plus numerous MPU's and MCU's
Major Languages - Machine language, 360 Macro Assembler, Intel Assembler, PL/I and PL1, Pascal, Basic, C plus numerous job control and scripting languages.
My personal scorecard is now 1 PC hardware fix (circa 1982), 1 open source fix (at age 82), and 2 zero day bugs in a major OS.


   
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(@hilldweller)
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Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 111
Topic starter  

Posted by: @zander

@hilldweller What is E?

 

Maybe me cracking up, but I'm sure E was often used on circuit diagrams for ohms. Illogical I know. I typed it automatically.

 


   
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Will
 Will
(@will)
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Joined: 3 years ago
Posts: 2548
 

@hilldweller 

Are you sure E didn't represent voltage (Electromotive force? Ohms law was E = IxR)

Anything seems possible when you don't know what you're talking about.


   
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(@hilldweller)
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Posts: 111
Topic starter  

Posted by: @will

@hilldweller 

Are you sure E didn't represent voltage (Electromotive force? Ohms law was E = IxR)

 

It certainly does.

 


   
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Ron
 Ron
(@zander)
Father of a miniature Wookie
Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 7287
 

@hilldweller It's certainly not ohms, I assume volts when I see E. For ohms an acceptable abbreviation would be R.

First computer 1959. Retired from my own computer company 2004.
Hardware - Expert in 1401, and 360, fairly knowledge in PC plus numerous MPU's and MCU's
Major Languages - Machine language, 360 Macro Assembler, Intel Assembler, PL/I and PL1, Pascal, Basic, C plus numerous job control and scripting languages.
My personal scorecard is now 1 PC hardware fix (circa 1982), 1 open source fix (at age 82), and 2 zero day bugs in a major OS.


   
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