USB Chargers: Pros and Cons

13 posts / 0 new
Last post
superpacker510
Offline
Last seen: 4 years 1 month ago
Joined: 08/29/2017 - 22:37
Posts: 10
USB Chargers: Pros and Cons

Very new here. From what I’ve seen people either love or hate chargers with USB power supplies. I wanted to learn more about the pros and cons.

I’m interested in the perceived versatility – like being able to plug it into my computer, laptop, or a solar charger, and with only 2 plug adapters (rather than two separate cords) can plug it into a wall outlet or car charger as well.

From what I’ve read, the cons are (1) finding an adequate plug adapter to get sufficient power, (2) li-on charging safety concerns, (3) USB wasn’t intended for a large charging platform.

Any information is helpful.

HKJ
HKJ's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 week 4 days ago
Joined: 05/24/2011 - 12:23
Posts: 7447
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark

1) If you want maximal charge speed it can be tricky, but as a start use my list: http://lygte-info.dk/info/ChargerIndex%20UK.html
2) Not different from any other LiIon charger and you avoid all the mains safety issues with the charger (But have them with the USB power supply instead).
3) Usb has changed over time, to making more power available. In the future you might be able to draw 100 watt from a usb supply, today it is usual in the 10-20 watt range.

My website with reviews of many chargers and batteries (More than 1000): https://lygte-info.dk/

superpacker510
Offline
Last seen: 4 years 1 month ago
Joined: 08/29/2017 - 22:37
Posts: 10

These pretty much seems to sum things up! But any other thoughts or considerations are welcome (helps me learn).

Truck
Offline
Last seen: 4 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 09/13/2017 - 08:15
Posts: 129

My VC4 has a nice display but is not the fastest charger. has a weird cable too, not standard.

wle
wle's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 day 22 hours ago
Joined: 01/07/2015 - 13:49
Posts: 2564
Location: atlanta ga

surprised someone hasn;t said this – but a CON is “wait time”.

you have to wait for the light to recharge.

If you have a charged cell in the charger, just swap and go.

Of course you can still do this – if you have a charger and spare cell – but then why have USB?

The obvious other CONs are weight, expense, and potential water leakage or damage to the USB port itself (i find it gets clogged with pocket lint, for instance).
Even if it has a plug to cover it up, that becomes something else to fiddle with and break off eventually.

"You never have the wind with you - it's either against you, or you're having a good day."
    Daniel Behrman, "The Man Who Loved Bicycles".
It never gets easy, you just go faster.   
-Greg Lemond.
       ,ø¤º°`°º¤ø¸,ø¤º°`°º¤ø¸,ø¤º°`°º¤ø¸

Jack Kellar
Jack Kellar's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 day 17 hours ago
Joined: 03/09/2014 - 14:21
Posts: 2160
Location: Throwing bolts at anomalies

wle wrote:
surprised someone hasn;t said this – but a CON is “wait time”.

you have to wait for the light to recharge.

If you have a charged cell in the charger, just swap and go.

Of course you can still do this – if you have a charger and spare cell – but then why have USB?

The obvious other CONs are weight, expense, and potential water leakage or damage to the USB port itself (i find it gets clogged with pocket lint, for instance).
Even if it has a plug to cover it up, that becomes something else to fiddle with and break off eventually.


Outside of the first point, this is why I’m a fan of the batteries themselves having a USB port for charging. No worries about the host being more fragile.

wle
wle's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 day 22 hours ago
Joined: 01/07/2015 - 13:49
Posts: 2564
Location: atlanta ga

oh
problem with that [charger inside battery] is, it reduces battery capacity, because the charger takes up space inside the battery
the smaller the battery [16340], the more reduction is necessary
plus now it makes each battery cost more, not just one charger, or one light, now it’s X number of batteries, all of which are inferior to batteries without charging built in
just saying

wle

"You never have the wind with you - it's either against you, or you're having a good day."
    Daniel Behrman, "The Man Who Loved Bicycles".
It never gets easy, you just go faster.   
-Greg Lemond.
       ,ø¤º°`°º¤ø¸,ø¤º°`°º¤ø¸,ø¤º°`°º¤ø¸

angerdan
angerdan's picture
Offline
Last seen: 50 min 5 sec ago
Joined: 11/01/2015 - 10:07
Posts: 542

superpacker510 wrote:

From what I’ve read, the cons are
(1) finding an adequate plug adapter to get sufficient power,
(2) li-on charging safety concerns,
(3) USB wasn’t intended for a large charging platform.

Any information is helpful.


Pro for USB Chargers:
  • Lot of power sources worldwide usable
  • Depending on plug every microUSB cable works
  • Independend from AC outlet (charge everywhere, anytime)
  • higher efficency (no own SMPS is needed)
  • longer lifetime (less parts who can get faulty)
  • more flexibility with cable length
  • with USB QC or PD up to 100W are possible

Good examples for USB Chargers:
http://lygte-info.dk/info/roundCellChargerIndex%20USBIn%20UK.html
http://lygte-info.dk/review/Review%20Charger%20Xtar%20MC6%20Queen%20Ant%...
http://lygte-info.dk/review/Review%20Charger%20Xtar%20VC2%20Plus%20Maste...
http://lygte-info.dk/review/Review%20Charger%20LiitoKala%20Lii-202%20UK....
http://lygte-info.dk/review/Review%20Charger%20Nitecore%20UM20%20UK.html
http://charger.nitecore.com/CHARGER/UM/UM20/

http://lygte-info.dk/review/Review%20USB%20battery%20box%20Tomo%20M4%20U...
http://www.soshine.com.cn/a674.aspx

Barkuti
Barkuti's picture
Offline
Last seen: 14 hours 40 min ago
Joined: 02/19/2014 - 14:46
Posts: 5576
Location: Alhama de Murcia, Spain

Please take care with certain USB to micro-USB cables and devices. I've tested the cable which comes with Lii-100 and Lii-202 units, it's a dummy cable with bridged data lines. You can use it to connect the battery chargers to standard USB power supplies (what you call phone/tablet chargers), or to connect the battery charger in powerbank mode to a phone/tablet… but please avoid connecting the battery chargers to computers/laptops with them! There won't be power negotiation if you do this and thus, as the computer ports are only designed to supply a maximum of 0.5A per USB/USB2.0 standard, if you go beyond this it is very likely that the computer will force shutdown the port, there will be current tapering because of voltage drop… or even magical smoke/port burn out (unlikely but possible)!

You're warned! 

 

Cheers Smile

The human mind, and its programming, is at the forefront of a particular battle of The Light vs evil dark forces. Nearly every human being on this beautiful planet “Earth” has some sort of negative mind programming in its mind. And you better take care of your mind programming, or someone else will in this wicked world.

Please avoid fully quoting lenghty posts, namely with nested quotes. Trim quotes down to the essential. Helps with neatness and legibility. Thanks.

I recommend saying no to Covid vaccine. Listen to your spirit or soul. Innocent 

Keanu Reeves may need your help. Join his Telegram channel here.

Jack Kellar
Jack Kellar's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 day 17 hours ago
Joined: 03/09/2014 - 14:21
Posts: 2160
Location: Throwing bolts at anomalies

VERY good to know. Thanks a bunch, Barkuti!

kemakara
Offline
Last seen: 3 years 8 months ago
Joined: 03/27/2018 - 11:33
Posts: 3
Location: LA
Quote:
1) If you want maximal charge speed it can be tricky, but as a start use my list: http://lygte-info.dk/info/ChargerIndex%20UK.html (link is external) 2) Not different from any other LiIon charger and you avoid all the mains safety issues with the charger (But have them with the USB power supply instead). 3) Usb has changed over time, to making more power available. In the future you might be able to draw 100 watt from a usb supply, today it is usual in the 10-20 watt range.

USB supplies bus power across VBUS and GND at a nominal voltage 5 V ± 5%, at supply, to power USB devices. Power is sourced solely from upstream devices or hosts, and is consumed solely by downstream devices.

HKJ
HKJ's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 week 4 days ago
Joined: 05/24/2011 - 12:23
Posts: 7447
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
kemakara wrote:
USB supplies bus power across VBUS and GND at a nominal voltage 5 V ± 5%, at supply, to power USB devices. Power is sourced solely from upstream devices or hosts, and is consumed solely by downstream devices.

This is not really valid anymore, usb voltage can in some cases be increased to higher voltage and with usb-c devices power can be drawn either way.

My website with reviews of many chargers and batteries (More than 1000): https://lygte-info.dk/

angerdan
angerdan's picture
Offline
Last seen: 50 min 5 sec ago
Joined: 11/01/2015 - 10:07
Posts: 542

With USB QC, voltage can be requested and delivered from 3.6-20V.
USB-C can request/transfer/deliver up to 100W.