USB cables 2 wire or 4 wire help

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Mikeadoo
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USB cables 2 wire or 4 wire help

Hello all, Im gonna get right to the point. If anyone knows how to tell the difference between 2 wire USB cable and a 4 wire USB cable could you please let me know? I have the “Bontrager Ion Pro 1300 RT” that came with a pretty short “4 wire” USB cable.

I would like to get a longer “4 wire” cable for easier/more convenient charging (stopping at my families homes, restaurants, the bar when i take my biking breaks).

I tried asking this on a mountain bike forum and they refuse to tell me (just a bunch of PMs badmouthing me and my family). So I figured the BLF has loads of USB rechargeable flashlights…..

Maybe someone on here could be kind enough to help me out?

Any help is much appreciated!

Thanks Beer

Mike

MtnDon
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Well, a cable built to USB 2 specs is supposed to have 4 wires; 2 data and 2 power. 

  • Red color indicates the positive wire with 5 volts of DC power.
  • Black has always been the ground wire in almost all electronic devices.
  • White is the data as a "positive" wire, while
  • Green is also for the data , but as the negative wire.
Yokiamy
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That is, unless you use USB-C

Try googling on ‘USB pinout’ it might give you what you’re looking for

Yokiamy
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2 wire USB will probably be used sometimes for power only.

Mikeadoo
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Yokiamy wrote:
That is, unless you use USB-C

Try googling on ‘USB pinout’ it might give you what you’re looking for


I’m using micro USB for my bike light. My phone uses type C

Mike

Yokiamy
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This?

Mikeadoo
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Yes that is what im looking for. Insides look just like that. 5 toothy things inside and the 2 things on top

Mike

flydiver
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If all you care about is charging (no data) just get a GOOD USB cable. Lots of them are poor, some are downright rotten.

These are the best I’ve found: https://www.monoprice.com/product?p_id=9763
Thin but low resistance. I’ve tested EVERY USB cable I have and these have the lowest resistance for their length of any of them. I’ve been using a short one for daily charging phones, earphones, power banks, etc. for a couple years and the connector is still good. I have Anker and Aukey with fatter cable, but they simply aren’t better, though they are fine also.

To Air is Human, to Respire….Divine.

Mikeadoo
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@flydriver yes i just want it to charge. my short cable says “AWM and 30V” all over it along with “80C”
No idea what all that mess means

I have the Anker Powerline plus 6 foot. I dont need that much length for the bar charging

Mike

flydiver
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Don’t worry about that. These are ‘technical details’ that are supposed to mean something, but these are all made in China so they don’t actually mean squat. You want low resistance in the length you require. I got one of those little plug-in USB testers and tested everything I have. I threw a bunch out, mostly stuff that came with cheap flashlights, power banks, and chargers. That monoprice came out tops in all lengths tested up to 6’. I was surprised as I thought some of the beefier looking cables would do better.

You can get them from 6” (my favorite) on up and in a bunch of colors if you want.
They simply work, charging and data.

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Mikeadoo
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thanks flydriver! gonna order a few. Is monoprice shipping like banggood and Aliexpress where it takes forever?

Mike

flydiver
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No, state side. Get it in a few days. They have a huge site and sell lots of stuff. So far I have only gotten good results with them.

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Mikeadoo
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I just bookmarked them! Good prices. I use HDMI cables a lot. Might try them with HDMI soon with all these cheap ones i got here. Rocketfish from Best Buy is pricey and not long enough :-\

Thanks. Don’t think i’ve ever heard of monoprice

Mike

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Monoprice has some very good stuff at good prices.

Be sure to read the customer feedback because not everything they have is worth buying.

Mikeadoo
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raccoon city wrote:

Monoprice has some very good stuff at good prices.


Be sure to read the customer feedback because not everything they have is worth buying.


I always do read the feedback.

Thanks for the help guys. Much more helpful than the folks at mtbr…..

Mike

Marc E
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The only non-destructive way i know how to tell the difference between a 2 (power only) and 4 (power and data) USB cable is to use it to connect a data device (phone, camera etc) to my PC and see if it shows up as a device (4 cable) or just powers on but doesn’t talk to the PC (2 cable).
Although if you’ve got small enough multimeter probes you could test for continuity at each end of the cable, i don’t have small enough probes though.

If you’re talking about knowing the difference when you’re buying then you need to choose a data cable. But if you’re going to use it for charging only then it doesn’t matter whether it has 2 or 4 wires, those extra 2 wires are not used for power transfer and as mentioned by Flydiver it’s the quality of the cable that matters so go with his/her recommendation, testing is the only way to know for sure and he/she has already done that for you Big Smile

HDMI is another matter though, it’s used for communication only, not to power a device, and as a standard it has built in error detection so the cable either works or it doesn’t (except for a very fine margin of error where it’s obvious you’re dropping blocks). If an HDMI cable is working there’s no way for another one to work better.
It’s the same with a USB cable, it either communicates or it doesn’t, a better USB cable won’t transfer data any differently (unless there is an obvious problem), it will only affect the power being delivered to a powered device which is a separate thing.

To summarise, for data a cable either works or it doesn’t, there’s no such thing as a ‘better’ cable. That applies to both HDMI and USB.
For USB charging, or USB power, you’re looking for the lowest resistance in the cables that transfer the power.

Mikeadoo
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I went with flydrivers mono cables. Hdmi i know the cheap ones work. Dad got me$60 hdmi cable for my Roku ultra and it didn’t work. $10 from CVS works perfect lol.

I just need the charging. Thank you. i don’t have one of them testers and dont feel like buying one lol.

Idk what comes with these thrunite flashlights like the Cat V6 USB wise, but if the mono cables are the least resistance then good purchase
Smile

Mike

Mikeadoo
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I’m going to try that PC thing right now actually. I just have cables that came with phones and them tiny cables that Sofirn sends with those cheap chargers

Mike

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If you wanna go crazy, get some zipwire and a set of usb sockets in the right size, and solder ‘em up. You could use 100’ of 16ga wire if you want just power.

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BlueSwordM
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@Mikeadoo, get these cables:
https://www.amazon.com/UGREEN-Braided-Charger-Charging-Controller/dp/B01...

UGreen makes great cables, and I’ve actually tested them to be quite low resistance and have good build quality.

My very own high current Beryllium Copper springs Gen 3:
http://budgetlightforum.com/node/67401
Liitokala Aliexpress Stores Battery Fraud: http://budgetlightforum.com/node/60547

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These are excellent. Very low internal resistance:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01MTXZ3U8/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_U_ZoDDCbKXB23WD

Mikeadoo
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just bought one of those too. I like the braided stuff

Mike

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I used a UM24C USB Color Display Tester + USB resistor load, to check the resistance. If it had not been for the info of this forum and the spectacular and tireless work of [HJK] I would not have had a clue that this was even an option. He’s tested a number of devices of this sort: https://lygte-info.dk/review/USBmeter%20RD%20Tech%20USB%20Meter%20TC64%2...
This is the one I got but there are a bunch of this sort:https://www.vipprogrammer.com/um24-um24c-color-screen-display-usb-tester...
I’d go with HJK suggestion if you were getting one.

Prior to figuring that out I was using: UNI-T UT658 USB tester
I thought that was pretty cool, and for everyday work it is. I hardly use it now.

To Air is Human, to Respire….Divine.

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I is best always to get 4 wire usb cables.
The 2 wire is power only, i.e. no data and will not support any fast charge schemes with phones or tablets, some may even refuse to charge with a 2-wire cable.

Other usb powered equipment will often work fine with 2 wire cables, because they ignore any fast charge schemes and just draw the power they need.

To test if a cable is 2 or 4 wire, use it to connect a phone/tablet to a computer, if the computer sees some new equipment it is a 4 wire cable (It do not matter if it recognises it).

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

Mikeadoo
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HKJ wrote:
I is best always to get 4 wire usb cables.
The 2 wire is power only, i.e. no data and will not support any fast charge schemes with phones or tablets, some may even refuse to charge with a 2-wire cable.

Other usb powered equipment will often work fine with 2 wire cables, because they ignore any fast charge schemes and just draw the power they need.

To test if a cable is 2 or 4 wire, use it to connect a phone/tablet to a computer, if the computer sees some new equipment it is a 4 wire cable (It do not matter if it recognises it).


Thanks HKJ… I tested almost all of my USB cables I have and the only USB cables that wouldn’t play the Bad Boys 2 movie I have on one of my phones on a micro sd card onto my laptop screen was those USB cables that came with the Sofirn charger kits.

But most of mine are either 6 feet or 1.5 feet.

I went with a monoprice like flydriver suggested and one of those UGREEN cables.

I don’t know if you test out USB wall plugs (like iPad charger, Anker other brands etc..)

But my Anker wall plug that came with my 97wh (I believe) power bank says the wall plug charges at 3A.

Not sure if that’s true or not. I found that that charger works really well along with the iPad chargers that I think are 2.1A?

Correct me if I’m wrong though cuz I probably am about something. The SD card thing, idk if that is considered browsing files on my phone because it’s on a memory card and not in the internal storage.

Mike

HKJ
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Mikeadoo wrote:
I don’t know if you test out USB wall plugs (like iPad charger, Anker other brands etc..)

A bit over 200: https://lygte-info.dk/info/ChargerIndex%20UK.html
And car chargers: https://lygte-info.dk/info/ChargerDCIndex%20UK.html

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

Mikeadoo
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Nice thanks bud! I’ll give it a good read. About lots of stuff.

You da man

Mike

Mikeadoo
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ok guys i pretty much got the point about the cables and what not. I went for about a 5 hour total bike ride and down some trails last night till about 4:30am this morning. Little snow flurries here in Chesterfield.

anyway my Ion Pro RT died (red flashing) after about 3.5 hours on medium mode constantly. Great run time for me. Stopped at Best Buy for a charger with included cable Insignia and IDK if its the charger or better cable than the ones I have ATM, but it SEEMS to be charging up quite a bit quicker.

Here is what I got on sale for $15

probably not the greatest, but the charger is so much smaller than the 12W iPad charger.

It works great. might get a second if this thing keeps working and dont fail or fall apart…

Mike

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Mikeadoo wrote:
but its charging up quite a bit quicker.

How exactly are you measuring this?
Mikeadoo
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Pete7874 wrote:
Mikeadoo wrote:
but its charging up quite a bit quicker.

How exactly are you measuring this?

I’m not. Just using the timer on my wrist watch. No fancy tools. Last charge took about 21 hours to go from blinky red to full charge with the included USB.

It just SEEMS to be working better (the blinking light when its charging is blinking twice per second instead of the once per second). I dont have any measuring tools.

only thing i did notice just from reading whats claimed is iPad charger 2.1A and this Insignia 2.4A but that could be BS too.

I bought the charger for my iPad and figured id try it with my headlight.

Mike

Mikeadoo
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Pete I thought i said it seems to be charging a bit quicker my bad. I went and fixed it

Mike

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