Charging Cable for ZTE / Huawei

It took me a long time to find this special charging cable, so maybe others with a ZTE or Huawei phone might find this information useful. The problem is that these phones are very picky about the chargers you can use with them. I’ve been building battery packs and about 3/4 of them do not charge my ZTE Engage smartphone … until now.

Fast Charge Micro-USB High Speed Charging Cable

With this cable, I can now charge my phone from any USB battery pack or charger that gives 5V to the USB port!

This was a very annoying issue for me, and nobody seems to know jack squat about what exactly these phones expect from the USB cable that most chargers don’t have. Obviously it has something to do with power to the data pins, but at least know I have a good clue, and a cable that lets me use the chargers I want, like my Waka Waka.

You have to short the data pins. Thats all the magic.

The product description says, among other things:

“All four pins inside are used to deliver power”

And my chinese watch says "waterproof 100 meters". I doubt it. ;)

Android devices get their charge through the classic positive and negative USB contacts. I'm sure the data pins inside this cable are shorted, otherwise your phone would charge in USB mode, rather than in AC mode.

I should’ve bought two and spliced one to test continuity on the data pins.

Experimentation on about a half dozen battery packs and chargers show that having 5V to the USB is not enough for my ZTE engage or my son-in-law’s Huawei phones. My own experimentation shows that most other devices like my wife’s HTC One, bluetooth headphones, tablets, Kindle, etc., all work fine with just 5V to the + and - USB pins.

Now, the charging cable I linked above suddenly makes my phone charge with the devices it wouldn’t charge with before:

I had asked HKJ about it in one thread, and he gave me a link to a table showing that some makes/models short the pins, some give power to the pins, and some demand a computer to talk to. There doesn’t seem to be a single universal standard.

EDIT: Maybe HKJ can chime in? Maybe I’m a clueless idiot, but I find it valuable to have a cable that lets me charge my phone with chargers and packs that didn’t work with all my other micro USB data cables.

I have the HTC One, and it wouldnt charge in AC mode until I shorted the pins. It charged before, but not AC. Did you check the charging mode in "Settings" -> "Power"?

Since Android 4, there are some standards for USB. For example, how to start quick charge (AC) or that the phone will play audio through the USB data pins when in dock mode..

It was this table:

And it looks like the Apple (All 3 variations) and the DCP are the most common ones (Not very surprising).

You phone probably looks for DCP coding, i.e. a short between the two data pins.

If you get the correct chargers or usb boxes, they do support it directly with any data cable (Like the two last review I have posted).

Yes, my Ruinovo DIY box charges my phone just fine with any standard data cable. Also, my phone does not charge from the Apple port of the Ruinovo.

It is definitely looking for DCP coding.

It is usual not that difficult to modify a charger/usb box to DCP coding: Remove Apply coding (4 resistors) and short the data pins.

I just checked and there is no Settings->Power. Probably because it’s a stock version of Android ICS. Well, with now two people telling me to short the pins, I’ll be more daring about risking damage to my phone :slight_smile:

Sweet, thank you.

Either way, the cable I linked could have merit for some folks, yes? I don’t think I’d feel comfortable telling someone like my mom to just short the data pins :wink:

Not all people care about the charging speed and might be fully satisfied with the 0.5A charge rate.

if not, tell them to use the ENB box, it is very easy to use (Except for missing Apple/DCP marking).

I’m not sure I understand. The cable I bought lowers the charging current to .5A? If all my cable does is short the pins, and the chargers which work with a data cable short the pins, how is shorting the pins any different in one instance and not the other? Pardon my ignorance, I’m a software engineer and not a electronics engineer.

Well, the power menu is a stock ICS feature.. Battery monitor widget also shows the charge mode.

Here is the entirety of my system menu:

I was thinking about not getting a special cable. It is annoying with a USB cable that does not work for data communication, i.e. you might have to keep two USB cables with the phone.

In my opinion it is much better to get a charger that works without any special cable.

I’m with you there. The special cable is going into my road warrior bag and day to day I think I’ll just use the Ruinovo, which charges my phone with a stock data cable and seems like a solid little charger. I also just got the one linked below today from FT, which does charge my phone as well. But it’s nice to know that I could use my Waka Waka in an emergency with that cable.

Solar Powered 5000mAh Mobile Power Battery w/Charger Adapters/Cable

Maybe ZTE did it different. But as I said, there are apps for that.

Maybe I’ll write one, if I can the damn Android USB driver to work right with my Virtualbox Windows 8 development environment. I have a “theoutdoornerd” branded flashlight app I wrote but can’t seem to test. I love my ZTE phone, but man, it sure has been annoying every step of the way. But I do appreciate your thoughts, and I’ll look on Google play and see what’s out there.

For example. ;D