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Proprietary USB Cable?

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by cwk, May 2, 2012.

  1. cwk

    cwk Newbie
    Thread Starter

    I thought I had a dead RAZR and the problem is apparently an incompatible cable. I plugged my RAZR into an LG USB cable that I use with my work Blackberry and left it overnight. Next morning the battery was totally dead. The only indication when I plugged it in was the alert light (top left of the screen) showing solid white. Next morning, this phone was still dead and the light was out. Plugging it in again, the light came on for a while and went out, still dead. I called Verizon and was about to make a trip to the Verizon store to get my third RAZR (first had a whacked screen). Before I left, I connected the Moto cable and after a few minutes the phone started up. I don't know which cable is proprietary, but it's definitely incompatible.

    P.S. I just created a rule using Smart Actions. When the phone is charging on USB display a message. Plugging it in with the Moto cable triggered the rule. Plugging in with the LG cable did not, even though the green battery animation showed that it was charging.

    The LG cable charges my work Blackberry all the time.

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  2. fdnj48

    fdnj48 Android Enthusiast

    Hmmm interesting. I use a LG usb charger for my phone at my job and it works perfectly fine. My home charger is also a LG wall charger(non usb) and it charges fine. I wonder if maybe your LG cable itself is bad.
  3. oOMavrikOo

    oOMavrikOo Android Expert

    I have this same issue with my HTC charger. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. I think it's a design issue from Motorola's end.
  4. apaulct

    apaulct Lurker

    Could be the power output of the charger:

    - OEM Moto charger 5V, 0.75a = 3.75 watts
    - Standard PC usb port 5V, 0.5a = 2.5 watts
    - Most tablets (checked vtab & iPad) 5V, 2.0a = 10 watts

    The Razr needs at least 3.75 watts to charge reliably. If your charges puts out less you may have a problem. With any charger, as current draw increases above the specs, the voltage will decrease. With an underpowered charger, there could be enough to light the led but not enough to charge the battery.
  5. cwk

    cwk Newbie
    Thread Starter

    Interesting. I thought USB was USB, but I'm not a hardware guy. In this case, the only difference was the cable -- plugged into the same (I think) USB port on my laptop. Could there be a difference in power output from one USB port to another? What kind of gadget did you use to measure the power?
  6. you2

    you2 Android Expert

    I've used 3 third party (each differetn brand) charger and all work without an issue.
  7. apaulct

    apaulct Lurker

    USB specs allow for different amount of power & a method to communicate the max power to the device being charged. For all the gory details, read the wikipedia article at Universal Serial Bus - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    It is very technical and can be kind of confusing.

    The specs I quoted were directly off the chargers, I didn't measure them. Every charger should have both input and output voltage and amperage printed on it.
  8. cwk

    cwk Newbie
    Thread Starter

    Just a quick follow-up to close this discussion. It appears that LG does indeed use proprietary cables on at least some of their phones (e.g. ZTE Optik Rivals and Competitors).

    I have half a dozen different Micro B USB cables around the house, including a couple of LGs, and I've tried various brands in my phone. When I connected the LG cables to a computer the phone doesn't display the "USB Connection" message and the phone does not have a data connection with it. The Battery Status message shows "Charging AC" even though it's plugged into a computer, but it does not seem to be charging. The LG cable when they are connected to an charger, but the Droid doesn't like an LG cable plugged into a computer USB. A Blackberry cable works fine, as does an unlabeled cable of unknown ancestry.

    Think I'm going to tag these LG cables so I don't take one on the road. Or I may just trash them. Bottom line: Not all USB cables are created equal!
    MasterGadgets and jroc like this.
  9. jroc

    jroc Android Expert

    My kids mother has a Nexus S...and her LG cables, chargers dont charge her phone.

    I agree...its something up with LG cables. I thought it was just a bad cable until I seen this post.
  10. MasterGadgets

    MasterGadgets Well-Known Member

    LG does not play well with others
  11. PeninaD

    PeninaD Member

    Yeah, when I used an LG cable lying around the house, the phone did not charge well and was turning on/off. Seems better if I use the HTC Dinc cable, but best is with the supplied cable/charger, or even the VZW car charger I got 2 years ago.
  12. nope2dope

    nope2dope Lurker

    To add actual truth and reason to this...

    LG creates there own proprietary cables. They will work with phones that are LG branded only. This is simply in terms of USB data lines. LG swaps around the data positive and negative lines inside the cable, e.g. it's pinned differently. Yet another way they get people to buy THERE cables and not the ones on ebay etc.

    So in truth, you should have received a charging signal at minimum for your phone, because the 5V Power is always in the same pin, along with ground, allowing for charging of phones etc. I've used LG cables many times just for that exact reason, simply to charge the phone even though it can't be connected properly to a computer with it to receive/send data.

    This is an old 'already resolved' issue with LG etc. (many carriers created proprietary cables, LG is just most known for it.) Cell phone carriers have created the Micro-USB standard now and all cables are pinned the same for consistency.

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