back to article Mobe-maker OnePlus 'fesses up to flouting USB-C spec

In early November Google chap Benson Leung caused a stir when he wrote an analysis suggesting manufacturers of cables and power adapters weren't paying attention to the USB Type-C spec. Manufacturers' inattention, he worried, might result in devices being damaged as they suck down too much power. Leung's concerns appear to …

  1. JoeF

    More stuff broken with the OnePlus 2

    They only acknowledged what couldn't be denied anymore after the public shaming by the Google engineer.

    However, there are more things broken with the OnePlus 2:

    The OTG functionality only works with their broken USB Type-C adapter.

    That implies that the USB connector in the OnePlus 2 itself is not conforming to the USB spec, and they had "fixed" it by shipping a broken USB adapter.

    And they also don't even want to replace the broken cables that they shipped with the OnePlus 2.

    They are killing their brand as we speak!

    1. goldcd

      Maybe true

      But a bit harsh. Can't say I noticed an outcry when the cables came out, but having had it pointed out to them they weren't up to spec, they seem to have done the right thing.

      1. Lennart Sorensen

        Re: Maybe true

        Well they are clearly not doing the right thing. It doesn't matter if the cable works with the phone. In 6 or 12 months you will grab that cable when you need one for some other device and potentially cause a fire or damage to something else because of it.

        So they have only half done the right thing and half done the wrong thing.

        After all I doubt the cable has a giant 'For use with OnePlus 2 only' sign on it. And their next phone might very well NOT work properly with this cable, assuming they stay in business long enough to make another phone.

  2. Roq D. Kasba

    Standards, for a reason

    This is why standards groups set standards - I wonder if there's any mileage in threatening prosecution against non-adhering devices using their plug/interface design IP, to keep people like OnePlus honest before they trash the value if the standard?

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: Standards, for a reason

      Trading standards should be able to enforce some kind of notice or otherwise withdrawal from sale.

  3. frank ly

    10kΩ vs 56kΩ resistors

    Can anyone explain how these values are related to the provision of 2 Amps from a low voltage power supply?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: 10kΩ vs 56kΩ resistors

      It's a pull-up resistor on the Vbus (+5V) line, acting as a type of signalling for the benefit of legacy devices.

    2. cortland

      Re: 10kΩ vs 56kΩ resistors

      Heat may be a problem; 10K will draw more current (from a non-current-limited source) and dissipate more power (= heat) than a 56K-Ohm one. But I wonder what the 56K value is supposed to limit current to; something else could get zorched.

      1. Message From A Self-Destructing Turnip

        Re: 10kΩ vs 56kΩ resistors

        @Cortland

        5V across 10KΩ resistor results in current of 0.5mA, power dissipation of 2.5mW, its doubtful that any of the magic smoke would escape.

        1. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge
          Flame

          Re: 10kΩ vs 56kΩ resistors

          The 10K / 56K is only a signalling value which determines how much current the supply will allow down the power wires, the value is not a problem in itself.

          If a power supply gets the wrong signalling value it may allow too much current down the power wires, causing those to heat, the cable to catch fire, and mayhem to ensue.

    3. imanidiot Silver badge

      Re: 10kΩ vs 56kΩ resistors

      Afaik the resistors are set up in a voltage divider system. The device senses the voltage it's getting on those data pins and then know how much current it is allowed to draw from that particular power source.

  4. Paratrooping Parrot
    Boffin

    I have done experiments and have noticed that some cables barely draw in enough power to charge my mobile, while other cables have no problems in charging the mobile. These are all from the same Samsung charger that I got with my Galaxy S4.

    It seems that cables are different.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Cheap cables, often supplied with devices, don't have the data lines or the power lines, depending on what they're supposed to do (or not supposed to do).

      1. TeeCee Gold badge

        Nice theory, but this 'ere really good quality Sony cable will not charge the wife's crackberry, while a skinny, fourpenny fleabay job plugged into the same PSU will.

        I think the Sony one's got a current limiter in it (there's a suspicious lump at each end prior to the connector, which I originally took to be those ferrite chunks sometimes seen on cables), something the el cheapo ones don't have.

        1. petur

          thanks for the thumb down on an accurate report, just because you don't have a standard USB cable.

          btw, none of my sony xperia usb cables has said lump or limit the current, they are excellent quality in fact

          1. Dave 126 Silver badge

            >ice theory, but this 'ere really good quality Sony cable will not charge the wife's crackberry, while a skinny, fourpenny fleabay job plugged into the same PSU will.

            Is the cheap fleabay cable wired for data? Some devices will charge faster if they spot that the data pins are shorted, i.e they will only draw 500mA if they spot a data cable, since this was the spec for computer USB sockets. The Sony cables will be data cables. The fleabay cable might be power only. Newer devices will happily draw 1-2 A over a data cable, if the power supply is up to it. (Phones power supplies are typically 1.2A - 1.5A, tablet PSs are usually 2A)

            Whilst it can be hard to spot which cables are of a decent gauge, short cables are obviously easy to identify.

            1. Dan 55 Silver badge

              Sony cables charge at more than 500mA if connected to a charger (or a Sony charger at least).

              There's too much downvoting going on around here for something which has already has too many problems with it (missing wires, low spec wires, wires with shorted pins, chargers with non-standard current negotiation, etc...) before OnePlus came along and married a USB 2 controller with a USB Type C socket using non-standard resistors. There's no one right answer.

          2. John Tserkezis

            "thanks for the thumb down on an accurate report, just because you don't have a standard USB cable."

            I wasn't one of them, but it makes sense why they did downvote you:

            Most of what you say is correct, but one quote:

            "Your mobile will spot the voltage drop and limit the current."

            Seldom applies, if at all. Yes, they really are that lazy.

        2. John Tserkezis

          "I think the Sony one's got a current limiter in it"

          It's a ferrite suppressor, not a current limiter. If it were a limiter, they would be spending money for nothing (hey, face it, the manufacturer doesn't care about you). A ferrite suppressor is there to reduce RF interference, and to comply with noise emmission laws, and enable the product to be sold in any given country.

          One is out of the goodness of their own hearts, the other is mandated by law. You guess which one is more likely?

    2. Spoonguard
      Flame

      If you read the writing on the insulation sheath, it will say 28 AWG (poor, barely half an amp), 26 AWG (Better) or 24 AWG (sufficient). Really nasty cables might be as thin as 32 AWG.

      1. PNGuinn
        Mushroom

        AWG @ Spoonguard

        Since when has the markings on a cable given any guarantee as to what is actually inside the plastic?

        You are far to trusting, my friend.

        1. Spoonguard
          Flame

          Re: AWG @ Spoonguard

          In the case of First party branded cables, it would be more trouble for them to lie. Otherwise, it's a good place to start before you pull the ohmmeter out.

    3. petur
      Boffin

      cheap cables have a higher resistance, causing a higher voltage drop when current goes through.

      Your mobile will spot the voltage drop and limit the current.

      You can but these little voltage/current meters to put inline of USB, get your good charger and mobile, and measure the current for each cable. Throw the bad ones in the garbage.

      It is really hard to spot bad cables other that doing the above measuring. For example, on DX you can have very good ones and very bad ones, in the same price range.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I watched CSI Cyber

    I'm more worried about 'juice jacking'

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: I watched CSI Cyber

      So that's what Led Zep's Lemon Song is about!

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This is what happens when you couple Chinese design to Chinese manufacture

    Zero health and safety and a total disregard of any established rules.

    But what the hey, at least the devices are dirt cheap, right?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: This is what happens when you couple Chinese design to Chinese manufacture

      I believe their products have to meet the same H&S standards as everyone else's in order to sell in, for example, the EU.

      As for disregarding standards..... in general their products seem very good and in general there are many players in the IT industry who disregard standards, OnePlus being Chinese is neither here nor there in that regard.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: This is what happens when you couple Chinese design to Chinese manufacture

        The Chinese play by different rules. That's why residential estates get built next to chemical factories that go bang on a more or less weekly basis.

        Use devices of Chinese origin, wholly designed and manufactured by Chinese-based companies, at your peril.

        1. PNGuinn
          Stop

          Re: This is what happens when you couple Chinese design to Chinese manufacture

          Yeah, right.

          Stick to products made by large European corporations only. They would NEVER cheat on anything.

          Oh, wait.

      2. Richard 12 Silver badge

        Re: This is what happens when you couple Chinese design to Chinese manufacture

        I believe their products have to meet the same H&S standards as everyone else's in order to sell in, for example, the EU.

        While true, a lot do not.

        The liability for ensuring compliance lies with the entity that imported it into the EU.

        Unfortunately, Trading Standards apear to only be interested in going after fake handbags, and have no time for dangerous electrical kit. Possibly not even after someone gets killed by them.

    2. PNGuinn
      FAIL

      Re: This is what happens when you couple Chinese design to Chinese manufacture

      "Zero health and safety and a total disregard of any established rules."

      Since when has China had a monopoly on that?

  7. Phil Kingston Silver badge

    So they're happy with the cables/adaptors they gave punters with their device (assuming that's what was the norm), but if you bought additional ones then those products are put of spec and they'll issue refunds?

    Hmmmm

  8. ktwebb68

    It's OnePlus. This is not even a little bit surprising. If you had the One or were a part of that debacle at all this behavior is to be expected. Truly an awful company.

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