Yet Another Cycling Forum

General Category => The Knowledge => OT Knowledge => Topic started by: drossall on May 26, 2019, 05:29:08 pm

Title: DC power connector standards for power packs etc.
Post by: drossall on May 26, 2019, 05:29:08 pm
This started out as an attempt to add a couple of connectors to my PowerMonkey set, and ended up with a confusing foray into a world of oxymoronic "standards". I've kind of found an answer, but...

I've got several power packs, and I generally use them with the PowerMonkey retractable cable (https://www.powertraveller.com/au/shop/portable-chargers/accessories/usb-retractable-cable/). That was designed in the days when there were loads of different charger tips, most of which are now obsolete. In our modern, more sensible world, I only need to carry loads of different charger tips (but different ones):
I've got the USB micro and mini, so I wanted to add the other two.

PowerTraveller don't seem to do spare tips to fit the cable, so, in my innocence, I ordered this (https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/DC-5-5MM-x-2-1MM-to-USB-3-1-TYPE-C-MALE-CONNECTOR-ADAPTER-ANDROID-SMARTPHONE-ETC/222720290834) and a similar Power Lightning one. Of course it was nowhere near fitting, because the PowerMonkey male connector is a fraction of the size of the 5.5 x 2.1mm sockets in those adaptors. So, I did a bit of research and bought another adaptor (https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00NLC7NL8/). It nearly works, but 3.5 x 1.3mm is a fraction different in size from the plug on the end of the PowerMonkey cable.

Of course I'd noticed a few different sizes before, but this has introduced me properly to the wild and wacky world of (coaxial) DC power connectors (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coaxial_power_connector), where apparently every manufacturer uses a different size, in order to force the use of proprietary power sources.

I cannot find out what size the PowerMonkey cable connector is, so I can't look further. I do want to carry one cable for four connections, as above. I've ended up ordering yet another adaptor, USB micro to 5.5 x 2.1mm male. I'll use my existing micro adaptor with this and then one of the new ones.

So a few questions:
Title: Re: DC power connector standards for power packs etc.
Post by: FifeingEejit on May 26, 2019, 10:24:55 pm
Have you contacted them?
I've always found them to be pretty decent on customer service.

The output on the old PowerMonkeys was "Old Nokia" i.e. to charge a 3310
Title: Re: DC power connector standards for power packs etc.
Post by: grams on May 26, 2019, 10:49:13 pm
There are Micro USB to Lightning* adapters that might partly solve your problem.

(* which is the name of the Apple connector, not PowerLightning)

Quote
Am I nuts not just to give up and carry four cables?

I often want to charge more than one device at once, so I've never considered not having separate cables.
Title: Re: DC power connector standards for power packs etc.
Post by: drossall on May 27, 2019, 12:01:50 am
Have you contacted them?
I've always found them to be pretty decent on customer service.

The output on the old PowerMonkeys was "Old Nokia" i.e. to charge a 3310
They suggested their USB female connector to hang the devices' own charge cables off the retractable one. That's a waste of time as the charge unit itself has a USB connector anyway.

Really useful on the "Old Nokia" connector, thanks - it all helps with understanding, and with searching for adaptors.

There are Micro USB to Lightning* adapters that might partly solve your problem.

(* which is the name of the Apple connector, not PowerLightning)

Quote
Am I nuts not just to give up and carry four cables?

I often want to charge more than one device at once, so I've never considered not having separate cables.
The USB-C is more of a priority for me because my own phone uses that. I think I'm getting there with a way of doing it, but it involves daisy-chaining adaptors. Four cables just seems unnecessary bulk (and cost when I already have the retractable one).

Don't know where PowerLightning came from ::-) I don't use Apple but I do know what their connector is called.