Author Topic: DC power connector standards for power packs etc.  (Read 399 times)

DC power connector standards for power packs etc.
« 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. 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):
  • USB-C for my new phone
  • USB micro for my tablet
  • USB mini for by Garmin
  • Power Lightning in case my wife, or a friend, needs to charge an Apple phone
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 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. 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, 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:
  • Anyone know the size of the plug on the end of the PowerMonkey cable?
  • I have found various three-way cables, but not four. Anyone know a better one-cable solution?
  • Anyone found a source of C or PowerLightning adaptors to fit that cable?
  • Am I nuts not just to give up and carry four cables?

FifeingEejit

  • Not Small just Far Away at the back
Re: DC power connector standards for power packs etc.
« Reply #1 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

Re: DC power connector standards for power packs etc.
« Reply #2 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.

Re: DC power connector standards for power packs etc.
« Reply #3 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.