How (And Why) We Test USB Power Adapters

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eenoram

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Love the article but the embedded videos arn't working across 4 different up to date browsers running with or without adblocker. Bummer!
 

berezini

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looks like toms doesn't have anything else to write about so they re-write old articles a month or two old to the same conclusion.
 

Daniel Sauvageau

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The A1265 look-alike story from last month was meant to come out after this one but due to some scheduling weirdness, they got swapped and as I wrote in comments to the "first" story, the set of fake A1265s used for the first tear-down (and also to demonstrate the point of this series which was intended to start with "how we test"), there will be a bunch more to come in the future. The ending was intended to be a teaser (and somewhat of a spoiler) for the first tear-down, which is why my preview here stopped at the first failure. In the actual tear-down, I cleared each successive failure until the adapter was either dead, destroyed or what remained of it passed isolation withstand.
 

bit_user

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Thanks again, mate. Looking forward to some good recommendations.

How can we help fund your efforts? If your recommendations save me even one expensive equipment failure, it'd be worth a lot.
 

bit_user

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So you read all the CES coverage? I still have some bookmarks to check out, as I couldn't keep up with it.

IMO, it's understandable if they & the industry are having a bit of a quiet week (meltdown/specter aside), after CES. Most companies with anything to announce did it at CES, so the newswire is definitely going to be quieter this week.
 

Daniel Sauvageau

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Recommendations-wise, I have one coming 2-3 stories from now which I sent in for editing last week and costs ~$10 and passed all of the tests I threw at it. It did have one potential manufacturing-related safety flaw in it but I'd need multiple samples to determine whether I got unlucky or should flag it as a significant concern.

As for how to contribute, I'm open to suggestions if there is enough interest in doing so.
 

chaz_music

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Something you should add to this: I have noticed many AC adapters being sold on Newegg, Amazon, and eBay that don't have a UL or ETL mark. That means that they did not go through either those agency's safety testing and analysis. Many of the things you found would be caught by UL, especially the shock and fire issues.
 

Daniel Sauvageau

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Marks are only as trustworthy as the supply chain between the buyer and manufacturer is. You can't trust any marks on stuff from generic off-shore sellers who have no domestic liability as the seller has very little incentive to ensure that marks on items are genuine. By the time people realize that they got a fake or fraudulent item (that looked and behaved roughly like the real thing), the feedback period on the sale is often expired and the original listing long gone.

The first line of defense against no marks and fake marks is buying from a domestic source where liability falls onto the vendor/importer when the manufacturer is out of legal reach.
 

John Nemesh

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I always buy Samsung brand adaptors for use with my phones and Chromebook. Yes, they are $20+ each, but I have had bad experiences with generics, and don't trust them AT ALL. The extra money spent on a quality adaptor is well worth it to me.
 

yourhighness

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I'd love to see some Choetech chargers tested, they are my new favorite high speed, cheap chinese chargers.

I'm also interested in seeing some QC3.0 tests. Since buying a Galaxy S7 and now an S8, I'm really impressed by how fast these 9v USB chargers work.

Can we send you chargers for testing?

Also, really want to say thank you for this line of articles. XDA-Dev had done something similar for wireless charging pucks a bit back...more power to the people!!!
 

Daniel Sauvageau

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I could setup a PO box. Since I'm in Canada though, shipping from the USA where most readers are is going to be $15+. Another option may be to have a THG/TMN/Purch staffer setup a PO box in the USA then ship the stuff over to me afterward.

For QC2/3/4, I'd have to look into the protocol and put together some sort of emulator.
 

bit_user

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Yeah, this is along the lines of what I was thinking. Perhaps you could setup a testing service, whereby people can send you stuff (or pay you to order it) + a fee. You would then be able to post up your review of it, for which you could also earn some revenue.
 

yourhighness

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Thanks Daniel! QC seems to be the future of USB charging. I know Google has railed against it, in favor of an open standard...but Samsung seems to be selling more Qualcomm chips with QC...and I've yet to see a decent alternative offered.
 

Daniel Sauvageau

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For those of you outside Canada who don't mind the cost of shipping to Canada or want to have stuff drop-shipped to me, here's the POB I set up:

Daniel Sauvageau
PO BOX 99900 KE 217 919
RPO TASCHEREAU
GREENFIELD PARK, QC, J4V 0A6
CANADA
 

bit_user

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Wouldn't you rather they PM you, first? You could give them your address, at that time.
 

Daniel Sauvageau

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That's just a PO box, I don't live in the postal office. If I get troll mail, I can cancel it and open another. It wouldn't hurt to confirm that it is still current, just in case.
 

bit_user

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Sure, but I'd be more concerned about people dumping loads of stuff on you and then complaining when you get backlogged. Or maybe stuff you've no interest in looking at.
 

Daniel Sauvageau

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If they're worried about backlog or possibly getting passed on, then yes, they definitely would have to ask ahead since I may already have a year+ backlog :)
 

Lutfij

Titan
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The last page of this article made the hair on my neck stand on end seeing that arc. The noise of it, in itself, gave me a chill.

Nice work setting up the torture chamber :evil: and a nice write up! Very interesting to see how other brands fair on the test bed...? Would you be open to suggestions as to which brands you could apply for next?
 

Daniel Sauvageau

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It doesn't hurt to ask for specific brands and models, though I'll be prioritizing getting through my current inventory over acquiring new units. If interesting units land in my POB though, I may do some of those earlier.

For the arc, I'm more bothered by the smell than the sound. I should get a heat/air exchanger to dump that outside.
 
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