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Outfitting your travel kit for USB-C

Old Feb 10, 2019, 11:52 am
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Last edit by: cheltzel
If you want to use USB C for more than charging, then these two posts are useful: 1 2.

When planning your charger loadout, do note the charger your laptop shipped with is not a requirement, a lower one will be fine. For example, https://9to5mac.com/2018/09/25/60w-u...-all-macbooks/ says

the 87W charger filled up my 15-inch MacBook Pro battery more quickly than the 60W charger, but not by very much. After an hour and a half, the 87W charger added 76% battery while the 60W charger added 72%.
On the other hand, most laptops are not built to use higher wattage even if available. It won't hurt your laptop, though.

Buy chargers on Amazon at your own risk, they are known to commingle stock from every third party sellers. But, the chargers here do not have fakes (yet?) so even Amazon might be safe.

The smallest USB C chargers:
  1. Mu One. 45W. Comes with UK, US, EU folding plugs. 96 x 55 x 14mm, 82g with the UK plug attached. 3.78 x 2.17 x 0.55 inch, 2.89oz. Manufacturer shop, https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07N1PK1RP https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07N1PK1RP
  2. RAVPower GaN 45W : 72 x 54 x 14.9mm / 2.83 x 2.12 x 0.59inch, 75g / 2.65oz. This is a similar charger to Mu One only without the nifty plug heads. It is marginally cheaper, but without the unique multi-region folding plugs it isn't as good of an option for international travelers. Manufacturer shop, https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07H9WMW6N
  3. Innergie 60C (nee 55CC): 65W 60 x 30 x 30mm / 2.3 x 1.2 x 1.2 inch, 85g. While much thicker than the previous two, when the socket is hidden in a recess this has a much better chance to fit. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07GBYVF4Q Also, a cable is available to charge legacy laptops https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07GBYL5KZ only compatible with the Innergie 60C. This makes the Finsix Dart fully obsolete, it started as a legacy laptop charger and a USB C cable was planned and reviewed two years ago but never shipped.
If you have more than one USB C device:
  1. Satechi 75W: USB C 60W, USB C 18W, two USB A share 12W. 4" x 2.63" x 1", 11.14 oz. Manufacturer shop https://www.amazon.com/dp/B078864F15
  2. LVSUN LS-PD87-2C sold as Hyperjuice 87W charger: two USB C and one USB A all three share 87W. 4.33" x 3.86" x 0.79", 8.32oz Aliexpress Hyper https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07KLWDY9C
  3. Hyperjuice battery: 27000 mAh USB C 100W, USB C 60W, USB A 18W. 7.2" x 3" x 0.84" / 183.2 x 77.1 x 21.3 mm Manufacturer shop (although it goes through indiegogo, it is not crowdfunding, it's just a shop)
  4. Maru & Masa Kickstarter: Maru is a 82mm/3.23" diameter bagel, 28mm/1.1" thick, 7.4oz, USB C 45W, USB C 18W, two USB A share 15W, three international AC sockets, nifty interchangeable international plugs. Masa is a battery 80 x 80 x 28 / 3.15" x 3.15" x 1.1" , 11.3oz 18000 mAh, USB C 45W, USB C 15W, Qi 7.5W, kickstand. Promised shipping: April 2019 https://www.kickstarter.com/projects...e-yet-powerful
  5. SuperTank & SuperPort 4 Kickstarter: SuperPort 4 is a 114 x 100 x 24 / 4.5" x 3.95" x .95" charger, weight not disclosed, USB C 100W, USB C 18W, two USB ports share 18W. SuperTank is a 27000 mAh battery w/ lots of features, 4.7" x 2.8" x 1.6", 17oz USB C 100W, USB C 60W, USB A 18W, USB A 15W all ports share 138W Promised shipping: May 2019 https://www.kickstarter.com/projects...ek-recharge-in
  6. AlsterPlus Kickstarter: 7.4" x 3.28" x 0.85", 20oz / 568gr, 27000mAh battery with 2 x 100W USB-C + 2x 18W USB-A, lots of features. All ports share 156W.
  7. Anker Atom PD4. Two USB C, two USB A all share 100W, USB A per port is 12W max. 4.1" x 3.3" x 1.3", 13.5oz. https://www.amazon.com/Anker-Chargin.../dp/B07VSMK849
  8. MagicFox PD180. This is a DC-DC unit, it takes 12-28V 180W via a 5.5mm x 2.5mm jack or 100W max via USB- C input and provides three ports: USB C 100W, USB C 40W, USB A 40W. Size 3.15" x 2.76" x 0.53", 3.44oz. Possible interesting AC-DC choices: Lenovo 4X20Q88542 at 135W either from Encompass with very long ship times or from Japan via Rakuten, Lenovo-to-5.5mm plug adapter here. 4.65" x 3" x .83", 15.24oz. If that's not enough Razer has a 180W which, AFAIK has the right plug. Notably light at 14.82oz, 5.98" / 152mm x 2.87" / 73mm x 0.93" / 23.5mm. The MagicFox PD180 itself is, so far, China only, I had good experiences with Superbuy as proxy so https://www.superbuy.com/en/page/buy...832086035.html While the MagicFox PD180 itself is cheap, high wattage, quality, lightweight AC-DC adapters are anything but.
Getting multiple units from the small section can be more compact and versatile. It is expensive, though and requires plugging multiple devices. Recommended: power strip, wall tap, wall tap. Add USB A ports via slim chargers, Amazon list and https://www.amazon.com/dp/B016XO41KQ/

Cabling wise, AmazomBasics and Monoprice is your friend. Do not use female USB C to USB A / micro USB adapters, these are explicitly forbidden by the USB C standard. Male USB C to USB A / micro USB is fine.

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Outfitting your travel kit for USB-C

Old Oct 14, 2017, 1:55 am
  #31  
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Originally Posted by docbert
That would be my guess. Most plane sockets max out at about 60-70 watts. Anything drawing greater than that will cause them to trip.

I have the exact same problem with my 130 watt (!) laptop power supply. I've found exactly one plane that it worked on (a United plane with a new seat fitout, so I'm not sure if they have increased the wattage or it was just luck)
I've usually been able to use 90W adapters with plane outlets, both the old AA car-DC-outlet style ones with an older Dell auto/air adapter, and with newer machines. It's quite possible that the 90W adapters aren't pulling their full current most of the time, but as discussed in the high power laptops thread (I think you've been on it?) it looks like a lot of laptop adapters pull pretty much maximum power momentarily when first pluged in, so I think it's reasonably safe to assume that most airline ports can actually handle 90W.

Reports from friends using the 80-something watt Macbook Pro 15" adapters have been uniformly positive.

The airline USB power powers seem to be pretty standard 5V/2A ones in my experience; they'll power a couple of devices I have that won't charge at less than 2A, but I've yet to see one that would quick charge.
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Old Oct 17, 2017, 10:37 pm
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I've gone through a couple Dart chargers which were great but the USB-C connector is not very rugged. I'm now using the 29W Apple charger in my travel kit.
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Old Nov 24, 2017, 12:37 pm
  #33  
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Just picked up a Nintendo Switch. It's my first USB-C device (though my iMac has USB-C ports, I do not have any drives or devices for those ports yet).

OK, the power adapter is hard-wired. Anyone know if it can be used to charge other USB-C devices or if there are third-party chargers which would recharge the Switch as well as other devices like a laptop or tablet?I guess the only other thing I might use USB-C charger for in the immediate future is if I get a wireless charging mat for my iPhone 8 Plus. I know quick charging is possible with a USB-C to Lightning cable but this Switch power adapter is hard-wired.
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Old Nov 24, 2017, 5:42 pm
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https://www.reddit.com/r/NintendoSwi...out_usb_typec/

Switch supports all of the standard PD1.0 and PD2.0 voltages up to 15V (5V/9V/12V/15V) and will draw up to 2A but it has problems with a lot of PD chargers.
And then read https://www.reddit.com/r/NintendoSwi...usbc_chargers/
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Old Nov 25, 2017, 10:55 am
  #35  
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This one has a good price but promises to charge up to MacBook Pros with just 41 watts?

https://www.amazon.com/Mothca-Charge...+charger&psc=1
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Old Nov 26, 2017, 1:56 am
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Originally Posted by wco81
This one has a good price but promises to charge up to MacBook Pros with just 41 watts?

https://www.amazon.com/Mothca-Charge...+charger&psc=1
I don't have that one but I did buy a similar looking 45W charger for use with my 2017 MBP 13"

Mine only has 1 USB-A port but it works best if I don't use that while charging my MBP

If you are doing lots of graphics (i.e., playing a game) it sometimes won't keep up with usage, but it drops very slowly or keeps even. If I'm just surfing or doing low graphic/computational stuff it keeps up. It also charges the MBP fine overnight.

It is lighter and more compact than the stock Apple one. So far, I've traveled with both, with the 45W in an accessible compartment and the Apple one buried in the bag. Have a one week EU trip coming up and will probably leave the Apple one behind.
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Old Nov 26, 2017, 4:47 pm
  #37  
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I was hoping to hold out another couple of years but due to the untimely death of my late-2013 MBP, I'm now running a 2017 13" MBP. One thing that I had a difficult time finding was a USB-C car charger that could output enough power to charge the MBP in a reasonable amount of time. Eventually, I found this adapter, which was reasonably priced.

In my testing thus far, my MBP sees it as supporting 60 watts, basically the same as the charger that came with it. It also appears to work as advertised without getting anywhere near too hot to touch--pushing as much as 40W to the battery per the Battery Health app. (One review mentioned that it got extremely hot at the full 60W + 15W output, so I'd keep that in mind if you have the 15" model.)

I'm also currently using the CharGenPro hub for legacy USB devices and HDMI. It seems to work well (albeit gets warm even when idle), but the downside is that very little power is available on the USB 3.0 ports; I noticed this when I realized that my phone was still draining battery when the screen was on and the phone was charging extremely slowly with the screen off. I ultimately ended up spending the money on a USB-C to Lightning cable for my phone.
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Old Nov 26, 2017, 4:58 pm
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Wow, that little car charger is 65 watts?

How do you tell ho much power the MBP is getting, through some 3rd-party utility?
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Old Nov 26, 2017, 5:00 pm
  #39  
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Originally Posted by wco81
Wow, that little car charger is 65 watts?

How do you tell ho much power the MBP is getting, through some 3rd-party utility?
About This Mac->System Report->Power will tell you how much power the adapter's capable of producing. I use this app to show me how much is going to the battery (the "Charging With" line when you open the app).
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Old Nov 26, 2017, 5:02 pm
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Ah thanks, didn't think to look there.

I'm sure there could also be an IOreg query you can do to get that data too.
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Old Nov 27, 2017, 9:20 pm
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Originally Posted by wco81
Just picked up a Nintendo Switch. It's my first USB-C device (though my iMac has USB-C ports, I do not have any drives or devices for those ports yet).

OK, the power adapter is hard-wired. Anyone know if it can be used to charge other USB-C devices or if there are third-party chargers which would recharge the Switch as well as other devices like a laptop or tablet?I guess the only other thing I might use USB-C charger for in the immediate future is if I get a wireless charging mat for my iPhone 8 Plus. I know quick charging is possible with a USB-C to Lightning cable but this Switch power adapter is hard-wired.
I use an Anker QC capable charger and USB A to USB C cable to charge the Switch. I use the same type of capable and the same charger for my hotspot.
https://www.anker.com/products/varia...Ports/A2032111
https://www.anker.com/products/varia...-3.0-/A8169091


I also picked up the $12 PlayStand from Hori which is pretty useful for the price. It's really compact and lets me charge the console while playing.
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Old Nov 28, 2017, 5:01 am
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Speaking for myself I have a USB-C Macbook Retina, USB-C PD smartphones, and the rest of traveling kit such as wireless headphones are traditional microUSB. nothing QC, and no other terminals.

I've previously used the OEM 29W Apple laptop charger for the laptop, but it actually was produced before PD certification, and therefore does not optimally charge the PD smartphones.
I've also used various high-current (5V 2.0A+) USB-A chargers , which can trickle-charge the laptop, but also does not optimally charge the PD smartphones.

Wanted to consolidate this. The only PD charger on the market that has broadest compatibility, and is still portable, at time of purchase is Aukey PA-Y10:
* has USB-C PD @ 5, 9, 12, 15, 20V
* has USB-A beefy 5v/2.1A
I carry a USB-C to USB-C cable, and a USB-A to microUSB cable tethered to in-line micro-to-USB-C adapter.

This allows me to charge any 2 devices at a time, atleast 1 of them optimally, and the other atleast with decent current.

note: since then aukey released PA-Y11 where the USB-A is QC 3.0 compatible... truly jack of all chargers.

For battery pack and car-cigarette-port I use high-current USB-A chargers, and adapted cables as necessary. Not worth it yet to switch everything over to USB-C
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Old Nov 29, 2017, 1:19 pm
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FWIW, the above-mentioned Aukey PA-Y10 is on sale for $30 (down from $40 with 25% code AUKCM005); I just ordered one, looks like a nice compact unit to go along with the larger (with more USB-A ports though) Anker PowerPort+ 5 chargers I have.
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Old Dec 1, 2017, 3:57 am
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Aukey is blacklisted by me because they faked safety certificates before. Even one made me blacklist them but multiple. Wow.
www.intertek.com/WorkArea/DownloadAsset.aspx?id=34359756154
www.intertek.com/WorkArea/DownloadAsset.aspx?id=34359762270

You really need to be desperate to buy such dangerous crap.
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Old Dec 1, 2017, 8:16 am
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Originally Posted by chx1975
Aukey is blacklisted by me because they faked safety certificates before. Even one made me blacklist them but multiple. Wow.
www.intertek.com/WorkArea/DownloadAsset.aspx?id=34359756154
www.intertek.com/WorkArea/DownloadAsset.aspx?id=34359762270

You really need to be desperate to buy such dangerous crap.
If you look at the USB-IF certification list for example, most of the entries are there from OxM manufacturers, and very few by the consumer brands.
This means that a Belkin, or Choetech, or Verizon, could very well be selling a 'certified' product, but did not pay for certification under their branding. And if they co-opted the certification, while it may be illegal and unethical, it doesnt change the performance of the underlying product.

Secondly, if you reference the USB list maintained by "Nathan K" or "Benson Leung", even peripherals from Apple, Microsoft, Google, and "trusted" brands like Anker and Monoprice, fall into the bad-to-really bad endorsements.

In fact, there are only 2 AC chargers listed there that gets full endorsement to charge the Pixel phones. And only 1 of them at the optimal speed.
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets...f_TX8/pubhtml#

So if you're going to write off a brand based on 1 or 2 SKUs, you're gonna have to write off 95% of the market.

Aukey holds a pretty good reputation. That charger in particular is the only one available that has dual usbPD and usba charging at a reasonable size. And it's proven to work with my devices. YMMV.
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