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Anker PowerPort PD 1 USB-C Wall Charger Teardown (chargerlab.com)
123 points by devy 6 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 110 comments



I was looking forward for Ken Shriiff-style charger reviews ([0], [1]) and was disappointed to find out this is just pictures, with almost no analysis.

FWIW, from the photos, it looks like the charger is not very bad from safety perspective -- there is a wide, healthy space between high and low side. (unless there is a diagonal trace in the "The back of the PCB" photo, between high and low voltage sides.. but it is so absurd if true, I think it is just a camera artifact)

[0] http://www.righto.com/2012/03/inside-cheap-phone-charger-and... [1] http://www.righto.com/2012/10/a-dozen-usb-chargers-in-lab-ap...


> I was looking forward for Ken Shirriff-style charger reviews

Ha ha, thanks! I agree with you that it looks okay from a safety perspective. It looks like they built the charger with reasonable quality, not cutting corners, but it's not at the Apple level of (over-)engineering. The one sketchy thing is the charger panel that just pops off (instead of being glued/welded), potentially exposing the user to high voltage.

One interesting thing is the amount of complexity that USB-C adds. The charger has a separate daughter board for the Cypress USB-C controller chip. This chip contains a 32-bit Arm Cortex-M0 CPU running at 48 MHz. I believe that works out to about 8 Cray 1 supercomputers using the Dhrystone benchmark.

The switching power supply is a quasi-resonant flyback topology. To oversimplify, the incoming AC is rectified to DC, chopped up into pulses that are fed through the flyback transformer. The output from the transformer is rectified, yielding the low-voltage, high-current DC output.

One somewhat advanced feature is that the output is not rectified by a diode, but by a MOSFET controlled by the controller chip. This is called synchronous rectification. This improves efficiency because you don't have the voltage drop you get across a diode.

The SMPS controller chip is interesting. Most switching power supplies have an optoisolator to provide feedback between the output and the control chip. But this control chip connects to both the input side and output side; it contains an inductive isolator internally. The control chip also contains the MOSFET that chops up the input voltage. So the big controller chip replaces multiple components in a typical charger.

The LED indicator is a bit puzzling. There's a TL431 voltage reference chip next to it. The TL431 is extremely common in chargers to provide the feedback for voltage regulation, but apparently it's being used here to drive the LED.


You're saying that our phone chargers have the equivalent of EIGHT of the fastest computers in the world in 1976? Wow.


A usb c controller is quite complicated. The protocol is not simple at all.


It's still mind-blowing that if you wanted a USB-C controller in 1976, you'd need $64 million dollars worth of computing power.


You would need more than that, since a significant cost is already built into the economies of scale of making non-leading-edge chips.

Exponential growth is a crazy thing.


If it's doing just power charging it should be much simpler, no? Maybe there just aren't any USB-C charger-only microcontrollers out there? Or perhaps the protocol negotiation happens at such fast speed that you have no choice but to use a fairly fast microcontroller?


I guess it's important to remove the charger from the socket when you're not using it, or that computer will keep eating power.

On the other hand, would be fun if you could run complicated calculations on just your charger.


The USB chip (like many microcontrollers) has clock gating and sleep modes so it uses almost no power when idle. When running it uses 10 mA (50 mW) which is pretty low, but in deep sleep mode it uses just 100 µA (0.5 mW). In comparison, a desktop processor can use 95 W or more and the Cray 1 used over 100 kW.


Need constant current for steady LED brightness, which the TL431 can certainly do. Maybe they just wanted to use a chip they were already sourcing in large quantities.


Constant current for a single blue LED is a little nuts to me, but you’re probably right and it made financial sense somehow.


> The one sketchy thing is the charger panel that just pops off (instead of being glued/welded), potentially exposing the user to high voltage.

That sounds pretty sketchy indeed. Isn't that terribly dangerous? Could a child pop it off? Does that meet legal safety requirements for this kind of product?


"The usage of the highly integrated PI controller reduce the number of additional components required for the system"

There's a lot of clunky grammar in this post. Maybe it's a submarine advertisement?


The clunky grammar is because the site is run by Chinese people who do not have particularly great English skills.


Anker (the company whose product is profiled) is also run by Chinese people.

Which proves absolutely nothing, of course. But it is consistent with how this sort of thing might happen. Companies often hire someone from their own country to do stuff for them.

EDIT: I think people have not understood what I'm saying here. I'm not trying to imply anything bad about Anker. I'm trying to explain what the comment two levels above mine may have been implying. The fact that this site is Chinese isn't a refutation of the scenario they're suggesting, it's part of it. (On a side note, I charged my phone on an Anker charger last night.)


I thought it was started by some Xooglers. Obviously, the products are coming from China, and I imagine a lot of the design work is done there, now.

After its launch, the emphasis seemed to be a decent level of quality, i.e. it will actually be what it says on the tin. The specs we provide, it will conform to.

Which has led me to turn to Anker products in order to get a "known quality."

Has this changed?


Wikipedia suggests that it was a singular xoogler, but other than that this aligns with what I know to be true. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anker_(electronics)


I'm certainly not aware of any change. I continue to regard Anker as a reputable brand which seems to try to offer good quality products at a budget price.

I'm just playing devil's advocate here. Someone advanced a theory that it could be "submarine advertisement", another person said the explanation is just that the site is Chinese, and I said that doesn't refute the notion. I'm not trying to defend that position; I'm just trying to keep the reasoning sound once that the exploration of that hypothetical has started.


> once that the exploration

There's a lot of clunky grammar in your post. Maybe it's a submarine advertisement?

See how ridiculous it is to assume grammar errors imply nefarious ends? You're not playing devil's advocate, you're backing up a crackpot statement.


I'm not backing anybody up. If someone tries to refute a crackpot but their refutation doesn't make logical sense, then their refutation doesn't make logical sense. If I point this out, it doesn't mean I support the crackpot.

Logic and rational discourse are not a game where there are only two sides, and a statement against one is automatically a statement in support of the other.


The subject of this teardown is the 18w PowerPort charger, not to be confused with the soon-to-ship (?) gallium nitride (GaN) 27w charger known as the PowerPort Atom PD-1[0].

I only know of two shipping GaN chargers at the moment: the 45w RAVPower (RP-PC104)[1], and the 45w Mu One[2]. I imagine we'll see an ton of GaN chargers this year.

[0]: https://www.anker.com/deals/powerport_atom

[1]: https://www.ravpower.com/p/ravpower-45w-type-c-pd-wall-charg...

[2]: https://www.themu.co.uk/collections/muone


The Inergie 60C must be one as well, it's too small to be anything else. Also, the finsix dart is GaN but it's not USB C.


I am an idiot, the dart is not GaN, it's SiC. https://www.pntpower.com/5-reasons-why-avogy-and-finsix-put-...


Thanks for following up (a week later—that never happens on HN). Since you're an enthusiast, it's worth mentioning that the atom pd1 is now shipping. Just a heads-up if you were interested in grabbing one.


Thanks for the additions.

Didn't think of the Dart since it's been around for a while. That has to be one of (the?) first GaN chargers to market?



That and the now defunct Zolt were the first ones, yes.


Thanks, That is absolutely brilliant! I wonder why these product don't get much media coverage at all.

Turns out Discovery and Distribution aren't really a solved problem at all in the world of Internet.

I just wish some of these had two port though. I am starting to wonder if there will be hotels adopting USB-C as Charging standards and provides Port for it.


When Innergie was running their Kickstarter, then named 55CC, they were getting some coverage in 2017. It retails now as Innergie 60C. They also sell a Magicable with it which makes the charger usable with many older non USB-C laptops but alas it seems it's only for the Innergie charger only , it's not a standard part. Lenovo has a similar USB C to older "slim tip" cable, the 03X7530, which they claim -- but so far this is unverified -- to be a standard part. It ships with their power bank, independently it seems to be unobtanium at this point.

> Turns out Discovery and Distribution aren't really a solved problem at all in the world of Internet.

Absolutely not, I am trying to find a shoulder bag for my new on call kit (the One Mix Yoga 2S makes it possible for me to not haul a 14" laptop for once-in-three-months-but-need-to-answer-them-immediately emergencies), the upcoming Dasung not-eReader will be a monitor for it) and it's amazing how much crap simple search finds and you need forums and reddit to find anything useful. There's no search engine for bags by dimensions, even worse, many webpages for bags do not have pocket dimensions on them (sometimes even the amount of pockets is unclear!) and I am like, why do you even have a webpage? Maxpedition is the gold standard for the latter (look at the dimensions tab of https://www.maxpedition.com/products/beefy-pocket-organizer?... ) but they don't have a by dimension search either. This is https://www.pacsafe.com/metrosafe-ls100-anti-theft-cross-bod... typical of a terrible web page. It touts the anti theft features but what you can pack in there is a total mystery. The photo makes it well visible there are two compartments but how big they are? You won't learn it from this page for sure. Finally, neither manufacturers nor bag reviwers will pack a bag to the gills and take a trip to the nearest airport and put the bag in a cage and show whether it fits personal item, carry on size or not. This would be, you know, useful.


As for two ports, check the Maru & Masa kickstarter.


This is Ben from ChargerLAB. We actually have the 27W GaN Anker USB-C charger in our hands for months. But my boss won't let me tear it down as it is the only one we have and there are some testings need to be done before we destroy it. We might dissemble the RAVPower 45W GaN USB-C charger next week though. I probably don't have the calibre to give a detailed explanation, but at least you guys will be able to see what it looks like inside from photos.


We have been hearing about gallium nitride power semiconductor since 2010 / 2011, and then again in 2014/2015, Why did it take so long to come to market? Cost?

( If it is cost then there is no hope of a nickel and dime fruit company to include it by default )


Mainly cost. Right now a GaN mosfet costs 10x more than a silicon one of similar power rating.

You are starting to see them in consumer goods where they can reduce the total system cost, or get the size down in premium goods.

For higher power stuff, they have to compete with silicon carbide which can handle very high temperatures, so your cooling needs are smaller.

[0]: IPAW60R380CEXKSA1 (silicon) costs $1.27, IGT60R190D1SATMA1 (GaN) costs $13.


Thanks... There goes my hope of Apple having it come with iPhone. $10 BOM is A LOT.


Cost, and the fact that it doesn't actually buy you much. I've evaluated GaN for a couple recent designs I've been involved in and found that its benefits simply didn't justify its costs.

What GaN actually does is, mainly, decrease switching losses. That means switching frequency can go up, or efficiency, or power density. These are all good things, to be sure, but the magnitude of improvement GaN brings to most designs is simply not large enough to justify the cost of the parts and the increased design attention needed to use them. (They're fussy little things.)

That said, I'm bullish on GaN in the medium-term. There are some cool tricks that are infeasible or impossible without them, and they really are better in a lot of ways. It'll just take a while for them to trickle downmarket, and even still they're not going to be replacing Si FETs anytime soon. (Part of the lag in GaN adoption is simply that Si FETs have gotten really, really good.)


Same opinion. If someone needs to improve power densities over buck, they will first switch to a better topology.

The main advantage of GaN is to allow simple buck converter to get smaller, and improve their power density. The biggest advantage is really the size.

May I know, are you working in electronics?


>The biggest advantage is really the size.

Which basically means no one is making enough marketing about this use case. Size of charger matters a lot. If it was Apple they will be very loud about it as Innovation. ( At least Consumer are willing to pay for it )


(To GP: Yes, I'm an electrical engineer.)

Yes, size is the main product-level advantage of GaN. But it only lets some of the system shrink; for something like a mains charger, you still need the isolation magnetics, so your overall size is still constrained. And at the power levels of a few watts that many chargers work with, Si FETs are simply good enough. A 5W USB charger isn't going to get any smaller with GaN. It only starts to get interesting with really high power densities.


> But it only lets some of the system shrink; for something like a mains charger, you still need the isolation magnetics, so your overall size is still constrained.

1. You can isolate with caps... if you trust their manufacturer. http://www.helixsemiconductors.com/uploads/cms_uploads/2018/...

2. Well if things go this way, one can go for "virtual isolation" with beefy mosfets, and pray that the gate fail before the junction melts to pieces. This is actually what apple recently patented.

Nice to meet an actual engineer here. What is your field of work?


What does GaN change?



Had never heard of "ultrasonic welding" [0]. Also had no idea the wide range of applications, even many shoes use this process for bonding the materials together [1].

[0] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ultrasonic_welding

[1] https://science.howstuffworks.com/ultrasonic-welding.htm/pri...


Page is hanging trying to load a pair of jquery files

    http://dn-staticfile.qbox.me/jquery/1.11.1/jquery.min.js?ver=1.11.1
    http://dn-staticfile.qbox.me/jquery-migrate/1.2.1/jquery-migrate.min.js?ver=1.2.1
and doesn't seem to display images without them. The rest of the page did render eventually though.

If anyone else has this issue, right clicking the image and using "View Image" does work, I guess it's relying on jquery to display them on the page or something?


Images are hidden by default until a script shows them with an animation (fade) once they're loaded. The script is part of the Wordpress theme this site is using. Clearly it's old code considering it's relying on code only compatible with jQuery 1.2.1 which was released in 2007.


To be fair, that's jQuery Migrate 1.2, which was released in 2013. Not much better, but still... jQuery 1.11 (the version it's actually using) was released in 2014.


If you want some entertaining tear-downs and analysis, BigCliveDotCom on Youtube is great viewing.

https://www.youtube.com/user/bigclivedotcom/videos


I prefer these reviews: https://lygte-info.dk/info/indexUSB%20UK.html (warning, large number of images)


Apologies for being mildly off-topic, but is anyone aware of a USB-C PD charger with more than a single USB-C PD port? Doesn't necessarily have to be wall-wart style.


https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B07JVL8C3H

Anker PA-Y16

It's cheaper to buy two single port ones though :(


That may charge 2 smart phones just fine, but it isn't enough for a laptop like a Macbook 13 or Dell XPS 13.

I'm sure we'll see ones that can handle enough output for a computer + phone in the near future!


Count me in... I would love a full spec USB-C charger with 100+ watt total output across, say, four or five USB-C ports. Maybe add an A or two for good measure, perhaps with QC.

I do carry an Anker with one USB-C and four A for travel with my (USB-C) laptop(s).

While I am wishing... A USB-C hub (bus powered or from a PD input) with full speed USB-C ports, maybe 4-6, and an A or two for good measure.


Maybe someone who knows electronics better than me can chime in with corrections and/or correct terminology, but my impression is that USB PD doesn't lend itself to having a bunch of type-C ports that draw from a shared max power rating in the way that's common with USB BC devices. e.g. if you have a 100W brick, you're going to have five ports with 20W max, or one 60W port and four 10W ports, etc. (that is, each port is essentially an independent charger sharing a housing, and with the heat limitations of the shared housing)


The USB-C PD definitely allows you to do exactly what you suggest.

I know this is supported in this google dual-port PD charger: https://store.google.com/gb/product/usb_c_dual_port_charger

There is an explanation on how the power budget is split in this post: https://plus.google.com/+BensonLeung/posts/8jmUYtJxAwX

Presumably other multi-port chargers also do similair things


This is pretty close to what you're looking for, except with a single 87W USB-C PD port and 4 12W USB-A ports: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07DGTFQTD/


Surprising that this doesn't use a higher frequency to reduce the iron core size and make the device smaller and lighter.

Perhaps the product designers said 'it's gotta weigh at least 5 oz' and the engineers thought they'd use old-fashioned huge low frequency 20kHz flyback transformers rather than put a steel weight in.


Controller datasheet shows the frequency of 30 KHz to 100 KHz, depending on the load.

Sure, it is not 1MHz, but I think high voltage, high frequency MOSFETs might be too expensive for just 18W design.


I would expect a brand-name device claiming to support USB-C PD to support the 15 and 20v modes too, so it can at least charge a laptop.

All the components I checked are already capable of it, so I guess some tests failed and they rushed it to market without 15 and 20v support?


Do you need to use the 15V or 20V modes to supply 18W to a laptop or can the laptop just use the 2A@9V?

I can plug my Macbook into a 5V only USB phone charger and it says it's charging (ok, it doesn't really keep up with the power usage, so the battery still drains, but it drains slower than it would if not plugged into anything at all)


Lots of laptops require 20v because they are re-using circuitry from the days of 19.5 volt proprietary charging bricks.

Also, having both step-up and step down convertors in your laptop is going to make everything a bit heavier, bulkier, and costlier, for the very tiny proportion of users who want to charge from a 5v phone charger overnight.


Since the USB-C port often supports bidirectional power, it may not actually make it that much larger, if at all, as the battery charger IC can often operate in "reverse buck" mode to turn the battery voltage into 5V, which when using synchronous rectification (almost mandatory for efficiency now) means it has all the parts for forward boost, and just needs a slightly cleverer control IC. This is like how many modern power banks can use the same inductor for buck (5V->3.7V) charging and boost (3.7->5V) discharging.

Check this app note from Intersil/Renesas: https://www.renesas.com/eu/en/doc/whitepapers/power/usb-c-bu...

(of course, it may be slightly less efficient in boost charging, but since the 5V usb source has limited power, this may not be a concern in terms of component thermal limits etc).


So this reuse is why almost no power banks support simultaneous charge and discharge, I am guessing.

It is super annoying that I can't use any of my power banks as laptop-like batteries for Raspberry Pis, Arduinos, and the like.


Take a look at OmniCharge, e.g.:

https://www.omnicharge.co/products/omni-20-usb-c/


The Xiaomi Powerbank supports simultaneous charge and discharge.


Many laptops require higher voltage. My XPS 13 does require 20V, for example.


It's very mysterious that it's so particular about the charger. The XPS 13's battery is only 7.4V, so that's not the reason (a simple charging circuit needs a higher input voltage than the top voltage of the battery it's charging).

It's hard to say that the poor implementation of USB-PD ruins the XPS 13, because it's overall a great laptop. But it is very annoying to travel with this computer, realize that you brought only an 18w or 30w charger, and contemplate how nearly every other device you have works fine with it. And every year since 2016 I decline to upgrade my XPS 13 because they haven't fixed this (moreover they probably don't even consider it a problem).


Don't you risk of overheating the charger?


The device and charger are supposed to negotiate an appropriate charge rate. If the charger agrees to supply more than it's capable of, that sounds like a defect.


http://www.chargerlab.com/archives/539.html This one is for laptops. Very compact and provides 60W. I use it with Lenovo X1 Carbon.


What laptop? My XPS refuses to charge in any way below 45W, but any cell phone charger I've seen can trickle charge my Macbook Pro (slowly, or with lid closed, or something)


That's interesting, my XPS 15 9575 can charge from seemingly almost any power supply, including those 5V 2.4A USB wall warts, as long as it's off or the lid is closed. I do have to connect the charger after it enters sleep mode though.


XPS 13 here, it does happily accept any 45W+ charger but the "charging" light does not turn on and in Windows, does not display anything like "plugged in but not charging" for anything less. I'm not sure why this is or if it actually does trickle charge while completely powered off, just not showing it


For power ratings up to 27W, only the 5V and 9V modes are required.


What does the "PD" in 'PD 2/3.0' mean?


Power Delivery which is a recent part of the USB spec.


I use this one for 30eur to power my dell xps when watching movies and charge 2-3 phones over night: http://budgetlightforum.com/node/62740

it's cheap super portable considering it charges all my devices at once and if you don't need to charge fast on all ports at once it's totally fine.

edit: amazon reviews look like you have to get lucky to get one that doesn't blow up... mine works absolutely fine since 6 month though.


Charging more slowly increases the longevity of your lithium-type batteries anyway.


I really wish Anker would ship a charger that can power a MBP 15" 2018. I use Anker for everything charging/battery/cable related except my third party MBP chargers (because they don't make one) and 90 degree cables (again, because they don't make them. If not my boyfriend would slowly destroy every cable I have by resting his phone on his chest while charging...)


Is USB-IF certification any guarantee of quality?


Anyone willing to compare and contrast with the iPad Pro's diminutive USB-C charger?


there's a teardown of the Apple 2018 iPad Pro charger (18w) on the same site for comparison. Sadly, there's not much analysis except to say that the Apple charger is very well built and compact.


Links:

Apple 18W charger (iPad Pro): http://www.chargerlab.com/archives/939.html

Apple 61W charger (Macbook Pro): http://www.chargerlab.com/archives/1217.html

Apple 87W charger (Macbook Pro): http://www.chargerlab.com/archives/1292.html


Is this link working for folks? It wouldn't load for me :(


At first I thought this was about the PowerPort PD Atom 1, which isn't yet released, but it's about the PowerPort PD 1, which came out sometime last year.


0


Not sure I could call this "well made" which is a disappointment for me with regards to Anker. The HV and LV sides don't appear to be well, or even at all isolated.

I suppose the big yellow-wrapped thing is the voltage transformation stage, but the connector should feed directly into it. Looks like it is actually be a transformer rather than a switching supply, which I suppose could cut costs.


It looks like there's plenty of seperation to me. Three things cross the boundary:

The main controller has an isolated primary/secondary side, so it's fine for it to bridge. According to the datasheet it's got >4kV of isolation.

The big yellow thing is a transformer, but it's switched at high frequency; this is quite common in this kind of thing. Note that the secondary wires coming out of the top are properly insulated, so this should be quite well isolated.

The class-Y capacitor is designed for exactly this purpose.


http://cdn2.geekifix.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/21.jpeg If this is the isolation left to right, it seems like plenty bordering on overkill. You can't just feed wall power into the transformer in a switched power supply; the power needs to be rectified and then fed to it at tens to hundreds of kilohertz. The chip bridging the gap is designed for this task, with builtin isolation.


http://cdn2.geekifix.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/21-1024x...

It looks like power comes in right above the FT15SM. I'm seeing great separation between the left and right side. Sure, there isn't' an air-gap, but it looks like good enough. It's compact and potted which makes it hard for either of us to get a really good idea.


It does seem like the HV and LV are seperated into the daughterboards, which would give them some seperation.

The actual seperation you need isn't that big and if you're careful you don't need to divide the PCB into two strict sections (just look at most Multimeter PCBs).

I also suspect that like 99% of power supplies, this is a transformer with a switching voltage regulator behind it since PD 2.0 requires a range of voltages to be available.


It's been at least 15 years since a transformer was cheaper than a rectifier and flyback transformer design. Steel costs more than silicon...


eh? this is not a 50Hz /60Hz transformer, for two reasons:

(1) Low-frequency transformers rated for 18 watts are way bigger than this

(2) There is a nice big picture of INN3265C ("Flyback Switcher IC")

So there is no way one could connect the connector directly to the transformer.


> I suppose the big yellow-wrapped thing is the voltage transformation stage, but the connector should feed directly into it. Looks like it is actually be a transformer rather than a switching supply, which I suppose could cut costs.

Switching power supplies can use transformers too while remaining efficient.


There are no UL or similar markings on the case, and the fuse isn’t marked as a UL recognized component. I bet the US version will be somewhat different.


Hi, this is Ben from ChargerLAB. I am the author of this terrible article. I promise I will do better next time.

Yes. This is Chinese version. It's "Triple C" certified instead of UL certified. The components might be different across different versions but we are not certain. The next time we will try to have a comparison between the same products aimed for differnet regions.

You can checkout the teardown of an US version 60W Anker USB-C charger from this link. http://www.chargerlab.com/archives/539.html


Keep in mind that what Ben torn down in the article was actually a Chinese version of the charger - the north american version could be different (though I am unsure.)


Thanks to the commenters who mostly allayed my concerns.


> Not sure I could call this "well made" which is a disappointment for me with regards to Anker.

Does Anker have a good reputation? I bought an Anker cigarette lighter - USB charger a couple years ago. One of the reviewers pointed out it fit poorly, took it apart, and made suggestions to Anker on how to improve the product (and got feedback from Anker). I figured it was safe to assume the improvements made it into the product. Turns out that a year later no improvement had been made and the damn thing would disconnect every time I hit a bump or looked at it funny.

From my POV Anker is 7-11 quality stuff.

Edit: I'm loving the downvotes from the brand loyalists who've nothing to contribute.


Generally my experience with Anker in the past 5 years has been solid products. Then again I don't buy their cheapest stuff and they are being compared to some truly garbage competitors. I have like 5 of their charging hubs, 3 of their batteries, and one of their car chargers and I've never had a problem with any of them.

Every time I buy non-Anker USB charging stuff I end up regretting it. Although I have had problems with their USB cables, the micro-USB ends always get loose after a year or so. But this is kind of a microUSB thing anyways.


From my experience with power banks, Anker makes the most reliable. RAVPower and Aukey will offer similar capacity or form factor for less, but from my years of use, the Anker ones maintain quality over a long period of time much better than the other brands. The cheaper ones tend to charge more slowly or seem to lose capacity as they age. I have one in my commuter bag that's a few years old and only supports QC2, but I see no reason to upgrade it because it's in great shape and charges quickly enough for my needs.

If you're always chasing the latest hotness and need a power bank that does QC4/USB-PD right now, then Aukey and RAVPower will probably work well enough. But I've started pushing my family to get Anker (or buying for them as stocking stuffers) simply so that they all have something they can hold onto without having to worry about having to rotate out every year.


I have owned multiple cables, a 4-port wall charger, a car charger, and a bluetooth speaker, and I have not had a single issue with any of them.

In fact, the Anker car charger I got was specifically to replace a cheapo-brand one that kept disconnecting at the slightest of bumps or being aligned a certain way in the cigarette lighter port. The Anker one works consistently and does not lose connection for me at all.

I guess you could call me a "brand loyalist" but they've given me no reason not to be at this point. That's not to say I disbelieve others' experiences that aren't so great, but compared to much of their competition at their price points, their quality stands out IMHO


It seems like the apple ipad charger is the gold standard for usb charging (at least based on the things I've read around the internets). Anker may not reach those heights but it seems to be moderately better than the non-name ones that short and catch fire.


I was looking at a teardown[1] of USB wall chargers. Surprisingly the Touchpad charger was rated quite well. I guess that Touchpad was good for something after all.

1: http://www.righto.com/2012/10/a-dozen-usb-chargers-in-lab-ap...


Yeah, even simple no-name usb cables can be dangerous. A friend had purchased a pack of cheap microUSB cables on eBay, and was charging his phone in my car with one of them.

The cable itself started getting uncomfortably warm to the touch. Glad we noticed before things got worse.


There are two different sizes of cigarette lighter sockets, maybe that's why it fit badly?


Specifically:

* Size A: inside diameter ~21.0mm (mainly American cars)

* Size B: inside diameter ~21.5mm (mainly European cars)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cigarette_lighter_receptacle


Huh it looks like European cars often use larger sockets (learn something new every day). Meanwhile I found the original review that stuck with me. By design the charger uses a center spring that's too strong and forces it out of the socket a little bit.

There are a variety of other critiques (e.g. came apart in the receptacle and "All of this could have been avoided if Anker would have angled the leading edge of the side electrical connections more.", "The catches on the side of the charger won't release like the traditional spring ones do.", lack of fuse) as well.


maybe you got "old" stock? it's not uncommon for products like this to sit in a warehouse for over a year.

Anker has been fine in terms of quality in my opinion, never had an issue with any of their products. Although i must say there are better on the market. especially in terms of powerbanks.


> maybe you got "old" stock? it's not uncommon for products like this to sit in a warehouse for over a year.

Potentially, but I'd hope that Anker would exercise a bit more control over their Amazon inventory. From the looks of it there are still plenty of (premature failure, fire) complaints in addition to the no return policy. It screams fly by night to me, but it's interesting to see they've a better reputation with other products.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00VH84L5E

Here's the review (about eighteen months before I bought mine): https://www.amazon.com/gp/customer-reviews/R4F5INKA6PO2I/


what about a no return policy?

I was able to return anker products just fine. (i might add im not in the US though)


What about it? This may have changed but when I bought the damn thing Anker clearly stated they wouldn't take returns.




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