cables

Why does my Android device take so long to charge?

Episode 1525

Thomas from Vancouver, WA

Thomas has an Android mobile phone and it charges really slowly. Rich says that with Android phones, the charging devices are hit and miss and using a fast charge device may not be the best option. Or, it could be a cheap cable that's slowing it down. Try changing out the cable first. The he should investigate the battery. If it has a removable battery, he could try replacing it and see if it speeds up charging. If so, he'll know it's a faulty battery.

Dick DeBartolo, The Giz Wiz

Dick DeBartolo

Episode 1509

HDMI Angle Adapters are an inexpensive solution to routing your HDMI cables. Your HDTV or HD computer monitor is super thin but the HDMI cables might add thickness if the ports face the wall or even in the wrong direction. These angled HDMI adapters help you avoid having to bend your HDMI cables excessively which may damage the cable, short out the cable or even worse, damage the ports on your expensive equipment. The company says they support resolutions up to 4K.

How can I connect Thunderbolt 3 to USB-C?

SanDisk Dual Drive Type-C

Episode 1491

Brian from Nashville, TN

Brian runs an external Thunderbolt 2 drive and Parallels to dual boot into Windows. He upgraded his SSD, which works on his laptop, but it won't attach to his Mac Mini. How can he adapt it? Leo says that the Thunderbolt 3 connector is the same as the USB-C connector. But that doesn't mean it has the Thunderbolt controller built in. So he may need to get a Thunderbolt 3 external enclosure to use it, but it's not cheap. He could use a Type A USB 3.1 data cable connector to the Type-C drive and he should get full throughput.

Are all USB cables safe to use?

Anker USB Type-C Cable

Episode 1482

Alan from West LA, CA

Alan wants to know if all USB-C cables are created equal. Leo says they aren't. In fact, some cheaper models may end up bricking his phone! So he'll have to be careful. Type C cables are better built, and they also transfer data. In the end, he'll get what he pays for. Leo recommends braided cables. They last a lot longer and are about $10. Leo likes Anker. Alan should follow Benson Leung. He is really into testing cables.

Can I splice a cable to make it longer?

Logitech Extension Cable

Episode 1446

Greg from Pasadena, CA

Greg has a Logitech video conference system and he wants to know if he can make an extension cable based on the PS2 cable. He made one, but it says "USB device not recognized." Logitech's extension is too short and expensive. Leo says there's probably some circuitry bonded into the cable that it's looking for. He may want to try splicing in additional cable in the original. He'll be destroying it, but it may work. He may also need to deal with DRM Copy Protection. But if the circuitry is on either end and he's splicing in more cable in the middle, he may be good to go.

Dick DeBartolo, The Giz Wiz

Dick DeBartolo

Episode 1400

This week's gadget is from MEEM and it's a fresh new take on smartphone back up. It's a phone charger cable that automatically backs up personal data on a smartphone to the cable. It does that every time the phone is charged. With people using phones more and more for high quality photos and video and quick text communications, a phone’s storage fills up quickly with precious content and the more personal information stored, the higher the anxiety of losing or having that data stolen is. With MEEM, backing up your smartphone is a simple solution that fits into a daily routine.

Scott Wilkinson on Home Theater

Scott Wilkinson

Episode 1400

Leo and Scott talk about cleaning out and organizing the "techno spaghetti factory" that is wiring coming from all home theater stuff. There was also a lot of dust built up and Scott says it's a good idea to clean out that cruft at least once a year and use IEC standard power cables to keep everything consistent. Leo likes banana plugs, and Scott agrees, but many people don't like them because they tend to be easier to disconnect. They make it easy to swap out other tech, though.

Can an HDMI signal degrade?

Episode 1270

John from Kingsford, MI

John has an HDMI switcher and is concerned that it will degrade the signal. Leo says it won't though. Digital signal either works or doesn't, and there's no degrading of the signal. What about juttering? Leo says that is likely coming from a bandwidth issue. It's likely the satellite connection. One issue could be distance. If he has a really long HDMI cable, it could cause weird artifacting and juttering. That's where a higher quality cable comes in handy.

How can I get the perfect length of cable for my security cameras?

Nest Cam

Episode 1251

David from Laguna Nigel, CA

David wants to install some security cameras, but he doesn't want to pay for a cable length he doesn't need. How can he do that? Leo suggests going with a wireless camera setup. If he wants to create cables, instead of buying cables that are too long or short, he can build his own with attachments and a few key tools. But wireless is the way to go and most cameras use that. Axis has good wired cameras. Nest cameras are good for wireless.

Why does my iPad give me a warning message that my charging cable isn't supported?

Episode 1242

Carl from Corona, CA

Carl got a cheap $2 charging cable for his iPad online, and now he's getting a message on his iPad that it isn't supported. Leo says that Apple has a proprietary cable for syncing data and charging devices. Leo suspects he'd probably be able to charge his iPad with that cable just fine, but he won't be able to sync the data. When buying a cable, he should look for "MFi Certified." Those cables are made to work with Apple devices. Apple licenses that cable technology, so he won't ever find an MFi Certified cable for cheap.