Ann complains that her iPhone won't charge in her car anymore. She gets a message saying "accessory not supported." Rich suspects that the port in her mobile device could be a bit dirty and blowing it out could help improve the connection. But it could also be time to get a new cable. They do stop working after a while and that message usually indicates a degrading connection. For the fastest, go with a USB-C to Lightning cable.
When purchasing cables for your devices, one of the main driving factors is the price point for them. Some people wonder if it's worth spending extra money on an HDMI cable or a Speaker cable?
Brian wants to know what's a good choice for cable management, while traveling. Leo says that there are plenty of choices out there, but Leo tends to buy cables from Nomad, because they have cable straps attached.
There's a great system called the Cocoon Grid It, which has a bunch of rubber straps in a gridded array that he could use to keep his cables secure and tangle free. There's also the ThinkTank Cable Management Bag and Case Pouch.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.