USB-C

Why Won't My iPhone Charge in the Car?

 USB-C to Lightning cable.

Episode 1640

Ann from Long Beach, California

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.

Why can't I charge my HP laptop via USB-C?

HP Spectre

Episode 1539

Carmine from Chicago, IL

Carmine has an HP Spectre laptop, but his USB-C connector won't power the laptop using his OtherWorld Computing adapter. Leo says that he's supposed to be able to with this new model. It's a data port as well as a power port, and so it may be an authorization issue. Leo says that he may want to try the HP power dongle. He'll also want to be sure he's getting enough power through the Type-C connector. There may not be enough through the OWC, and the laptop may think it's just a data connector.

How can I find safe USB-C cables?

Microsoft Surface Go

Episode 1515

Johnny from Atlanta, GA

Johnny picked up a Windows Surface Go tablet, which Leo calls the cutest computer ever. It's 9.7" with Keyboard and Pen, and USB charging. But Johnny got a charging adapter for it that bricked the computer. Leo says to never buy a third party charger unless he's sure it's a legitimate product. Amazon doesn't police their third party sellers very well, and a lot of them are either counterfeit or very cheaply made.

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.

Why can't I use a third party charger with my HP laptop?

HP Spectre x2

Episode 1409

David from Orange Park, FL

David bought a new HP convertible laptop, and HP has made it so he can't use third party charging systems through the USB C port. Leo says that's anticompetitive, and HP is one of the few companies that does it. It just makes people angry that they are locked into using proprietary accessories with a standard open source port.

Leo suspects that maybe it's just an issue of needing more wattage since he can charge with it while the computer is turned off.