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Question about data cables vs data/charging cables

This is a discussion on Question about data cables vs data/charging cables within the iPad Help forums, part of the Apple iPad Discussions category; Why do some data cables that work fine for data transfers, not work when used for charging???? I had some problems recently with getting my ...

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  1. #1
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    Question about data cables vs data/charging cables

    Why do some data cables that work fine for data transfers, not work when used for charging????



    I had some problems recently with getting my ipad2 to charge. I was in good company, as I read dozens of posts about similar charging issues, ie
    • the "Not Charging" message when charging from a pc USB port, and
    • not being able to charge even when using the wall charger.
    I am aware now that :
    • the ipad in fact DOES charge ( more accurately, trickle charge) from USB ports, even when is says Not Charging - it simply takes longer.
    • as for the wall outlet, I am aware some chargers are 5W vs 10W, etc. but what really got me scratching my head was why the ipad supplied 10W charger was not working. I have at lesat three chargers and about half a dozen cables. They are all Made in China so lets not go there. In the end, I was "surprised' to learn that while all my cables work for USB transfers etc, only some of them work with for charging. As soon as I changed the cable, . .presto, the ipad charged up in really fast ; use another "working" cable - no charging.
    So I ask:

    1) why do some white Apple data cables, that work fine for data transfers, not work when used for charging????

    2) can one identify the good from the bad other than trial and error?

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  3. #2
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    One. USB does not supply the needed power to do anything other then trickle charge.

    As far as the cable go. I am guess that poor cable quality is the problem, and I would suggest using nothing but official iPad cables.

    Sent from my iPad2 using iPF

  4. #3
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    Because it's a 30 pic connection, some pins need to be wired to provide power, others for data. I know the Creative Zen mp3 player uses the exact same size of connector, just different pins are wired so they're incompatible.

    As to your 10w USB charger working intermittently, I bet that's from a weird connection with your outlet. I get the same thing on occasion and unplugging it then plugging it back in fixes it.

  5. #4
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    Apple's 30 pin cable has had a few version changes over time. If you are trying to use older iPod cables, or possibly even first generation iPod Touch and iPhone cables they may not be fully compatible.

    For instance, the first couple generations of iPods used Firewire, not USB. Those cables, though they look physically the same (mostly) should not be used with modern iOS devices.

  6. #5
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    Okay so that certianly explains it. Thanks

    But if all the apple while data cables look the same, and yet have different pin assignments, then that's not-so-bright for such a smart company.

    I've collected many cables over years ; didn't think I had to label them! And if I order some replacement cables, who knows what I'll be getting!

    Hmmmm, is there a way to identify the cable type by looking at the dock connector???? Or is it really hit and miss by design!

  7. #6
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    Well, the older cables were a bit more massive in design and had buttons on the side that locked into the device. That's all I can think of.

  8. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by twerppoet View Post
    Well, the older cables were a bit more massive in design and had buttons on the side that locked into the device. That's all I can think of.
    Thats actually a good differentiator.... and for me, my results were that:
    • thicker with buttons, matte finish : did not work on the AC outlet charger (only worked for trickle charges and data transfers)
    • thinner without buttons, gloss finish : works for everything
    While its a ridculous situation, its a pleasure now to know what to expect. I have not tested all my cables- but hope its consistent.

  9. #8
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    Good to have confirmation. I have older cables tucked away somewhere, but I've never actually tried them on newer devices.

  10. #9
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    I can confirm that some cables somehow doesn't provide a needed power. I used some non genuine (not Apple) cables and even with 10W wall charger it took ages (more than 7 hours) to charge. When at the same time original supplied cable charged the iPad2 in just 3.5 hours.

    So.. the cable really matters.

    And regarding the "not charging from USB".. well.. it was answered many times. Just install the "Asus AI Charger" and your PC will charge iPad even with a poor quality cable.

  11. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by bat0nas View Post
    And regarding the "not charging from USB".. well.. it was answered many times. Just install the "Asus AI Charger" and your PC will charge iPad even with a poor quality cable.
    In my case, the 'not charging' via USB was only a message, All cables I tried (ie both types above), worked for trickle chaging.

    As to the Asus AI Charger, interesting...but I googled it and too many cautions, causes some havoc for some users, so I'm gonna stay clear of that one. With the right cable, I can charge the iPad slow via USB and faster via AC, so I'm good for now.


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