GeekNights Monday - USB-C

Every time someone mentions InfoWars this plays in my head

I mean, really, Nintendo was the last one doing proprietary connectors; XB has used USB for their controllers and Bluetooth for the Wireless ones since the 360, the PS3 used MiniUSB for their controllers, the PS4 uses Micro USB…

EDIT: 8chan is gathering on Tor.

People were frying their Switches using cheap 3rd party docks, and there is a very silly reason for this. Nintendo uses a very nonstandard USB-C Male plug on its dock, because they wanted it to have zero grip on the port. That way, you can effortlessly life the Switch from it’s dock. So the plug is more narrow than a normal USB C. Problem is, you are dealing with incredibly tight clearances on these pins, and the 3rd party manufacturers decided to attempt a copy of this Nintendo-proprietary plug. You can imagine what happens next. Pins that shall never touch, do indeed touch.

I bought the original Pixel, which I think was the debut phone for USB C, back in 2015, and this shit was a fucking mess. The spec is much more complicated than it was in the past, so there was a huge glut of bad USB A-C cables. Specifically, they shipped without the proper resistance in the charging circuit that would inform the phone if it was plugged into older low-power USB ports, so it would always try to pull 3A. Often times, this would fry the old USB port, but could also fry either or both devices. This site tells you if cables are actually compliant:
As others have said, it’s less of a problem than in the past, but it still isn’t great.

Just to correct the record, the Nexus 5x was the first Nexus/Pixel series phone to do USB-C.

Really the big thing was that, for the longest time, you were lucky to find ANY USB-C cables in the wild, let alone good ones. The Switch, and the mainstream love for the Pixel and Macbooks, has rectified the situation a bit, but it’s still frustrating that in TYOOL 2019 pretty much every power delivery device still defaults to Lightening/Micro-A.

And for the most part, I’ve found what Matt said to be true: most people fucking up their switches are buying cheap, weird accessories and then clutching their pearls. I regularly charge my switch on an in-spec USB-C cable and it works just fine.

Out of spec USB-C fried my Pixel’s battery. I used my work tablet charger to charge my phone a couple of times one week I was away for a meeting and forgot my charger and ever since my battery life has been halved. I had even checked the spec on the charger versus my phone and according to everything I could find it should have been fine.

Now that cables are to spec and implementations have settled down, it’s nice that everything just works. I can trust my 5V/2A travel charger to work with anything I throw it at. I could get something fancy to fast charge the Switch or iPad, but for overnight recharging it’s perfect.


I don’t know if Rym is really fast at Neuroshima Hex or really slow at pooping, but 4 games seems like a lot.

Taking a perfectly optimal turn in that game takes ~4-10 seconds on average. There isn’t a lot of thinking to do most turns once you get good.

What USB-C hub did Scott get that is around $20 and reliable? The best price I’ve found for one that even seems reliable is $50, barring a discount. I tried a couple $20 ones, one with weird defects and the other just flat out didn’t work.

I didn’t get a hub. I got a USB-C -> HDMI adapter that works perfectly with both Switch and iPad Pro.

I also got this which works with everything I’ve ever tried to connect it to. Haven’t tried Switch, though.

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USB4 will use the same form factor as USB type-C and will be backward compatible with USB 3.2, USB 2.0, and Thunderbolt 3.


hey anyone got a solid USB-C charger recommendation? The one that came with my pixel 3 lives at work and the current 3rd party one I emergency bought at a target one day when I needed phone charge and was 0 battery is pretty mediocre. Longer cable preferred as these would be used for charging from an outlet/extension while on the couch and in bed.


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I played around with some Thunderbolt 3 hardware—that’s a USB-C connector with what’s basically the USB4 spec.

There was nothing too fancy going on, but the fact I could plug a single Thunderbolt cable into a MacBook Pro and get an additional display, power, and ethernet is pretty slick. The display acts as a hub, and ethernet (via rj45-to-USB-C) was one of the things plugged into it.

I did pick up some nice USB-C to USB-C Anker Chargers that work great, thanks for the recommendation @Apreche

I’m debating getting a Thunderbolt 3 dock for my laptop, but my laptop doesn’t do USB-C PD; is that going to affect anything? MIt seems like every dock I come across has USB-C PD.

How does it get power, some other connector (perhaps proprietary)?

I feel like the spec is moving pretty quickly. If it’s not useful to you immediately, I wouldn’t get it. Don’t buy in anticipation of your next upgrade, wait until you upgrade.