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CMD Ltd - Frequently Asked Questions

USB Charging Ports

Click on the drop down links below to read a frequently asked question:

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USB Ports & Cables Overview

USB has seen a number of versions over the years, both in terms physical port shape and charging/data transfer speeds. Depending on the age of your device, you may have one or several versions of USB ports on your devices.

How does a USB Charger Work?

A USB network has a host and a device. The host is usually either a PC or a power module that allows charging directly from the power supply.
USBs transfer both data and power. Traditionally, power only flowed in one direction — from the host to the device. However, advances in power delivery technology means that can be transferred in both directions.
The most common type of USB port features 4 pins, matching the 4 wires found in the USB charging cable. The pins on the inside allow data to transfer, while the out pins carry the electrical current. A later version of USB includes another 5 pins, with compatible charging cables that feature an extra 5 wires.

What to consider when buying a USB charging station

The fast-growing market for USB charging devices means there are now lots of options available with a wide range of features. The main features you need to consider are:
Power—are you charging a device that needs a normal amount of power, or one that needs high power?
Speed—how important is this to you and are you willing to pay more for it?
Placement—where do you need to put your charging station?
Number of ports—how many devices do you want to charge at the same time?

Power... What does ‘A’ mean?

When we talk about ‘1A’, ‘2.1A’ and so on, we mean the amount of electrical current, which is measured in amps (hence the ‘A’).
Not all electrical devices need the same current to work, and the charger the device comes with will be made to provide the correct amount and no more.

USB Port Speed

Generally, the more power the USB port provides, the faster the charge. So, if you need to charge your device quickly, choose a charging station with high-speed ports (2.4A or 5A).

USB Hub VS. USB Charging Station - Which is best?

Because they serve different purposes, a direct comparison is perhaps unfair. USB hubs do the job of providing more USB ports for your computer, while USB charging stations are dedicated to charging USB devices. If charging is your main requirement, a USB charging option is your best option.

What is the best USB charging station for iPhone and iPad?

Like most smartphones, iPhones only need 1A of power to charge, meaning any USB charging station will do.
iPads, however, have bigger batteries and so require 2A of current. As a result, you need a charging station capable of providing this amount of power, otherwise your device won’t be able to charge at its fastest speed.

Why are some USB chargers faster than others?

Both voltage and current affect how quickly a device will charge. In order to protect electronic equipment from overloading, chargers take the UK’s 240V electricity supply and convert it to a standard 5V.
However, the current (in amps) can vary from charging source to charging source. Computers typically only allow 0.5A of current, making charging quite slow and laborious. Plugs into which you insert a USB charging cord usually offer 1A. Specialised USB charging modules can offer anything from 1–5A.
The cable that you use to charge a device can also affect speed. Thinner cables reduce amperage, leading to longer charging times.

Can a Usb power module charge multiple devices?

Yes. USB power modules are designed to be able to charge multiple devices at the same time..
While voltage will be standard across the different USB ports, some modules ‘share’ their current across ports. This may result in slower charging times when more devices are connected..
Also keep in mind that different devices have different optimum currents from which to charge. Charging with a lower-than-optimum current can reduce charging time.

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