The DANGER of using a cheapie phone/tablet charger - - - -

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by Bassamatic, Jan 12, 2015.

  1. Bassamatic

    Bassamatic keepin' the beat since the 60's

    At our gig saturday night, I used my Ipad for song and lyric sheets, and also to provide music during our breaks. I had forgotten to charge it, so I asked a bandmate it they had a charger. He gave me a cheapo 3rd party iPhone charger. I knew it was underpwoered, but figured it would charge the iPad a bit (and shouldn't hurt anything).

    I attached it to my iPad, than when I plugged it into the AC - ZAP! POOF! The charger visibly arced inside the case (it lit up!) and then my iPad went dead dead dead. Like a brick. Cannot be re-started, or anything. Fix-it shops don't do the motherboards, and it is $299 to have it fixed at the Apple store (More than I paid for the refurbished unit!)

    Lessons learned -
    Keep you units fully charged so you don't need to do it at a gig.
    Buy and use only reliable chargers - the stock ones or a Belkin or equivalent.

    Lately - Canon has been running a lot of ads urging people to avoid the copy units, and shows the difference inside between a real Canon charger and a 3rd party unit - amazing difference, and now I know why.

    HERE is a article showing the difference between CHEAP and GOOD chargers - Pay heed!
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2015
  2. sissy kathy

    sissy kathy Back to Bass-ics Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2014
    Arbutus, MD
    That was an expensive lesson for you but, cheap for those of us who listen. Thank you.
  3. Bassamatic

    Bassamatic keepin' the beat since the 60's

    And you know the really aggravating part - I probably had enough charge left for the rest of the evening - was just being cautious. D'OH!
  4. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    I've used a lot of cheap chargers, but over time they seem to be making the phones and tablets more dependent on specific chargers. My Galaxy 4S charges about 5x faster on the correct charger.
  5. icks


    Jul 12, 2001
    My iPad needs one full night to get charged with my original charger and 3rd party cable. It was faster with the original cable but it broke pretty quickly.
  6. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Moderator Staff Member

    Apr 12, 2001
    Olympia, WA
    I like to save money too, but this is not one of those areas. I'll pay up for the OEM part.

  7. I've found with my phone that most chargers (I have an LG) from other legit manufacturers (i.e. Motorola, HTC, etc. I used to have a Motorola) work with my phone. As long as it puts out enough amps. But I wouldn't trust third party stuff. Sorry that happened man!

    Check the amperage output on the charger. My LGs charger puts out 1.8 Amps, (that's 1800 milliamps). Using the power equation, E x I = P (E= Volts, I= Amps, P = Watts) that comes out to 9 Watts of power. Some chargers put out less amperage, and correspondingly less wattage, so it takes longer to charge.
    Sorry for being nerdy. I'm an electrician's apprentice and get overly excited when I can utilize the Power Equations and Ohms Law.
  8. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    You're quite right - but even with 2.0 amp aftermarket chargers, the charge rate has been slower than with the 2.0 amp factory charger. Not quite sure what the deal is.
  9. Bassamatic

    Bassamatic keepin' the beat since the 60's

    In the article, the author states that many of the fake chargers do not have the power output that they claim.

    Also - most of the newer devices have larger and larger batteries, and therefore take longer to charge or bigger chargers.
  10. Like @Bassamatic said, maybe they aren't putting out the amps as advertised.
  11. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    I believe what you believe. That is, I believe that we should not believe what they are claiming. I believe that's clear.....
    Thunderscreech likes this.
  12. Or just buy an Android device and never have to worry about the apple charger bullyolo.... I must have used at least 5 different chargers with my phone since I got it with no problem ever
  13. Bassamatic

    Bassamatic keepin' the beat since the 60's

    It has nothing to do with Apple/vs Android - It has to do with good design and having protection and isolation circuitry. A cheapie can blow up your Android phone as well.
  14. An unreliable charger can still blow your device up, Apple or Android.
  15. GeneralElectric


    Dec 26, 2007
    NY, NY
    If you have a microusb powered device I've had great lucky with the Motorola eco charger. I think they're about $6 on Amazon. It always helps to keep spare everything.
    Thunderscreech likes this.
  16. Well haven't found one yet, I guess I'll have to keep on looking ;)
  17. Problem is - it's the DEVICE that should have protection and isolation circuitry, not the charger.

    ...and in general, most phones that aren't made by Apple are more "fault tolerant" than those that are.
  18. Bassamatic

    Bassamatic keepin' the beat since the 60's

    Actually, having produced a lot of things that needed UL approval - the device cannot put out any dangerous voltage under any circumstance, and I am sure that this crappy charger shorted and put 120V on the output. I was probably lucky I wasn't holding the iPad!

    The phones DO have protection and isolation circuitry for anything expected. They are probably good for double or even triple the normal charging voltage, and perhaps even reversed polarity, but not for 120 VAC.
  19. Clamping diodes and thermal fuses are real cheap, easy, and prevent these issues.

    As for "perhaps" being able to handle reverse polarity - any device that can't is a horrible design.

    That being said - most consumer electronics are complete garbage from a design standpoint.