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Helpful Color Coding Inside a Cheap USB Cable -NOT

For The Popcorn

Active Member
I needed to power something from a USB battery, so I grabbed a "Dollar Store" USB cable and cut off the end. Usually, I have found the wires have some color code that allows you to make a reasonable guess at what's what – not that you should ever trust it without checking.

This picture is about 10× more vibrant than in real life. So helpful!

20230520_112402.jpg
 

Externet

Well-Known Member
Those colors are not meant for you, they are perfectly discernible for the trained chinese girl in the terminal soldering machine and irrelevant to the end user as a cable assembly. So can be transparent, brown, violet and orange in any order without affecting its performance. A machine tests the finished cable continuity between end terminals without any care of colors. For the mass users, they just care that their gadget works.
The manufacturer does not care if one in a million buyers of the cable dissects it and does not understand what is seeing.
 

For The Popcorn

Active Member
Thank you for the explanation Karen. I really do appreciate the mansplaning although it was quite unnecessary.

One in a million? Only 331 people in the US have ever chopped the end off a USB cable to use it with a USB power bank as a 5 volt supply?

I'll bet the number in this forum is much greater than that, at least among makers and hobbyists.

If you have ever cut off a USB cable to use for a 5 volt supply, RAISE YOUR HAND!!!
 
Last edited:

alec_t

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
8703211.png
 

rjenkinsgb

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
The wires were that thin , and difficult to solder
Some of the nastiest low quality cables are made with copper coated aluminium strands, rather than solid copper wire.

I've also seen some where the copper was partly blackened, as if it was corroded before being used to make the final cables.
 

For The Popcorn

Active Member
Remarkably, the "Dollar Store" USB cables do seem to be copper, and of decent quality. At least many of the different types are – I have thrown out some types when the connects just don't fit properly.

I use a lot of these for programming and powering ESP boards aside from the occasional sacrifical cable, where the 3' length is usually an advantage.
 

rjenkinsgb

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
I get many of my USB and HDMI cables from a local "Pound shop" & they always seem OK.

It's the ebay and amazon ones that are frequently poor, all plastic and minuscule wires.
 

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