Battery Operated Clock Repair Parts

Can You Use Any Charger With Any Cell Phone, Notebook, Camera, or Tablet? 

Every cell phone, notebook, and tablet seem to come with their own charger.  If you are like me, you’ve probably compiled a number of chargers through the years.  So the question becomes: is it safe to use a charger with your phone, laptop, camera, or tablet that is not the original manufacturer’s charger that came with the device?

Types of Chargers

In this article, we’ll focus on three types of chargers: notebook chargers, micro USB chargers (these are used with phones, tablet computers, and cameras), and Apple Lightning Connectors.  While some devices have chargers using a slightly different head or charging cable, these are the most frequent.

Laptop chargers are fairly unique to the device they come with.  However, there may be some generic chargers that boast the ability to be interchanged between notebooks.  This always requires changing of this charger”head” and might not be the best charging amperage or voltage to your device.

Micro USBs are designed to be interchangeable, and are standard in many smartphones, Android apparatus, and tablets.  Micro USB chargers typically have the exact same voltage, but may draw different amps.  I will explain this further later and how to know if the charger is safe to use (depending on its listed amps and voltage).

Apple Lightning Connectors are standard on all new Apple devices, such as iPads and iPods. For older devices with a 30-pin charge interface, a connector can be used to charge with the Lightning Connector.

The Plugs Must Be The Same

For a charger for use on a different device, it’s essential that the plug  of the charger (the”head”) fit securely into the charging port of the device.  Micro USBs are the same across the board so far as charging heads, while notebook chargers are usually specific to both make and model.  However, the plug fitting firmly is just one part of this equation.

How Voltage and Amperage Matter

Somewhere on the power brick of the charger you’ll get a label with the charger’s voltage (V) and amperage (A).  For notebook chargers, this charging brick is often halfway down the charger and appears exactly like it sounds — a brick. For other types of chargers, like a smartphone charger, this information is usually located at the bottom of the charger, where it would meet the wall.  For the device you’re trying to control, the voltage and amperage required will be seen on the battery that came with the device or on the manufacturer’s website.

Voltage is how much power the charger will draw into the apparatus, or how much is being”pushed” to the device by the charger.  A phone will usually pull up to around 5V, while a notebook can pull up to 25V.  A charger must equal the voltage needed by the device.  This is important: drawing too high of a voltage could short out the device and potentially even begin a fire, while too low a voltage will fail to charge the battery.

Amperage is how fast power is”pulled” to the device, or how much electricity is used by the device.  The quantity of volts won’t ever change, but the amount of amps that the device pulls may change depending on how hard the unit is working.  The number that you locate on the battery that came with your device will be the maximum amount of amps that may be pulled from the device.  The amount found on the charger is how many amps can be pulled at once. If a device is paired with a charger which can’t support the amp necessity, it may burn out the power source and kill the apparatus.

So if you have a modern USB device (smart phone, tablet, or camera) you can plug into a high-amperage USB port and enjoy faster charging (as long as the voltage is equal).  *Site Note: if you have an older device, it may not work with USB ports that employ the newest Battery Charging Specification.

If The Micro USB  Charger’s Voltage Isn’t 5v…

Some devices might have their voltage listed using a plus/minus on it like this: 5v +- 5%.  If this is true, you may use a charger rated at 4.75 to 5.25v because that rating is telling you is that the device can take 5v minus 5 percent of 5v = 4.75 volts  OR  5v plus 5% of 5v = 5.25 volts.  This means anything between 4.75 t0 5.25v is safe to use (so long as the amperage of the charger is equivalent to or greater than the device’s listed amperage).

An interesting thing to note is chargers supply a higher voltage than the batteries that they charge.  That’s pretty much how they operate.  There has to be a voltage differential to generate the necessary current flow in the correct direction to charge the battery.  If you look at your vehicle, it’s a 12V battery, but average alternators provide 13.8 to 14.4V charging voltage to the battery.

The problem with knockoffs, especially cheap knockoffs, is they often don’t support the energy needs of the apparatus, or are not built to keep a steady flow safely.  Overall, it’s better to stick with the charger made for the device you are using.

Now You Know How To Safely & Effectively Swap Chargers

I hope this article was able to assist you.  Now you know how to safely and efficiently use a charger that did not include your smart phone, laptop, camera, tablet, or other apparatus.  Make certain to follow exactly what we said and you should be ready to go!