Bosch 36V Battery Repair

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

Every cell phone, notebook, and tablet appear to come with their own charger.  If you’re like me, you have probably compiled quite a few chargers through the years.  So the question becomes: is it safe to use a charger with your phone, notebook, camera, or tablet that isn’t the original manufacturer’s charger that came with the device?

Kinds of Chargers

In this article, we’ll concentrate 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 specific to the device they come with.  However, there may be some generic chargers that boast the capability to be interchanged between laptops.  This always requires changing of this charger”head” and may not be the best charging amperage or voltage for your device.

Micro USBs are theoretically 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 various amps.  I’ll explain this further later and how to know if the charger is safe to use (depending on its recorded amps and voltage).

Apple Lightning Connectors are standard on all new Apple devices, including iPads and iPods. For older devices using a 30-pin charge port, a connector can be used to control the Lightning Connector.

The Plugs Must Be The Same

For a charger for use on another device, it’s important 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 often specific to both make and model.  However, the plug fitting securely is only 1 part of the equation.

How Voltage and Amperage Matter

Determined by the power brick of the charger you’ll get a label with the charger’s voltage (V) and amperage (A).  For other types of chargers, like a smartphone charger, this information is usually found at the base of the charger, where it would meet the wall.  For the device you’re attempting to charge, the voltage and amperage required will be found on the battery that came with the device or on the company’s website.

Voltage is how much power the charger will draw in the apparatus, or how much is being”pushed” into 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 start a fire, while too low a voltage will fail to charge the battery.

Amperage is how quickly power is”pulled” to the apparatus, or how much electricity is used by the device.  The quantity of volts will never change, but the quantity of amps that the system 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 max amount of amps that may be pulled by the device.  The amount found on the charger is how many amps can be pulled at once. In order to exchange chargers, the amp number on the charger must equal or exceed the amp number recorded on the device’s battery. If a unit is paired with a charger which can’t support the amp necessity, it can burn out the power supply and kill the apparatus.

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

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

Some devices may have their voltage recorded using a plus/minus on it like this: 5v +- 5%.  If this is the case, 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 and 5 percent of 5v = 5.25 volts.  So this means anything between 4.75 t0 5.25v is safe to use (as long as the amperage of the charger is equal to or higher than the device’s listed amperage).

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

Stay Away From Cheap Knockoff Chargers

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

Now You Understand How to Safely & Effectively Swap Chargers

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