Hilti 36V Battery Repair

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

Every mobile phone, laptop, and tablet seem 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, laptop, camera, or tablet computer that is not the original manufacturer’s charger that came with the device?

Kinds of Chargers

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

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

Micro USBs are designed to be interchangeable, and are standard in most 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 whether the charger is safe to use (based on its listed amps and voltage).

For older devices with a 30-pin charge interface, a connector can be used to control the Lightning Connector.

For a charger to be used on a different 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 usually specific to both make and model.  However, the plug fitting securely is just one part of this equation.

Somewhere on the power brick of the charger you will find a tag with the charger’s voltage (V) and amperage (A).  For laptop 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 found at the bottom of the charger, where it would meet the wall.  For the device you’re trying to charge, the voltage and amperage required will be found on the battery that came with the device or on the manufacturer’s website.

Voltage is how much power the charger will draw in the apparatus, or just 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. 

Amperage is how quickly power is”pulled” to the apparatus, or how much electricity is used by the device.  The amount of volts will never change, but the quantity of amps that the device pulls may change based on how hard the device is working.  The number that you locate on the battery that came with your device will be the max amount of amps which may be pulled by the device.  If a unit is paired with a charger which can’t support the amp necessity, it may burn out the power supply and kill the apparatus.

So for those who have a modern USB device (smart phone, tabletcomputer, 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 might not work with USB interfaces that use the newest Battery Charging Specification.

If The Micro USB  Charger’s Voltage Is Not 5v…

Some devices may have their voltage listed using a plus/minus on it like that: 5v +- 5%.  If this is true, you can use a charger rated at 4.75 to 5.25v because that score 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.  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 greater than the device’s listed amperage).

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

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

Now You Know How To Safely & Effectively Swap Chargers

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