How To Repair Battery Operated Train

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

Every cell phone, notebook, 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, notebook, camera, or tablet computer 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 common.

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

Micro USBs are theoretically designed to be interchangeable, and are standard in most smartphones, Android apparatus, and tablets.  Micro USB chargers typically have the 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).

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

The Plugs Must Be The Same

For a charger to be used on another device, it’s essential that the plug  of the charger (the”head”) fit snugly to the charging port of the unit.  Micro USBs are the same across the board as far as charging heads, whilst laptop chargers are often specific to both make and model.  However, the plug fitting securely is just 1 part of the equation.

Somewhere on the power brick of the charger you’ll find a tag with the charger’s voltage (V) and amperage (A).  For other types of chargers, like a smartphone charger, this information is usually located at the base of the charger, in which it would meet up with the wall.  For the device you are attempting to control, 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” to the device by the charger.  A phone will usually pull up to approximately 5V, while a notebook can pull up to 25V.  A charger must equal the voltage needed by the device. 

Amperage is how fast power is”pulled” into the device, or how much electricity is used by the device.  The amount of volts won’t ever change, but the amount of amps that the system pulls may change based 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 can be pulled from the device.  In order to exchange chargers, the amp number on the charger must equal or exceed the amp number listed on the device’s battery. If a unit 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, 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 newest Battery Charging Specification.

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

Some devices may have their voltage recorded with a plus/minus on it like that: 5v +- 5%.  If this is true, you may 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% of 5v = 4.75 volts  OR  5v and 5 percent of 5v = 5.25 volts. 

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

The problem with knockoffs, particularly cheap knockoffs, is that they frequently don’t support the energy requirements of the device, or aren’t 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 efficiently use a charger that did not include your smart phone, laptop, camera, tabletcomputer, or other apparatus.  Make sure to follow exactly what we said and you should be ready to go!