How To Repair Iphone 4S Battery Connector

Can You Use Any Charger With Any Cell Phone, Laptop, 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 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 isn’t the original manufacturer’s charger that came with the device?

Types of Chargers

In this article, we’ll concentrate on three types of chargers: notebook chargers, micro USB chargers (these are used with telephones, tablet computers, and cameras), and Apple Lightning Connectors.  Although 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 may be some generic chargers which boast the capability to be interchanged between laptops.  This always requires changing of this charger”head” and might not be the optimal 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 different amps.  I’ll explain this further later and how to know whether the charger is safe to use (depending on its recorded amps and voltage).

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

For a charger to be used 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 as far as charging heads, while notebook chargers are usually specific to both make and model.  However, the plug fitting securely is just 1 part of this equation.

How Voltage and Amperage Matter

Determined by the power brick of the charger you’ll get a tag with the charger’s voltage (V) and amperage (A).  For notebook chargers, this charging brick is often halfway down the charger and typically looks exactly like it sounds — a brick. For other types of chargers, like a smartphone charger, this information is usually found at the base of the charger, in which it would meet up with the wall.  For the device you are trying to charge, 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 in the device, or just how much is being”pushed” into the device by the charger.  A phone will usually pull up to around 5V, while a laptop can pull up to 25V.  A charger must equal the voltage required by the device. 

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

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 equivalent ).  *Website Note: if you have an older device, it might not work with USB interfaces that employ the new Battery Charging Specification.

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

Some devices may have their voltage listed with a plus/minus on it like that: 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 apparatus can take 5v minus 5% 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 higher than the device’s listed amperage).

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

The problem with knockoffs, particularly cheap knockoffs, is they often don’t support the power needs of the apparatus, or aren’t built to maintain a steady flow safely.  This can result in damage to the device but can also pose a safety/fire hazard. Overall, it’s best to stick with the charger designed for the device you’re using.

Now You Understand 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 come with your smart phone, laptop, camera, tablet, or other device.  Make certain you follow exactly what we said and you should be ready to go!