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 have probably compiled quite a few chargers over 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?
Types of Chargers
In this article, we’ll concentrate on three types of chargers: laptop chargers, micro USB chargers (these are used with telephones, tablets, and cameras), and Apple Lightning Connectors. Although some devices have chargers with a slightly different head or charging cable, these are the most common.
Laptop chargers are fairly unique to the device they include. However, there may be some generic chargers which boast the capability 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 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 whether the charger is safe to use (depending on its recorded amps and voltage).
For older devices with a 30-pin charge port, a connector can be used to control the Lightning Connector.
The Plugs Must Be The Same
In order for a charger to be used on another device, it’s essential that the plug of the charger (the”head”) fit securely into the charging port of the unit. Micro USBs are the same across the board as far as charging heads, while laptop chargers are often specific to both make and model. However, the plug fitting firmly is only one part of this equation.
How Voltage and Amperage Matter
Somewhere on the power brick of the charger you’ll get a tag 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 up with the wall. For the device you are attempting to control, the voltage and amperage required will be seen on the battery that came with the device or on the company’s website.
Voltage is how much power the charger will draw into the apparatus, or just how much is being”pushed” to the device by the charger. A phone will usually pull up to around 5V, though a notebook can pull up to 25V. A charger must equal the voltage required by the device.
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 based on how hard the unit is working. The number that you find on the battery that came with your device will be the maximum amount of amps that can be pulled by 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 that cannot support the amp requirement, 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 quicker charging (so long as the voltage is equal). *Site Note: if you have an older device, it might not work with USB ports that use the newest Battery Charging Specification.
If The Micro USB Charger’s Voltage Is Not 5v…
Some devices might have their voltage recorded using a plus/minus on it like that: 5v +- 5%. If this is the case, you can 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.
An interesting point to note is all 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 way 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 issue with knockoffs, particularly cheap knockoffs, is they frequently don’t support the energy requirements of the apparatus, or aren’t built to maintain a steady flow safely. Overall, it’s better to stay 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 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 device. Make certain to follow what we said and you should be ready to go!