Can You Use Any Charger With Any Cell Phone, Notebook, Camera, or Tablet?
Every mobile phone, notebook, and tablet appear to come with their own charger. If you’re 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 isn’t the original manufacturer’s charger which came with the device?
Kinds of Chargers
In this article, we’ll concentrate on three types of chargers: laptop chargers, micro USB chargers (these are used with telephones, tablet computers, and cameras), and Apple Lightning Connectors. Although some devices have chargers with a slightly different head or charging cable, these are the most frequent.
Laptop chargers are fairly specific to the device they include. However, there can be some generic chargers that boast the ability 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 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 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).
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
In order 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 notebook chargers are usually specific to both make and model. However, the plug fitting securely is just 1 part of the equation.
How Voltage and Amperage Matter
Somewhere on the power brick of the charger you will 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 found at the base of the charger, in which it would meet up with the wall. For the device you’re trying to control, 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 apparatus, or just how much is being”pushed” to the apparatus by the charger. A phone will usually pull up to around 5V, though a laptop can pull up to 25V. A charger must equal the voltage needed by the device.
Amperage is how fast power is”pulled” to the device, or how much electricity is used by the device. The amount of volts won’t ever change, but the quantity of amps that the device 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. The number 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 device is paired with a charger that cannot support the amp requirement, it can burn out the power source and kill the device.
So for those who have a modern USB device (smart phone, tablet, 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 interfaces that employ the new 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 and 5% of 5v = 5.25 volts.
An interesting point to note is all chargers supply a higher voltage than the batteries they charge. That is pretty much how they operate. 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 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 issue with knockoffs, particularly cheap knockoffs, is they frequently don’t support the power requirements of the apparatus, or aren’t built to keep 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. Be certain to follow exactly what we said and you should be ready to go!