Can You Use Any Charger With Any Mobile Phone, Notebook, Camera, or Tablet?
Every mobile phone, laptop, and tablet seem to come with their own charger. If you are like me, you’ve probably compiled a number of chargers over the years. So the question becomes: is it safe to use a charger with your phone, notebook, 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: notebook chargers, micro USB chargers (these are used with telephones, tablet computers, 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 fairly unique to the device they come with. 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 might not be the optimal charging amperage or voltage to your device.
Micro USBs are theoretically designed to be interchangeable, and are standard in many smartphones, Android devices, 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 if the charger is safe to use (based 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 a different 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, whilst laptop chargers are often specific to both make and model. However, the plug fitting securely is only one part of this equation.
How Voltage and Amperage Matter
Somewhere on the power brick of the charger you’ll get a label 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 bottom of the charger, where it would meet the wall. For the device you are trying to charge, 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 device, or how much is being”pushed” to the device by the charger. A phone will usually pull up to approximately 5V, though a laptop can pull up to 25V. A charger must equal the voltage required by the device. This is important: drawing too high of a voltage could short out the device and potentially even begin a fire, while too low a voltage will fail to charge the battery.
Amperage is how quickly 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 amount of amps that the device pulls may change depending on how hard the device is working. The number that you find on the battery that came with your device are the max amount of amps that may be pulled from the device. The amount found on the charger is how many amps can be pulled at once. In order to swap 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 can burn out the power supply 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 ). *Site Note: if you have an older device, it might not work with USB ports that employ the new Battery Charging Specification.
If The Micro USB Charger’s Voltage Isn’t 5v…
Some devices might have their voltage recorded using 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 percent 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 equal to or greater than the device’s listed amperage).
An interesting thing to note is all chargers provide a higher voltage than the batteries that they charge. That’s pretty much how they work. There has to be a voltage differential to produce the necessary current flow in the correct direction to charge the battery. If you look at your vehicle, it’s a 12V battery, but typical alternators provide 13.8 to 14.4V charging voltage to the battery.
The issue with knockoffs, particularly cheap knockoffs, is that they frequently don’t support the energy needs of the apparatus, or are not built to maintain a steady flow safely. Overall, it’s better to stay 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, laptop, camera, tablet, or other apparatus. Make sure to follow what we said and you should be good to go!