Can You Use Any Charger With Any Mobile Phone, Laptop, Camera, or Tablet?
Every mobile phone, notebook, and tablet appear to come with their own charger. If you are like me, you have probably compiled a number of chargers through the years. So the question becomes: is it safe to use a charger with your phone, notebook, camera, or tablet that is not the original manufacturer’s charger which came with the device?
Kinds of Chargers
In this guide, we’ll concentrate on three types of chargers: laptop 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 frequent.
Laptop chargers are rather specific to the device they come with. However, there may be some generic chargers that boast the capability to be interchanged between laptops. This always requires changing of this charger”head” and may 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 devices, and tablets. Micro USB chargers typically have the exact same voltage, but may draw various amps. I will 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 using 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 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 so far as charging heads, while laptop chargers are usually specific to both make and model. However, the plug fitting firmly is just 1 part of this equation.
Determined by 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 located at the base of the charger, where it would meet the wall. For the device you are attempting to charge, 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” into the apparatus by the charger. A phone will usually pull up to around 5V, while a notebook can pull up to 25V. A charger must equal the voltage needed by the device. This is important: drawing too high a voltage could short out the device and possibly even begin a fire, while too low a voltage will fail to charge the battery.
Amperage is how quickly power is”pulled” to the device, or how much electricity is used by the device. The amount 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 locate on the battery that came with your device will be the maximum amount of amps which may be pulled by the device. The amount found on the charger is how many amps can be pulled simultaneously. If a unit is paired with a charger that cannot 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, tablet, or camera) you can plug into a high-amperage USB port and enjoy quicker charging (as long as the voltage is equal). *Website Note: if you have an older device, it may not work with USB ports that employ the new 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 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.
An interesting thing to note is all chargers provide 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 direction to charge the battery. When you look at your vehicle, it has a 12V battery, but typical alternators provide 13.8 to 14.4V charging voltage to the battery.
The issue with knockoffs, especially cheap knockoffs, is that they often don’t support the energy needs of the apparatus, or aren’t built to keep a steady flow securely. 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 help you. Now you know how to safely and efficiently use a charger that did not come with your smart phone, laptop, camera, tabletcomputer, or other apparatus. Be certain to follow what we said and you should be ready to go!