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USB Type-C. It's a super connector!

Connector Geek
Connector Geek is Dave in real life. After three decades in the industry, Dave still likes talking about connectors almost as much as being a Dad to his two kids. He still loves Lego too. And guitars.

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July 23, 2015 09:26

Hi Erik,

I agree with you, the original USB connector is not the most user-friendly thing in the world.

The USB connector is a compromise, the "Universal" nature of the specification dictates this. It has to do lots of things - more, I think, than the Lightning connector - and in addition it has to be slim, be cheap, be lightweight and last a long time. This last point is quite a feat in itself. As a connector, it needs to work as well on the 10,000th mating cycle as it does on the first, and this type of long life is not easy to achieve.

Let's see how the USB-C performs when it arrives. I don't think we're going to have a choice - it's going to be everywhere!


July 22, 2015 09:21

Being reversible isn't the main thing a new USB connector will need to make it significantly easier to use than existing ones. The main drawback with the current family of USB plugs is that they need to be quite precisely aligned with the socket to go in. I have often found myself turning a USB A connector round because it was not going into the socket only to find that it had been the right way round to start with, it just wasn't lined up exactly enough. Even with mini-Bs, where you can see which way round they need to be, getting them lined up well enough to actually go in can be a struggle.

The Apple lightning connector scores much better than existing USB connectors in this respect and seems to have been designed with ease of insertion in mind, whereas the USB connectors primary design criterion seems to have been cheapness.

Let us hope that the designers of the new connectors have put as much thought into the basic mechanical usability of the C series as they have into the electrical and marketing aspects

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