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Thread: Rant: Micro-USB connectors being used for everything...

  1. #1
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    Default Rant: Micro-USB connectors being used for everything...

    Last night, I took my BT headphones off and plugged them in via their MicroUSB cable for charging and discovered that the jack wasn't there any more--it was a loose bit rattling around inside the right earphone.

    The surface-mount jack had complete come undone. I suppose that I could have resoldered it, but one of the foil traces had peeled off, so it was going to be a challenge. And then I'd have the same setup--again.

    In frustration, I drilled a hole for a 5.5mm coaxial power jack and wired said jack to the PCB. Works fine; since the jack is a bulkhead version it's firmly attached to the earphone case and won't come undone.

    BTjack.jpg

  2. #2

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    Micro-USB is certifiably the worst.
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    I was surprised by the method of charging used by the first cellphone I ever used, late 1999. I doubt it was uusb, but similar. It looked so pathetic and flimsy. Who would know that it would live on until the present day.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tipc View Post
    I was surprised by the method of charging used by the first cellphone I ever used, late 1999. I doubt it was uusb, but similar. It looked so pathetic and flimsy. Who would know that it would live on until the present day.
    Was that one of those that you had to slide a dime into to make a call?
    Surely not everyone was Kung-fu fighting

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    Not USB related, but headphone rant:

    Only about, I dunno, a year and some change ago? I gave my wife a set of Sol Republic X3 wired headphones I received as company swag; when they were new the headphones sold for around $180 but I didn't like their headband design and I needed something with a directional mic for video conferencing anyway, but she liked them. A couple weeks ago I was informed they'd quit working; if you wiggled and banged you might get sound from one ear cup or the other but they were definitely screwed. Research revealed scads of complaints about the swappable cordset failing. (It detaches from the headphone cups so you can use cords with mic/remote pods optimized for your particular device, or no remote pod at all.) Ordered a new cord harness with no mic, figured make this as simple as possible.

    New cord shows up; headphones still don't work. Was able to figure out how to get the back off the "Sound Engines" to check the cord connection and discovered the hideously fragile speaker wire (It's this weird stuff that looks like super-thin wire-wrap braided around a fibrous cord that you don't strip and solder, the individual wire strands have some kind of insulation "painted" on that melts off) was coming apart where it connected to the jacks.(*) And even better, on one of the cans it had *also* broken loose on the speaker end, which required some, well, less than polite prying, screaming and swearing to get into the *second* layer of the enclosure. (There were screws, but there was also glue.)

    In the end I was able to bodge it all together with more slack using some conventional wire strands peeled off of IEC ribbon cable, which I suspect will wear better, and the headphones sound fine again. (Kind of a miracle considering how brutal I had to be to the one side.) But, man, I'm glad I didn't pay for those things. More money is definitely not a guarantee of quality.

    (* edit note: The reason the wires went bad is because some genius thought it was a good idea to use this incredibly flimsy wire to go from the speakers, which are in one part of the "sound engines", to the parts the jacks are in, which are *hinged to* and constantly flex relative to the speaker part. It apparently deeply offended someone's aesthetic taste to have the ends of the wires move relative to the headband or... something? If the cords had simply terminated on the moving part it never would have been an issue.)
    Last edited by Eudimorphodon; June 25th, 2020 at 05:23 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by commodorejohn View Post
    Micro-USB is certifiably the worst.
    You know what the best/worst part of it is? When your kid is carrying an android phone with micro-USB, their cousin comes from an iPhone household, and in a panic they decide they must be able to charge up the android phone by taking the cousin's Lighting charger and pushing *REAL HARD*.

    It was a masterful stroke of Apple to make the end of a Lighting connector just exactly the right size to pull off that maneuver. I'll give Lighting a lot of credit, I'm sure it didn't hurt the cable at all.
    My Retro-computing YouTube Channel (updates... eventually?): Paleozoic PCs

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    I've picked up a Lightning cable and thought it was microUSB too. Fortunately, I didn't try to use it.

    Another gripe with microUSB--a lot of the cables give you no indication of which way is "up"--or the device you're plugging it into doesn't. Grief either way. The miniUSB connectors (which almost no one is using today) were a bit better.

    I have a similar gripe with microSD cards--why so small? What was wrong with miniSD? MicroSD can slip into a crack in the floor boards or in your shag carpeting without a trace... I'm especially peeved with the push-to-remove sockets for the things. More than once, I've had a card go shooting across the room and landing in the void.

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    Im with you Chuck. I cant stand micro USB. I thought they got it right with usb mini; dont think I ever broke one of those. I really wish they just used USB "B", the original B on large things. Who doesnt have dozens of those cables kicking around?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Agent Orange View Post
    Was that one of those that you had to slide a dime into to make a call?
    I seem to recall in my earliest memories, long before 1999, having to place dimes in bathroom stalls. Unless we were on vacation in Canada. I want to say for sure some places in NY had them at some point.

    Dimes in the phone in NY yes. Quarters in Florida in the same period. You could talk for a long time for tjat quarter. But I still resented it.

  10. #10
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    Bitching, ranting, yelling, or any such diatribe about mini-USB is never considered a 'rant'. I always consider it well thought-out rational sane exercise in perfectly normal critical thinking.

    Micro-USB is the worst... I tried to mitigate tear-out problems in customer designs by switching to mid-PCB mount connectors in a cut-out. But even then the connector would rip-out taking the small island of shield ground with it from underneath the soldermask. I would have to direct couple the shield wings to such a large ground poor to prevent that, it would defeat the point of the micro connector. I started just telling customers I wont use micro USB in a design. I now stock reels of mini-USB instead.

    USB-C is somewhat better - especially with the auto-mux+ESD diode packs they have for it.
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