Why is the micro USB so fragile compared to mini USB cable ends?

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Why is the micro USB so fragile compared to mini USB cable ends?

I bought a bunch of micro-USB cables recently from Frys, and
almost half of them have had the two little nubs on the top
of the male micro-USB connector disappear.

I don't know if they fall off, or if they get pressed down,  
or if they bend, or what, but the cables just fall out of  
the various devices I use them in (earbuds, smart phones,  
speakerphones, etc.).

Is it that micro_USB is inherently more fragile than mini_USB?
Or is it just bad cables from Frys?

Re: Why is the micro USB so fragile compared to mini USB cable ends?
Avraham Bernholz wrote:

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It's deliberate ... with USB and miniUSB the contacts and retaining  
springs are in the socket and wear out after 1,000 to 2,000 insertions;  
with microUSB the wear is intended to happen within the plug, because  
the cable can be more easily replaced, they're also rated for more like  
10,000 insertions.

I have sometimes managed to persuade the "nibs" back into life with the  
end of pin, but cables are cheap.




Re: Why is the micro USB so fragile compared to mini USB cable ends?
Andy Burns wrote, on Wed, 20 Aug 2014 07:34:46 +0100:

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These cables are probably a month or two old, so, the number
of insertions was probably about a hundred to three hundred
before they failed.

Re: Why is the micro USB so fragile compared to mini USB cable ends?
Avraham Bernholz wrote:

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Sounds like you got some of a bad batch of cables.  Or else you are  
inordinately clumsy with micro-USB connectors.  Or else one of your devices has  
an out-of-spec micro-USB socket that is breaking your, otherwise perfectly  
sound, USB plugs...

FWIW: I have /never/ experienced this problem myself.

    -- chris  



Re: Why is the micro USB so fragile compared to mini USB cable ends?
Chris Uppal wrote, on Wed, 20 Aug 2014 11:07:55 +0100:

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I wonder if there is a way to tell if a cable is good
*before* you buy it?

Re: Why is the micro USB so fragile compared to mini USB cable ends?
Avi,

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   Not likely. Your protection is usually a 30 day warranty.
   You have my sympathies. In my experience USB, Mini USB, and Micro USB do  
not seem to hold up well under lots of insertions. These designs just do not  
work well.  And they are currently ubiquitous.

Dave M.



Re: Why is the micro USB so fragile compared to mini USB cable ends?
Avraham Bernholz wrote:

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Price ? Brand ?  If the cable comes from a supplier with enough of a name to  
care about quality control (and therefore test the stuff they get from the  
/actual/ supplier) then that's probably the best you can do.  In particular if  
it comes from a brand that you have had good quality (not necessarily premium  
priced) stuff from before.

Perhaps also a visual inspection of the overall build quality will tell you  
something about the quality control, but it's difficult to see how to apply  
that effectively to something as simple as USB cables.

    -- chris  



Re: Why is the micro USB so fragile compared to mini USB cable ends?
Chris Uppal wrote, on Wed, 20 Aug 2014 13:47:03 +0100:

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I don't have the original shrinkwrap, but it was generic
Frys stuff. I will have to go back and look at the brand,  
but, how does *that* help?

Let's say the brand is "made in China" stuff?
Is that necessarily better or worse than "made in anywhere else"  
stuff?

I'm sure if the brand were "Belken", it would be good, but,  
I think this was just generic stuff. Why should something as  
simple as a cable need to be name brand anyway?

And, what is a name brand (other than Belken) anyway, for  
cables?

Re: Why is the micro USB so fragile compared to mini USB cable ends?
On Wed, 20 Aug 2014 14:35:12 +0000 (UTC), Avraham Bernholz

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L-com http://www.l-com.com/usb-cable-assemblies

Their prices are good and the quality is excellent. Plus, you can get
right angle cables ... and left, up, or down as well.

Re: Why is the micro USB so fragile compared to mini USB cableends?

Avraham Bernholz wrote:
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   I just bought some from Dollar Tree for $1 each. They are bright
green, so they'll be easy to spot, when I need one. :)


--  
Anyone wanting to run for any political office in the US should have to
have a DD214, and a honorable discharge.

Re: Why is the micro USB so fragile compared to mini USB cableends?
On 08/20/2014 11:03 AM, Michael A. Terrell wrote:
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The 99-Cents-Only store had orange ones :-)  They also had a variety of  
skins for one of the Apple or Samsung phones which ALMOST fit my BLU --  
I gave the skin to my granddaughter, who has used it for months.

--  
Cheers, Bev
@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@
We've slightly trimmed the long signature. Click to see the full one.
Re: Why is the micro USB so fragile compared to mini USB cableends?

The Real Bev wrote:
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   I was hoping for bright red. :)

   I had someone claim that the BNC cables I used on a job were his. I
asked him where he bought the green RG/58.  His jaw was just hanging
open as I left with my tools and cables.


--  
Anyone wanting to run for any political office in the US should have to
have a DD214, and a honorable discharge.

Re: Why is the micro USB so fragile compared to mini USB cableends?
On Thu, 21 Aug 2014, The Real Bev wrote:

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I had never seen anything but black (and of course, iPod cables in white).

But I was looking for something in a chain drugstore yesterday, and  
suddenly notice they have colored microUSB cables for 3.99.  Not dollar  
store pricing, but kind of handy to know.  I try to grab them when I see  
them in the garbage or in 25cent bins at garage sales, but I keep  
misplacing them.

And some color would be nice.

   Michael


Re: Why is the micro USB so fragile compared to mini USBcableends?

Michael Black wrote:
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   Ebay has a lot of colors, but they aren't cheap.

--  
Anyone wanting to run for any political office in the US should have to
have a DD214, and a honorable discharge.

Re: Why is the micro USB so fragile compared to mini USB cableends?
On 8/20/2014 2:03 PM, Michael A. Terrell wrote:
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Just bought some?

I don't see any USB cables listed using their search engine.

http://www.dollartree.com/catalog/search.cmd?form_state=searchForm&keyword=usb%20cable


Maybe it's just a product that they occasionally have so it isn't listed  
on their website?

Also, are the cables data cables or are they for charging only?

Re: Why is the micro USB so fragile compared to mini USB cableends?

Ron wrote:
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   They are not always in stock, so they aren't on their website. They
are data cables. There are four or five stores around here, and one is
close to the grocery store I use. Another is next to the harbor Freight
store, and a third near Office Depot. The others are further than it's
worth to drive to, for a couple $1 items


--  
Anyone wanting to run for any political office in the US should have to
have a DD214, and a honorable discharge.

Re: Why is the micro USB so fragile compared to mini USB cableends?
On 8/26/2014 4:46 PM, Michael A. Terrell wrote:
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Thanks! I need a data cable for my Kindle Fire and a dollar is a great deal.

Re: Why is the micro USB so fragile compared to mini USB cable ends?
Avraham Bernholz wrote:

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I'd imagine that wherever you buy this kind of kit, and whoever is named as the  
"supplier", it's actually produced by some unknown factory (probably in China  
as things stand today, not that it makes any difference).  And, more, that it  
won't always be the /same/ factory -- it'll be whichever offered to make the  
stuff cheapest.

So you really have no hope of identifying an /actual/ supplier, let alone of  
finding a good one.

But what you /can/ do is buy from a brand with a name that a reputation (good  
or bad) will stick to.  Such brands have the incentive to monitor the quality  
of the stuff they are getting from the /real/ suppliers, and will switch  
suppliers if the quality drops.

Of course, even a brand might let a bad batch slip through: one with the wrong  
steel for the connector, or the crimping machine out of adjustment (so that it  
makes the crimps too sharp, and hence fragile).  But that won't happen often  
/precisely because/ they are taking steps to avoid it.


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Well, you answered that in your first post ;-)  It turns out that micro-USB  
plugs have to be assembled to a certain standard or they stop working.  (This  
is still on the assumption that something else isn't causing the breakage)


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Can't make any recommendations.  I generally buy cables in shops (not online),  
and avoid "cheap" shops at that, but I don't consciously buy by brand.  As I  
say, I have had exactly zero problems with USB[*] so far (full, micro, or  
mini), but to what extent that's down to luck, differences in the way I use  
USB, buying higher quality cables, or whatever, I can't say.

    -- chris

[*] Unlike bloody Ethernet connections...  



Re: Why is the micro USB so fragile compared to mini USB cable ends?
Chris Uppal wrote, on Thu, 21 Aug 2014 12:52:31 +0100:

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I found an unopened package of the dozen or so cables I had bought from  
Frys.    
http://tinypic.com/view.php?pic12%4v8ns&s=8

Roxgo, http://www.roxgo.com ,  
Manufactured and exported by Zendex, Inc, South El Monte, CA 91733,  
Made in China, UPC 851556004031

My recommendation?
Don't buy those cables! :)

Re: Why is the micro USB so fragile compared to mini USB cable ends?
Avraham Bernholz wrote:

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So you got the cables from Fry's, who got them from Roxgo, who got them from  
Zendex, who may be the US marketing arm of a Chinese factory (or group), or may  
be another middleman sourcing cables (etc) from whichever Chinese factory is  
cheapest in any given week...

It seems that either you got rare a rouge batch, or that that entire supply  
chain doesn't include /anyone/ who cares as much about quality control as I'd  
prefer :(

    -- chris  



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