Benson Leung has faced his first sacrifice in his one man crusade against poor USB Type-C cables. The Googler has ended up damaging his Pixel 2 while testing a particularly problematic charging cable bought off Amazon. It turns out that the Surjtech cable was wrongly wired and was also using an incorrect resistor; all of which translated into a laptop with a burnt out USB controller.
Leung post a detailed review of the cable on the Amazon product page, explaining what went wrong and how it managed to destroy his testing equipment (which included two USB PD Sniffer devices). He also tore apart the coverings on the cable to figure out exactly what caused the problem. It turns out that the ground and voltage wires were reversed, while the resistor was installed backwards. To make matters worse, the manufacturer had used a 10 kΩ resistor instead of the required 56 kΩ resistor.
USB Type-C is quickly becoming a popular choice of connector port for electronics; or at least it is where premium devices are concerned. This has lead to manufacturers flooding the market third party alternatives in order to meet demand for replacement cables. Leung took it upon himself to act as a quality control tester for many of these cables and has been posting detailed reviews on Amazon; providing users with some idea of which cables are worth the purchasing price.
More than a few manufacturers have earned poor reviews from Leung; the most notable being OnePlus. The engineer claims that the OnePlus USB Type-C cables packaged with the OnePlus 2 do not meet specifications; and could potentially damage any device with fast charging capabilities.
Leung’s incident highlights the danger in using unverified third party cables. This will likely become a more common problem as the proliferation of USB Type-C cables continues. At the very least, we should take this as a warning to be more careful about the source of our charging cables.