View Full Version : Camera/phone USB cables - completely interchangeable?

01-30-2009, 10:09 PM
So if the cable fits, is it ok to use? As my population of electronic devices grows, so does my collection of USB and charger cables. The newer ones all appear to be the same too, like a Blackberry cord fits great in a Canon camera, and actually so does the cable for the card reader... and it's got to the point that I forgot what cord came with what device.

For computers & monitors, I've resolved that a power cord is a power cord. On DC stuff (printers, speakers, portable CD players, guitar pedals....) if the volts are right and the round end fits then I call it good to go.

But on this USB stuff, does everyone else forget which cord came with what and just use whatever fits in the device? Would two cables that are identical in fittings actually be wired differently? Or do you keep everything separate and when you get a new device buy all new chargers and accessories? I took all this for granted until I paid real money for a Blackberry, and its documentation says to "only use Blackberry approved accessories." Hey if I was in accessory sales I'd probably print the same thing.. but by ignoring this am I going to wind up in some sort of hell for the cable indifferent?

01-30-2009, 10:32 PM
I have found that some don't work between phones, but other than that I have had success with multi-use

01-30-2009, 10:45 PM
If the cord you are talking about looks like this one, then yes, it should be perfectly interchangeable. It's a fairly standardized plug. A few different phone and camera companies use proprietary plugs, though.


Shark Bait
01-30-2009, 11:14 PM
Here's the Wiki link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USB

My travel camera uses the mini on the far left.

01-31-2009, 10:35 AM
If it has a bulge in the cord like the left most one in the picture Chris posted, that is a toroid. You don't need one but it doesn't hurt to have one.

01-31-2009, 02:39 PM
What does a toroid do?

01-31-2009, 02:51 PM
USB is supposed to be a standard, however you have to be careful with charges that run of it's own source like 12v or 110v. It has to do with the charger rate of the charger. That is normally matched to what the battery wants.

I think USB from a PC port is fine since they should all be the same.

02-01-2009, 10:10 AM
What does a toroid do?
Extraneous noise cancelling device (it is an inductor that cancels a particular frequency). Prevents file transfer errors on high speed. But if it worked without it you didn't need it. :hill: