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Thread: Europe plans to make USB-C a common charging solution

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    Re: Europe plans to make USB-C a common charging solution

    Quote Originally Posted by DanceswithUnix View Post
    Edit: What I *really* want to see is the EU standardising on removable Li-Ion battery packs. These things are sizeable, and I now have a stack of them along with their chargers. They all do the same thing, they are all completely incompatible and they are all a few years old and starting to lose some capacity. When the battery pack dies on my lawnmower the whole thing with go to the tip because Homebase don't make those Qualcast units or sell spare batteries. I should be able to go to the likes of Energizer or Duracell and just ask for a standard 36V battery pack like I can a pack of AA cells.

    There don't seem to be many voltages, the Li-Ion chemistry sorts that out. Just need a standard physical dimensions, retention clip and connector.
    Didn't see your edit there.

    This is something I've been ranting about for ages too.

    The EU doing it would be a good start, but all batteries should really have an ISO standard.

    Quote Originally Posted by DanceswithUnix View Post
    They could and should be standardised across all manufacturers. It is a clear anti consumer lock-in tactic.
    If you've ever watched some of the teardown videos on Youtube, there are actual technical differences but an ISO standard should sort that.

    I watched some teardowns for Lidl's Parkside 20V and Aldi's Ferrex 20V/40V battery packs (because they are cheap if I ever were to get around to trying an ebike conversion kit - the Aldi with its "40V" (really 37V I would imagine) should fit most 37V ebike kits).

    The biggest differences is whether the "don't discharge below the damage threshold" is on the tool or the battery.

    Other differences are to do with the controller and balancing. Think Parkside recently changed theirs to be balanced (so in a pack of 5 x 3.7V, one cell being too low is less likely to damage the whole pack).

    But as I said, all of this could and should be part of any standard.

    As for IP67/68 and removable batteries: my old Samsung Galaxy S5 was IP67 and had a removable battery. As did my earlier Motorola Defy+. There really is no excuse.

    The recent trend of the battery being sandwiched between the screen and the mainboard (I'm thinking of a Nokia 8 teardown I saw) is complete nonsense has very little technical reason aside from maybe the shock horror 1mm of extra thickness. But even screwed down like (AFAIR) Moto G5 is fine; it's the glued into the middle which isn't.

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    Re: Europe plans to make USB-C a common charging solution

    Quote Originally Posted by kompukare View Post
    - the Aldi with its "40V" (really 37V I would imagine)
    Lots of batteries seem to call themselves a multiple of 3.6V, but it doesn't seem to really mean much in reality.

    My Qualcast (actually some Homebase own brand, with some deal on brand naming rights) lawnmower battery with 36V on the label reads 41V on no load with a voltmeter, which sounds like 11 cells topped off at 3.73V. But at 3.6V you would need 10 cells to hit 36V. *shrug*. My 18V packs seem to vary from 18.5 to more like 20V on the hedge trimmer (again, no load).

    If only there were a standard for this stuff...

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    Re: Europe plans to make USB-C a common charging solution

    This is overall a good and positive step towards reducing e-waste and simplifying connectivity options - regardless of the actual motivations behind this and whether USB-C is the "best" option or not.

    The bigger question for me is whether we in the UK will actually be able to benefit from this i.e. will we setup the equivalent legislation on our side.. Fingers crossed we do.

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    Re: Europe plans to make USB-C a common charging solution

    Quote Originally Posted by Spud1 View Post
    The bigger question for me is whether we in the UK will actually be able to benefit from this i.e. will we setup the equivalent legislation on our side.. Fingers crossed we do.
    It really is in our best interests to follow suit on things like this.

    But I imagine there'll be some umming and ahhing but if the EU, UK and US all perform legislation like this, it will force Apples hand. I feel Apple will happily lose the direct sale EU market just to offset the losses of the lightning licensing.

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    Re: Europe plans to make USB-C a common charging solution

    Quote Originally Posted by Tabbykatze View Post
    It really is in our best interests to follow suit on things like this.

    But I imagine there'll be some umming and ahhing but if the EU, UK and US all perform legislation like this, it will force Apples hand. I feel Apple will happily lose the direct sale EU market just to offset the losses of the lightning licensing.
    Much though I dislike Apple company policies and products, there must surely be more important things to expend legislative effort on than Apple bashing?

    From a quick Google, it looks like even Apple use USB PD in their phones, just not with the USB-C connector. So it's hard to argue e-waste if iPhones use the same PD chargers as my Android phone and tablet, just with an overpriced cable.

    The more I look into this, the more I wonder just who the heck they are targetting. Last holdout for odd charging was the cheap Chinese tablet market, but people don't buy tablets any more, and a bit of clicking around on Amazon it looks like even they have migrated from the nasty barrel connector to micro-usb which I would consider acceptable.
    Last edited by DanceswithUnix; 27-09-2021 at 09:20 AM.

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    Re: Europe plans to make USB-C a common charging solution

    Quote Originally Posted by DanceswithUnix View Post
    Much though I dislike Apple company policies and products, there must surely be more important things to expend legislative effort on than Apple bashing?
    Well, maybe rather than cracking down on Apple not paying their fair share of corporate taxes, this is the proxy for doing *something* to Apple?

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    Re: Europe plans to make USB-C a common charging solution

    Quote Originally Posted by DanceswithUnix View Post
    Much though I dislike Apple company policies and products, there must surely be more important things to expend legislative effort on than Apple bashing?

    From a quick Google, it looks like even Apple use USB PD in their phones, just not with the USB-C connector. So it's hard to argue e-waste if iPhones use the same PD chargers as my Android phone and tablet, just with an overpriced cable.

    The more I look into this, the more I wonder just who the heck they are targetting. Last holdout for odd charging was the cheap Chinese tablet market, but people don't buy tablets any more, and a bit of clicking around on Amazon it looks like even they have migrated from the nasty barrel connector to micro-usb which I would consider acceptable.
    There'll be many people, many departments and many teams working on many things. I would rather see all phones use the same connector and have an acceptable minimum standard for quality of cable and charger but I'm not an iPhone user so it doesn't ultimately bother me. Except when an iPhone user inevitably forgets their cable in the office and I just don't carry any Lightning cables because they're practically useless except for that one thing. But i have a pack of about 20 USB-C cables at any one time because so many devices use them from peripherals to phones, tablets and our high end webcams. I much prefer universality rather than a single entity being a hodge podge for no other reason than they get extra money by forcing the connector licensing.

    Quote Originally Posted by kompukare View Post
    Well, maybe rather than cracking down on Apple not paying their fair share of corporate taxes, this is the proxy for doing *something* to Apple?
    Not even close to the same teams/departments that would be looking into this.

    Blocking Apple sales would only serve to disrupt an economical area rather than sorting out the tax issue.

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    Re: Europe plans to make USB-C a common charging solution

    Quote Originally Posted by Tabbykatze View Post
    There'll be many people, many departments and many teams working on many things. I would rather see all phones use the same connector and have an acceptable minimum standard for quality of cable and charger but I'm not an iPhone user so it doesn't ultimately bother me. Except when an iPhone user inevitably forgets their cable in the office and I just don't carry any Lightning cables because they're practically useless except for that one thing. But i have a pack of about 20 USB-C cables at any one time because so many devices use them from peripherals to phones, tablets and our high end webcams. I much prefer universality rather than a single entity being a hodge podge for no other reason than they get extra money by forcing the connector licensing.
    I guess part of my problem here is the incompetence that the EU have shown in the past with things like the vacuum cleaner power limits. Did Intel ever pay up the billion euro anti trust fine? Apple just won't care, and won't pay if fined.

    If the EU mandate USB-C, then what happens when a better USB-D comes out? USB-C is 7 years old now, and has finally reached a tipping point of becoming dominant without any EU help. So I can't see any benefit at all from this, it just makes the future murky.

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    Re: Europe plans to make USB-C a common charging solution

    Quote Originally Posted by DanceswithUnix View Post
    I guess part of my problem here is the incompetence that the EU have shown in the past with things like the vacuum cleaner power limits. Did Intel ever pay up the billion euro anti trust fine? Apple just won't care, and won't pay if fined.
    On the other hand the energy labels for most appliances have done exactly what they set out to do. So much so that they had to revise them as otherwise would be A+++ by now.

    Vacuum cleaners mainly got a lot of publicity here as that Dyson was too incompetent actually make a meaningful submission while it was being drafted. But then the UK not properly engaging at the EU level pre-dates Brexit by decades. If a member of a rules-based organisation, it is very important that members actually can be bothered to be aware of those rules.

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    Re: Europe plans to make USB-C a common charging solution

    Quote Originally Posted by kompukare View Post
    On the other hand the energy labels for most appliances have done exactly what they set out to do. So much so that they had to revise them as otherwise would be A+++ by now.

    Vacuum cleaners mainly got a lot of publicity here as that Dyson was too incompetent actually make a meaningful submission while it was being drafted. But then the UK not properly engaging at the EU level pre-dates Brexit by decades. If a member of a rules-based organisation, it is very important that members actually can be bothered to be aware of those rules.
    Oh, I dunno. I'd have said the UK engaged a lot, on a lot of issues. More than a few EU directives were based heavily on UK laws, including consumer rights laws, and one of the reasons quite a few other member states didn't want Brexit is that as a large economy and pretty large population, we were a good counterpoint to the federalists in the Franco-German block. That, by the way, isn't so much my own view as that communicated to me by relatives and friends from half a dozen other EU countries. As for Dyson, dunno about their input but if I remember correctly, Dyson himself was firmly in the Brexit camp, which might explain him not devoting much time, effort or money to EU rule changes. That said, assuming he wants to sell into the EU, even once out, he still has to comply with EU rules so I'd be very surprised if he wasn't on top of proposed changes, even if only to oppose what he didn't like.
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    Re: Europe plans to make USB-C a common charging solution

    Quote Originally Posted by kompukare View Post
    On the other hand the energy labels for most appliances have done exactly what they set out to do. So much so that they had to revise them as otherwise would be A+++ by now.

    Vacuum cleaners mainly got a lot of publicity here as that Dyson was too incompetent actually make a meaningful submission while it was being drafted. But then the UK not properly engaging at the EU level pre-dates Brexit by decades. If a member of a rules-based organisation, it is very important that members actually can be bothered to be aware of those rules.
    Yeah, I recently bought a dishwasher that would have managed A+++ rating, and is now like a C or something. It seems to have a setting specifically for getting that rating, which doesn't adequately wash the dishes.

    My tumble dryer also manages a pretty good energy rating. It is one of the worst purchases I have ever made, has majorly put me off the Bosch brand, and doesn't actually seem capable of drying clothes out of the box. Thankfully there are hidden engineering menus that Youtube helps you find which allow you to turn the heating element up which at least gives you a shot at getting clothes dry. I mean, it has one job...

    and yes Dyson can be an arse, but in that case I think he was quite justified. It think they mostly sell battery powered hand held cleaners these days, so those rules won't apply. OTOH, he might have to make it charge with USB-C

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    Re: Europe plans to make USB-C a common charging solution

    Dyson are Singapore HQ these days aren't they? Handy that there's an EU-Singapore free trade agreement

    I'm actually annoyed they went battery only - doesn't seem longevity minded as much as mains devices are. Wonder when the EU standard battery connection will come in...

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    Re: Europe plans to make USB-C a common charging solution

    I'm happy with using the Apple lightning connector.

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    Re: Europe plans to make USB-C a common charging solution

    Quote Originally Posted by kalniel View Post
    ....

    I'm actually annoyed they went battery only - doesn't seem longevity minded as much as mains devices are. ....
    We've had a battery model (and other vacuum cleaners) for about a decade and the battery is still fine. It's hardly a statistically significant sample size, but the battery seems pretty good. Last time I inquired, we could get a full service, including a replacement battery if it was playing up, for something around £100-ish. The battery alone was about £80, IIRC.
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    Re: Europe plans to make USB-C a common charging solution

    Quote Originally Posted by Tabbykatze View Post
    I have honestly never heard or seen anyone have the centre of a USB-C connector just "snapping out", not that it can't happen but commenting on the incredible rarity that I, as an IT manager, have not seen/heard it happen. If someone is doing something that can make it snap out, they need to pay the numpty tax to get it fixed.

    I am sure by 2024 Apple will transition to USB-C but if they don't, I would love to see Apple iPhone blocked in the EU simply to see how much chaos it will cause both economically, for Apple users and Apple themselves.
    Apple will turn away from connectors and only use wireless charging and maybe something like the keyboard connectors on the iPad (the 3 dots)

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