240W Extended Power Range USB C

KD5ZXG

Gawd
Joined
Mar 24, 2017
Messages
669
Nice picture of fried cable ends...

https://www.theverge.com/circuitbre...usb-c-power-delivery-extended-power-range-epr

Unanswered questions:
1) Power Rangers 2.1 you say?!?
2) If 50V good, why stop there?
3) Why my video still only 12V?

-Maybe real news above this line-

-Total BS below this line-

Also reminds of a joke I once played on a new tech, w completely made-up specs.
Told him we would build and test USB5.1 power management evaluation modules.

Wouldn't be functional except power, which would be 800VAC 400Hz twisted pair.
Since he needs to bone-up quick on ground fault circuit interruptors, there's one
in the men's room wall. Disassemble and report findings. That said, I would not
allow him measure anything unsupervised to kill himself.

Ohyeah, eventually communication would be radio between the TP and shield.
"Ecotooth Black, cause black is the new green", there was a whole spiel to it...
We got far as power factor correction before he caught on. Useful things were
taught and learned over the couse of the snipe hunt. Not a total waste of time.

-end BS-
 
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Tweak155

Gawd
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Jul 28, 2011
Messages
674
This is good news here that progress is being made. The current 100w limitation is just low enough to be annoying, 240w would be really serviceable IMO.

Glad to see this!
 

Dvater

n00b
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Wtf is the OP talking about? Is this place for posting news or posting opinion pieces that read like nonsense?
 

KD5ZXG

Gawd
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Yes.

1. A brief or complex introduction to the link must be posted. Just links with no discussion will not be allowed.

I could just link you to the rules, but then...
 
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Zeoclang

Weaksauce
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Jul 11, 2004
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107
Hopefully proprietary laptop chargers will slowly die out and the new USB C ones will take their place.
 
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LZ_Xray

Limp Gawd
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Messages
286
“...you could theoretically charge an full-fat Alienware m17 gaming laptop over USB-C

Nope. Not till we get 330W USB-C. The Verge’s lack of basic research remains amusing.


Hopefully proprietary laptop chargers will slowly die out and the new USB C ones will takie their place.
I would love this as well. I don’t see us getting away from the 3 lb power bricks for high performance laptops anytime soon though.
 

NattyKathy

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Jan 20, 2019
Messages
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I'm all for it, Type-C everything all the time. 48VDC is unlikely to hurt anyone and it keeps the current lower. Gimme the V o l t a g e.
 

GiGaBiTe

[H]ard|Gawd
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Hopefully proprietary laptop chargers will slowly die out and the new USB C ones will takie their place.

Proprietary laptop power supplies haven't been a thing for decades now, even the barrel connectors are mostly standardized outside some edge cases like netbooks. I can keep 4-5 power bricks and be able to work on the vast majority of laptops customers bring me, and for the edge cases, a GOOD 3rd party power brick with replaceable tips gets most of them. Not those cheap horrible IED Amazon specials, the $40-60 ones you see in Walmart or Best Buy, which are actually pretty good.

It's not like the late 80s, 90s and early 2000s where every laptop had a different connector, voltage and wattage rating. Computer manufacturers started to standardize on barrel plugs and voltages to reduce costs. Many power adapters today for Dell, HP, Toshiba, etc. are often the exact same power bricks with different labels slapped on.

Well except for Apple, because "think different." They change power adapters and connector types on their laptops multiple times a year.

I'm all for it, Type-C everything all the time. 48VDC is unlikely to hurt anyone and it keeps the current lower. Gimme the V o l t a g e.

If you've ever seen what happens to PoE on ethernet connectors, you'd change your mind. A tiny drop of moisture will turn the whole connector and socket into a corroded mess. I really don't want to see what happens to even smaller pins with even more current. Camera manufacturers go to great lengths to keep out moisture with compression glands and dielectric grease and they still eventually get wet. A wide open USB-C connector with even more current and orders of magnitude smaller pin pitch is just asking for trouble.

Also, 48 volts is more than enough to cause harm. Accidentally shorting out 48v will cause something to go bang, and handling bare 48v wires with slightly damp hands is enough to give you a shock.

Coming to a laptop near you:
https://i.redd.it/56jjnvw2ae321.jpg
 

DanNeely

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Messages
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“...you could theoretically charge an full-fat Alienware m17 gaming laptop over USB-C

Nope. Not till we get 330W USB-C. The Verge’s lack of basic research remains amusing.



I would love this as well. I don’t see us getting away from the 3 lb power bricks for high performance laptops anytime soon though.
A big brick with a 2x USB-C plug connection for power would still be an option with the ability to fall back on reduced performance/slower charging with a conventional single plug model. Going that way didn't really make much sense when a large segment of the gaming market would've required 3-5x 100W USB-C ports for power. But 1x 240 is enough to cover a much larger segment of it now; and 2x240 anything but perhaps the most extreme luggable desktop beasts.

That said, what I'd really love to see is USB-C start cutting into all the other barrel plugged devices. Replacing the 5x wallwarts clogging plugs on my UPSes with a single ~100W (total) USB-C PD to run the assortment of network gear, chargers, and powered USB hub would go a long way to reducing the cable mess on and around my desk.
 

DanNeely

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Messages
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Proprietary laptop power supplies haven't been a thing for decades now, even the barrel connectors are mostly standardized outside some edge cases like netbooks. I can keep 4-5 power bricks and be able to work on the vast majority of laptops customers bring me, and for the edge cases, a GOOD 3rd party power brick with replaceable tips gets most of them. Not those cheap horrible IED Amazon specials, the $40-60 ones you see in Walmart or Best Buy, which are actually pretty good.

It's not like the late 80s, 90s and early 2000s where every laptop had a different connector, voltage and wattage rating. Computer manufacturers started to standardize on barrel plugs and voltages to reduce costs. Many power adapters today for Dell, HP, Toshiba, etc. are often the exact same power bricks with different labels slapped on.

Well except for Apple, because "think different." They change power adapters and connector types on their laptops multiple times a year.



If you've ever seen what happens to PoE on ethernet connectors, you'd change your mind. A tiny drop of moisture will turn the whole connector and socket into a corroded mess. I really don't want to see what happens to even smaller pins with even more current. Camera manufacturers go to great lengths to keep out moisture with compression glands and dielectric grease and they still eventually get wet. A wide open USB-C connector with even more current and orders of magnitude smaller pin pitch is just asking for trouble.

Also, 48 volts is more than enough to cause harm. Accidentally shorting out 48v will cause something to go bang, and handling bare 48v wires with slightly damp hands is enough to give you a shock.

Coming to a laptop near you:
https://i.redd.it/56jjnvw2ae321.jpg
48V is enough to be unpleasant; but it's not high enough to cause serious injury or death in normal circumstances. As I noted above it's the top of the range where US regulations don't require the same degree of protection in wiring as they do for standard wall power.
 
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Well except for Apple, because "think different." They change power adapters and connector types on their laptops multiple times a year.

Bullshit. In the last 15 years, Mac laptops have used:
- MagSafe
- MagSafe 2 (usable with original MagSafe PSUs with a simple adapter)
- USB-C

No different than any other manufacturer, Apple includes a PSU sized to the power draw of the laptop.
 

GiGaBiTe

[H]ard|Gawd
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Bullshit. In the last 15 years, Mac laptops have used:
- MagSafe
- MagSafe 2 (usable with original MagSafe PSUs with a simple adapter)
- USB-C

No different than any other manufacturer, Apple includes a PSU sized to the power draw of the laptop.

...Which results in almost a dozen different types of adapters and several different connector combinations. Didn't they also use lightning for some stuff?

https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201700#

Compared to say Dell, which has three common power adapters: 65, 90 and 130W that all share the same barrel connector. And their smaller 45W which generally uses a smaller barrel connector.
 

GiGaBiTe

[H]ard|Gawd
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48V is enough to be unpleasant; but it's not high enough to cause serious injury or death in normal circumstances. As I noted above it's the top of the range where US regulations don't require the same degree of protection in wiring as they do for standard wall power.

48v at the currents we're talking about is most certainly more than enough to cause injury and/or death. The much higher voltage breaks down the resistance of your skin faster and allows more current to pass through the body than with a lower voltage of say 12v. If you poke a frayed 48v cable into the end of your finger, well you might as well stick a fork in a wall socket.

This video explains it nicely:

While 48v isn't regulated by the government to the same degree as mains voltage, it needs to be treated with the same respect, ESPECIALLY if there's a lot of grunt behind it. This is the case with PoE and some battery operated tools.
 

NattyKathy

Gawd
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48v at the currents we're talking about is most certainly more than enough to cause injury and/or death. The much higher voltage breaks down the resistance of your skin faster and allows more current to pass through the body than with a lower voltage of say 12v. If you poke a frayed 48v cable into the end of your finger, well you might as well stick a fork in a wall socket.

This video explains it nicely:

While 48v isn't regulated by the government to the same degree as mains voltage, it needs to be treated with the same respect, ESPECIALLY if there's a lot of grunt behind it. This is the case with PoE and some battery operated tools.
48VDC danger =/= 48V low-frequency AC danger. There's a massive difference in potential (no pun intended lol) lethality there

EDIT to add: and the 48V on these chargers won't be referenced to Earth which reduces the electrocution risk even further
 
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NattyKathy

Gawd
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Messages
783
Proprietary laptop power supplies haven't been a thing for decades now, even the barrel connectors are mostly standardized outside some edge cases like netbooks. I can keep 4-5 power bricks and be able to work on the vast majority of laptops customers bring me, and for the edge cases, a GOOD 3rd party power brick with replaceable tips gets most of them. Not those cheap horrible IED Amazon specials, the $40-60 ones you see in Walmart or Best Buy, which are actually pretty good.

It's not like the late 80s, 90s and early 2000s where every laptop had a different connector, voltage and wattage rating. Computer manufacturers started to standardize on barrel plugs and voltages to reduce costs. Many power adapters today for Dell, HP, Toshiba, etc. are often the exact same power bricks with different labels slapped on.

Well except for Apple, because "think different." They change power adapters and connector types on their laptops multiple times a year.



If you've ever seen what happens to PoE on ethernet connectors, you'd change your mind. A tiny drop of moisture will turn the whole connector and socket into a corroded mess. I really don't want to see what happens to even smaller pins with even more current. Camera manufacturers go to great lengths to keep out moisture with compression glands and dielectric grease and they still eventually get wet. A wide open USB-C connector with even more current and orders of magnitude smaller pin pitch is just asking for trouble.

Also, 48 volts is more than enough to cause harm. Accidentally shorting out 48v will cause something to go bang, and handling bare 48v wires with slightly damp hands is enough to give you a shock.

Coming to a laptop near you:
https://i.redd.it/56jjnvw2ae321.jpg
I still disagree about the dangers to humans posed by 48VDC but I agree that the corrosion thing is a valid point. That could be a real problem in humid places.
 

KD5ZXG

Gawd
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Mar 24, 2017
Messages
669
I've got 50yr old 110VAC outlets aren't corroded, so isn't inevitable.
Could be a lot older than that...

0.8V corrodes when wet.
 

Nobu

Supreme [H]ardness
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Jun 7, 2007
Messages
6,176
Why are we using DC? I can write a joke spec more plausible.
DC is easier to control and doesn't put out as much EMI (as long as it's not going through antenna like components or being modulated, at least). The only issue is the distance between the pins, really, because we have to have tiny connectors for some reason.
 

DanNeely

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DC is easier to control and doesn't put out as much EMI (as long as it's not going through antenna like components or being modulated, at least). The only issue is the distance between the pins, really, because we have to have tiny connectors for some reason.
Also because electronics run on DC, so moving the AC-DC conversion step to the brick makes the devices smaller and lighter.
 

KD5ZXG

Gawd
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Messages
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Nothing in your computer (except fans and pumps) runs on 12VDC much less 50VDC.
Converters exist at point of load because they make electronics smaller and lighter.
Converters chop DC because AC is more efficient (not necessarily easier) to control.

Have we forgotten giant capacitors and linear regulators with heatsinks? Thats DC.
You know what size welding cable is needed for a measly 0.8VDC at 120Amps?
Cause I actually have to test with that configuration, I got a fair idea.

I've measured enough EMI to know that any technique can be done wrong.
 
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GotNoRice

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Messages
10,175
Sounds like this is just going to make USB even more convoluted than it's become after USB 3.0. Yet another variable that goes against the universal compatibility that USB is supposed to exemplify.

Not everyone obsessively wants to have a computer or tablet with only ONE port, and then be forced to use that ONE port for charging, peripherals, external storage, audio output, etc, at the same time via ugly and in some cases expensive adapters.

And let's be real here. A huge majority of people with USB-C phones and tablets end up using USB-C cables from places like the Dollar store which are usually just USB 2.0 cables with a USB-C end on them. You really think they are going to understand (or even care) why they can't use that cable to charge their new device?
 
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...Which results in almost a dozen different types of adapters and several different connector combinations. Didn't they also use lightning for some stuff?

https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201700#

Compared to say Dell, which has three common power adapters: 65, 90 and 130W that all share the same barrel connector. And their smaller 45W which generally uses a smaller barrel connector.

That page lists every SKU ever (i.e., the 87 W USB-C PSU was replaced by the 96 W model), and "T" and "L" MagSafe are interchangeable. There's also no reason a larger PSU can't be used with a smaller Mac, so if you're servicing a bunch of models all you need is two: One MagSafe + adapter, one USB-C (and if you're in a pinch, a smaller PSU can slowly charge a larger Mac). I'm pretty certain that if you look closely at any other major manufacturer you'll see at least as many SKUs, current and discontinued, for PSUs of various output classes.

Lightning has only ever been used for iDevices, never Macs. And that's really just a variant of USB (because the 30-pin connector kinda sucked and supported protocols like FireWire that were no longer a thing, and USB-C wasn't yet a thing when Lightning was introduced).

For how long has Dell actually been standardized on the current barrel connector, and what came before? Dell also uses USB-C. My XPS13 and the current model came with a 45 W unit. The current XPS15 and XPS17 come with either a 90 W or 130 W (i.e., non-standard) USB-C PSU. Some of the larger workstation/gaming laptops, like the Precision, use PSUs as large as 240 W, using a connector much larger than that of the other PSUs. Dell presently lists 18 laptop PSUs of various types/outputs for purchase from their site (and that doesn't appear to be a complete list (e.g., no 240 W variant)).

I have little doubt that HP, Lenovo, etc. are just as likely to change up their PSU offerings as needed to support whatever laptops they're selling.
 

GiGaBiTe

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For how long has Dell actually been standardized on the current barrel connector, and what came before?

Dell started using the barrel connector with the center pin sometime in 2006 when the Core Duo/Core 2 Duo laptops came out. They appear to still be using it on some models today, the Vostro 3400 on their website uses the same connector. 15+ years is a good run.

In the previous Pentium M era, they used a standard 2.1mm barrel plug.

Before that, they used their proprietary square brick with four pins and a winglet pinch tab. This one lasted from their Pentium II laptops up to their Pentium 4-M and Mobile Pentium 4 laptops. I hated this connector, if you didn't line up the brick perfectly while inserting it into the laptop, the pins in the socket would get bent.

And yeah, the 240W power bricks are hard to come by. They're only used on docking stations or their high end gaming laptops. I think I have one of these somewhere.
 

GoodBoy

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Sounds like this is just going to make USB even more convoluted than it's become after USB 3.0. Yet another variable that goes against the universal compatibility that USB is supposed to exemplify.

Not everyone obsessively wants to have a computer or tablet with only ONE port, and then be forced to use that ONE port for charging, peripherals, external storage, audio output, etc, at the same time via ugly and in some cases expensive adapters.

And let's be real here. A huge majority of people with USB-C phones and tablets end up using USB-C cables from places like the Dollar store which are usually just USB 2.0 cables with a USB-C end on them. You really think they are going to understand (or even care) why they can't use that cable to charge their new device?
Increasing the voltage allows the power being sent to go up without increasing the current.

Many cables will still be compatible. Spec for the new charging is 50v, 5A capability. usb-c spec includes 1 line minimum for power, with an optional second line. Both must be between 20 to 28AWG. Stranded 20AWG carries 5 Amps, which meets the requirement for the new charging spec in a single wire. Stranded 28AWG (.33mm thick) carries 1.5A, these would be inadequate, even with 2. Stranded 24AWG carries 3A, so with 2, this is also enough. With fewer strands (less flexibility) the current capacity goes up, dual 26AWG power lines would be enough. It's worth noting that 20AWG=0.81mm thickness wire. usb-c has 18 wires, not all would need to be that thick. 2 wires (1 power 1 gnd) need to be 1.6mm thick (added generously for the jacket) along with 16 other smaller wires? This is easily achievable in a cable.
I have a thick ass monoprice USB-c cable that I bet is compatible.

Before the higher voltages are even sent, the power brick will have to negotiate with the connected device to ensure compatibility with the higher voltages/new Spec. Usb-c ports on PC's will not have the higher voltage capability, so for most uses nothing even changes. At least not with the power supplies currently inside PC's. A totally new PSU spec would have to be created that has a higher voltage rail (not difficult really). They could do this with a new, third cable that comes from the PSU to the mobo with a new unique connector. Another option would be voltage step-up circuitry on motherboards to drive the USB-c ports. But again, what would be the need? Who is going to throw a tantrum if their PC cannot charge their 240W laptop via USB-c. We've used power bricks for decades and will continue to do so. Putting higher voltages into motherboards will add cost and complexity, which leads me to speculate this isn't going to happen anytime soon, if ever.

Your desktop pc's usb-c: Not likely to change or be able to support these high charging voltages.

Laptop power brick with a USB-c port? The benefit will be the universal compatibility, with differences just being the charge times between different bricks/brands. The added circuitry to support this will have to be built into the laptops and tablets that decide to use it, they will have to step the voltage down and have high current wiring from the step-down to the batteries. Part of what's in the power brick (as they are now) will move inside the laptop, along with the need for high current wires. The cable from the power brick will not need to be high current any longer, at least not any higher than 5A, which is met with a single .81mm thick stranded conductor.

It is a bit annoying all of the spec changes USB3 has had, but this one will not really affect desktops.

A device being charged this way, if the cable is inadequate, it will warm up, which would create a measurable increase in the cables' resistance. Circuitry in the devices could detect that and adjust the power delivery accordingly. That kind of safety feature makes sense with all of the varied quality cables out there.
 

GotNoRice

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Many cables will still be compatible. Spec for the new charging is 50v, 5A capability. usb-c spec includes 1 line minimum for power, with an optional second line. Both must be between 20 to 28AWG. Stranded 20AWG carries 5 Amps, which meets the requirement for the new charging spec in a single wire. Stranded 28AWG (.33mm thick) carries 1.5A, these would be inadequate, even with 2. Stranded 24AWG carries 3A, so with 2, this is also enough. With fewer strands (less flexibility) the current capacity goes up, dual 26AWG power lines would be enough. It's worth noting that 20AWG=0.81mm thickness wire. usb-c has 18 wires, not all would need to be that thick. 2 wires (1 power 1 gnd) need to be 1.6mm thick (added generously for the jacket) along with 16 other smaller wires? This is easily achievable in a cable.
I have a thick ass monoprice USB-c cable that I bet is compatible.

Before the higher voltages are even sent, the power brick will have to negotiate with the connected device to ensure compatibility with the higher voltages/new Spec.

Nice theory, but in practice I'm not optimistic. I already have a USB-C phone that supports fast charging at 9v or 12v (in addition to standard 5v charging). Using basically any generic USB-C cable will not allow fast charging, and the phone will only charge at 5v, even when using the exact same wall-wart. If these cables can't even handle 9v or 12v charging, I have serious doubts that they will handle 48v.
 

The Mad Atheist

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Think I rather stick with a barrel jack, feels more solid and they usually have a reinforcement bar around the jack.
 
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