Why two power ports on a budget laptop??
#57
(11-08-2020, 06:31 PM)CampGareth Wrote:
(08-03-2020, 01:03 PM)KC9UDX Wrote: Hmm.  That's a new definition of simpler Smile

All's I knows is that in five decades I can think of exactly two barrel jacks that have failed due to severe mechanical stresses.  I can think of barrel plug power supplies that failed because the cord got chewed by an animal, or the transformer played fuse because there wasn't one (this was pre made-in-China, so no fires).  But I have to replace a device every few years due to USB socket failure, and a power supply every few months due to USB plug failure.  Mind you I only have one USB-C jack and only two USB-C plugs, and I haven't even used them yet.  I think USB-C might be improved over all the other variants I have to use.  But history screams otherwise, and I fully expect that by the time I've had to give in and start really using USB-C, USB-E will be the new thing.

Yes, you can plug in a USB-C the wrong way.  I learnt this by reading the technical specifications.


I think the point is that while barrel jacks are immensely reliable they're not consumer friendly as they fail the principle of least surprise. Pick an arbitrary barrel jack. What voltage and current does it supply? Will it fit in your device? Will it be safe to plug in? No idea to all of the above.

USB-C on the other hand I know it will plug into my USB C device and I know it'll power it without causing any damage. It might not charge my laptop, I need a special charger for that but there are keywords to search for. The worst case is it doesn't charge, not 'it explodes'. It's also pleasing that most 20V barrel jack laptops can be charged off a PD supply with a simple trigger adapter (the other way around is a lot harder!). That said I tried a new smaller USB PD charger today that doesn't want to stick in 20V mode without re-negotiating every few seconds so there's room for improvement on the surprise front.
I think that it boils down to carelessness and complacency over time.

Forty years ago just about every consumer device used coaxial power connectors that we now call barrel plugs/jacks.  Everyone knew that the voltage, current, and polarity of ever device was different, so everyone made sure to use the right one.

I do have some devices from the made-in-China era that have barrel type wall warts and neither the device nor the wall wart give any indication of electrical parameters. I find this troubling.


Messages In This Thread
RE: Why two power ports on a budget laptop?? - by KC9UDX - 11-09-2020, 12:15 AM

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