So your smartphone needs a charge. What do you do – you take a cable and you plug it in. Almost any device you want to charge, there’s a cable for that. But, how do they work – well, that’s what we hope to shine a light on here.
Every USB cable has at least two wires inside, no matter if it’s being used to power a device, charge, and/or for data transfer. All electric circuits depend on loops and in order for a loop to occur within a cable, two wires are needed. The key idea to remember is electric current which is the movement of an electric charge inside of a metal wire. A flow of charges is created by the electric field housed in the wire. If there’s no closed loop, the charge quickly will build on a wire’s surface, creating a zero electric field with no current. Alternatively, with a closed loop, mobile electrons reach back towards where they’re coming from and prevent charges from building up.
In most USB cables, there may be between four and five wires. The average Apple lightning USB cable has 5 wires. They typically are color-coded, such as in red, green, white, and black. The colors correspond to a code. ‘Red’ is a positive wire with 5 volts of DC power; ‘black’ is usually the ground wire in almost all electronic devices including USB cables; ‘white’ is the positive wire; and ‘green’ is the negative wire, used for data in tandem with white. A USB connector’s engineered so that the power wires are closer to the tip than the data pins, giving your device power before transferring data.
To complete an electrical circuit when you want to charge your phone, one end of the cable must be plugged into your phone and the other end into a charger. Back and forth, electrons then flow to the charger along the surface of a copper wire. For data transfer, data wires take on the opposite polarity on the same frequency meaning a mirror image is created. The white wire pushes data to its destination while the green wire is working in the opposite direction. This eliminates noise and allows a clear connection to be maintained.
As a USB Type-C cable is bent and beat up over time, eventually one of the wire strands break which is what causes a cable to eventually fail. If any one of the four wires snaps, the result is a malfunctioning cable which cannot complete its circuit.
For USB cables in Canada, shop with PrimeCables today. For our June 2019 birthday sale, our USB cables are on big discounts!