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USB On-the-Go cables

Posted: 28.08.2015 22:31
by dkperez
This is NOT a Helicon Remote problem, but I figure people in here are most likely using a lot of USB-OTG cables....

I'm having a problem with cables failing... In the last two years, I've gone through OVER a DOZEN different USB-OTG cables. They ALWAYS fail at the micro-USB end that plugs into the tablet. I've tried the el-cheapo $2 cables. I've tried the "premium" $5 cables. I've tried the SUPER premium $10 cables. Doesn't seem to make any difference. I've had the ones with the silver ends. I've had the ones with the gold ends. I've had the ones with the GOLD PLATED ends. Makes no difference.

I don't have AS MUCH problem with the charging cables, but they eventually fail too. I've probably gone through a half dozen of those.

It's NOT the Nexus 9 I'm using - I have EXACTLY the same problem with my elderly Nexus 7. I even REPLACED the charging socket in the Nexus 7 tablet, and it STILL has cables fail.

No matter what I've done, EVENTUALLY, when I plug in the micro-USB into the tablet, and turn on the camera, Helicon Remote is NOT going to find a camera. SOMETIMES, for a while, I can move the plug slightly and it'll work, but that's generally the death rattle... Very shortly after that it's gonna quit working.

I don't abuse the plugs. I don't yank on things. I don't chew on 'em. I don't sit on 'em. I don't pull them on and off every couple seconds... In fact, I try very hard to disconnect at the USB-USB end and leave the micro-USB plugged in for the entire photo session to MINIMIZE messing with the plug. Doesn't seem to make any difference.

Does anybody have a recommendation for a source of USB-OTG cables that have lasted well for them when used regularly and for several hours at a session? 'Cause I'm at the point of ordering the stupid things a half-dozen at a time so I have a LOT of spares!

Re: USB On-the-Go cables

Posted: 31.08.2015 13:38
by Stas Yatsenko
Well, during the 1.5 years we've been using Nexus 7 for development we've broken 1 adapter. So it is an issue, but it seems that it's as severe for us as it is for you.

Re: USB On-the-Go cables

Posted: 01.09.2015 04:06
by dkperez

Well, I just put an order in for ANOTHER half dozen. I have no idea what I'm doing to these things, but they DEFINITELY quit working. And always the same way - the micro USB end gets loose, has to be fiddled with to work, then it fails completely.

Re: USB On-the-Go cables

Posted: 15.01.2016 14:41
by BStrauss3
Sorry for a late reply...

It sounds like the problem is on the device. There is a tiny bit of slop between the USB socket and the cable plug. There has to be or you couldn't ever get it inserted.

But it's only a flimsy metal shield on the socket end and if you've inserted cables off center over the years it will have slightly bent. That additional 'wiggle' is what makes the cables fail to connect.

Back-in-the day, they used to sell "port savers" for things like RS232 cables that were frequently inserted - idea being you had a semi-permanent male-female thingy that could be discarded and keep the actual # of cycles on the socket soldered to the expensive board down.

There is a Kickstarter (Znaps) that purports to solve this issue, unfortunately there have been several delays (so I don't have the product yet and can't say if it will work). There are knock offs being sold, albeit of questionable quality.

You can buy short USB M-F cables from all the usual vendors, but you would have to leave it attached to the device semi-permanently to reduce the cycles... not sure if you can live with a 3" cable hanging out of the phone...