Bass on Bass

Monday, March 7, 2011

E-readers onThe Stormy Sea of USB

       Our son Jon and I discussed getting his mom a reader/tablet for her birthday (St Patrick's Day no less). I had asked Jeanne if she'd like a reader/ tablet for her birthday. I'd seen a "Cruz",  7" Reader at Tigerdirect  for $120. She said she wanted to wait since the product type was too young and likely much more expensive than it would become. Jon called a couple of days later and said he had a Kindle someone just gave him that had no charger. He said he'd give it to me to give Jeanne. We figured "how difficult can it be to get a charger?". Yesterday he just sent it home with his mom who was at their place to see the light of all of our lives, our only grandson Liam. So I started investigating a charger for it. It is a thoroughly intact 2nd generation 6" Kindle. The current one is 3rd generation I believe. It works except it's battery is too far discharged to do any reading. It turns out it uses a USB charger/ interface port to charge. That means any 1 amp USB adapter should work, right? I mean USB is USB right? WRONG PILGRIM, here's where it gets interesting. There are a plethora of USB connections and standards. See the Wikipedia page which covers it in depth. Here's the standard connector end views.
      I bought Jeanne a Blue Microphone "EyeBall" web-cam for her PC for Christmas which had only a 3' cable for use with laptops. I ended up having to order a 6' USB A male -Mini-B male cable + a spare to make it work . I had forgotten which non ordinary type it was. I also have a D,C,AAA,AA battery charger with a USB charging port. I figured I was set for the Kindle charging. Yeah , sure, guess again. Wonder of wonders, the spare cable i had didn't fit the Kindle on the small end. It needs a Micro-B not a Mini-B like I already had. 

Then I remembered the Universal Samsung Cell Phone Car Chargers both Jeanne and I have. There is a micro USB connector adapter in the kit I was able to use to charge my Bluetooth headset with. It is a Micro-B male which fits the Kindle just fine.

I still have to get a USB A male to Micro-B male cable to use to charge the Kindle indoors but at least I've navigated the Stormy Sea of USB successfully.


Willyvon1 said...

Just when you think the "storm" is over a new USB standard comes on the scene. It is USB 3.0. That Wikipedia article touches on the subject of USB 3.0 but only just. The new version, just like USB 2.0 is more about the data formatting than the physical connections so it requires the right electronics in connected devices to work at its 10s of times faster than USB 2.0 speeds. The connectors are different than USB 1.1 or 2.0 though. And... Just like before, Apple has their own competitor called Thunderbolt which is supposed to be several times faster than USB 3.0. The connectors look similar but who knows?

Willyvon1 said...

Oh that yellow thing in the cell charger kit is a Velcro "One-Wrap" it's a strap with hook material surface on one side and loop on the other and a widened end with a horizontal slot in it to allow capture on a cable. I had lost the adapter end for my cell phone in the car. It just popped off when I was stashing the charger in ther console without my seeing it happen. After I found it I decided to come up with a way to keep it from recurring, hence the "one-wrap" acptured on the main cable of the charger. As I said I use both the USB Micro B and the one of 3 Samsung custom adapters that fits my Samsung flip phone. Either or seem to be the cheapest sources for the "One-Wraps". They can get expensive elsewhere.