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Color coded USB-C cable ends

... and USB-micro, and Apple Lightning...
  (+4, -2)
(+4, -2)
  [vote for,

It used to be to be there was no way to mistake one type of USB connector for another - USB-A, USB-B, USB-mini, USB-micro. The only thing "universal" was that they were all different. And you could tell at a glance or by feel.

I have a few USB-C as well as USB-micro cables, and the ends are pretty close to the same size. And I have some USB-C to Apple Lightning adapter cables. Can't just reach into the bag and expect I've pulled out the right cable- I actually have to LOOK closely at the damned things.

Solution: A coding standard for the cable ends, by texture and colour, so you could tell be feel or at a glance (without squinting!) what's what. This isn't too much of a stretch, as the insides of a USB-A connector are often colour coded (link).

I just want it on the outside of the newer cables as well.

a1, Nov 07 2022

How to tell what type of USB connector you have by color https://www.geeksin...r-you-have-by-color
The receptacle's color is not part of the actual USB specifications and may vary from vendor to vendor. The following is a list of USB specifications and the color usually associated with it. [a1, Nov 07 2022]

USB cables https://xkcd.com/1892/
[a1, Nov 08 2022]

Why I want one side of any older type USB connector to have dots on them. https://www.smbc-comics.com/?id=2388
[a1, Nov 08 2022]

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       This is actually going to be a problem of the past soon. The EU passed a law, effective 2024, requiring virtually all electronic devices that have wired charging receptacles to switch to USB-C... So either Apple is going to finally get in line, or go fully wireless and either way, you're only gonna need one wired charger type lol
21 Quest, Nov 07 2022

       That EU law addresses new devices. Doesn’t address data and charging cables for huge number of legacy devices not due for replacement any time soon. Nor is my gripe an Apple Lightning specific issue.   

       Last year's Kindle comes to mind immediately. Garmin GPS units, bunches of rechargeable speakers, flashlights, security cameras, etc - all using USB.micro. We'll be having those for a few more years at least.
a1, Nov 07 2022

       Past 2024 you think, in relevant quantities?
21 Quest, Nov 08 2022

       So, are you referring to the plastic housing the metal connector tip sits in, or color coding the metal itself?
21 Quest, Nov 08 2022

       Colour coding the tips - (edit: the plastic casing around the tips) would be fine. And on USB micro or any other connector that isn’t reversible, a standardized braille-like dot pattern on one side of the connector to say “this is the fat side.”   

       I expect quite a few of these legacy items to last beyond 2024.
a1, Nov 08 2022

       Reason I ask is I'm foreseeing a few potential problems with either method of color coding them. If it's the metal, there's a question of how you color it without affecting performance. Anodizing or painting it will reduce, if not eliminate completely, its conductivity. If it's the plastic, there's the problematic existence of all the existing USB-C cables out there that happen to be colored just because people like colored cables, and those are out there in just about every conceivable color combination already. I'd say your best bet is to just buy all your USB-C cables in the same color, presumably one that you don't have for the other charger tip types. For cables that come shipped with devices, just wrap a piece of colored tape around the base.
21 Quest, Nov 08 2022

       I'm rather fond of the Apple lightning connector and will be sad to see it go. The rest of the ultra-smooth ultra-sharp stupid-to-grab wire design of it can go to hell though.
RayfordSteele, Nov 08 2022

       // just wrap a piece of colored tape //   

       Take a bun for yourself there - I already do this, twas the origin of the idea.
a1, Nov 08 2022

       I use my wife's nail polish to indicate the orientation of my USB connectors, marked on the cable and receptacle. Using different color polish for USB-A, USB-B, USB-mini, USB-micro, will save a lot of time sorting which cable to use. Just a little dab will do it.
el dueno, Nov 19 2022


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