USB Lead (and the state of modern tech and advertising)

I wanted a simple dumb USB power lead, basically from USB-A with GND and 5V to a USB-C plug, for my coasters.

I looked and I looked, I could not find anything simple. Indeed this is typical of the things I found:-

As you can perhaps see, it shows a lot of active components in the USB-C plug. Indeed, it claims advancements from 2018 (1A) to 2020 (2A) and 2022 (3A) charging, perhaps justifying these many active components.

I did not want that, I did not even need D-/D+ connecting, just GND and 5V, so I looked and looked, and eventually decided to get some anyway. Basically as long as they worked for power, I could ignore the extra "tech" that may be in there.

I suspect you can all guess what happened next...

I got an extra lead, so I could cut it open. It is surprisingly hard to cut off the plastic/rubber with a broken elbow and bruised wrists, but I managed...

Yep, there are no active components, this is, indeed, just GND, 5V, D- and D+ connected. Indeed the other side is not much more and seems to be one resistor fitted. It may be there were 2 and I killed it with a pen knife - that would be consistent with CC1/CC2 connections to tell a device this is a dumb USB-A passthrough.

So this is what I wanted, a simple GND/5V pass through.

But in what way could this remotely be an improvement from the 2018 1A design or 2020 2A design? I mean how is this remotely as depicted. How is this remotely legal advertising?

Update: They are offering me a full refund, if I ask for it - wanna bet it will be in exchange for cancelling review? TBH not bothered about a refund.


  1. I suppose it could be using thicker cores in the cable to support the higher current, but I wouldn't bet on it

  2. If you knew you were going to have to buy the USB power cables for the coasters, wouldn't a hardwired/captive USB A cable made more sense - one less connector, one less potential mechanical point of failure. Indeed, integration of an 18650 battery holder might make for an even tidier solution. (You wouldn't need the charging circuitry on the coasters, you could source 18650's by recycling laptop batteries if you were worried about the cost).

    1. I suspect an 18650 would make for a somewhat thicker coaster than intended.


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