Charging Radios – USB-C

USB-C connector – Raddy RF75A

Houston, we have a problem.

A reader commented on a problem charging an XHDATA D-808 radio with a USB-C to USB-C cable. The XHDATA supplied USB-A to USB-C cable worked, but not the other.

This reminded me of something from a user guide:

TYPE-C input
a. TYPE-C data cable… Please connect 5V charger, computer interface, standard USB output port, etc. Please do not connect the phone fast charger; the phone fast charger output has 9V or 12V. It may burn the machine. This machine has done this protection, but the risk still exists. …

— LiJiANi Rd239 User Guide (V3.0)

I’ve been doing some testing with a standard USB-C end-to-end cable with 4 USB chargers:

  1. An outlet strip with USB-A and USB-C ports, labeled with aggregate capacity of 3.1A.
  2. A Bscane portable charger (photo below).
  3. Tesla Model Y (2023) vehicle
  4. Apple 20W wall wart
Bscane portable charger
(click to expand)
Device/ChargerOutlet stripBscane portable chargerCar20W Apple charger
HanRongDa
HRD-701
YNNN
LiJiANi
Rd239
YNNN
Raddy
RF75A
YNNN
XHDATA
D-109
YNNN
XHDATA
D-109WB
YNNN
XHDATA
D-608
YNNN
XHDATA
D-808
YNNN
Kindle
11th Gen
YYYY
Enegon camera batteryYYYY
Will it charge?

There are two types of charging under the USB standard, standard charging and advanced power delivery. USB-C devices that can be charged are supposed to provide specified resistance across certain pins to tell the charger what power and voltage the device needs — no resistance, no power. My outlet strip doesn’t implement USB-C power delivery and it will send 5V down the cable no matter what is attached.

The problem with the radios is that they do not implement the USB-C standard — basically they are designed like a Micro USB radio with a different jack substituted, and that’s why they only come with USB-A to USB-C cables. A USB-C compliant charger will not respond to them.

So no, your smart phone charger with a USB-C end-to-end cable is not going to charge your XHDATA D-808 or any other radio I own with a USB-C charging jack.

I found a relatively simple solution, a USB-C to USB-A adapter. I got two of them on Amazon for $6.99. Plug the adapter into the USB-C port and then plug the cable that comes with the radio into that. There are also more compact versions without the cord.

To learn more about the USB-C charging standards, I recommend the following video — just ignore the title and opening graphic because this is exactly the cable to use for your portable radios.

About Kevin

Just an old guy with opinions that I like to bounce off other people.
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