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
11th Gen
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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One Response to Charging Radios – USB-C

  1. Colton says:

    Just got the XHData D-808 and plugging it in to the USBC charger I use for everything didn’t work. I thought I got a defective unit. Thanks to Google and your article I am now a little more educated and have confirmed the radio charges fine with the supplied cable. Thank you very much!!

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