Every once in a while, we’ll do something stupid that causes one of the few (or in some cases the only) micro usb cable we have on hand. This may not be a big deal to most people as they would ordinarily just run out and buy a new one.
One little problem though. What if it’s the middle of the night, you don’t have access to a car or all the stores are closed? How about if you just need it repaired due to the fact that your phone needs a really bad charging?
It’s happened to all of us. (Anyone who relies on their phone anyway).
There’s only one thing to do. Fix it. This is just a quick how-to on making the temporary (although, it could be permanent fix) to a USB cable that just “broke”.
This article addresses the quick and dirty way to get your USB cable working in a jam so that you can charge your phone or (in a pinch), do a USB sync.
If you’re using the cable to charge your phone, use method 1 below. If you actually need to sync, use method 2.
Method 1 (Charging)
If your phone just needs a charge, we’re going to cover how to turn that broken cable into a “charge only” cable. This will allow your phone to actually charge faster than a traditional phone cable. If you desire so, you can also go out and buy a larger amperage (Anything over 1 AMP) car charger or desk charger for USB devices and your phone should / will charge at a faster rate (if the phone supports it).
1. Cut off the broken part of the cable on both ends.
2. Carefully peel away / cut away the insulation on the cable and you will see 4 wires. The four wires will be colored (Red, Black, White, Green).
3. Carefully strip the 4 wires on each cut end of the cable (you should have 2 ends).
4. On the end facing (going to the phone [with the micro usb or mini usb connector]), just twist the white and green wires together. (You’re effectively shorting them out). This is OK to do. What this does is tell the phone that you’re connected to a charger and to draw as much current as it can get. (This means fast charging people).
5. Reconnect the other two wires to their like pair. (Red to Red and Black to Black). On the other side of the cable (the side going to the charger), just simply cut them off and don’t strip them. They will NOT be reconnected to anything.
6. Insulate the wires (If you can get yourself some electrical tape, it would be great). Wrap the whole bundle with tape again and you’re done! The cable is now what is called a “Fast Charge USB cable that is charge only”.
This will not hurt your phone. It’s what is built into all / most android phones to help it determine whether or not it’s connected to a charger. If the phone senses the data connections are shorted, it will assume it is connected to a charger and draw as much current as it can. If the data wires are not shorted, the phone assumes it is connected to a computer and will only draw 500 milliamps.
You can literally cut your charging time in more than half in many cases.
This method is just for preserving the cable for both data transfer (in a clinch) and charging. Using this method is only a stop-gap measure and I do NOT recommend using the cable for data transfers long term as the data connections are not shielded.
1. Cut the USB cable and remove the damaged portion of the cable.
2. Carefully slice away the insulation on both sides of the cable revealing the 4 wires on each piece of the cable.
3. Splice them taking care to NOT cut the individual wires.
4. Connect the wires to their “like” colors. (Red to Red, White to White, Black to Black, Green to Green).
5. Insulate the individual cables separately with tape (electrical if you can find it) and of course, tape the whole bundle again.
6. The cable should be working now.
Here’s the big question… So you’re in a hotel, it’s the middle of the night. Where do you get electrical tape right?
Answer: Call maintenance, flip him / her a five note ($5.00) and ask them for some electrical tape. They’ll be more than happy to go get you a roll.
What if you lost your charger and need the actual charger portion? Go to the front desk and ASK VERY NICELY to borrow one of the cell phone chargers they have in their lost and found box. Tipping those people would be a good thing. It will make them realize that you truly appreciate it.
Well.. there’s my tip of the day. I personally like Method 1. It’s quick and provides long-term benefit.