Sunday, November 30, 2014

A Better Car Charger

We took a trip to Stillwater with some friends and our boys a few weeks ago, and we had inadequate car chargers.  It's not that we didn't have several and it's not that we didn't have the right cables, but they were slow when we were trying to charge multiple phones and iPads.  They were a hodgepodge of junk chargers that had been purchased who-knows-where and they were less than adequate for the 6 people in the vehicle.  When I got home, I fixed it, so I thought I'd share with everyone.

A great site I like to reference is The Wirecutter.  And, like many things, they had a Best USB Car Charger article that made it simple to choose and order. (If you're reading this post way down the road, The Wirecutter is great about updating their posts as new products are tested, so make sure and check out the link above for any updated recommendations)

TL;DR?  I'll summarize:

Your iPad wants 2.4A at 5VDC.  Most chargers can't deliver this continuously.  Many 2+ port chargers that advertize that they can, can't do it simultaneously for all ports.  You can fix that with the right hardware, and here is the right hardware:

Two Ports (24W)

Four Ports (48W)
Aukey Multi Port USB Car Charger:

If you're charging to a non-Apple device and want to make sure you're charging at full speed over a micro-USB port, they also recommend grabbing a "charge only" cable so there's no danger of your device negotiating a connection with your charger and turning down the juice.  They go on to recommend just such a cable:

Products referenced in this post:

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