So You Broke Your Dongle…

By: Adam Swimmer

2 Min Read

23 Jan, 2022

Previously, we’ve talked about the USB-C connector and its capabilities. But while it offers many advantages in terms of functionality, it isn’t the sturdiest of connectors. It can be damaged if not used properly. Since LAVA’s SynC and SynC+ SimulCharge adapters use USB-C to connect with select Samsung mobile devices, we thought it is wise to share some of our engineers’ tips and tricks for making your USB-C connector last longer or to put it another way – this article is about how not to break your dongle.

Here are a few tips to ensure the longevity of the connector:

  • Don’t jam it in! Unlike USB-A and Micro USB connectors, USB-C connectors can be plugged in either way so there’s no fear of plugging it in upside down. It should fit in easily with no need to force it. If you have to force it, you’re doing something wrong. Doing so could damage or break your connector.
  • Don’t let the LAVA adapter hang from the cable. Make sure the adapter (or any other device attached to the USB-C cable) is sitting on a flat surface. There’s a good chance if you let the device hang, it will come loose and fall to the ground. Even if it does manage to stay in place, the weight of the dangling device could damage the connector or cause an intermittent connection.
  • For stability, it’s a good idea to wrap a rubber band or hair tie around the connector and adapter. Not only does this create a little pressure to hold the cable in place, it also provides some protection against vibrations. If the device starts to shake, the connector will shake in unison with it and so the connector won’t be bouncing around inside the port. Even if it does shake, the rubber band will act as a shock absorber and dampen some of the vibrations.
  • If the LAVA adapter is in a vehicle or an industrial setting where heavy vibrations are frequent, it’s good to add some insulation around the connector to serve as a shock absorber. Often, using a bit of foam will do the trick.
  • If the adapter is being used in a tight location with the person close by, it’s worth investing in a right-angle USB-C cable, where the connector sticks out to the side. This allows the cable to run flush against the back of the adapter and be out of the way. This reduces the chance the user’s hand/body will accidentally bump into the cable. While a single hit likely won’t harm the cable, repeated bumps over time could damage the wires and lead to an intermittent signal.
  • If you are putting the USB-C connector inside a casing, make sure it is free floating and not packed in tightly. External pressures exerting on it inside the enclosure could cause it to break.

These are just a few best practices to keep your USB-C connector in the best of condition. With these tips and tricks, hopefully, you will be able to use your USB-C cable for as long as you need to.