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Customer Review

TOP 500 REVIEWERon December 30, 2015
Full disclosure off the bat : The folks at Black Squid got in touch with me and offered a discount code to cover the cost of their USB 3.0 A-to-C cable.

Benson here again, continuing my reviews of USB Type-C legacy cables, adapters, and accessories.

Today I am reviewing Black Squid's USB Type C Cable (3.3ft/1m) - Type A to Type C Reversible - USB 3.0.

Let's check spec compliance :
I'm using my trusty Chromebook Pixel 2015 with the Chromium Twinkie USB-PD Sniffer, available on Amazon from Plugable : Plugable USB 3.1 Type-C (USB-C) Power Delivery Sniffer

For my first test, I've got the Black Squid USB 3.0 Type-A to Type-C cable plugged into an Apple proprietary Type-A charger, the stock iPad Air 2 charger.

The Type-C end is plugged into Twinkie, acting as a pass through to Chromebook Pixel 2015. Picture attached!

First let's run the ectool command from Pixel's command line to check what Pixel thinks is happening on its USB-C ports :

localhost / # ectool --name cros_pd usbpdpower
Port 0: SNK Charger Proprietary 4706mV / 2000mA, max 5000mV / 2000mA / 10000mW
Port 1: Disconnected

So far so good. Pixel identifies the charger as a Proprietary type adapter, and has negotiated 2A 10W of charging.

Let's see what Twinkie (the USB PD sniffer) says :
> tw cc
CC1 = 7 mV ; CC2 = 438 mV

The tw cc command reads the instantaneous voltage values from the CC pins. As you can see here, CC2_PD pin has a value of 438mV. Referring to the USB Type-C Specification Table 4-25 Voltage on Sink CC pins, this voltage falls right in the middle of the range allowed for vRd-USB, meaning that yes, this USB cable has the correct 56kΩ pullup resistor!

One more command :
> tw vbus
VBUS = 4691 mV ; -2036 mA

The tw vbus command uses twinkie's current and voltage meter ability. As you can see, the laptop is pulling just around 2A of current at 4.691V from the Apple adapter.

For a USB 2.0 High Speed data test, I’ve hooked my Nexus 5X to my Chromebook Pixel via the BlackSquid Type-A to Type-C cable to test large file transfer via MTP. It just works, no problem!

For a USB 3.1 SuperSpeed data test, I've hooked up my Pixel C to a Windows 10 laptop using the BlackSquid cable, and verified that it indeed enumerates at SuperSpeed using the USBView.exe app, and that large file transfers are stable. This is a great cable to have for MacBook users especially who want to use Target Disk Mode, which requires a SuperSpeed capable USB cable.

Now for more subjective judgments of this cable : The Type-C plug on this cable is a stamped metal part that's been wrapped around to the shape of the plug. It does have a seam on one side. What impressed me about this cable is although it is a USB 3.1 SuperSpeed cable, meaning it has four extra wires to support SuperSpeed mode, it is not substantially thicker than many of the USB 2.0 only cables I've seen. It's quite thin and flexible still.

In conclusion : A high quality charging and data sync A-to-C cable from BlackSquid! The cable is a great safe way to charge and sync newer USB Type-C devices such as Nexus 6P/5X or Pixel devices with your old Type-A equipment. It is future proof for fast charging USB Type-C devices to come, as well as future proof for USB 3.1 SuperSpeed devices!
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Product Details

4.1 out of 5 stars
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