Benson here again, continuing my reviews of USB Type C legacy cables. Today I am reviewing iOrange-E's "iOrange-E 6Ft (1.8M) Braided USB C Cable with Stepped Connector" This is an A-to-C legacy cable.
Let's talk about spec compliance. My test setup today include a Chromebook Pixel 2015, and a Chromium OS USB-PD Sniffer (codename Twinkie). Please check it out by searching google for "Chromium USB-PD Sniffer". This product is also available on Amazon here : Plugable USB 3.1 Type-C (USB-C) Power Delivery Sniffer
I got a comment in one of my previous reviews that I should be testing with a 2.4A capable power supply to demonstrate that the cable is of good enough quality to sustain 2.4A charging, so for this review, I am using one of Apple's 1st party power adapters with a 5.2V, 2.4A charging capability, specifically Apple's 12W iPad charger.
Running the ectool command on Pixel:
localhost ~ # ectool --dev 1 usbpdpower Port 0: SNK Charger Proprietary 4757mV / 2400mA, max 5000mV / 2400mA / 12000mW Port 1: SRC
In this case, the Pixel has negotiated up to 2.4A of charging through the iOrange-E cable to the Apple charger.
Switching over to the USB PD sniffer, I'll run the "tw cc" command to get a voltage reading on both CC lines: > tw cc CC1 = 23 mV ; CC2 = 427 mV
The important number to look at here is CC2, which indicates a voltage of 427mV. If you refer to the USB Type-C Specification 1.1 Table 4-25. Look at the row labeled vRd-USB, which indicates the legal voltage values to read from the CC pin in order to be categorized as "Default USB Power". The range is Min : 0.25V Max : 0.61V. For this cable, I measured a value of 427mV right in the middle of this range, indicating that yes, this cable has a 56kΩ resistor and is within spec for CC termination.
One more twinky command : > tw vbus VBUS = 4775 mV ; -2446 mA
The vbus command here uses twinkie's built in current and voltage meter. It's confirmed that Pixel is charging at 2.4A.
I have also done a 4-wire measurement of impedance on Vbus and Gnd using a bench LCR meter to see if this cable is within spec for IR Drop (Section 4.4.1 of the Type-C spec) : Vbus : 0.114Ω -> 342mV Gnd : 0.079Ω -> 237mV These are within the limits of 500mV for Vbus and 250mV for Gnd! Very good! This cable will not cause excessively slow charging.
For a USB 2.0 High Speed data test, I’ve hooked my Nexus 5X to my Chromebook Pixel via the iOrange-E Type-A to Type-C cable to test large file transfer via MTP. It just works, no problem!
For other more subjective judgements of this cable : iOrange-E has done some upgrades to this new 6ft cable! The Type-C plug is brand new for iOrange-E; it a very good quality plug made with a deep-draw extrusion process. The plug is a single continuous piece of metal all the way around, meaning it's stronger than other flat stamped type plugs. This type of plug very similar to the kind that is used on all of Google and Apple's Type-C plugs, and the quality shows here.
The overmold of the Type-C side of the cable is larger than iOrange-E's previous plugs, with a "Stepped" connector. Basically the overmold gets smaller as it gets closer to the Type-C plug. The idea is that this should make it easier to plug into tighter cases that don't leave a lot of room around the Type-C connector on phones. Overall, a good set of aesthetic and functional improvements from iOrange-E.
In conclusion, this is a fine cable for your Nexus 6P/5X to use with all of your older USB Type-A chargers, hubs, and PCs. It also works great with Chromebook Pixel 2015 and will work great on USB Type-C spec compliant devices to come!