Starting Lineup For Today’s Nascar Race

Can You Use Any Charger With Any Cell Phone, Notebook, Camera, or Tablet? 

Every mobile phone, notebook, and tablet seem to come with their own charger.  If you’re like me, you have probably compiled a number of chargers over the years.  So the question becomes: is it safe to use a charger with your phone, notebook, camera, or tablet that is not the original manufacturer’s charger that came with the device?

Types of Chargers

In this guide, we will concentrate on three types of chargers: laptop chargers, micro USB chargers (these are used with telephones, tablet computers, and cameras), and Apple Lightning Connectors.  Although some devices have chargers with a slightly different head or charging cable, these are the most frequent.

Laptop chargers are fairly unique to the device they include.  However, there can be some generic chargers which boast the capability to be interchanged between laptops.  This always requires changing of this charger”head” and may not be the optimal charging amperage or voltage to your device.

Micro USBs are designed to be interchangeable, and are standard in most smartphones, Android devices, and tablets.  Micro USB chargers typically have the exact same voltage, but may draw various amps.  I’ll explain this further later and how to know if the charger is safe to use (based on its listed amps and voltage).

Apple Lightning Connectors are standard on all new Apple devices, such as iPads and iPods. For older devices using a 30-pin charge port, a connector can be used to control the Lightning Connector.

The Plugs Must Be The Same

For a charger to be used on another device, it’s important that the plug  of the charger (the”head”) fit securely into the charging port of the device.  Micro USBs are the same across the board as far as charging heads, while laptop chargers are often specific to both make and model.  However, the plug fitting securely is only 1 part of this equation.

How Voltage and Amperage Matter

Somewhere on the power brick of the charger you will get a tag with the charger’s voltage (V) and amperage (A).  For other types of chargers, like a smartphone charger, this information is usually located at the bottom of the charger, in which it would meet up with the wall.  For the device you’re trying to charge, the voltage and amperage required will be found on the battery that came with the device or on the manufacturer’s website.

Voltage is how much power the charger will draw into the device, or just how much is being”pushed” to the apparatus by the charger.  A phone will usually pull up to approximately 5V, while a notebook can pull up to 25V.  A charger must equal the voltage needed by the device. 

Amperage is how quickly power is”pulled” into the apparatus, or how much power is used by the device.  The amount of volts will never change, but the quantity of amps that the system pulls may change based on how hard the unit is working.  The number that you locate on the battery that came with your device will be the maximum amount of amps that can be pulled from the device.  The amount found on the charger is how many amps can be pulled at once. In order to swap chargers, the amp number on the charger must equal or exceed the amp number listed on the device’s battery. If a unit is paired with a charger that cannot support the amp necessity, it can burn out the power supply and kill the apparatus.

So if you have a modern USB device (smart phone, tablet, or camera) you can plug into a high-amperage USB port and enjoy quicker charging (so long as the voltage is equal).  *Website Note: if you have an older device, it may not work with USB interfaces that employ the new Battery Charging Specification.

If The Micro USB  Charger’s Voltage Isn’t 5v…

Some devices might have their voltage listed with a plus/minus on it like this: 5v +- 5%.  If this is true, you may use a charger rated at 4.75 to 5.25v because that score is telling you is that the apparatus can take 5v minus 5% of 5v = 4.75 volts  OR  5v and 5 percent of 5v = 5.25 volts.  So this means anything between 4.75 t0 5.25v is safe to use (as long as the amperage of the charger is equivalent to or greater than the device’s listed amperage).

An interesting thing to note is chargers supply a higher voltage than the batteries that they charge.  That’s pretty much how they operate.  There needs to be a voltage differential to generate the necessary current flow in the correct way to charge the battery.  When you look at your vehicle, it has a 12V battery, but typical alternators provide 13.8 to 14.4V charging voltage to the battery.

The issue with knockoffs, especially cheap knockoffs, is they frequently don’t support the power requirements of the apparatus, or aren’t built to keep a steady flow safely.  Overall, it’s better to stay with the charger made for the device you’re using.

Now You Understand How to Safely & Effectively Swap Chargers

I hope this article was able to assist you.  Now you know how to safely and effectively use a charger that did not come with your smart phone, notebook, camera, tabletcomputer, or other device.  Be sure to follow what we said and you should be ready to go!


Starting Lineup For Todays Nascar Race

But many men and women find that they have to modify their car battery every 1 to 2 years.

And what can you do to prolong your vehicle’s battery life?

We’ll show you why automobile batteries die early…and what you can do to keep this from happening.

We’ll also offer you 8 simple tips and tricks to maximize the life span of your car’s 12 volt battery.

The tips we’ll teach you in this article will be easy to do…and anybody will have the ability to perform these (even if you know nothing about cars or car batteries).

So let’s begin! …

First, You Ought to Know That Every Car Battery Lifespan Has A Limit (but most people kill their battery well before it’s time)

Even if you care for your car battery perfectly…it will still die 1 day.

This set lifespan is called the battery’s”Calendar Life” and it’s completely independent of how many times the battery was charged or discharged.

Once a battery reaches the end of its”Calendar Life” it will become unusable.

But most car batteries never make it their full”Calendar Life”…

Rather, they die early because of poor maintenance and care…which you can do something about.

Lead acid batteries are the oldest, most reliable, and most widely used type of rechargeable battery in the world.

Lead Acid Batteries have three life phases — formatting, peak, and decline.

  • Formatting is when the battery is new and needs to be used gently.

  • Peak is the perfect performance phase, which we attempt to maintain for as long as you can.

  • Decline is a slow process, but one which gradually ends in the conclusion of the battery.

Batteries in decline can still be used for quite a while, but must be watched.

Around this time, you may either recondition the battery or keep a close eye on it and try to replace it until a problem arises (like being not able to begin your car for work).

Tip 1: Do a monthly review of the battery terminals to make sure they’re clean and rust free.   One of the first problems most people have with their car battery is the build-up of corrosion around the terminals.   Corrosion destroys the connection between the battery and the car and several batteries are replaced due to too much corrosive build up.   But often times, this is readily treated by simply pouring a small quantity of Cola or a DIY anti-corrosion paste (one part water to three parts baking soda) over the corroded areas. 

The acid in the Cola or the alkaline properties in the DIY anti-corrosion paste will eat the rust away.   After the corrosion is gone, use a clean damp rag or sponge to clean up the remaining residue and moisture. 

Tip 2: Don’t run any car accessories (lights, radio, or electronics) before turning on the car ignition and driving the vehicle.   When the car is on, the auto alternator generates electricity and charges the vehicle battery after the battery has a voltage drop.   But if the car isn’t on, and you are using the car’s electronics, you’re just relying on the car battery to power those electronic equipment. 

This is damaging to the car battery because car batteries are not meant for this sort of use.

Instead, car batteries are meant to provide a sudden burst of electricity for ignition.  They’re not made to provide prolonged power for electronics and other devices (that is what a deep cycle lead acid battery would be for).   Using your car battery for a battery that powers electronics, rather than a battery that just gives you a burst of electricity for ignition, will damage the battery and significantly shorten it’s lifespan if it’s repeatedly utilized in this fashion.   So avoid operating any car accessories or electronics while the vehicle is off.

Tip 3: Make sure the car battery is secure and has good battery wires.   The battery has to be secured at all times.  If a battery is jostling around it’ll be impaired and could short circuit.   This will ruin the battery — and even damage your car while creating a security risk.   The same could happen when you have awful battery cables (or they are not connected properly).  So check your cables and be sure they have a secure connection as well.

Tip 4: Insulate your car battery from extreme changes in temperature.  Protecting your vehicle battery from big changes in temperature will help maximize the battery’s lifespan.   To do this you can use a car battery insulation kit.   Newer model cars currently have these kits installed typically.  But if your car doesn’t have one, you can easily install one yourself.   Just make sure it fits your car’s battery compartment.  Generally the companies selling these battery insulation kits will have a form on their website where you can put in your car model and year, and it will tell you if your battery will match their kit — like here (top of page).   These protective battery sleeves are typically made from plastic or an acid resistant, thermal resistant material.   These automobile battery insulation kits will insulate your battery and protect it while still allowing appropriate ventilation.

Tip 5: Fully control your car battery at least once a week (use a car battery charger or interchange batteries if you have to).   Your car battery drains even when the vehicle is off.  That happens because current is drawn from the battery by car accessories (lights, radio, etc.) or the car computers.   This is why people come home from long vacations and locate their car battery dead.   But to avoid this, you can use either a car battery charger or a solar battery charger. 

Car battery chargers (solar or regular ) will maintain the optimum charge level of your car battery when the vehicle is not being used.   They do this by providing enough electricity for the car accessories and car computer, so that they do not continuously draw current from the vehicle battery when the car is off.   As you can imagine, these chargers are very useful…especially if you go on a trip or leave your car unused for a while.  They’re also helpful if you go on a lot of short car trips (like to work and back each day) and never give your battery a chance to fully recharge.  Repeatedly doing so can dramatically enhance your battery’s life — unless you use a car battery charger or interchange batteries, leaving one at home to fully charge.   The main thing to remember with this suggestion is…make sure you fully charge your car battery at least once a week because it will greatly increase the life of your battery.  Do this using a charger, interchanging batteries…or simply going on a car ride long enough to recharge the battery.

Tip 6: Check your vehicle battery’s water level.   Most car batteries indicate whether there is a demand for water.   So check the car battery water level indicator frequently and when water is needed, refill the battery with distilled water (and that’s important, ONLY use distilled water to refill your vehicle battery).

Tip 7: Do NOT overcharge your car battery.   Lead-acid batteries release hydrogen and oxygen gases when they’re overcharged.   This causes two problems:

  1. It can be volatile.

Tip 8: Assess your vehicle’s alternator.   If you are doing everything we’ve recommended in this article but your car batteries are still dying early, you’ll want to check your vehicle’s alternator (or get a mechanic to check it).   If your alternator is bad it will results in ineffective recharging of your battery and dramatically shorten your battery’s lifespan.