Cables Move, Copper Breaks

The tape worked for a while…

This picture might look familiar. Well it is the fate of many USB and smart phone cables which see daily use. Sometimes I see people still using cables showing exposed internals at some risk. I used to advise taping up the ends to decrease the bending. I stopped doing that.

What you see here is a prime example of a manufacturer providing a cable that is not properly made for its use. Now my fascination with cables stems from my fencing days. In that sport competition is conducted with electric circuits where a pressed tip gives a valid or invalid signal. In order to keep that electric circuit working you need safe cables. I used to fence a lot and those cables were tough.

In audio and computer technologies you can also get safe cables. The better cables usually have thicker rubber or plastic for better isolation of the wire and ribbed ends to decrease the bending of the copper wire that transports the signal. Copper does not always have to be the metal inside. It depends on the demand of the end-user(s).

Phone cables though, especially the Apple ones are terrible. Without my added tape the cable for my old iPhone 4 would have broken within a year. I kept my 4S for two years with original cable and it was used every day. Additionally Apple demands premium (meaning “more expensive”) retail prices for a single cable without adapter. It is infuriating when you think about it. A standard Apple phone cable tends to break within a year of daily use.

The taping of cable ends is also something I do for my headphone cables that see daily use. Some manufacturers really skip on making the cable safe and durable. Thin and bendy cables are easy to fold up and store away. Thing is too thin and too bendy and your cable breaks sooner.

Those cables for your USB-devices and smartphones, get some quality ones. The badly designed ones can break…