Understanding The Science Behind USB Cables
When you are looking at USB cables, it is easy to think that they comprise a single wire that connects to the USB terminal. In reality, USB cables are made up of multiple wires that are encased in the single cable that you can see. Each of those wires serves a critical function.
In this article, we look at the inner workings of USB cables to help you get a better understanding of them.
USB cables and associated terminals are used in a wide variety of devices and for multiple uses. They help connect devices to each other as well as help in charging and transfer of data. USB cables come in different types for various roles. For example, USB A is the most common variant and is most likely what is offered on your laptop for connecting storage devices, printing devices, and so on. USB-B is an older version and not as common as it used to be.
It features a narrow head that is almost square in shape. Others include the mini-USB that is likely to be used in mobile devices. USB cables can also be classified according to the speed at which they can transfer data.
Workings of USB Cables
If you were to cut your USB cable, you would notice that there are wires with multiple colors. We will explain to you what role each wire plays.
Red – This is the wire that transmits positively charged power to the device. This is critical for devices that also draw their power from the USB connection as well. Good examples include speakers and other audio devices.
Black – The black wire is known as the ground wire. The purpose of this wire is to redirect excess power safely away so that it does not damage your device or the wiring of your USB cables.
White – This wire is for data transfer although, in many devices, it also acts as the positive wire in the setup.
Green – This wire is also for data transfer although just as in the case of the white wire, it may serve as the negative wire in the setup.
It is important to note that in some devices, the color code may be different and the wires may be orange, white, green, and blue. In such devices, the different colors work in the same way as the earlier example. This means the orange wire works in the same way the red one works and so on.
Why Knowing this Matters
The USB cable of your device could easily break when you are on a trip and unable to get a replacement. As a stop-gap measure, many Americans in such situations simply splice the cables together. Without knowing what wire plays what function, this simple task becomes extremely difficult to undertake.