"USB-A to USB-C" cable works, but "USB-C" cable doesn't

Hi All,

I’m building a blade from scratch. Setting up the USB-C charger. Using the USB TYPE C PORT AND LITHIUM ION BATTERY CHARGING KIT from SaberArmory. The schematic below:

When I connect it using “USB-A to USB-C” cable I get the power and also data transfer working. When I use regular USB-C cable - the data transfer doesn’t work, the device doesn’t show up in the Arduino studio. The power is provided through. The cable is working.

Makes me wonder why? The only difference from the diagram is that the micro-USB plug I got only has 4 pins, not 5 like in the diagram. I have connected the ground directly to the board. The board turns on when I plug in the USB-C cable.

Would appreciate help here. Thanks!

This is really a question for SaberArmory, since this is their stuff.

However, I will point out a few possibilities:

  1. There are plenty of cables that look like USB cables, but are in fact not. They are simply charging cables that use USB connectors. These cables generally do not carry data at all. (So maybe try a different cable)
  2. USB-C is reversible, but unless you follow the USB guidelines, the orientation actually matters. Have you tried simply flipping the usb connector over?
  3. the 5th pin on the micro-usb is not used by the proffieboard, so it should not matter that it is not connected. Also connecting the ground directly to the board should be fine. However, please note that the Proffieboard will not activate the USB circuits unless the +5v pin on the micro usb connector is connected.

@profezzorn, turns out everything is fine. Sometimes it takes longer for the USB port to show-up in the Arduino Studio. I guess I was just not patient enough and it was just a coincidence that micro-USB cable gets recognized much quicker. Both orientations now work.

The older style usb c connectors are just USB a to c. If you want proper usb c you need to get the shtok connectors. I’ve used both, Dmitry’s are new and they’re better for sure. Easier to fit into a tight spot too.

Not sure what you’re referring to. I thought Shtok connectors are for blades. What do you mean by “proper USB-C”? I’m sure that Proffieboard cannot handle full 10Gbps speed that “proper USB-C” was designed for.

I’m talking about power. Proffieboard can’t take more than an amp or so (I think. I pulled that number straight out of my behind) but it’s not about that. USB a to c charging is normal usb charging, just with a usb c shaped socket. This is because the usb c implementation is kind of a shit show. There are lots of devices that have a usb c socket that can’t charge with all usb c chargers. Awesome, right?

Dmitry makes a ton of pcbs, not just blade connectors. These are his usb c connectors.

These let you charge with anything usb c. Use these.

Proffieboards V2.2 do not charge from usb without extra circuitry.
Proffieboard V3s charges at 450mA.

This doesn’t mean anything. USB-A charging and USB-C charging is mostly the same thing. However USB-C is allowed to go higher in terms of mA, if all pads are used. Most of this is up to the charging chip, not the socket.

The biggest problem is that it’s inscrutable, you plug some things in, and if it doesn’t work, or is slow, the chance of figuring out why is essentially zero.

It’s impossible to do unfortunately. You can’t demand that all chargers supports all devices or vice versa, because that would make everything a lot more expensive. However, it would be nice to be able to know before you plug something in if it was going to work or not. (and why, if it doesn’t.)

I find this to be a bold claim. What makes these connectors different from other connectors?

That is a question for Dmitry. However I can tell you it works. On the older style connectors I have to use usb a to c to charge. With the new style I can use any USB c cable.

Oh, that one, yes I’m using that particular board from saber armory and the same diagram for charging and data. The only difference is that the micro-usb plug I got has only 4 connectors, not 5 like in the diagram, so I didn’t wire the group. The groung goes directly from the charger to the board. But it worked.

Sorry to resurrect this older post, but I have a question about using the saberarmory kit on a v3. Does the PCB still need to wired or can that be omitted to save space?

Presumably it can be omitted, but the saber will charge faster if you include it.


Thank you. I think a faster charge is worth the extra space usage. I’m modifying an LGT core with this kit and a Bluetooth module.