Early on a Sunday morning, I got a Facebook message – would you like to review our new voltage monitor cable? In my pre-coffee state, I said yes and a few days later had the cable in my hands – remind me again why I’d wanted it? I’d just thought it sounded like an interesting thing to play around with but faced with the reality had to think of a real-world use for it.
A few minutes of deliberation and I actually had a useful use case. I’ve been picking up, trying and going through gadgets for around a decade and in all that time have gotten more USB chargers than you can shake a stick at. I’ve literally got a box full of them under my desk (hoarding is a problem I admit) and they’re hopeless muddled. Not all USB chargers or all USB batteries are created even. Some can put out a very small amperage only. Some a large amperage. Some have specific circuitry built in to adhere to specific standards. Ideally, you want to match a charger or battery to match what it’s charging. Most can downstep if need be but that’s not the most efficient way to handle things.
What I had in my hand was a way to see how much wattage and voltage the charger or battery was actually putting out which would let me sort out the good from the bad, the binnable from the useful. Once I was done I’d have an interesting cable left over which I could use when I needed.
So how did it work out? Surprisingly well. The LED display is very simple and retro but does exactly what it needs to switching back and forth between Amps and Volts around every three seconds. Plug one end into a battery or charger and the other into my phone and you get the figures of exactly what charge is flowing. With a very small amount of thought you can mark it down as a good one or one for the bin. I was able to work through my back supply in around fifteen minutes of plugging and replugging and consigned half the chargers I had to history.
Retailer: Amazon +
Price: ± £10.99
Choetech is a Chinese brand started in 2012 that specialises in chargers, charging cables and batteries.
- USB A to Micro USB with a USBA to USB-C version here
- Data transfer enabled with a quoted speed of up to 480Mbps
At ten pounds the cable compares surprisingly favorably to other quality cables which come in at around five pounds for a similarl build quality. That effectively means you’re paying five pounds extra for the extra abilities which isn’t a huge amount if you are in need of it.
Input DV 3.6V – 20V
Measurement range: 031 – 3.0A
Tolerance: 2% to 5% Max
Warranty: 18 months
The Cheotech current voltage monitor cable is unashamedly a niche product. Most people aren’t going to be in need of what it offers and simply won’t care how much voltage or amperage is flowing into their phone or device but if you do care the cable works well. Perhaps you’ve a collection of old chargers and batteries to sort like I did, perhaps you do phone repairs and would find the information useful or perhaps it’s just a talking point for your desk. If that’s you its an interesting ten pounds spent.
The review is based on the CHOETECH Micro USB Cable with Current Voltage Monitor kindly provided by Choetech. This article was first published on the 21st of February 2017.