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Topic: Nintendo Switch: USB-C and Portable Battery Recommendations

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JaxonH

edited 4/20/17 see bottom of post

Been planning to make this thread for a while, but until now all anyone could do was speculate. With the system now being reviewed and ready to launch, it's time to start thinking about which cables to use. And it's a lot more complicated than some people think. I'll try to break it down the best I can.

Switch uses USB-C to charge. The standard AC Adapter that comes in the box is a 5V-15V 2.6A charger (max 39 watts, because Watts = Voltage X Amps). And although we don't know exactly how much, Nintendo did state Switch could charge faster via USB-C, which most chalked up to the fact direct USB-C can provide 3A over the 2.6 of the official charger. Standard USB cables can only provide 2.4A, and the standard voltage is 5V. So if you buy a USB wall charger or adapter, it's likely 5V with 2.4A for a total of 12W. But of course, USB-C can actually do up to 3A. I say CAN because all cables are different, and although all will advertise 3A, very few actually attain it.

So there's 3 components to consider here: 3rd party wall charger adapters, actual USB-C to USB-C cables, and portable batteries. Hoping to get some discussion going about what are our best options, and as people try different brands and cables and reviews come in, we can begin to form a list of top recommendations.

As for wall chargers, all come with different voltage and amp settings. A charger may say 27W, but may actually be counting total output from having a USB-C port at 5V 3A (15W) and a standard USB port at 5V 2.4A (12W). We only care about the USB-C if we want to take advantage of the full 3 amperes of current USB-C provides. I've been looking for a good, compact wall charger with retractable plugs and USB-C port which provides 15V 3A option... not having much luck. I checked the Nyko 3rd party wall charger for Switch, and it's a 2.4A charger (so, no advantage over any other) but doesn't specify if it's 5V or not. Either way, it's not 3A. There is a google charger with Benson Leung approved (get to that in a second) in-spec USB-C cable for $39.99, its compact and does 5V 3A. Until we can find one that's 15V 3A, this is the best it gets imo.

Google AC Adapter + USB-C to USB-C cable 5V 3A
https://store.google.com/product/usb_c_dual_port_charger

Nyko Switch AC Adapter + USB-A to USB-C cable ?V 2.4A
https://www.amazon.com/Nyko-Power-Kit-Nintendo-Switch/dp/B01N...

As for cables, it's very important to ensure they're in spec and 56k ohm certified to ensure devices don't pull more charge than they can handle, particularly for USB-A to USB-C cables, since the one end is standard USB and isn't 3A compatible (not to mention USB-C can carry 100W). There's also USB2.0, 3.0, 3.1 etc. But this is for data transmission. The 3.1 can transmit 10gb vs 5gb (I think?) for 3.0 vs 480mb for 2.0. But data transmission is not our focus here. We just need a good cable they can carry and transmit a charge and get the full 3 amp current. A Google engineer is taking USB-C cable manufacturers to task on Amazon reviews, after frying a device from an out of spec cable. I would not recommend buying anything that has not been okayed by Benson Leung. Possible exception being the USB-C cable that comes with the Pro Controller, since (I would assume) Nintendo will not be giving us cables that can fry our device (still need one tested to see how close to 3A it provides). Here's a Google Spreadsheet of Benson-approved cables thus far (oh, and he's actually getting a Switch, so maybe we can expect reviews for compatible cables, chargers and batteries from him)

Benson Leung Approved USB-C cables
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1wJwqv3rTNmORXz-XJsQaX...

As for portable batteries, there are many, and 5V is the best we're gonna get for Switch I think (could be wrong, please chime in if there's 15V!). But again, to get the fastest charge speeds we need a 3A current, which means we need USB-C. So far I'm eying the RavPower 20,100mAh (mAh = milliAmp hours) and the Anker 20,100

Anker 20,100mAh USB-C Portable Battery
https://www.amazon.com/Anker-PowerCore-Ultra-High-Capacity-Po...

RavPower 20,100mAh USB-C Portable Battery
https://www.amazon.com/RAVPower-20100mAh-Portable-Qualcomm-Ex...

I think the best solution would be, for fastest charging, the official Switch charger, USB-C to USB-C cable and portable battery all in the mesh net of Switch carry case. 1 Charge Switch from outlet using official charger 2 Charge portable battery from outlet using official Switch charger 3 Charge Switch from portable battery using USB-C to USB-C cable. The thing is, the official charger is kinda big (not that big but, there are smaller chargers, even if they don't have surge protection), and the cord is permanently attached, meaning you have to carry a separate one to charge from battery. If we could find a compact AC charger with foldable prongs and USB-C port so the cable is separate, we could just have the tiny foldable USB-C charger, a USB-C cable and portable battery all in the case (which would have a better chance of fitting). Downside is, even at 3A I doubt anything will charge as fast as the official charger, simply due to the fact it's charging at 15V vs 5V, and the 2.6A (even given it's not 3A) is faster than 2.4. Basically, it's doing 39W. Only a 15V 3A USB-C charger would have a chance at topping it with 45W.

AFTER MUCH TESTING, RESEARCH AND VERIFICATION FROM OTHERS ONLINE, WE CAN NOW FOLLOW THIS (whoever made it, thank you)

Untitledfree image hostcertificity.com

I can also make a strong recommendation for the best battery and charger on the market, for the money, and for the fastest charge times- Power Delivery is the crucial feature to look for, but some PD chargers I tried didn't deliver more than 5V, so here are my top recommendations

Battery
Anker PowerCore+ PD 26,800mAh
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01MZ61PRW/ref=oh_aui_detai...

Comes with PD wall charger, and both charge Switch as fast as official charger thanks to the Power Delivery. Hot item sold out same day it released, but I'll be back. And, unlike the $75 RAVPower PD battery, it doesn't require putting Switch in Sleep Mode first

Wall Charger
Aukey Amp Duo PD
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01LX063QN/ref=oh_aui_detai...

Smallest PD charger I have found, actually charges slightly faster than official charger, and, it comes with built in adapter for USB-A ports. You won't find a better charger for Switch. However, if buying the Anker battery + charger listed above, you can probably skip this since the Anker PD charger also works great, even if it is a bit bigger and has no USB-A adapter. Recommended to use with CableCreation 6ft right angle USB-C cable and $10 iVAPO tripod for super portable charging in tabletop mode.

Edited on by JaxonH

PLAYING
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Jesus is Lord.

veeflames

@JaxonH Thank you for this. While I'm not getting the Switch at launch, I'm thinking of starting to get some of the accessories I want for the Switch right now, and a power bank is right at the top of the list.
So yeah, thanks for the recommendations.

God first.
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3DS Friend Code: 1134-8006-9637 | Nintendo Network ID: VolcanoFlames

JaxonH

@Vee_Flames
No problem.

I'm no expert, but hopefully we can clear up some confusion by pooling our knowledge here. I'm sure there's some techie experts bound to chime in at some point

PLAYING
NS: Warioware, Cruis'n Blast, Ni No Kuni 2
3DS: Metroid Samus Returns
Steam: Horizon Zero Dawn, Deathloop, Tales of Arise
PS5: Spiderman, Ghosts of Tsushima
MOST EXCITED FOR
NS: Metroid Dread, Monkey Ball, SMTV

Jesus is Lord.

skywake

It should be noted that the Pro Controller and Charging Grip both come with charging cables. USB A to USB C. And while you won't be able to fast-charge with USB A it should be enough for most scenarios. Your battery will slowly drain while playing Zelda for example but it'll charge it up just fine while playing less demanding games or while idle.

If you got a portable battery for Pokemon Go and get a Pro Controller? You're basically set.

Some Aussie musics: Pond, TFS, Genesis Owusu
"Don't stir the pot" is a nice way of saying "they're too dumb to reason with"

JaxonH

@skywake
That may be enough for some people, but I want the fastest charging possible. And I'd like to squeeze enough juice from the portable battery that it doesn't slowly drain, but rather holds steady. A full 3A charge through USB-C to USB-C might be enough to make the difference.

As for wall charging, the official charger charges to 90% in 2 hrs, and I don't think anything will top that. It could, with a 15V 3A USB-C wall charger, but even if we can't find one that matches the same output of the official charger, just getting one that's smaller with foldable prongs and detachable cable would be a win in my book.

PLAYING
NS: Warioware, Cruis'n Blast, Ni No Kuni 2
3DS: Metroid Samus Returns
Steam: Horizon Zero Dawn, Deathloop, Tales of Arise
PS5: Spiderman, Ghosts of Tsushima
MOST EXCITED FOR
NS: Metroid Dread, Monkey Ball, SMTV

Jesus is Lord.

erv

Nice thread.

I'm currently eyeing a powerbank that has 3a out. It is only 5v though, which makes sense considering the usb a plug.

I'll check the cables too. I expect to play this on the go and to carry it along quite a bit, and bringing a charger is a no go with the concept of extra stuff to carry and the dependency of a wall outlet.

Any powerbank out there with proper usb c out? I've got a MacBook pro charger that has it but other than that...

Switch code: SW-0397-5211-6428
PlayStation: genetic-eternal

Nintendo Network ID: genet1c

erv

@McGruber that's the thing: you CAN go wrong. It charges at 1amp, and no excess capacity. That bank is smaller than the entire switch battery, so don't expect to get anything more than 80% of an extra charge at a very, very slow rate.

Switch code: SW-0397-5211-6428
PlayStation: genetic-eternal

Nintendo Network ID: genet1c

McGruber

@erv I figured something like that, but maybe there are people like me who don't want to spend more than $15 on a power bank. A little extra juice is all I think I'll ever need for Switch because I doubt I'll take it outside much. This is a great battery to have for a phone though, and it charges my phone faster than any wall charger I have.

McGruber

Nintendo Network ID: McGruber

erv

@McGruber oh it's not a useless product, far from it. The use case with the switch is likely to be different though, which is why it matters for some people

As a sidenote, when picking cables, check out the better quality ones. You'll basically want one that has a good rating (usb 3 to usb c of course) instead of just the cheapest. There's a nice article for those who want to learn more about it here: http://goughlui.com/2014/10/01/usb-cable-resistance-why-your-...

I'm picking up a powerbank that has 5v 3amp out in a usb-a plug. One good usb-a to c cable is all I need. Macbook pro chargers announce themselves gradually upwards (5v 2.1 amp, 9v 3amp etc) so I expect that one to be compatible too.

A good quality cable that has a low awg rating and aomething like usb 3.1+ spec on the usb-a end should be good.

I've got to say, if powerbanks with usb-c out were more affordable, I'd get one. But I don't want to spend 90 euros for one. I appreciate a quality product but that's too much for now.

Switch code: SW-0397-5211-6428
PlayStation: genetic-eternal

Nintendo Network ID: genet1c

McGruber

@erv This is going to be my first USB-C device (followed by HTC 10 ). Will USB 2.0 to USB-C charge it significantly slower than USB 3.0? And do we know how long the Switch's charging chord is? I plan on playing in handheld mode in my apartment a lot since my TV and my bed are not in the same room, so a long cable would be ideal.

McGruber

Nintendo Network ID: McGruber

ProjectX1991

A real quick question (this kind of stuff confuses me).

So I got this power bank last year: Click Me

I've also purchased the Belkin USB A to USB C cable (on the Benson approved list)...so will the output of my charging bank that I already have potentially damage my Switch? All this amps/watts etc confuses me! Haha.

Edited on by ProjectX1991

ProjectX1991

erv

So off the top of my head, usb 2.0 was designed for up to 0.5amp, which is not enough throughput. 3.0 had the idea of 0.9 up to 1.5 through clever wiring, but that won't suffice either. Or, not that much.

3.1 has support up to 5amps if I'm not mistaken. Google me on these things, I might mix them up.

So if the usb-a connector has output of 3amps, make sure the cable is at least usb-a to usb-c with the usb-a end being graded at version 3.1. Usb c cables, if not the rock bottom cheapest, will have more power throughput capability.

Longer cables mean total voltage drops as the current isn't much to begin with. But usb-c cables solve for that mechanic somewhat.

So a usb-c output on the adapter means the best case scenario. If the charger you use has usb-a (the classic one) out, you'll end up with a max voltage of 5, usually, which is prone to drop over length.

So yes: 2.0 in general charges way slower. 3.1+ is where you want to be. The length will be your enemy though - hence, powerbanks...

Switch code: SW-0397-5211-6428
PlayStation: genetic-eternal

Nintendo Network ID: genet1c

erv

ProjectX1991 wrote:

A real quick question (this kind of stuff confuses me).

So I got this power bank last year: Click Me

I've also purchased the Belkin USB A to USB C cable (on the Benson approved list)...so will the output of my charging bank that I already have potentially damage my Switch? All this amps/watts etc confuses me! Haha.

Real good questions. The blowing up part is a voltage thing. (Edit: it's an overcharge, technically. Zap zapp. Blowing up is resistance related.) We measure total watts as amps * voltage.

So higher amps don't matter. Too high a voltage means damage. More amps means more to draw in a shorter amount of time: higher throughput.

In short: the output being 5 volt, you will never blow up anything. I don't know what the switch max voltage is (if the charger can seed 15 volts, let's assume that) and then finding a powerbank that outputs that kind of charge takes away the portability lol.

So 5 volts will always be safe. You can feed it 7 amps or 8 amps, it won't matter - the battery in the switch will just draw the amount it can. at 5 volts, that would be 5*amperage in watts.

The dilemma comes from charging speed. If the amperage is low, the speed goes down. If you are able to draw 2 amps, a rough calculation is switch battery capacity / amp feed.

4.3 amps/hour (4310 mAh - now you know what that stands for ) / 2 makes for a charge time of 2 hours.

In theory...

Edited on by erv

Switch code: SW-0397-5211-6428
PlayStation: genetic-eternal

Nintendo Network ID: genet1c

ProjectX1991

@erv I realise my link was broken to Amazon...fixed now.

Ahh ok - so technically the powerbank I has does auto-detecting on the device it's connected to deliver its fastest possible charge speed with 2.1A (max) output and 5V...so technically that should be safe and ok for the Switch?

Thank you so much for the explanation I think I get it.

ProjectX1991

skywake

@erv
Technically USB 1.0/2.0/3.0/3.1 is mostly about the speed. You can have USB 2.0 ports that support more W than some USB 3.0 ports. USB Type A, B & C refer to the cables and ports themselves. The power spec is again a separate thing. In general if a port is USB 3.1 it's probably Type C and it likely can supply more power. If a port is Type C it's more likely to be 3.1 and it's more likely to supply more power. But they don't always go together.

The Type C connector does support upto 100W of power delivery. Type A/B does not

Edited on by skywake

Some Aussie musics: Pond, TFS, Genesis Owusu
"Don't stir the pot" is a nice way of saying "they're too dumb to reason with"

erv

@ProjectX1991 Yep. The confusion is not your fault. Add in cheap cables that can't carry the amperage and things start to dazzle.

Your powerbank is safe. If it's optimal, it might even charge the switch in about two hours when it's off. When gaming, it'll probably just slow draining it.

Switch code: SW-0397-5211-6428
PlayStation: genetic-eternal

Nintendo Network ID: genet1c

erv

@skywake that's what I though too, until I googled the amperage specs. you'll want that 3.1+ cable to get over the 1.5 amps the others have... usually.

With the awg value mixed in (one is for data, one is for power) I now understand why some cables are cheap and some are expensive.

For instance, I'll buy a cable with 30awg for data and 22 for power. Sturdy and charges the device quick enough.

I still wonder why nintendo is so conservative in its charging speed estimates though. If the switch really is able to pull 2.6 amps, then the switch should charge to full charge within 1 hour and 45 minutes or something - switched off of course.

Switch code: SW-0397-5211-6428
PlayStation: genetic-eternal

Nintendo Network ID: genet1c

JaxonH

@ProjectX1991
If it's on the list, and says OK on the right (they either say yes or no on the right side) then it's in spec. You should have nothing to worry about.

But be sure to check the ratings for it. It may only be 2.0 (Im looking for 3.1 just in case) and it may have someone who tested it who says ya, it only gets 2.7A instead of the full advertised 3A. So keep other factors in mind as well. The list is just to ensure they meet specification. There are some details on the Sheet as well like Amps and stuff

Edited on by JaxonH

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NS: Metroid Dread, Monkey Ball, SMTV

Jesus is Lord.

OorWullie

My phone,the One Plus 3 has a thing called "Dash Charge" ,it's seriously quick.It charges the 3000mAh battery from 0 to 60% in 30 minutes whether I'm using it or not.Even using the most intensive apps on my phone,nothing seems to slow it down..I'm pretty sure it's the fastest phone charger around or at least it was when it came out.The newer 3T model has a 3400mAH battery and it retains the same speed.I'm pretty sure it's designed specifically for these phones though but I might be wrong.

Will this be safe to use on the Switch?

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