53rd #USB #TypeC analysis: +RAVPower Super-C Series 30W Wall Charger [Model RP-PC018] that comes with [RP-PB058] battery.
tl;dr: VERY BAD. Mis-programmed and claims 45W electronically, when is only 30W physically, so overloads itself. This needs to be recalled. Just look at the first picture: I had to abort the run (burning plastic smell).

This charger/battery is on loan from +Benson Leung. I will return it to him once this evaluation is complete.

If it weren't for the flawed USB-PD controller chip programming, I would actually have given this charger a high rating. It has linear IR drop compensation (very good), and "current limit shutdown" overcurrent protection (very good). If only RavPower didn't botch the USB-PD programming as 45W. :(

(Please note even if the USB-PD chip is fixed, the overcurrent levels must be reprogrammed to match the proper new rates. See footnote: based on its weight, it is around a 22.5W design.)

The first picture shows me hooking it up to my load testers at the "45w" level it claims to support using a +Total Phase USB-PD analyzer and Datacenter visualization suite. You can see the RavPower rapidly overloads in under 3 minutes (by the uncontrolled ripple noise in the voltage), then starts sagging to unsafe levels (downward trend). What you don't see is the charger heating up so much I had to use gloves to pull it from the wall. When it started smelling like burned plastic I aborted the test.

It also suffers from the "Split PDO" issue. The 20v level is not advertised at all, unless there is a very specific sequence of commands issued in a certain order. This is a signature of a "hack" workaround charger manufacturers use to support old/obsolete/unpatched Apple devices. As a result, they break basic functionality for everything else.

As I've noted before: as a direct result of Apple jumping the gun with USB-C and doing their own proprietary thing, Apple is responsible for causing a LOT of fallout in the USB-C ecosystem. This is just one example. When directly confronted about this, manufacturers (including some big-name ones) have openly stated it was for "compliance (sic) with Apple devices".

I will publicly state that only the USB-IF dictates "compliance" -- not Apple. And Apple themselves are subservient to the USB-IF. In fact, Apple are even chairing members of the USB-PD2.0 Power Rules spec. So this behavior by charger companies is pointless and counterproductive. Apple should update their firmware to support USB-PD2.0 standards compliant equipment -- not the other way around!

In short: this wall-wart charger is dangerous. Do not use it.

Next up I'll look at the [RP-PB058] battery itself. It's one of the few USB-PD battery packs out there, but suffers from some of its own issues.


Footnote: This charger weighs 75g. Per my "grams-per-watt" study in my previous post here, that corresponds to internal components supporting about 22.5W of capacity. Although highly informal, this "rule of thumb" suggests major design issues one way or the other.

[Plus] Analyses RavPower RP-PC018
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