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[Attack of the Cables!] 11th #USB   #TypeC  analysis: Anker PowerLine 3.1Gen2 "100W" USB-IF Certified eMarked C-C cable. [Model A8185011.]
tl;dr: BAD. Spec-violating. eMarked 3A, not 5A. High IR drop. Lies about device, makes charger Vbus HOT. Somehow slipped by USB-IF Certification.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01HI00NCY/

[PDF of Cable Checklist for Anker A8185011]
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B2OJRSgNnm4GS05DQ3o1Y2hTNTA
(These analyses will be a lot shorter, and rapid-fire. READ THE PDF.)

I honestly don't know how this got USB-IF Certification. It completely undermines the argument I made in an earlier post entirely.

A Tale of Two Cables: Why certification matters
https://plus.google.com/102612254593917101378/posts/HT15kaqpRwG

The Anker Powerline I got from Amazon claims to be 5A/100W, but the eMarker data only says 3A/60W. So it won't work as advertised when plugged into devices that actually DO use 5A. So false advertising.

Furthermore, the cable appears to have a Rp inside of it that fakes the existence of a device. This breaks chargers and makes them Vbus HOT/dangerous.  It will also break a ton of devices you plug it into -- since the Rp pulldown will be "doubled up". 5V Vconn voltages are also passed through to the CC pin (3.3 or 5v), which is BAD. 5v bleeding into a 3.3v circuit is BAD NEWS BEARS.

 My N6P would not charge rapidly at all when plugged into this. (1200mA max, "Charging").

All in all this is a total bust and I'm super disappointed. On the flipside, being able to fact-check the eMarker data means I can call out manufacturers on these shenanigans.

Details/proof in the PDF report.
#USBC
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Brian Lee's profile photoPaul Billingslea's profile photoTracy Cheong (SillyChibi)'s profile photoNathan K.'s profile photo
14 comments
 
+Nathan K., I'm still trying to find a contact at Anker to refer to this. Apparently there's a Typhoon in Southern China, so no one in Shenzhen is at work.
 
I wonder how long before they get sued for damaging peoples equipment.

They NEED to get sued. Someone needs to expensively and very publicly cost them a lot of money as a deterrent to the whole industry.
 
+Timothy Poplaski While I'm sure the schadenfreude would feel good momentarily, the long-term implications are worse. Rather than rap on the bad, I'd rather adulate the good. PS: I've already blown up a piece of my equipment with a bad USB-C device.

When I politely contacted the vendor, I was shrugged off. So I don't think that will work. The most you can do is build consensus, and ask nicely. Read my shootout for details.
 
+Benson Leung Thanks for that. I've ordered (another) from Amazon at my own expense to try to see the same. Cables shouldn't be Russian Roulette, or Landmines.

If there are QC problems, the whole shebang is bad since "regular" end users have no way to tell.
 
If you set up a donations page, I'd be happy to contribute a few bucks. I expect others would too.

Schadenfreude wasn't really what I had in mind. A large settlement and bad publicity hits a companies bottom line in a way that politely contacting them doesn't. Their desire to increase profits is what's driving the non-compliance with standards. If you want them to change, it has to be more profitable to comply.

I'm lucky enough to have stumbled on you and Benson. Millions of other people are limited to just Amazon reviews, and some of these "could fry your gear" products are very well rated.
 
+Timothy Poplaski Thanks, but I'll accept only in spirit. And as a minor note, it's more "these devices don't have seatbelts" than "will fry your device". (Except for that one SurjTech cable.)
andy o
 
+Nathan K. Do you know if their USB 2.0 cables also have this problem? Been happy with mine, but I only got a N6P. Also, I got both their multiport chargers, the USB-PD and non-PD ones. I just trusted them, but now I wonder.
 
+andy o​ No I have not tested them. Benson ordered one of the 3.1gen2 ones and got a good one. But regular users won't be able to know either way, so I am cautious.
andy o
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+Nathan K. Thanks, that's interesting. Do you know if anyone has tested their multiport chargers?
 
ugh. I thought Anker was one of the trustworthy cables.. i hate how impossible it is to shop for a charger and cable on this spec so far.. grrrrrrrr
 
I would have to say that as cable manufacturers go Anker is one of the better and more reliable makers. They are in fact my go to cable for most things USB. That said, it's bad that this slipped through their QC. it's a pretty basic thing to check for. I ordered one of the first ones from Amazon and when I had problems with it and notified Anker they were very responsive. Offered a new cable, then said no there was a design problem and would be sending a new cable redesigned in a few weeks. Within days of emailing Anker this cable was no longer available from Amazon.
Just my 2 cents.
 
Is it only on the USB3.1 Gen 2? I purchased a USB-C to USB2.0 a bit ago for my Nexus 5x, the charging speed is so variable depending if I'm using a PowerBank or the wall plug, it's confusing. I'm even considering returning it to purchase another brand. 
 
+Tracy Cheong​ The Anker 2.0 cable is unaffected. eMarkers on USB2.0 cables are OPTIONAL. But will become required later with Authentication Spec. eMarkers are mandatory on 3.1 cords.

The charging speed abnormalities are LIKELY a result of the N5X not being USB-C Compliant. (The N6P requires >4.95v to charge fast, I haven't tested the N5X but suspect the same thing occurs.)
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