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62nd #USB #TypeC analysis: +j5create "USB-IF Certified" USB3.1 Gen2 Type-C to Type-C Cable 3A/60W [Model JUCX03].
tl;dr: TERRIBLE cable. Does not work. Magic Control Techology should never have been USB-IF Certified. This is the fourth JUCX03 I've had in my possession that can't carry a signal. +Best Buy  needs to stop selling these, and the USB-IF needs to delist them. They are defective in an insidious manner that gives USB-C a bad name.

I implore the USB-IF to take this as a call to honor their stated mandate of protecting the tech ecosystem.

I bear no ill will to the USB-IF or Mr. Ravencraft, but these errors are significant and obvious. Almost to the point I think the manufacturer should lose privileges to use the Licensed USB-IF logo. I've brought this particular cable to their attention multiple times, as have their own testing laboratories.

Primary fault lies with "Magic Control Technology", the ODM. j5Create and Best Buy share secondary criticism for their inaction after multiple verified reports of bad cables; even if they lack the technical depth necessary to understand exactly what's wrong.
http://gtrusted.com/are-the-j5create-usb-type-c-cables-sold-at-best-buy-really-compliant
http://gtrusted.com/j5create-jucx03-usb-3-1-type-c-to-type-c-cable
http://gtrusted.com/the-mystery-of-the-apple-macbook-early-2016-owc-type-c-dock-and-j5-cable-its-a-veritable-who-dunnit

+Total Phase would like to highlight this as a reason to pursue every-cable testing at the manufacturer level. +GTrusted would like to highlight the need for proper compatibility lab testing. However, I would like to highlight this as the need for independent, random sample purchase testing and auditing (ala SNELL motorcycle helmet safety certification).
http://www.smf.org/docs/media/mpn

It is MANDATORY to have feet on the ground, in stores, checking what customers are actually buying. Not a one-off "Golden Sample" sent by a factory. And if manufacturers violate that public trust -- they need to be held to task for it. This would be well advised to be implemented in future Certification programs.

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[TotalPhase report for j5Create JUCX03]
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B2OJRSgNnm4GUG54UnBOQ2NvZU0

[TotalPhase summary sheet for 4 separate tests]
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B2OJRSgNnm4GNkt3NmpSaklfREU
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This cable has a number of failures. Primary of which, it simply won't work. Some won't work at all (no connection), some will work but fail when used (massive data corruption, or heat up).

+GTrusted found this out when their +Other World Computing, Inc. (OWC) Macbook dock wouldn't work at all because of eMarker problems. In total we tested three revisions (out of five) from Best Buy and none worked. (These were "blue box" versions: no USB-IF Sticker, but still claimed Certified per the roster.) GTrusted has additional privileged data they can contribute to corroborate my statement should they choose to do so.

+Total Phase found this out when I went to Best Buy and purchased a brand new, sealed cable and took it to their lab a month ago. (This was an "orange box" version, with USB-IF Certified sticker proudly displayed.) Again, this failed spectacularly on a number of measures -- and is in fact the cable I retain in my possession.

I've attempted contacting j5Create (and Best Buy) multiple times over the past few months, filing tickets in their systems, attempting to get them to fix their stock. But they have taken no action on this. This is why I so adamantly warn only to get the 5A JUCX01 cable, and not the 3A JUCX03.

The errors:

First, look at the cable box. It claims to be USB3.1 Gen2 ("Up to 10gbps"). The USB-IF trademarked license sticker says "SuperSpeed+ 10gbps Certified". The back says "Support USB 3.1 Gen 2 (10 Gbps), USB 3.0 (5Gbps), USB 2.0 (480mbps)".

Now take a look at the Signal Integrity charts from the TotalPhase Advanced Cable Tester Level 2 report at 10ghz. It can't maintain a signal in any of its SuperSpeed lanes. It's the absolute worst data cable I've ever tested by a wide margin.


Second, look at the pin resistances. Any single pin over 40mOhm is an instant fail. This has four -- on both plugs, on multiple pins. And all the rest are all bordering on failure. If you even used this only for charging, over time ALL of the pins will fail due to wear.


Third, look at the DC resistance. The GROUND wire is a fail. That's very, very bad since it also affects data signaling in addition to power. And keep in mind this is only a 3A cable, not even 5A with stricter thresholds!

Those super-thin +Anker 1m cords you can get are also rated for 3A, since that's the minimum USB-C current capacity. And the Anker manages to pass with flying colors! That's how bad the j5Create JUCX03 (or good the Anker A8181011) is.
https://plus.google.com/102612254593917101378/posts/UjGdUp7iZtd


Fourth, look at the "half speed" run. I had a hunch Magic Control Technology (j5Create's ODM) factory was doing "third shifts" and using inferior cable stock/connectors.
http://archive.fortune.com/magazines/fortune/fortune_archive/2006/05/01/8375455/index.htm

Seeing as how the Signal Integrity tests pass at 5ghz, I'm almost certain this is what happened. This is also confirmed by....


Fifth, a blatant violation of the USB-IF cable marking guidelines. Look at the ends of the connectors of the JUCX03 (bottom) compared to the JUCX01 (top). Notice how the JUCX01 has the proper "SS10 trident" logo for USB3.1Gen2, whereas the JUCX03 has the incorrect "SS trident" for USB3.1Gen1.

+Jen Warren and the folks at +Belkin take labeling issues like this extremely seriously. It is highly misleading for the consumer. In fact, Belkin even has a page dedicated to explaining this, since they are honest about such matters.
http://www.belkin.com/us/Resource-Center/USB-C/USB-C-counterfeits/

Per this document, the "USB-IF Certified" JUCX03 is a counterfeit. Except, it's not -- the USB-IF licensing division actually signed off on this cable. Twice, actually -- I've attached screenshots of the USB-IF "USB Type-C™ Certified Cables" document of both iterations  (blue and orange box).


Sixth, going down the list of violations, the eMarker is labeled as "Vconn Required" which is a violation of [Section 6.4.4.3.1.10.1- Passive Cable VDO].

"Cable Termination Type: Cable Plugs that only support Discover Identity Commands SHALL set these bits to 00b. (00b = VCONN not required.)"


Seventh, the "Latency" (or Cable Length) field is Null/Zero. Meaning they forgot to fill it in. This is another [6.4.4.3.1.10.1 Passive Cable VDO] violation.

"Cable Latency: 0000b – Reserved , SHALL not be used"


I'm certain there's additional errors that I'm not even catching, forest for the trees, but this is an absolute horror show. I want my $30 bucks and time writing this up back!

And if anyone believes I am being slanted, please keep in mind I think the 5A JUCX01 is a fine cable. But this 3A JUCX03 is so terrible I'm actively seeking a replacement for the JUCX01 cable to recommend simply so I can delist j5Create altogether. As I have found myself in the odd position of public watchdog, as +Benson Leung has, I have to occasionally bite.

#USBC  
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6 comments
 
I was hoping j5create offering would be consistent, I just got their USB-C Ethernet / HDMI / 2 USB 3.0 / 1 ISB-C for power dongle, I hope it's better than this cable.https://plus.google.com/photos/...
 
+Erik Dasque There's actually much in a USB-PD hub to do correctly. In some ways, it's more complicated than some phones -- per Benson's previous comments.

There can be minor functionality bugs (as I'm discovering with the Plugable Hub3p) that can lead into very complex hardware issues (with the USB-PD spec). I hope your dongle works well too -- especially in edge cases.
 
Thanks again, +Nathan K., for your fantastic write-up. This is shameful and both USB-IF and j5create should be answering for this.
Sushubh
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So even certified cables are not safe? What is wrong with this world! Scotty, beam me up. 
 
USB-IF failings aside, I still can't fathom why J5create thinks it's a good idea to sell two cables of such wildly different quality... It's not even like the JUCX03 is sold that much cheaper! Office Depot only had the 05, dunno why Best Buy chose differently. None of it makes any sense.
 
+Erik Dasque I bought the 3 USB 3.0 + Ethernet version of that hub, and kept it mostly because the Ethernet part was actually recognized by my Pixel (unlike the Anker hub I had previously)...

It didn't seem to work properly tho, I need to test it again and possibly see if it'll work right on my desktop (only other device I have a Type C port on)... On the Pixel it almost seemed like I was getting a really bad connection, pages would load but no images etc.

Hub functionality worked fine with a couple flash drives tho, which is why I kept it. Getting Ethernet to work with the phone was more of a novelty and none of the similar hubs I've seen will guarantee Android compatibility.
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