30th #USB #TypeC analysis: the +RAVPower 36W [Model RP-PC017B].
tl;dr: DANGER. PELIGRO. DO NOT USE THIS CHARGER. Especially not with a MacBook Pro 2016, or other high power devices.


[PDF of Compliance Checklist for RavPower RP-PC017B]

[Video appendix showing failure in action]

This unit was provided to me by +Benson Leung after he noted serious issues with it, and nearly damaged his Lenovo.

This charger is dangerous. This 30w charger misrepresents its capabilities as 45w electronically over USB-PD. On the side of the charger (and tech sheets) it claims to support: 5v/3a 9v/2a 15v/2a 20v/1.5a. However, when probed electronically with the Twnkie power-delivery sniffer, it reports 5v/3a 9v/3a 15v/3a (20v/2.25a "Split PDO"/missing). This overstates its capacity by 50%.

This is terrible because if any high-power USB-C device actually takes up the RavPower on its offer -- such as a Macbook Pro 2016, Google Pixel Chromebook, Dell laptop, or Surface Book 2/Pro 5 -- it will overload the internal circuitry of the charger causing it to "thermally fail" (to put it mildly) as well as sag voltage at high current to unsafe levels outside of USB-PD specifications. This brownout behavior can damage or destroy connected devices.

This could also be interpreted as having "improper or no overcurrent protection". Please see the Energy Graphs attached for the 5v, 9v, and 15v rails. This is concrete proof. Observe how the Watt_loss (orange line) increases exponentially and shoots up like a rocket when the charger is loaded. This means the charger is being operated past its design capacity (due to the faulty advertisements), and energy is being burned off internally as heat.

Essentially, the charger is being turned into a 10-15W soldering iron. Please see this video on YouTube I made of a test run [of the *15v rail!*] that went awry: in the end, I actually "broke" the charger because the overcurrent did not function.

Oddly, only the 5v level has proper "shutoff" overcurrent protection -- like the Apple 29W charger. I can only assume RavPower made a fundamental design error on the 9v/15v/(20v) rails that broke overcurrent protection at higher levels.

+RAVPower needs to SERIOUSLY consider pulling these from shelves. This is the worst kind of failure in my opinion: a Silent one. Users have no way of knowing of this design failure since, on paper, this charger looks fine. If it weren't for the lack of overvoltage protection and the USB-PD errors (Split PDO, levels) it might actually be.

This charger is still available for sale on Amazon despite Benson and my prior warnings. In fact, it is even on "fire sale"! :(

Worse still, it has a 4.75* star rating! It's a verifiable bad product that people are leaving "perfect' reviews for. This couldn't be farther from the truth. (Screenshot attached in case Amazon pulls it.)

Please, please, please do not use this charger. If you have purchased it, please exchange it for a refund or properly recycle it. Use a safe charger with proper overcurrent and technical specifications. Even if you may not "use it" at he higher levels, it is still defective and should not be used. You may know about the "one weird trick" that causes it to "Halt and Catch Fire" -- other people in your household may not.

Please don't risk your $2500 Macbook Pro 2016 on a $16 charger. :(


Important note about data:
Due to the severity of my claim, I want to point out I'm not even loading the 12W USB-A port in these tests. The data could have been much worse, if anything. I ran tests in a way that would favor the charger as much as possible.
(JUCX01 5a cord [lowest IR drop I possess], slaving primary load tester to capacity, tested rails with least conversion inefficiency [5,9,15, no 20].)
[Plus] Analyses RavPower RP-PC017B
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