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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].)
Liz Walker's profile photowalter stone's profile photoClifford Thrasher's profile photoNathan K.'s profile photo
I wish you'd review some battery packs! Can I send you my Anker one to test with a prepaid return envelope? It's a Powercore Speed 10000
+walter stone​​ Anker battery packs have some issues. I can't talk about it at the moment.
I second the battery packs, particularly type c for the spring next year to bring camping for my Pixel. I'll be patient but let me know if you ever add one to your Amazon wish list :)
+Philip Sieder No, I don't. But if MS wants to stay at the head of the pack, they need to switch to USB-C (or TB3) sooner or later.
+Nathan K. Ok, and you are absolutely right:
The only reason I did not get a surface last year was the missing Type-C port(s hopefully)...
Is it safe to assume that the very similar looking one here may have the same issue? I have this for my S6, and was wondering if it would be ok to use with the A to C cord that came with my new Pixel:

I also have a power bank from RAVPower that has served me well with my S6 and my husband's Note 4, but I'm concerned with a new phone:

It would be nice to know if I can get away with what I have (the two linked above, plus the OEM charger from my S6) + A to C cords for the time being until I have more money, or if I should upgrade quickly.

Thank you!
+Liz Walker I haven't tested that PowerBank personally, so I cannot say. Please see if DodgeReviews at BudgetLightForum had evaluated it. I trust his methodology.
+Liz Walker Any old-fashioned Type-A power bank with a safe/tested/Benson approved A-to-C cable should be perfectly safe. You are fine.
Awesome, thanks for the heads up. Getting approved cables is much easier than replacing my bank and charger supply at the moment (though I certainly will in the future).
It turns out I have an identical-looking RAVPower device, model number RP-PC017 (no B or K or anything). Is there a way to see if it has the same issue without already having a PD sniffer?
+Clifford Thrasher​ The "B" designation isn't pertinent, your model is affected. Sadly the only way to test is to use a PD Sink emulator (Twinkie), or an expensive laptop (MacBook Pro/Chromebook). One is cheap and easily replaceable if things go bad, one is not.
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