I’ve always had this sinking suspicion that USB cables are not created equal. It’s the little things like, like my phone not charging as fast as I remember, or my connected device seeming more sluggish than usual. As it turns out, I was right!
Looking at a USB cable, you can’t tell the difference between a regular USB cable and one that’s made for charging only. When you’re programming a USB serial device, you might think there’s something wrong with the device when actually you’ve been trying to use a cable that’s damaged, or designed only for charging. Is it me or is it USB can help you tell the difference.
This tester shows you which lines have continuity in the cable. All cables will light up the LED indicators for the V+ and GND lines, while the other two indicators show the data lines are also connected. There are also protection diodes in place to protect against the USB being plugged into a host post (which is not how it’s meant to work).
If you’re curious about some fictional use cases for such a tester, the product page has more than a few detailed scenarios to help you better understand how crucial this device is to your mental health. Trust me, it’s a good read.