USB cables have wide varieties, and it has their pros and cons based on your necessities. It is pretty significant for you to understand which sort of USB cable you need for your device, as your device may not be carrying a USB cable, and the one you will use won’t probably function as you desire. Like if a USB doesn’t have any black wire, then you will miss out on a few functions or what you wanted from it, or if there are only two wires inside a USB cable, then it could either be for data sharing or charging.
Hang tight, as I will discuss a lot more about USB cables.
Before we begin: How many wires are inside a USB cable, and why?
Each USB wire, based on its colors, has different properties and won’t work all by itself. Based on your device and where you reside, the wire’s colors may differ along with how many wires are inside a cable.
Red: It is the positive wire that is 5 volts. Its purpose is for charging. (+)
White: It is the positive wire. Its purpose is data transfer. (+)
Black/Blue: It is the Negative Wire or ground Wire which is 5 volts. The ground wire is termed GND. (-)
Green: It is the negative wire. Its purpose is the same as white wire. (-)
Why doesn’t my USB cable have no black wires?
If I have to be straight cut with you, then if there’s no black wire or an alternative to it, then your USB cable is entirely useless because without ground, you won’t be able to flow any electricity.
If you seek to charge a different device from your USB cable and it is not charging for some reason, then you may require to charge them after cutting the cable. You will require a wire cutter to cut the cable, then use a stripper to peel off the braided copper or whatever is covering it.
Then you will see there are four cables with different colors. (Explained above) Each has its own purpose. If you see that there are no black cables, then either the cable is broken, or the cable is colored differently.
- The White and Green colored wires need to be kept aside as those two as used for data sharing.
The Red wire and the other which is left should be the two wires that you will attach together to charge your device. The color can be blue or grey. It may vary depending on your region.
The wire might be braided.
Now, after separating the colors, if you notice that there is no black wire or any different colored wires, then chances are that the ground cable is an exposed wire that is ducked underneath. The unbraided cable is made out of copper. You may need to use your wire stripper a little bit more, exposing the copper wire.
Copper wire is essentially ground wire which is equivalent to a black wire.
- If you have doubts about it, then for your surety, take out your multimeter and separate the cables and then test the copper wire.
- If you see that you are having around 5 volts, then it is evidently the ground wire.
Do You Need Technician or Expert helps?
Why does my USB cable have only two wires?
If you have a USB cable that has only two wires, then you don’t own a multipurpose cable. You own those cheap cables that are only designed for charging.
You probably got it from your Vape or Flashlight or any other device that only requires charging after usage. To test, simply attach your file-sharing device if your phone or MacBook. You will see that your device is only getting charged.
- If your purpose is to charge file share with your USB cable, then you may need to get a USB cable that has four wires. The key to identifying cheap cables is that they are usually relatively small than the typical length.
Also, two wired cables are exclusive to charging only. There are no two wired cables that are only exclusive to file sharing. The reason behind it is that the red and the negative 5-volt wires are for power.
Note: If you attach a positive wire with a positive wire, then you won’t have a connection with your device and the cable because the polarity will be neutral, essentially making it useless. So, you need to attach the negative with the positive. If your adapter has a light, then you can understand when the light turns on when the polarity is reversed, and if neutral, the light turns off.
Also, in some instances, if you see that there’s Orange wire, then it is the 5-volt positive wire. Blue and Green are negative and positive data wires, respectively, and lastly, the white wire will most likely be the negative 5-volt wire.
How to connect a 4-wire to a 2-wire USB
If you want to wire a 4-wire USB cable with a 2-wire USB cable and Vice Versa, then you cannot use it for data transferring; it can only be used for charging purposes as the other two data cables, for data receiving and sending will stay without any use.
Here are the steps:
- Take the two cables with the wires out, one with two wires and another with four wires. By now, you’d be able to identify which color is which; if not, you can go above.
- Take the Positive Red-colored wire and the Negative black-colored wire of both of the cables.
- Strip off the braids or the coverings of the wires, and then simply tie the positive one with the positive one and negative with the negative one carefully so that it does not disjoint. You should be able to charge your USB-connecting devices like your phone or tablet.
Note: If you use that jointed cable regularly, then I recommend merging the wires with a soldering station, as it will make the two wires into a single wire making it more usable.
Frequently Asked Questions
How many types of USB cables are there?
There have been quite a few over the years. Starting with the standard USB, which is the USB-A (USB to USB), then the mini USB or the USB Type-B (Micro USB), and last comes the USB type-C, which is the fastest and used in the majority of modern devices. These USB cables also come in different versions to understand the transmission speed and its purpose. USB 3.0 is the fastest and is used Type-C cables.
If you have a Type-C cable, then more often than you will be able to charge and transfer data.
Can there be more than 4 wires inside a USB cable?
In general, USB cables will have up to 4 wires, but in the case of micro USB cables. That has a Micro USB 2.0 connector, and there will be a 5th wire for mode detection where it is grounded along with the ground wire. It is used for OTG cable connection. The 5th wire is either is black colored if the ground wire isn’t black or it will be a different color if the ground is black.
That is all there is known about this issue. In simple words, if there’s no black wire, chances are that the ground wire is differently colored if you’re from Europe, the wire can be blue, or the ground wire is simply copper; otherwise, the sellers have mugged you by giving a faulty cable at a low price. And, the cables that have two wires are strictly made for charging purposes as the devices that came along with the cable requires only charging. This is rather insightful than problem-solving for you. Make sure you purchase the correct USB cable, or better yet, just use the ones that you have gotten from your smartphone. (Android Phone)
Thank you, and I’ll see you soon.