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I've got a Sansa Clip that recharges via USB. Problem is that it "connects" to the PC whenever I plug it in. I learned a trick where you pull the cable out of the PC partially such that the data leads are no longer connected but the power leads are.

However I am looking for a more permanent solution. How can I modify the cable itself such that only the power leads remain and it never transfers data?

(I have an extra cable, so it's OK.)

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I tried physically prying out the pins using a knife but was unsuccessful and only managed to gouge the plastic immediately surrounding them. \$\endgroup\$
    – posfan12
    Apr 9, 2011 at 23:07
  • \$\begingroup\$ Also, the other end of the cable has one of those mini USB plugs. Maybe I would have better luck going at it from that end. \$\endgroup\$
    – posfan12
    Apr 9, 2011 at 23:09
  • \$\begingroup\$ Same question here, but slightly different application: car-mounted USB connector to GPS/Navi system. Navi keeps thinking it's connected to a computer and waits a full minute before deciding it's not. \$\endgroup\$
    – Otheus
    Jul 5, 2016 at 18:55

5 Answers 5

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my first attempt at solving your problem would be to get some kapton (or other non-conductive) tape and just stick it on top of the traces in your USB plug.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Would regular black electrical tape work? I'm thinking it's too sticky and it would be better to have a thin and firm type of "tape". \$\endgroup\$
    – posfan12
    Apr 9, 2011 at 23:04
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    \$\begingroup\$ I don't like using electrical tape for anything, because it leaves a goopy mess behind, and it's really thick. You're probably even better off with a piece of paper just bent over the plug so it covers the leads. If you're in the US, I can always send you a piece of Kapton to try out. \$\endgroup\$
    – Dave
    Apr 10, 2011 at 4:52
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Much as I like hacking things, I think the simple answer here is a dedicated charger with a USB port.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ +1 Yeah, I've even found "USB port" DC adapters at the dollar store - it's much cleaner to go that way. \$\endgroup\$
    – Toybuilder
    Apr 9, 2011 at 7:30
  • \$\begingroup\$ Do they cost a dollar? \$\endgroup\$
    – posfan12
    Apr 9, 2011 at 23:05
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how about covering the two middle pins on the type A side of the cable with electrical tape? simple, reversible, and if you get it wrong, its a matter of removing the tape ;p

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The pinout of USB is the following:

  • pin1 (usually red) is Vcc
  • pin2 (usually white) is D-
  • pin3 (usually green) is D+
  • pin4 (usually black) is Gnd

What you want is an cable where pin2 and pin3 are disconnected. Just cut the cable and only reconnect pin1 (red) and pin4 (black).

Edit: the following page says:

simple USB charger should short the 2 data lines together. The device will then not attempt to transmit or receive data, but can draw up to 1.8A, if the supply can provide it.

So if simply disconnecting pin2 and pin3 does not work you might try to short them.

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    \$\begingroup\$ But if you short the wires, device might think that it is connected to a charger and try to pull high current which could trip safety on the USB port (or worse, not trip the current limit!). \$\endgroup\$
    – AndrejaKo
    Apr 9, 2011 at 19:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ Good thing you mentioned that! \$\endgroup\$
    – posfan12
    Apr 9, 2011 at 23:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ The shorting is likely the source of the problem: it's being done at the charger, so that units can draw max current. \$\endgroup\$
    – Otheus
    Jul 5, 2016 at 18:57
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I just cut the green wire. No problems. I'd like to get a click switch to turn it on and off.

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