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Home / Tips and Tricks / How to find the right charger for your Raspberry Pi 4 – Review Geek

How to find the right charger for your Raspberry Pi 4 – Review Geek



  The Raspberry Pi 4 Model B.

The Raspberry Pi Foundation Two weeks ago, the Raspberry Pi Foundation announced the Raspberry Pi 4. It's a future-proof computer with two micro-HDMI ports, up to 4GB of RAM, and a poorly designed USB-C port that does not work with some USB-C cables.

The Pi 4 is not USB-C compatible.

USB-C is a universal format. The reason why people are so excited about USB-C is that unlike other charging cables, it just works. If a device with a USB-C port is not USB-C compliant, will always encounter unexpected problems.

  Left: The Pi 4 USB C Connection Scheme, right: The Official USB-C Port Scheme
Left: The Pi 4 USB-C Port Scheme. Right: The official USB-C connection scheme (Click for large image).

And, as you've probably guessed, the Raspberry Pi Foundation did not follow official USB C guidelines. As reported by Tyler Ward (Scorpia), the Pi 4 board uses a single 5.1 K ohm resistor for two separate CC pins. This violates the official USB C guidelines which require each CC pin to have its own resistance. And so far its non-compliance has only caused a problem: incompatibility with certain USB-C chargers / cables.

The Pi 4 does not work with E-marked cables

E-marked cables are "smart" USB C cables are usually supplied with expensive devices like the MacBook Pro. You can detect the device to which it is connected, change to the USB-C alternate mode and regulate the power supply.

E-marked cables should be suitable for all USB-C devices, not just laptops and phones. However, due to the non-compliant design of the Pi 4, e-marked cables recognize the Pi 4 as an audio accessory and refuse to charge a fee.

How do you know if a cable is e-marked? Well, you have to check the packaging if you still have it. USB-C cables are not marked as "E marked" or "not marked E". Of course, you can also simply use the Pi 4 as an E-Mark detector or buy a cable that works guaranteed with the Pi 4.

Use "simple" cables such as the official Pi 4 cable.

  A photo of the official Raspberry Pi USB-C cable.
PiShop

The Raspberry Pi Foundation states that it will fix the USB-C problem in the next revision. But if you have already pre-ordered a Pi 4, congratulations! You can not use e-marked cables with your device. What now?

Technically, you can use any "simple" USB-C cable with the Pi 4. This gives you many options, but we recommend using the official Pi 4 cable. The Raspberry Pi Foundation has apparently not tested a variety of cables with their charging port (otherwise they would have known about this problem), so there is a possibility that even some "simple" USB-C cables may have problems with the Pi 4.

If you do not want to pay $ 8 for the official Pi 4 cable (which, we understand, is rather bulky), you can take the risk with a "simple" USB-C cable and a fast charging cable or a native cable USB-C Power Brick. The Pi 4 requires 15.3 watts of power, and most cheap or obsolete power bricks can not deliver that power. Of course, there is still the possibility that this will not work, so your mileage may vary.

Sources: Scorpia, Benson Leung


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