Android Auto USB Cables and Even Magnets!

So the 2017 Volt includes support for Android Auto and I really like it.  But apparently it is VERY sensitive to the quality of the USB cable you use.    There’s chatter on the Google Groups and other places with various phones, cables, and cars having issues.

For my Samsung Note 5 I like to keep rubber protector plugs in the USB and audio jacks to keep out pocket lint, etc.  I already had to replace a phone for corroded or gunked connector.  And with wireless charging and bluetooth, who needs to plug things in any more?  Android Auto does, that’s who.  (apparently there is a WiFi version in the works, not sure if the Volt will be updated to use it.  There is WiFi with the OnStar but that may not be connected to the display the same way or something).

So my first idea was to get a magnetic charging cable and the magnetic connector serves as the plug.  These cables are braided, have a status LED,  and are as low as $9 each.  Another advantage is safe disconnect, it just pulls apart instead of breaking your phone (although to intentionally disconnect it is best to turn it right angle than pull it apart).  Too good, right?  Yup.

Android Auto works but disconnects every few minutes.  You can break the magnetic connection and re-establish but it is very annoying especially when navigating.    Looking to see what is going on I see the general USB cable issues.  It’s nothing with the magnet just cheap wires.

So I bought the Anker 6″ braided u-USB cable as recommended in the AA Groups and it worked perfectly.  But then I have to plug in, and the rubber plug, blah blah.  Sure be nice if there was a magnetic cable that worked.

The next idea was to see what’s wrong with the magnet cable and try to fix it.  Cutting the cable shows there’s no shield on the wires.   The solution was to replace the cable with a better shielded cable and just replace the u-USB connector with the magnetic one.  Also make it much shorter for signal integrity and convenience.    I did and it works perfectly for the last week or two.  No lost connection to the phone.

 

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