This clever cable is a one-stop iPhone charger shop

In the decade that I've been using iPhones, iPods and iPads, I've never broken a cable, but holy shit am I ever good at losing them. Hotel guests around North America, China, Japan and a good chunk of Europe have all benefited from my slovenly cable tracking. I've lost at least 20 of the things on my travels. When you check into a hotel and have to ask the front desk for a loaner Lightning cable, there's a very good chance that it belonged to me. I don't however, typically lose track of batteries: they're bulky enough that if one's missing from the stuff sack I keep them in when I'm on the road, I'll notice. That's why this Battery Cable from Nomad has quickly become one of my favorite accessories.

As its name suggests, the Nomad Battery Cable is an all-in-one battery and – are you ready for this – MFi-certified charging cable for iOS devices equipped with a Lightning port. Sporting a braided nylon sheath, the cable baked into the battery is tough and should stand up to all kinds of abuse. So too the battery itself: its aluminum body will stand up to the sort of casual abuse that mobile accessories often suffer while they're living their lives inside of a purse or backpack.

Because cables come out of both ends of the battery – one to plug into your iPhone and the other to plug into a USB-A port to charge the battery and provide pass-through power to your phone or tablet – its footprint is a little larger than many of the other battery packs I've used in the past. Read the rest

Testing USB battery pack capacity with a USB multi-meter

I tested the capacity of two USB battery packs using two different USB multi-meters. The results did not surprise me.

I recently acquired two $10-each USB multi-meters, the Powerjive and a DROK . The Powerjive is "easier" to use. The DROK handles more complex advanced charging protocols like Qualcomm 2.0 quick charging, and is less intuitive. The DROK read-out is brighter and the red/blue LEDs are easier to read, but there are several different screens to click thru to pretty much get the same results as the PowerJive's one dim screen.

I have two USB battery packs that I love. My 10k pack is 3 years old and has shown some loss of capacity on my "Hey, this isn't lasting as long as it used to" meter. I had estimated the battery lost 30% of its capacity. The 15k unit is new as of last month and should be capable of its marketed capacity.

I drained each battery pack by playing endless streamed video on my Fire HD 10 tablet, and my iPhone 7+. On the 10k unit this involved the blue lights going dead. The 15k brick will flash a single blue LED to indicate "charge me" without draining the battery. You may also use the USB multi-meters to measure how quickly a device burns through the pack. The Amazon tablet is pretty damn efficient, and I got hours and hours of video out of the 15k unit.

I charged each battery from "empty" until the mAh counters on the respective USB meter stopped ticking up. Read the rest

15,000mAh battery pack for $(removed)

This is the best price I've seen for a 15,000mAh battery pack. (Just two years ago I paid $(removed) for a 6000mAh Mophie Juice Pack Powerstation Duo.)

If you use code RJTZMPYG you can get the Kmashi 15,000mAh battery pack for $(removed) on Amazon. It's got dual ports so you can share its juice with a friend or spouse who isn't as prepared as you. Read the rest