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Engineer creates a USB-C abomination that brings back the terror of USB-A cable flipping

The "cursed" USB-C device behaves differently depending on the orientation of the USB adapter being inserted (Image source: @mifune)
The "cursed" USB-C device behaves differently depending on the orientation of the USB adapter being inserted (Image source: @mifune)
Mechanical engineer Pim de Groot (@mifune) created a USB-C that seemingly brings back the bad old days of USB adapters that don't fit into ports the first (or second!) time.

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Mechanical engineer Pim de Groot recently shared photos and video of what he described as a "cursed" USB Type-C device. The board lights up differently depending on the orientation of Type-C adapter you plug in. this might sound innocuous enough until you take a moment and remember the whole point of the Type-C design: to move past the mystifying and frustrating experience of trying to plug in a Type-A cable. 

Thanks to the laws of random chance, Type-A plugs almost always required multiple attempts to connect, an effect humorously described as "USB Superposition." De Groot's device relies on a lesser-known fact about the construction of USB Type-C plugs: while the adapter's receptacle is symmetrical - allowing users to plug a Type-C cable in regardless of its orientation - only one side has D+ and D- contacts. It has green and red LEDs that light up differently, depending on whether D+ and D- contacts are shorted. 

De Groot's box of horrors does seem to have some practical benefit, however: because of the internal differences, flipping your Type-C adapter might actually be a valid troubleshooting step in certain situations.

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Arjun Krishna Lal
Arjun Krishna Lal - Tech Writer - 469 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2019
I've had a passion for PC gaming since 1996, when I watched my dad score frags in Quake as a 1 year-old. I've gone on to become a Penguin-published author and tech journalist. Apart from working as an editor at Notebookcheck, I write for outlets including TechSpot and Gamingbolt. I’m the Director of Content at Flying V Group, one of the top 5 digital marketing agencies in Orange County. When I'm not traveling the world, gathering stories for my next book, you can find me tinkering with my PC.
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2021 03 > Engineer creates a USB-C abomination that brings back the terror of USB-A cable flipping
Arjun Krishna Lal, 2021-03-24 (Update: 2021-03-28)