This guide was made for the TripLogik GPS Mileage tracking system, but can be used as a reference for other devices using Mini USB connectors.  

Visit us at www.triplogik.com



Please check your cable end or/and USB plug on instrument for possible damage first.
Ensure the OBD power supply is fully inserted into the car OBD connection
Consult the included guide for more information about USB cable maintenance.


Introduction

The Mini USB connector has been on the market for a long time. Many cell phones were using them until it was replaced by the micro USB that became the new standard and now USB C.

If you have a GPS in your car, or a portable hard drive on your computer, chances are, it is using a mini USB for sturdiness.

Although it is sturdy, with time or by accident, the connector will get damaged by dust, contamination (like calcium, road salt), or simply get "stretched" to the point it will not stay in place anymore.

This guide was created for the owners of the TRiplogik Mileage logger, but it is a good general explanation on how to fix or troubleshoot cable issues.

Please note, damaged, pulled, stretched cable or salt corroded contact are not covered under normal Triplogik warranty.


Mini USB cables can seldom be fixed by most electronics technicians,
please refer to the section How to fix any mini USB Cables ( for technician and DIY )


Description of the Mini USB


Mini USB connectors use 5 pins to make contact from the cable to the equipment.

Some pins are used to power the device, other are used to communicate with it.

The connector has a specific shape that make it impossible to plug it in backwards

You can easily imagine why, a USB device might power up , but not communicate with your computer...
It depends what pins are broken.

 

 




The basic shape of the connector ensure proper friction to maintain them together.


In the image below you can see both parts of the connection system.
The cable on the bottom has a specific width ( blue arrows) and height (orange arrows)

The device USB port must have the same spec inside in order to stay together with the cables outside.



Mechanical issues 

If a device gets thrown around, dropped, plug in and out countless times, it will eventually need to be replaced or repaired.

As mentioned earlier, the connectors use friction in order to stay connected together.

If the connector gets forced up and down, or left and right, the inside section will eventually get "stretched".

This situation will lead the device to turn OFF and ON, or will have trouble keeping the communication on when connected to a computer.

Mini USB ends are built sturdy, but are not made to withstand impacts. (none of the USB are)


Contact Problem

Although TripLogik uses industrial grade USB connector in it's instruments, it is still possible to damage them.
Normal consumer grade USB connectors use a gold plating of 0.7 Micron.
While Military industrial ones have a 30 micron plating ( over 30 times thicker)

If you see the connections don't look clean, you might have to de-oxidize the contacts.
please refer to the Suggested cleaning section below.


Protection and maintenance

Contacts inside the connectors are gold plated on each side, TripLogik factory treats every instrument connector and cables with an extra special protection. This chemical not only acts as a contamination barrier, but is a light lubricant too.

Like any anti-corrosion, it must be maintained every once in a while.


If you suspect a problem with any USB connector, first look inside the connector and look at the contact pins ( with a magnifier if you need to)  If they look dull or discolored, unlike gold color, the connector is probably contaminated.




What to do if you drop the instrument or the cable end in the water or show 

Don't blow in the connector dry it will not work...
Whatever you do, DO NOT PLUG IT ANYWHERE until you clean it !

WHY ?

The water might not have entered the instrument, but the USB connector is now contaminated with minerals.
Most probably calcium...

Consider this :
Calcium + water  = a very good electric conductor 

Water with salt between metal plates  + Electricity  = electroplating conditions 
In other words 
When electricity will flow through the contacts, to power the device, ( and the device may power up)  It will accelerate the corrosion process, ruining the cable and the instrument connector at the same time.


The small electrical contact will eventually look dull and discolored, and may even start to disappear because the corrosion is amplified by the electric current, thanks to the minerals in the water.

THIS CAN HAPPEN WITHIN A FEW MINUTES 

Don't damage other equipment 

If you take this contaminated instrument to another cable, this runs a change of getting the cable contaminated too.
Using a damaged cable will lead to other equipment getting their connector damaged as well.



Suggested cleaning 


We recommend using a product called Deoxit D5

This chemical is specially formulated to de-oxidize contact like gold, tin, copper etc.

It is non-conductive and nonflammable, so it is safe to use with this type of electronic device.




DeoxIT can be ordered through the Triplogik webstore,or from electronic repair shops

Purchase from our web store here : Buy Deoxit now  


HOW TO CLEAN THE USB CABLE AND CONNECTOR


What you need:

  • DeoxIT
  • Magnifying glass
  • Dry paper towel

 

( MAKE SURE THE WIRE IS NOT CONNECTED TO A POWER SUPPLY OR COMPUTER) 


  1. Keep the connector facing UP
  2. Put a drop inside the USB cable  (no need to fill it, just ensure all of the pins are soaked)
  3. While holding the cable facing up, plug in the device in and keep the connector this way to prevent the liquid from dripping inside the instrument
  4. Plug and unplug 5 to 10 times in this position
  5. Have a closer look at the contact with the cable and the device to see if they improved
  6. Repeat if required


NOTE

We do not recommend using regular electronic contact cleaners unless you only use it on the cable end.

Standard cleaner products contain alcohol that also contains water, therefore making it conductive.

If contact cleaner gets inside the device, it could damaged the electronics and leave residues that can promote corrosion everywhere else in the instrument. Deoxit D5 is non conductive 



LEGAL NOTICE

This guide is a generic repair solution not specific to the logger device and it's cables.
We recommend any repairs be performed performed by a technician.

Although we do not recommend fixing the cables yourself, some user are able DIY.


TripLogik will not take any direct or indirect responsibility for any repair done by the user or a third party or unauthorized TripLogik technician.


This procedure is done at your own risk, and is not covered by any warranty.


If you are uncomfortable with this procedure, we suggest you purchase a new cable.