Think Your Anker Powercore 13000 Will Charge Overnight? Don’t Be So Sure.

So awhile back I bought an Anker Powercore 13000 so I could keep my phone charged when I while traveling. One thing that I noticed is that it took a long time to charge my Powercore — over a day if it was completely empty. I did a little math: my iPhone wall charger provides 1 Ampere of current and the Powercore 13000 holds 13,000 Milliamp hours (mAh), so it should take only about 13 hours to charge. What’s going on?

I did some more exploring on Amazon and found this USB power meter, which I purchased. It’s a handy little device that shows how much current (amps) and voltage (volts) are going across the USB cable, along with running totals on watt hours and amp hours. I plugged that in as I was charging my Powercore and observed the results:

Well, shit.

I wanted to rule out the USB charger, so I broke out my iPad’s charger (which charges at 2 Amps) and a charger I got from Radio Shack, which has a 2.4 Amp USB port. Let’s try those out!

But there is no joy in Mudville.

Okay, this is getting a little weird. .4 Amps coming off of a 2 Ampere charger? That can’t be right! I took another look at the documentation for the Powercore, and saw that it could in fact charge at 2 Amps. What could be going on?

I then noticed that the cable I was using wasn’t the USB cable that came with my Powercore, it was the an Amazon Basics USB cable. That couldn’t be the problem… could it? Let’s try the cable what came with my Powercore:

Hooray…. question-mark?

Much better results from using the official cable! I noticed that the Anker cable is 2 feet long while the Amazon Basics cable I had was 6 feet long. So I tried experimenting with some other cables, and there was a clear correlation — cables under 3 feet long delivered the most current. Cables over 6 feet long delivered the least current.

So the takeaway for me is that while I thought I could use my Amazon Basics cables in all situations, this is not necessarily the case, and what you don’t know will cause your Anker Powercore to take over a day to charge.

Got any experiences with other products? Let me know in the comments!

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