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Author Topic: Hardware Wallet Cables  (Read 78 times)
dkbit98
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April 28, 2021, 02:12:21 PM
Last edit: April 28, 2021, 03:57:44 PM by dkbit98
Merited by bitmover (1)
 #1

I am working on my own DIY small and cheap hardware wallet alternative for holding pocket money (more details about this will be posted when I finish my project) and in this process I was looking to purchase USB cable for connection with my computer.
For this I need to have Type-C USB compatible cable that we can often see used for most modern smartphones or laptops, and I know that various USB connectors can be very confusing so I will post most commonly used connections below.


source image conwire

USB Type-A are still most widely used for computers but Type-C connection can be much faster, it has reverse plug functionality working the same on both sides, and it's mostly supporting all new devices.
Some hardware wallets are still using old generation Micro-USB B female connections, but some of them are offering additional cables and you can always buy adaptors in future.
Cables can often break and stop working but beware what cables you are purchasing because they can look exactly the same like original but some of them can hurt your devices or be compromised for stealing coins and information from your wallet.
You can find original cables and OTG kits in Trezor and Ledger shop, but what I don't like about original Trezor One wallet is very short cable length of only 21 cm or 8.26 inches, compared with ledger Nano S with 100 cm that is almost five times longer.

- Trezor One has Micro-USB to USB Type-A cable connection.
- Trezor T has USB Type-C to USB Type-A cable connection.
- Ledger Nano S has Micro-USB to USB Type-A cable connection.
- Ledger Nano X has USB Type-C to USB Type-A cable connection.
- Bitbox02 wallet has no cable, but it has USB Type-C plug, and USB Type-A to USB Type-C adaptor.
- Jade wallet has USB Type-C to USB Type-A cable connection.
- Safepal wallet has Micro-USB to USB Type-A cable connection.
- ColdCard wallet has no cable connections.

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bitmover
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April 28, 2021, 05:46:09 PM
 #2

USB Type-A are still most widely used for computers but Type-C connection can be much faster, it has reverse plug functionality working the same on both sides, and it's mostly supporting all new devices.

Imo, the most important about cable in a hardware wallet or a cell phone is to be able to plug anywhere. IMO, you should use the most widely used, which everyone use.

You won't be transferring 2 GB of data in a hardware wallet, only signatures, so speed is irrelevant.

I think think C and micro B are the most widely adopted.

But you also need to be careful about the future. Even if type C is not widely used now, it will be the most common in a few years.

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April 28, 2021, 11:03:32 PM
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Go with the C connection.  Its so much better than micro.  Almost all new devices are now coming with a C unless its very low end stuff.  As your example above shows Trezor figured that out in the years between Trezor 1 and the T.  Androids are now C 100% except for cheap/junk, nothing mainstream is anything but a C.  Of course Apple is on their own planet, LOL!

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April 29, 2021, 06:59:04 AM
 #4

It may worth mentioning that there exist for sale adapters you can insert into the USB type A and the "make it become" USB-C or Micro-USB.
It's a very cheap and space efficient alternative for carrying one more cable. I use this for my Nano S to connect it to my phone when no trusted desktop is available.

The following link is only as example: https://www.aliexpress.com/item/4000719493594.html


This being said, any USB cable should do, I recommend USB-C because it's reversible (and I know people who ruined their Micro USB connector!!) and also seems to be the near future for the phones' connector.
So imho the package should be USB-A - USB-C with a USB-C OTG adaptor (USB-A desktop, USB-A + OTG for phone, USB-C for your device).

dkbit98
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April 29, 2021, 10:52:55 AM
 #5

But you also need to be careful about the future. Even if type C is not widely used now, it will be the most common in a few years.

Correct, and we are heading towards Thunderbolt USB that looks exactly the same like type-C but much faster.

You won't be transferring 2 GB of data in a hardware wallet, only signatures, so speed is irrelevant.

One problem I have with usb type-C (that I need for my project) is that not all type-C cables are the same, there are same used only for powering devices, and others look exactly the same but they can also transfer data and that is the one I need.

It may worth mentioning that there exist for sale adapters you can insert into the USB type A and the "make it become" USB-C or Micro-USB.
It's a very cheap and space efficient alternative for carrying one more cable. I use this for my Nano S to connect it to my phone when no trusted desktop is available.

I saw those adapters that may be a good solution, and Bitbox02 hardware wallet is actually using something like that instead of cables that can easily break and stop working.

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April 29, 2021, 11:24:12 AM
 #6

Since you're making your own hardware wallet, I believe the most important concern is which connector you'll use in the device. Female Micro-B or Type-C will be my preference. This makes it simple to find a cable with the correct connectors.
Most of us have a ton of such cables lying around already.

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20kevin20
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April 30, 2021, 09:21:22 AM
 #7

If you want a future-proof one, I'd go with the Type-C cable. More and more devices seem to be using that one instead of micro-B. Type-C will surely be a future of almost all laptops/desktops as well, and if you want to be able to plug it anywhere then go for it. Otherwise, there's one more option: cables that have both Type-C and micro-B such as this one (but a higher quality of course). Or what about this one? Such cables allow your project to be plugged into about any device existing today.

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