PDTricker Fast Charge Deception Tool

Muse-Lab PD Tricker circuit board

When you tinker in electronics you need a voltage source. You can get a proper voltage source, but these tend to be expensive, often I would just tinker with a split USB cable and a random phone charger to get 5V.USB-C power bricks should be able to deliver different voltages, and this is where the PDTricker Fast Charge Deception Tool from MuseLab becomes interesting. It’s a small circuit than tricks a USB-C power supply to provide various voltages: 5,9,12,15 and 20V.

You can select which voltage by pressing the unique button. In theory the power adapter should provide all voltages, but we don’t live in theory. So I tried out various power-supplies with a USB-C connector.

Supported USB-C output voltages
Supply 5v 9v 12v 15v 20v
Apple A1435 Magsafe 2 60 W + adapter
Apple A2166 96W
Apple A1693 0.6A
Fake Apple A1719 87W
Raspberry Pi KSA-15E-051300HE
Apple A1540 29W

As I was trying to find the product identifiers of these various adapters, I noticed that the supported voltages are often written on the device, in extremely small letters. The Raspberry Pi adapter, despite its USB-C connector is basically a classic USB power supply with no support for USB-Power Delivery control. The fact that the only power adapter was a fake was a surprise, so was the fact that the cheap Magsafe-2 to USB-C was actually capable of multiple voltages.

In the end, the fake Apple supply will serve for my tinkering, the fact that this table is needed confirms my idea that USB-C can be very confusing.

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