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I have an apple USB AC charger which is rated to provide 5V, 1A output and a Sony mp3 player NWZ B143F.

I don't know the spec of Sony audio player. But I have another mp3 player from Transcend which is rated to take 5V, 1A input voltage. So, is it safe to assume that Sony or for that matter any mainstream mp3 player would take 5V, 1A as input?

Is it safe to use the apple charger with Sony mp3 player?

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The only two issues would be 1) Can the charger supply enough current? (more a hazard to the charger than the player) and 2) Will hum from the charger cause audible hum in the player? Speaking as an electrical engineer I wouldn't hesitate to try, but maybe feel the charger after 10 minutes to make sure it's not too warm. –  Daniel R Hicks Apr 14 '12 at 9:38

3 Answers 3

up vote 4 down vote accepted

The voltage for USB is always 5V. The current supplied by USB differs a bit, the standard allows up to 5A but for unregulated devices (eg chargers) only 1.5A max. An unregulated device basically is everything that has no controller (chip) built in to communicate with the other end. There are devices that ignore this specification though, but these can actually break the host controller on the other end. And in your case the charger would be the host controller anyways (if it had a chip, just because the host always is the supplier).

If your Sony mp3 player really uses this 1.5A (which allready can produce a fair amount of heat in a battery) it would not be bad if the charger only supplies 1A, the batteries would just take somewhat longer to load.

I googled a bit on charging currents for different batteries, and most devices have a maximum of 1.5A. But for small batteries used in such mp3 players as yours 100mA is considered enough, up to 300mA could be used. (example) Of course there are industry standard AA batteries that be charged with up to 700mA, but this is still below your limit and I guess your player does not use one of those batteries. Always keep in mind that in a circular circuit the current through all pieces is the same only the voltage drops after every part, so charging more batteries in line will be no problem, too. As long as you can supply enough voltage (which you can because you supply the needed 5V).

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won't it do bad if the charger is pumping 1 A when the player needs only 500mA?? I thought this to the major problem... As in a LED this would make it burn off....hence you need a current limiting resistor... –  Vineet Menon Apr 14 '12 at 18:07
    
The current flowing is defined by current = voltage * resistance. The voltage is a constant 5V and the resistance is constant, too. Thus the maximum flowing current is defined by the device you are charging, not the charger. –  Baarn Apr 14 '12 at 18:15
    
For LEDs it is a totaly different thing by the way, because they have a very strange curve on how their inner resistance changes based on voltage flowing through. Thats why you put the resistor in front which has a predictable (linear) curve. –  Baarn Apr 14 '12 at 18:17
    
thanks for the help.. –  Vineet Menon Apr 15 '12 at 6:01
    
"the standard allows up to 5A" should be "0.5 A" and for non-enumerated devices it's 0.1 A. USB 3.0 increases it to 0.9 A. Dedicated battery chargers can go up to 1.5 A, and USB 3.1 increases it to 2 A at 5 V. –  endolith Feb 4 at 19:38

As other posters have said, USB standard specifies 5 V, so unless the Apple charger malfunctions, it shouldn't fry your player.

As for the current, one of the manuals I found specified a battery capacity of 170 mAh and charging time of 70 minutes. Some simple math will show that the player should draw about 145 mA while charging, which is about what you'd expect from a portable MP3 player, and way below the 1 A the Apple charger can provide.

Conclusion: yes, it's safe to use the Apple charger with your Sony player.

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USB is a standard and as well as you can charge your player using any computer's USB plugs you can use any USB charger.

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i was more concerned with the voltage and current ratings...I don't want to fry my mp3 player... –  Vineet Menon Apr 14 '12 at 8:41
    
Do you have a source for this claim? –  shufler Apr 14 '12 at 9:08

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