The Wrong Darn Cable

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Hands up, everyone who keeps a box or boxes of leftover cables, adaptors and parts stashed away because you never know when you might need one of them.

What’s that, everyone? Yeah, that’s what I thought. We all joke about how ridiculous that whole mindset is, but deep down, we all know it is serious business.

Let me tell you a story that validates that hoarder mentality to keep old cables and adaptors because, you know, just in case.

Last weekend I was at a charity golf tournament hosted by one of my dealers. At the banquet and awards ceremony, I won one of the prizes: a new dash cam, which is perfect. I have a dash cam, but it hasn’t worked for a couple of years. It was still mounted in my car, but I hadn’t gotten around to replacing it.

When I got home, I unboxed my new dash cam and prepared to mount it in my car. It came with a 12-volt CLA power supply, but my car’s 12V port is occupied by the power supply for my car’s cell signal booster, so it’s down to one of my car’s USB-A ports.

“No problem,” I thought — until I looked at the new dash cam and saw it has a mini-USB port. Mini-USB? Who still uses mini-USB?

Before any photography nerds go off in the comments, I know that many digital SLR cameras and photography peripherals still use mini-USB. Not me, though.

“Fine,” I thought, “I’ll just go down to the basement and grab a cable from my stash.”

Fortunately for me, my boxes of extra cables are neatly separated and sorted, for the most part: all the Lightning cables are together, likewise all the USB-C, ethernet cables, etc. To digress briefly, when we moved house a couple of years ago, I ditched a lot of cables that I admitted were now of no use: mostly analog RCA cables, and I suspect whatever mini-USB cables I had purged as well.

However, I still have a lot of AC adaptors for laptops I no longer own. Why? Because you never know, right? I knew I didn’t have a specific stash of mini-USB cables because, well, why would I?

That meant I had to dig through my stash of micro-USB because if I have one, it will be with them. I say this without exaggeration, but I have at least a hundred micro-USB cables in a box in the basement. I started picking them up one by one and examining them. Halfway through the box and still no success.

“This is ridiculous,” I thought. “I can’t believe I will have to go to Amazon and BUY a mini-USB cable! Me, a guy in the cable business!”

And so it went as I made my way through the box. Picking them up one at a time and putting them in a pile on the floor when it wasn’t what I was looking for.

Finally, success! I found one! It was the last cable in the box.

And that, my friends, is why you should never throw away your extra cables and adaptors!