Vinod Kurup

Hospitalist/programmer in search of the meaning of life

Dec 26, 2021 - 2 minute read - Comments - tech support

USB-C lint

The problem

The USB-C cord kept falling out of my Android phone. It started happening in the car. A little bump while driving would make the cord fall out. Then it started happening even when I just had it plugged in on a table. I’d come down in the morning and the charge would be drained because it hadn’t been fully plugged in. Finally, I couldn’t even get it to charge unless I plugged it in forcefully, and put a book under the cord at a certain angle to keep it plugged in.

The googling

Googling for this problem didn’t find anything specific to my phone, but I did find people complaining of this issue and other people telling them that this was because of lint in the USB-C port. [1] [2] [3]

I just needed to get that lint out somehow.

What didn’t work

  1. Compressed air
  2. A toothpick (it was too thick)
  3. A plastic zip tie (It was too flimsy)

What did work

A SIM card removal tool. You know, one of those things that they send you with a new phone to poke into the SIM card housing to get it to eject? It was the perfect size and depth to be able to get all the way around the SIM card and get copious amounts of lint (ewww!) out of the port. Now my USB-C cord plugs in with a satisfying click and stays connected.

Philosophical musings

It’s weird that this three year old phone now feels new to me. For a while now, I would have a little dread every time I went to plug in this phone, knowing that it would be fiddly and that I might come down to a dead phone in the morning. Now, with this little improvement, I feel a weird warmth towards the phone again, similar to that feeling I had when it was a new phone. I cleaned out the lint a few weeks ago, and I still have this warm sensation towards it. Every time I plug it in, I get a little burst of happiness when it clicks in satisfyingly. It’s almost as if seeing a problem with the phone that I didn’t think would exist, and then seeing a solution to that problem, makes me appreciate the phone more than if it had never had that problem. That just feels weird and revelatory to me.

Loving the laptop

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