Raspberry Pi 4 Won't Work with Some USB Type-C Cables

Ruben Fields
July 10, 2019

Raspberry Pi Foundation The Raspberry Pi 4 was announced on Monday, and it represents a massive leap in capabilities compared to previous models.

In theory, all USB-C cables are created equal, but we all know it's not quite that simple; the rollout of the standard has been beset by quirks and confusion, and it looks like the Pi 4 has fallen foul.

E-marking is a technique which gives a cable a digital signature based on what the cable is going to do.

Raspberry Pi co-founder, Eben Upton, has confirmed the issue, telling Tech Republic: "A smart charger with an e-marked cable will incorrectly identify the Raspberry Pi 4 as an audio adapter accessory and refuse to provide power..." Fortunately, Upton says they expect the issue to be fixed in a future board revision.

The new Raspberry Pi 4 is the first to be powered using a USB-C cable, but not all cables will work and the only fix is to do perform board revision. One of the most significant moves is the switch to USB-C for power, but it turns out that this port has a rather interesting issue. After all, many phones and laptops have shipped with USB-C cables for power and data for years, so you probably have a few of them laying around.

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Do you have a Raspberry Pi 4 sitting around waiting to have some fun?

Given that USB-C is a complicated connector, some cables are electronically marked, which means that they have an integrated chip to support a wide range of devices. He explains that from a technical perspective, the USB-C specification defines two pins called CC1 and CC2 for connecting to the power sink in a specific way. Incidentally, the new iteration does not have a dedicated power supply port and has to completely depend on USB Type C port.

As an illustration, you should utilize a MacBook Pro charger with loads of USB-C devices. Incidentally, many users have strongly claimed that all USB Type C cables that have the ability to deliver power as well as transmit data should have worked with the new Raspberry Pi 4 Model B if the Raspberry Pi Foundation had simply followed the USB-C specification correctly and thoroughly.

To get started, you can download the Raspberry Pi 4 image from Kali's website and following these instructions to get it setup.

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