Surprise! No USB Cable

Got my Spark Core and was so excited to try it but…
there is no usb cable… :frowning:

anyone had missing usb cables too?

Hi @melynx,

I’m sorry to hear that! Fortunately the Core will work with any micro-usb cable. If it helps in the meantime, personally I like Monoprice -

Please also email us at, and we’ll try to correct that manufacturing error.


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My Core came with a USB cable but it didn’t work - it was way too tight a fit for my liking so only supplied power not data as it only went about half way into the connector. plus its too short to be any use at about a foot long.

Spark would be better off not bothering with the cable and saving a few cents and reducing the support requests.

I have to disagree. Although the cable is short, it is not made for production products. Just like the tinker app, it’s ideal for tinkering around with the Core. If you open the box, you’re good to go, instead of having to dig up some old micro USB you know you’ve got lying around god-knows-where…
So as far as I’m concerned, I was pleasantly surprised to find it in there, not knowing it’d be included.

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i was more pleasantly surprised by the good quality breadboard in there.

as for usb cables, my 2m+ kindle cable is much more useful, if i used the spark cable (if it worked) i’d have to rest it on top of my tower on the floor.

does your spark cable fit the connector ok or do you have to really ram it in to get it all the way in (something i don’t want to do, microusb are notorious for snapping off).

The breadboard was indeed much nicer!
I only use a laptop, so I’ve always got USB ports within range. The cable is indeed rather short if you’ve got to stuff it into a well hidden desktop. Nonetheless I’m still happy with the fact that they decided to add it. I’m a bit of an iDevice ‘fanboy’ so I haven’t got as many micro USBs lingering around as I do 30pins/lightning cables :wink:
I’ve only ever used the supplied cable, and never bothered to search for another.
Seeing as a good amount of logic components need 5V to function, you’ll need to find some power supply anyway. I’m just as happy to power my Core of that, as I am powering it from my USB.
For serial interaction you will need to connect though, so I guess a decently working cable is neat to have. My cable plugs in just fine, as far as I’m concerned. I never really use micro USB, so I’m not entirely sure how far they’re supposed to go in. Mine powers it, interacts with my computer, and fits snugly enough that I can let it hang of the cable. The little ‘hooks’ seem to snap into the holes, and the whole is rather sturdy.

So all things considered, I’m happy with my cable :wink:

i was going to launch into a terade of “they’re expecting everyone to be using laptops and running osx” before you posted, but refrained, but it does seem like that from your post :wink: i’m always surprised when any maker types use macs (or windows especially!) as linux just seems the more natural choice for maker/hacker types.

anyway my spare kindle cable works fine and its white so matches the core. i’ve just bought a bunch of dc-to-usb adaptors as i’ve got a load of 5-12v psu’s for my arduino/beaglebone with 5.5x2.1mm barrel jacks, but my raspberry pi (and now spark) use micro usb, so i’m very pleased to be able to use the same power supplies - never was a fan of usb hubs for power.

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Nah, it’s not all that bad. I use a windows laptop as well. I’ve got a virtual Ubuntu running on it, but I’m not a good enough programmer to actually experience a decent improvement using it. Mostly, I just stick to the sparkulator, notepad++ for simple sketches.

A USB extension cable might be a neat addition to any cable assortment. That way you can use any USB divide without having to fiddle with crawling under a desk to plug it into a desktop.

If you’re planning on using the USB connection for power only, you might be better of using one of these: You can insert a USB Cable or one of those DC jacks. It supplies both 3.3V as 5V, which is ideal for most projects. You can also power your Core of it, so you won’t have to use the micro USB altogether.

One of my Spark usb cable came broken out of the box also. I ended up using micro usb cable that came with my external hdd (I guess, it has WD logo on it). So +1 on either get rid of the cable altogether or ship one with better quality. I hate throwing out stuffs that just came out of the box.
Just sayin’ :stuck_out_tongue:

@moors7 i’ve already got one of those usb power supplies, seems a bit overkill for a spark, probably use a 3.3v pololu boost instead.

@firmread yup, does seem to let down the spark, first impressions are everything, wasting an hour really hacked me off before i realised it was a naff cable. reduce the price to $38 and ditch the crappy cable.

@sej7278 @firmread We are now in fact shipping with higher quality USB cables than we originally did; they are very similar but come from a manufacturer that had higher quality standards. Appreciate the feedback, it helps us get better!


Hey guys! @wgbarley and I had just spoke to @will IN THE FACE so we hear you loud and clear.

So @will suggested he will personally go to your place and change it for you :smiley: :smiley:

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Thanks @kennethlimcp for volunteering my services. I don’t know if an in-person front door delivery is in the cards, but definitely feel free to contact me personally or through this thread with quality issues regarding the components in the Core box. We’re aware that we’ve had some quality issues with the cables in the past, and are continuing to monitor the quality with our new supplier.

As it turns out, USB cables are one of the more difficult items to police in terms of quality, since cut-rate cables are ubiquitous in Shenzhen, and a USB Micro cable that meets specifications are rare exceptions to the rule. Spark is committed to quality products, so if our customers aren’t satisfied with the new manufacturer we’ve been working with, we’ll certainly consider resourcing with a better supplier.

One out of five of the Sparks I ordered had a bad cable. It doesn’t do data, the power seems dodgy too as I can’t get good data readings off sensors when using it. Other ones seem ok though.

@will is the person to hear this feedback with regards to product issue.

Sorry to hear that you received a bad cable!

Ah, sorry this is my first post on the forums, didn’t realise it had sub-threading. Is it enough that you mentioned his name, or should I redo my comment as a reply to his?

I’m not looking for a replacement (they’re cheap enough through my local parts supplier), just thought I’d chime in with some feedback since they’ve dealt with supplier issues in the past.

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That will suffice.

No worries it’s good feedback. :wink:

Hey guys–thanks again for the continued feedback. We’ve identified another alternate supplier for the cables, and will be switching over production ASAP, though it may take a couple of months before you start to the new cables as we clear our previous inventory thorough our distributors and fulfillment center.