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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Consumer Hardware & Components > Building my own USB charging 'station' - good idea!?

Building my own USB charging 'station' - good idea!?
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Mac Elite
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Apr 26, 2013, 12:57 PM
 
Hey,

I just wanted to pin a USB hub on the wall, connect it to a USB-power-adapter and use it to charge my iPod nano (7), my digital camera, my cellphone etc. occasionally. Is that a good idea? Often enough, manufacturers tell you it's not a good idea, sounding like you could break something apart when not charged with the original cables/charging adaptor, is that true? Is there really anything I can do wrong here? It sounded sort of comfortable to me.

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PeteParker
     
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Apr 26, 2013, 05:18 PM
 
Your USB hub should have included its own AC transformer, which connects to the back of the hub with a barrel jack. USB hubs will allow 500mA per device; same as a computer. The power adapter that came with your iPod probably provides 1000mA. So with half that, either the battery will charge slowly or on some devices not at all.
     
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Apr 26, 2013, 05:25 PM
 
Some hubs have the extended charging capability, as do many UPS units.

Check the hubs on this newegg search result. Note that some of them only have 1-2 high power ports. You'd probably want a hub with all ports of the high-power variety.
     
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Apr 26, 2013, 06:53 PM
 
What I want is this, except it is not shipping yet I guess if it was easy Griffin would be shipping it already : iPad Charging Station | Multiple iPad Charger | Griffin Technology

( Last edited by reader50; Apr 26, 2013 at 07:14 PM. Reason: embedded image)
     
cgc
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Apr 26, 2013, 09:45 PM
 
They make duplex wall outlets you install in place of an existing power outlet that includes two USB charging ports. Nice and sleek and not that expensive. Here's one I found but there are numerous options...this was the first hit.
"Like a midget at a urinal, I was going to have to stay on my toes." Frank Drebin, Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult
     
Managing Editor
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Apr 26, 2013, 09:53 PM
 
Kanex Sydnee - 4-Port USB Charging Stand Black

It's got four USB ports, each with loads of power. Need Lightning? Bring your own cable. It ships with 30-pin docks.
     
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Apr 26, 2013, 10:33 PM
 
It's not home made but it does what you want and they are shipping now. I actually ended up ordering two of them, one for my iPhone, Bluetooth headset, and Mophie battery pack and another for my go pros and the Go Pro WiFi remote. I'm probably going to have to order yet another one for my wife and her gadgets...

Universal Charger IDAPT i4
     
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Apr 27, 2013, 04:46 PM
 
First off this isn't anywhere near as fancy as some of the items posted. I just wanted to throw this out there if you are thinking of using a USB HUB. There are some USB chargers out there that might do what you are looking for. For example I got a 4 port USB charger a few months ago and it has worked as expected. It does have a 500mA limit per port so if you have devices that require high power keep that in mind.

Rosewill 2 Amp 4 Port USB Wall Charger RUC-6180 for iPhone/iPod/iPad/MP3 - Newegg.com

Currently there is a $6 off code listed at the top of the page making it $8.99 with free shipping. This might be a viable solution for some based on the cost. It is also great for travel since it is very compact. The reviews are right in that the power connector seems a little flimsy but I leave it plugged in 99% of the time so it hasn't been a problem for me.
     
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Apr 27, 2013, 08:29 PM
 
Manufacturers are just protecting themselves because there are lots of seriously cheap and shitty USB devices on the market, particularly USB hubs. Cheap ones that fail can theoretically take devices with them when the do. Decent ones will have protective failsafes built-in but these raise the cost of the equipment.

Look at the various mass-chargers available for iPads/iPhones in schools or corporate settings. As devices go, these are not complicated pieces of equipment but they often cost far more than an equivalent number of Apple-made iPod chargers and a couple of 8-way AC adaptors.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
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Apr 27, 2013, 09:20 PM
 
     
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Apr 30, 2013, 09:51 AM
 
Originally Posted by cgc View Post
They make duplex wall outlets you install in place of an existing power outlet that includes two USB charging ports. Nice and sleek and not that expensive. Here's one I found but there are numerous options...this was the first hit.
I've seen them in a few places. Has anyone seen one for the European standard plug?
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
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Apr 30, 2013, 03:11 PM
 
Originally Posted by cgc View Post
They make duplex wall outlets you install in place of an existing power outlet that includes two USB charging ports. Nice and sleek and not that expensive. Here's one I found but there are numerous options...this was the first hit.
Also consider something like this. You get 2 USB ports and 4 additional electrical outlets. You can also easily move it around if you need the USB ports somewhere else. This particular unit is the Belkin BV106050-CW but there are similar units from other manufacturers.
( Last edited by ClassicMac; May 1, 2013 at 03:59 AM. )
     
   
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