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Commercial Grade USB Solar Charging Station

Legrand now offers the XSOLARCS USB charging station for public works, schools, parks and transportation centers.

With the Legrand solution, there is no construction required in order to install the charging station. The unit is a self contained solar panel tower, with six USB charging ports pulling from the solar panel. There are three shelves which can mount in adjustable locations to the panel tower poll. Each shelf containes two USB ports with up to 3.1A of shared power between them. There is no trenching required or other expensive construction projects in order to get the EXSOLARCS going.

USB sockets are protected from the eliments with a sliding door in front of the two port socket assembly. Not only is there protection, but LED illumination at each port for after-dark identification and ease-of-use. If the light is illuminating, the station can provide a charge. This implies there is some type of battery inside the station, which we’ve emailed Legrand to find out exactly what.

The XSOLARCS was designed with the elimints in mind. The USB charging station is designed to withstand hurricane-force winds and has the full RoHS certificate compliance.

Source: Legrand .

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Flash Drive Prices Are Going Up – Cause: Japan & S. Korea Trade War

Japan has been a long time supplier for three key elements used in the manufacturing of NAND memory and semiconductors. Because of recent trade war issues between Japan and South Korea, these elements are getting very hard to obtain.

Japan produces about 90% of the world’s supply of flurinated polyimide and resists, and about 70% of the world’s supply for hydrogen fluoride. This puts everyone at risk if Japan will not supply those demanding it.

Those chemicals are used by Korean manufacturers to produce semiconductors, and are crucial for making components — including memory chips, microprocessors and integrated circuits.

We have seen the direct impact already. For the first time in over eight months, the price of NAND memory for flash drives have gone up. For each GB capacity the percentage increase is different, but most notably are the 32GB and 64GB wafers. They have jumped nearly 25% from the previous week ( this article was posted on July 25th).

Japan has sited inadequate management of those chemicals by purchasing countries. Said another way, these chemicals can also be used to manufacturer military weapons and Japan is claiming those supplies have been diverted to do just that. Japan’s response; restrictions on the chemicals.

Who will lose from this trade war? None other than any person who uses technology. Cell phones, processors, flash memory, circuit boards, the list goes on.

For a more dry version of this report, and our source visit: here

To learn more about the polyimide chemicals a quick read on this wiki page is fairly interesting. Continue Reading

Will Trump Tariffs Affect USB Flash Drives?

Posted May 16, 2019.

The United States and China walked away from trade talks earlier this week. From that departure President Trump and Xi Jinping of China are increasing the number of products subject to tariffs.

With that said: Will Trump tariffs affect USB flash drives?

Doing a quick Google search there is a good chance a BuzzFeed article will come up first. In that article, the author incorrectly claims flash drives will be affected. Flash drives are not affect by tariffs at this time.

Don’t take our word for it, find out for yourself. Here is the information you need:

Here is the Harmonized Tariff Schedule link:
https://hts.usitc.gov/

The Harmonized Tariff Code for a USB flash drive is: 8523.51.0000
Simply search the above website for the HS Code number. The chart will say to the right if the product is FREE or has a % tax.

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Where to buy: SD Duplicators, Some Say “SD Copiers”

SD cards are so popular today because the gigabyte capacity in relation to the form factor size is such a great trade off.  The average user on the street would associate an SD card with a camera, but we know heavy users of SD cards use them for embedded operating systems, GPS systems and hand-held point of sale systems.

With that said, for those who need to mass data load content to Secure Digital cards, you might be looking for options on where to buy the gear. The following article, which has no affiliate links for commissions, lists some house-hold names who offer on-line purchasing of SD duplication gear.

SD duplicators manufactured by Nexcopy are available from a variety of different on-line retailers.  The models available from the manufacturer range in different sizes.  The models also range between systems running from a host computer and systems which are stand alone. The following content will talk about both, PC based and standalone duplicators.

Wal-Mart is a growing on-line destination for purchasing technology equipment.  Yes, Wal-Mart.  For example, a user can buy a 20 target SD duplicator from Wal-Mart.

20 target SD duplicator from Wal-Mart.  A PC Based system for data loading to SD cards

This system is PC based and requires a very minimal Windows computer to run the software.  You might ask, why a PC based system?  What advantages are there with a system like this?  Here are some bullet points on why a PC based system is a benefit:

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Windows 10 Update, Hickup With Flash Drives

We have read on-line that Microsoft’s May 2019 update might not happen for those with connected USB sticks or SD cards. Microsoft claims the update will simply not happen if the OS detects these connected devices. The reason, Microsoft might re-assign drive letters to those connected devices.

On my first pass of reading this, the reassignment of drive letters doesn’t sound all that bad. Especially for a removable drive. However; Microsoft goes on to state that internal hard drives could also be affected by the drive letter shuffle.

There is your red flag!

The newly published Windows 10 support document reveals; those computers already having the April 2018 (version 1803) or October 2018 (version 1809) updates installed will receive this error message: “This PC can’t be upgraded to Windows 10.”

The Microsoft documentation does not referrence internal hard drives getting reassigned drive letters when no USB or SD card is detected and for that reason we feel you are safe during the update process. This is why Microsoft is blocking the update all together when a USB or SD card is detected in your system. Microsoft understands the importance of mounted internal hard drives; thus their blocking of the update.

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USB Steampunk – Tesla Generator V1.2

Who doesn’t love a steampunk flash drive? Or a steampunk anything for that matter.

Over the next couple of weeks, this website will post some outrageous steampunk USB products.

First up, the Tesla Generator by Megan Kening from Israel. Made from materials such as copper, brass, glass and paper, this is a hand crafted USB drive you will not get anywhere else. Megan has excellent reviews from the buyers.

A handmade product like this is only available at Etsy, link below.

Additional pictures after the jump…

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Microsoft Finally Capitulated the USB Safe Removal

In a battle that is so ancient most no longer consider it an issue, Microsoft has gone away with the safe removal for USB flash drives. The original suggestion by Microsoft was to eliminate data lose if a user removed the drive before properly ejecting it.

Nine out of ten times you wouldn’t lose data, unless a large file was being transferred, but it’s nice to see Microsoft adjust to user habits.

The update which includes this change is Windows 10 v v1809. If you are not sure the Windows version you have, simply right click the Windows icon in the bottom left of your screen and select “System

From the resultant page, you can view the version of your OS.

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USB4, The Royalty Free Thunderbolt from Intel

In the news, Intel has given their specification for its high-speed Thunderbolt technology to the USB-IF implementers forum.  This is the group which creates and manages USB technology.

The USB4 specification will follow the current USB 3.2 specification, yet an exact date of release has not been defined.

USB4 will double the bandwidth of USB 3.2 and provide transfer rates at a theoretical maximum of 40Gb/s. 

USB4 Flash Drive

USB4 will also enable the use of multiple data and display protocols simultaneously.  This implies you will be able to transfer data, run your monitor and power your devices through a single connection.

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TiSTICK – The Over Kill USB Flash Drive

The TiSTICK is currently available on Kickstarter. Here is your summary update if interested:

The flash drive has a titanium case, made of very durable material, has 256AES hardware encryption, available in several large GB capacities and is getting near full funding on Kickstarter.

We like the shape, we like the magnet on the tail of the drive, and we like the look. Great marketing and certainly sets itself apart from the rest of the “durable” flash drives. So well done Jörg Lingg.

In our humble opinion a bit over kill, but that is only our opinion. The following drive is made of aluminum, has been ran over multiple times with a car, and still works fine with it’s Alcor controller with encryption functionality.

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Harmonization Code for USB Flash Drives

HS Code for USB Flash Drives

When importing or exporting USB flash drives in the United States you will want to use this Harmonization Code to help with customs paperwork.

The Harmonization Code is tariff nomenclature for internationally trade which defines names and numbers assigned to traded products. The HS Code System came into effect in 1988 and has since been developed and maintained by the World Customs Organization (WCO), based in Brussels, Belgium. There are over 200 countries which participate in this program.

The HS Code for a USB flash drive is: 8523.51.0000

In the event your freight forwarder or delivery service tells you that an ECCN is needed to ship USB flash drives and is required to complete the Automated Export System (AES) or other documentation then please give them the above information and it should all work out.

ECCN stands for Export Control Classification Number. An ECCN is an alpha-numeric classification used in the Commerce Control List to identify items for export control purposes.

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Look What 10 Years Does for Lexar and SD Cards

Almost ten years ago Lexar announced it’s first 1GB SD card. Today Lexar announces their first 1TB SD card. My, how times have changed. A one GB card ten years ago cost about $125 and difficult to find at that capacity. The 1TB card announced today is $499. Doing a quick calculation means the price per Megabyte went from $0.12 cents all the way down to $0.0005 per Megabyte. Awesome!

If the price difference isn’t a big enough shock to you, consider the storage capacity increased this much, yet the form factor of the SD card has not changed.

Lexard 1TB SD Card

This new Lexar card is a Class 10 device with transfer speeds over 95MB per second. Ideal for newer cameras capturing video in 4K.
Lexard 1TB SD Card

About Lexar:

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USB copy protection with digital rights management for data loaded on USB flash drives.

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