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Alaska Airlines adds USB Ports with Power

Alaska Airlines passengers will now be able to use their tablets, book readers, and cellphones all the way from the gate to thousands of feet in the air.

Starting Nov. 9, passengers will be able to use their electronic devices on board the plane, and even use WiFi, at 10,000 feet in the air.  Alaska Airlines will start flying its first aircraft with 110-volt and USB power outlets at every seat next month. Most of the fleet will be equipped by the end of 2014.

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Gadgeteer Loves USB Power Now on Alaska Airlines

Question:  Would you take a slimmer seat cushion (thus less space) to gain USB power?

If your answer is yes, then Alaska Airlines has you covered.

Alaska announced last week that the new seats, manufactured by German company Recaro Aircraft Seating, will also include 110-volt socket AND USB power outlets on the seat back in front of every passenger.  To date, the company has installed the slim seats with USB sockets on seven new planes and plans to have them on 75% of its fleet of 125 planes by the end of 2014.

Initial response from customers

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USB Flash Drive Power Monitor

Smartronix has a USB power monitor and it’s ideal for those who want to regulate what power is coming from a USB device.  Most notably would be the ability to test power from a suspect defective drive or gadget.  With so many useless USB toys made in cheap factories over seas, one can get a product which plays havoc with your system.  Most problems always come from power.

Granted the power meter probably takes more juice then any USB power gadget your testing, but again, this is designed for the hobbyist or guy troubleshooting some gear.

This is also a good device to test products which claim to fall into the USB-IF specification for a USB device, something like this USB power meter could help prove your case against an overseas supplier who’s not fessing up to their poor quality work.  (can you tell we’ve ran into this problem on multiple occasions !)

Too bad it doesn’t measure calories, otherwise we’d find out just how hard that USB humping dog is really working.

Smartronix webstore, vai Gadgeteer.

Features:

  • USB 1.1 and USB 2.0 compatible
  • Large, easy to read LCD
  • Folding Stand
  • Auto Power-Down
  • Peak Hold
  • Measures current in either direction (Host>Device or Device>Host
  • Batteries and USB Cable included

Specifications:

  • Maximum Voltage Reading +/- 19.99 Volts
  • Voltage Reading Accuracy: +/- 0.1 volt from -10V to 10V; 5% from 10.01V to 19.99V; 5% from -10.01V to -19.99V
  • Maximum Current Reading +/- 1999 mA
  • Current Reading Accuracy: +/- 2mA from -500mA to 500mA; 5% from 501mA to 1999mA; 5% from -501mA to -1999mA
  • USB Type B upstream Jack
  • USB type A downstream Jack
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USB Power Brick 11000mAh Output

Brando is reselling [because they don’t actually make anything] a 5 socket USB power brick.  The power block will supply a total of 11,000 mAh of Output, with not much of any port having significant Watts.

It is probably a good product for a trickle charge to several devices or a quick charge to one or two, so if you’re far away from that car charger, wall charger, or solar charger the USB power brick would be a nice edition.


The USB power brick sells for $60 USD + shipping of a couple dollars

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Spec for 100W over USB is Here

The USB-IF released the Power Delivery [PD] specification for USB 3.0.  In addition, the 2.0 forum approved it too.

Because we are talking about 100watts over USB there is some risk associated with introducing such a spec.  The USB-IF said the power can be sent, both ways, intelligently where power ramps up or down upon delivery.  The spec includes an intelligent check of both the cable and the other end’s capability to insure nothing goes up in flames.

If you stop and think about this, if a typical laptop has three USB sockets, what kind of power brick would you need to power the laptop plus 300watts of power, assuming all sockets are requesting a full load.  Maybe the power brick will end up being bigger and heavier then the laptop {grin}.

For a very interesting read on the entire PD report,

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Burning Stove Charges Electronics via USB Socket

Biolite Stove is portable camping stove which converts boiling water into energy to charge your portable devices.  I like the symmetry already!

The Biolite Stove is no bigger then a large jug of water.  It can hold up to 1 liter of water and can boil that same amount of water in [about] 4.5 minutes.

The fire power, as they say, ranges between 3.4kw and 5.5kw and will charge at a continuous flow 2W @ 5volts or peak of 4W @ 5volts.  Peak power flow depends on the BTUs of the fire while it’s going…you know, the hottest the fire will get, the most energy it will create as the water is boiling at the highest rate.

The Biolite Stove will charge anything via USB.  As to the efficiency of that charging process, nothing to say it’s fast or slow, but conceptually

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