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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, Continue Reading

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 Continue Reading

Zip Mini – Magnetic Charging Station

The Joy Factory has a smaller version of their popular Zip charging station, but looks just as cool. The ZipMini Touch-n-Goâ„¢ charging station is the next step in the evolution of mobile device power.  Now you can take a call or check your e-mail without having to manually disconnect cables. Your device reconnects itself when you move it back near the charging station. This sleek little powerhouse charges up to four devices at once, eliminates cord clutter, and looks great doing it. Touch-n-goâ„¢ is a revolutionary combination of a magnetized base unit paired with magnetized 3-inch mini-cables knows as “zip tails.” The zip tails pop immediately into place on the charging station via the built-in magnets, and safely snap off when you move your device. The only problem I have with this solution is finding additional 30 pin connectors since I have four iPhones to charge.  In addition, TheJoyFactory doesn’t give specifics about charging times with multiple devices, so a good chance you’ll get a trickle charge to the iPad while have several other devices connected at the same time. Purchase price for the ZipMini Continue Reading

USB Battery Charging – Not An Easy Task

USB devices and ports are now the most ubiquitous item one can related to a computer product other then maybe the VGA connector or Ethernet port.  With that said, it’s now the mainstream bus used to power and recharge most computer devices and gadgets.  However, just because it will charge of USB doesn’t mean it’s all that easy and efficient.  There is a lot more into charging via USB then you’d ever imagine. With some devices you get a fast charge.  With other devices you get a slow charge.  So what’s the deal? In most cases when you see a slow charging device it means the manufacturer made a digital signature that is compatible with the power charger which came with the device.  Any other USB port used to charge the product simply isn’t as efficient…and that’s by design! This post is just an appetizer for all the dirty little secrets related to USB charging devices, to get a little deeper into the details click over to Continue Reading

On Off USB Power Bar Will Save You $$$

The tech world is changing for the better.  We are seeing longer lasting batteries, devices which require less juice and smarter power management.  Good example is the PowerUSB Bar. This power bar will automatically shut down the devices it’s powering based on time of day or clock settings.  For example, why power that laser printer when everyone is away from work?  Better to power off the printer between 6pm and 7am, right?  The PowerUSB Bar can do just that. The PowerUSB Basic empowers you to put your old devices on a diet by programming when to shut off power to them. It looks like a standard 4 port power strip but 3 of the for outlets are programmable. The last outlet is always on so it’s reserved for the PC. And there’s also a 6 ft USB cord coming out of the power strip. Attach printers, chargers, speakers or external drives and let the PowerUSB Bar govern their power consumption. Continue Reading

Another USB Wall Charger

Now that USB is becoming the standard charging bus for all portable electronic devices [at least in UK], we can truly embrace the wall mount USB charger. This slick looking wall mount uses one DC outlet from your wall and extends it to the face plate along with two USB charging ports.  The two ports can charge one iPad or two iPhones.  Of course it will accommodate other USB based devices like Android, tablets etc. It would have been nice to see some additional logic inside which would send enough current for 4 or 6 devices.  I also think if you are going to eliminate one complete wall socket, might as well offer more USB ports. RCA is selling the charger for $20 retail. Continue Reading

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