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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

“Cord-On-Board” iPhone Case

These iPhones run out of juice so quickly.  I’m not saying it’s a battery issue, I’m saying the devices are so adictive I use them all day long and drain the battery.  From getting directions, to checking status updates, to email, facetime and photo shots, it’s in constent use. I’ve definitely spent extra money getting Apple 30 pin cables for charging at both home and work.  Caseinity has solved the consumer problem of over spending with the cord-on-board product.  The product is simple as you can see from this image. The product is a case with the USB to 30-pin connector attached to the underside of the case.  Now we don’t see a width dimension of the picture, but it must be at least 7mm thick to handle the USB connector. What I like most about this product is the Continue Reading

Intro DIY Project For Easy USB Charger

Looking to for a simple DIY project for a school report or class event, this USB charger is it!  Or if you’re just looking to try your hand with some simple electronic wiring to see if you have what it takes. Well, using some off-the-shelf times, a battery and the simple schematics below you can have a great USB charge for just about any USB product. The full tutorial is at Instructables, and I’ve also seen a couple good comments in their thread, like: Continue Reading

Jelly Batteries – A Better Solution

In a jelly battery the jelly would replace the liquid electrolytes currently used in most lithium batteries.  University of Leeds dreamed up a very unique solution to our never-ending-quest for more battery power. A new prototype of battery, the jelly battery, avoids what the pros call “thermal runaway.”  The thermal runaway is what causes batteries to over heat and [sometimes] catch on fire. The Leeds research team says their secret to success lies in the blending of a rubber like polymer with a conductive, liquid electrolyte into a thin, flexible file of gel.  That film sits between the battery electrodes.
“Safety is of paramount importance in lithium batteries. Conventional lithium batteries use electrolytes based on organic liquids; this is what you see burning in pictures of lithium batteries that catch fire. Replacing liquid electrolytes by a polymer or gel electrolyte should improve safety and lead to an all-solid-state cell,”
said Professor Peter Bruce from the University of St Andrews, who was not involved in the study. Continue Reading

New USB Power Specification – Dreamy

Cell phone standards ditched the AC/DC adapter about a year ago and it’ll be a requirement all cell phones power only via USB.  Now it looks like we could do the same for computers.  The USB 3.0 Promoter Group introduced a new specification to offer up to 100watts of power over a USB 3.0 cable.  How convenient would that be! Lets ditch the AC/DC power block with most laptops and just plug into one of those USB wall mount power stations.  Or recharge your laptop directly off your tower PC.  Or easily power an unlimited number of USB devices via your USB laptop USB 3.0 port. This means more and more peripherals will be powered via USB and not require the extra power adapter.  This ultimately mean less cost and less hassle for the average computer user.
“Building on the rapidly increasing industry momentum for using USB bus power to charge a broad range of mobile devices, the new USB Power Delivery specification extends USB’s cable power delivery capabilities beyond simple battery charging,” said Brad Saunders, USB 3.0 Promoter Group chairman, in a statement. “For example, charging the battery of a notebook PC, or simply powering that notebook PC while actively using the USB data connection, would be possible. Conceivably, a notebook PC could rely solely on a USB connection for its source of power.”
The preliminary spec indicated power is bi-directional and therefore no need to switch or swap the USB cable.  The new specification would be compatible with Continue Reading

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