Introduction: How to Add a On/off Power Switch to a USB/Device

Picture of How to Add a On/off Power Switch to a USB/Device

This instructable will show you how to make a on/off switch for your usb cable/s or usb powered device

I AM NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY DAMAGE THAT YOU DO TO YOUR DEVICE, USB CABLES, OR COMPUTER! FOLLOW THIS INSTRUCATBLE AT YOUR OWN RISK!

Step 1: Stuff You Will Need

Picture of Stuff You Will Need

I must apologize in advance for giving such crappy pics, the battery in my digital camera was dying and the flash barely worked. Anyhow, this is a list of materials you will need.

wire strippers/cutters

TWO PRONGED rocker switch 

electrical tape

sharp blade to cut /start wire stripping

two female spade connectors (find them at Walmart in the automotive section, get the smallest ones you can find)

Dremel with metal cutting disc to cut metal/plastic housing (if adding switch to internal device)

Two SMALL wire nuts (Walmart) or Soldering iron and heat shrink tubing

6 inches of black  and red automotive wire (you will need this to add to the stripped wire via wire nut or solder)

Step 2: Lets Get Started

Picture of Lets Get Started

If you are going to add this switch to an internal device that takes usb (This device uses a 9 pin usb cable, did not have any 9 pin slots left on my motherboard so I made a custom dual usb cable to plug them both in on the out side of my computer.  the only problem is that the device was so old that it is not compatible with my operating systems boot configuration, causing me to either wait 5-7 mins for my pc to boot when it was plugged in, or I had to unplug the cables every time I rebooted my PC...... hence the on/off power switch) you will want to have the switch close to the device, so I decided to mount my switch in the metal grated outer panel of my computer.

you will want to take the switch and mock it up were you want it on the outer panel.

once you do this, take a marker and trace out the pattern of the switch on the panel. (sorry no pics for this, needed both of my hands for that)

once you mark out the area of the switch, it's time to break out that Dremel and start cutting ( once again, needed both of my hands for that, sorry guys)

Step 3:

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your switch should slide in with a little force and the sides have a protrusion on each side that will press in and pop back out when you push the switch in so it does not back out. 

Step 4:

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now take your usb device (it will either have a shielded wire like a standard USB cable or it will look like this, a internal 9 or 4 pin usb cable) and find the +5Volt Data cable and the Ground cable. if you have a standard USB cable it the +5volt data will be the RED wire, and the ground will be the BLACK wire. 

in my case since there are two of each I am looking for the primary +5volt data and ground, which is the the row with 5 pins.

so form the female end of the cable I took the top row with 5 pins and form my pinout I have provided I took the FIRST wire and the FOURTH wire (notice they are all the same color for my internal device)

Separate both wires  (mark them if you need to) and use your blade to cut a slit down both wires, fold the are where you slit the wires in half and CAREFULLY use your wire strippers and pull JUST THE OUTTER PLASTIC HOUSING OFF. DO NOT CUT THE WIRES. (once again I needed both hands for this)

Step 5:

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now take both ends of one wire and pinch them together and twist the exposed wire together (to make the wire thicker and so that you do not have to cut or solder them). 

I had to take a 6 inch piece of automotive wire, strip it and use a wirenut to secure it to the cable and then strip the other end of the automotive wire so that it fit into the female spade terminal (not shown, when I had it like this the wires were so thin even after I had twisted them together they slipped out of the terminal after I had crimped it, so I had to use the thicker automotive wire. I also accidentally stripped both + and ground wires, hence the four wires coming out of the terminal in this pic) 

repeat this for the ground wire (also added automotive wire, RED for the +5 volt, and BLACK for the ground wire)


Step 6:

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Pictured are several examples of how the switch should be wired 

Step 7:

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if the device is internal like mine, plug all cables back in (MAKE SURE YOUR SWITCH IS IN THE OFF     O     Position, NOT THE ON  l  Position. 

attach the outer panel

flip the switch to the ON Position  (  l  )  

you should see your operating system show you that your device is plugged in to your computer


Step 8:

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And that is it, you now have a on/off switch for your internal/external USB powered device.

FAIR WARNING!!

For Internal devices like this once you have your switch in and working DO NOT TEST IT BY TURNING IT ON AND OFF OVER AND OVER !!!  YOU WILL CAUSE THE USB PORTS TO THINK THERE IS A PROBLEM WHERE THERE IS NOT AND THE PORTS WILL TEMP DISABLE THEM SELVES!!!

IF THIS HAPPENS JUST GO INTO THE DEVICE MANAGER, AND NAVIGATE TO THE USBS THAT HAVE THE   !  SYMBOL ON THEM AND LEFT CLICK AND SELECT DISABLE AND THEN LEFT CLICK AGAIN AND SELECT ENABLE, IT WILL RESET THE PORTS.

REMEMBER RESIST THE URGE TO PRESS THE BUTTON OVER AND OVER AGAIN!! (insert REN and STIMPY pun here)

Comments

electrfunch (author)2014-11-07

I would recommend using something that complies with the USB electrical specifications and protocol to switch USB devices.

You can use a switchable USB hub like this one https://www.yepkit.com/products/ykush

Cheers

mfrontuto (author)electrfunch2015-01-04

good find! I just did this to get my outdated multifunction SD/card reader
to work, and when I restart my system, shut it off so that it does not
cause my system to take forever to restart ( not sure why that happens, I
guess that's what you get when you force outdated tech to work with a
new system when it normally would not work with it) If it were something
like a serious component like a portable hard drive, a Pi, or something
like that I would definitely use what you linked to.

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