Power Switch for USB Devices





Introduction: Power Switch for USB Devices

This guide will show you my version of a switch for a USB hard disk. I did this as i wanted to connect an external hard disk to my router, but did not want to leave it on all the time as I just need it 2, maybe 3 times a week.

Of course you can just unplug it, but in my case and since it is in a narrow space, i prefer to have a switch to do it.

(You will need some basic soldering skills to build this)

- 1 picture: These are the parts you will need

You can use this, or any other switch you like, its easily found on ebay, as well as the USB male and female connectors.

I wanted to keep it simple so i'm only going to use the switch to cut the 5V supply and not the data pins or ground since they don't work without the 5V.

- 2 Picture: First thing I did was to cut down the pins a bit, so that they don't stand out that much, this is just for aesthetics.

- 3 picture: I used some cooper wire in order to hold the USB connector in place.

- 4 picture: And soldered some wire to the other 3 pins.

- 5 picture: Measuring how long the wires should be

- 7 picture: At this point everything is soldered in place and i wanted to superglue the connectors to the case to give it stability, but then i had a better idea

Step 1:

I soldered the case of the male to the case of the female USB connector to give it the stability i needed. With 2 copper wires, one on each side. That way you can pull on it, without it falling apart.

At this point my thought was to make it look a bit nicer with some FIMO or something similar which you can mold and then make it become hard. I wanted to use it all around so you cant see the wires, but then i just figured out that where I would use it, it would not be visible, so i just let it be like it is.

The final picture is the place its actually serving its duty.



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    awesome invention

    I wanted to try something similar but I'm concerned about what the USB spec expects for power control this way.
    i.e. What pin or pins are expected to be switched?
    if more than one, is there an expected order or can they all be cut at once?
    data lines too?

    great idea for an Asus mid to high level motherboard. I have one and try have a feature that let's u charge ur phone when the computer is off. so in order for a usb wifi dongle to work I will need a switch. also anything with led's stay on.

    FIMO need 200 ° temperature to be hard ...

    Great i'ble!
    Though if you want to use it with a hard drive, it could harm it. In a normal USB socket some connections are longer than the other, making some disconnect first. When you use this switch only the power pins will disconnect and it could harm the harddrie. You can get special disconnecting PCBs for that. Just google it. Just making sure nothing get destroyed :)
    Great I'ble, as said ;)

    2 replies

    You're right on that, although i could not find any more info about it, it makes sense. If anyone has some technical explanation on this, i would appreciate it ;)

    Why not use Sugru, the wonderful paste that Instructables is (a wee bit) famous for?

    1 reply

    Didn't know about that. That stuff is awesome!! A bit expensive, but still...

    Is that heat-shrink tubing?

    great to prank someone


    For safety reasons, I would have cut the ground instead of positive, but no big deal since it's low voltage. Good job.

    Awesome! Might build it now just for fun!

    Very cool! I made a few USB adapters a while back and I used plumber's epoxy putty to cover the innards.


    This is really interesting! I can see how this would be really handy in the right situation. Nice first instructable!