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Hi Paul,try to bridge the data pins of your USB cable. Bridge it with a resistor equal or greater than 1 kilo Ohm just for safety. Some USB-power devices just deliver their power only if data pins are bridged or are at special voltages.500 milliamp on the 5V side sounds pretty low to me. Your notebook will charge with 2A if the battery is empty if I remind correctly. (looks like a 13 inch MacBook Pro?)
Hi!Cool project!You should add some series resistors in front of the LEDs to protect them from dying. ;)
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