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Component to switch multiple data lines? Answered

I'm looking for a component that I don't know the name of because I have very little electronics experience and asking google these types of things seems to get me everywhere except where I need to be.

What I think I need is something that will allow me to switch between four different data lines simultaneously but default to four other lines.

For example: Input 1 has four lines. Input 2 has four lines. There is one output with four lines.

Real World Problem:
I bought a digital picture frame for super cheap and didn't get a chance to research it. It is powered by a USB wall transformer. When the picture frame is receiving power from the wall, it displays the images. When it's plugged into the computer, it goes into update mode and mounts a drive that you can copy images to.

What I Want Now:
To be able to flip a switch and have it change from USB wall transformer to USB PC. So, from the above: input 1 = USB wall power, input 2 = PC USB, output = picture frame. The switch box would have a 2x USB Mini-A inputs and one USB Type A output.

What I Want Later:
I imagine it's trivial(?!) to change the physical switch out for a 555/556 timer and two potentiometers so that I can have set a Frequency and Duration of changing from the default wall power to the PC's USB power.

What I Get:
A picture frame that every x minutes switches to the PC for y minutes so that I can write an application to look for a newly mounted volume called KODAKFRAME (just an example) and create images for it of things like the latest news and weather or maybe even just change out the pictures for variety.

My Real Motives:
I'm an IT guy and would love to use this as an auxiliary display for info that isn't critically time sensitive such a free disk space, recently received FTP files, etc.

Thanks in advance,



10 years ago

. You may not have to switch the data lines on and off. It may work just by switching the power sources. Maybe.


Reply 10 years ago

Actually, I think it would be the opposite... Switching the DATA lines on and off but keeping the power on the transformer. Or you may not even need the transformer at all. Just use the power from the computer.


10 years ago

a diode and simple switch may just be enough if that does not work use a 2 contact (4 entry) switch to switch both data lines if your pc is on all the time you need the frame / if the usb gets power all the time then you dont need the transformer and diodes at all. leave just the switch for the automated timing plan you may replace the switch with relay and 555. but you need the computer to somehow do 'safely remove' to the thing each time before the relay disconnects it

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10 years ago

I suppose you could just use 2 dpdt relays with their coils in parallel, make sure to use a protection diode!