Quick and Dirty Multi-USB Charging Station




Introduction: Quick and Dirty Multi-USB Charging Station

About: It is my hope that each of my i'bles hits the "Why didn't I think of that?" button in the reader. Mic

Tired of using a 600 Watt computer just to charge your mobile phone? This is simple and there's no need for you to go anywhere near the computer just for charging.

Step 1: What You'll Need:

1. An old non-powered USB 1.1 hub (like you have any other use for it, right?) *
2. A wall-wart 5V USB charger.
3. The appropriate cables for your equipment.

*Being 1.1 is not really necessary but, if you have one laying around why waste a 2.0?

Step 2: Now Assemble It

If you try to use a powered hub to do this, the hub usually will not power-up until it recognises a computer connection, that's why a "dumb" hub is used--it just passes the power straight through and relies on the computer to say "too much power" and shut down the host port.

I've included a USB extension between the power supply and the hub just so that it doesn't all have to hang from the power outlet.

Your devices are not going to charge in record time because the limited output from the supply has to be shared around but, it certainly comes in handy just to keep a device from losing memory--like my Palm Pilot did  :(

As the title says, this is a "Quick and Dirty" solution. If you want to tidy it up, there a plenty of related 'ibles for boxes, hiding cables and the like.




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    10 Discussions

    For this project good to have pretty powerful charger if you will use 2.1A, then for 4 ports it will divide by four so just 0.5A or 500mA - not too much, for Tablets and iPads it useless.Need to use 8A and up for four usb ports

    As I understand it, most i-devices have custom docks. Provided that it's a USB plug that comes out to plug into the hub then it should be able to charge.

    NB: I've seen some i-pod nanos that use the headphone socket as the USB dock. For the safety of your i-device make sure it is plugged into the dock BEFORE you connect the cable to the hub.

    I wrote it because i tried this method few month ago with different i-devices (iphone 4,3gs and ipad) and it doesn't work, so i'm only courius, if you test it with an i-device. :-)

    It would be quite a while before I got to testing an i-device. The only Apple equipment I have is a couple of Apple 2 Es, a Mac Plus, an SE20 and a Quadra(?) 650.

    I suggest reading primal51's response below.

    iDevices typically require a loop back on the data pin to think they are connected to an Apple approved charging doc or a computer. This link has the details

    @l1q1d: The only i-device that has passed through my hands is the abovementioned i-pod nano and it was known to be faulty.

    @primal51: If the i-device requires connection to a computer before it recognise the presence of a charging voltage, the I see that one has little choice but to perform the analogous act of using a nuclear reactor to boil and egg.


    I tried it with my iPod, but it needs some kind of resistance or something to charge, more about that is on LadyAda's Mintyboost website: http://www.ladyada.net/make/mintyboost/process.html

    1 reply