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Old 14-07-2014, 11:57   #1
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USB Chargers

Hi Friends,
Shortly I will leaving for a 40 day trip
Boat is European set-up so has 220 volt 50 MHz electric system
And will have USB charging ports.
I have a ASUS laptop with power adapter charger that takes the above
With the proper power cord, no problem
With some of the other gear I plan to bring I-Phone, Camera,
Go-Pro video camera and a Dolorme In-Reach all charge by USBS Cables and their manufacture supplied chargers.
Do I have to bring them all?
Are these chargers device specific?
Can I just choose one that auto switches between 110 and 220
(With proper plug adapter)
And use it for all devices?
Thanx
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Old 14-07-2014, 12:23   #2
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Re: USB Chargers

The USB chargers vary with how much current they deliver.
Some devices only need 0.5A, some 1A and some high power devices like the iPad need 2.1A.

Using a 2.1A charger with a a device that only needs 0.5A is safe. The device will only take the current it needs, but use a 0.5A charger on a device that needs 2.1A it will not charge.

The final trick is that some devices like iPads need a special voltage reference from the charger.

Despite the above if you look at the specifications on the charger and pick the larger current of all the options it should safely charge all your devices, but check it works before you leave home. You will probably need a few cables make sure you have a USB cable with the correct termination for all the options.

If the boat has USB terminals they are likely to be 2.1A terminals so they will charge anything, but if older they may only be capable of putting out 0.5A. So play it safe and take one charger of your own.

You can also buy your own 12v cig lighter plugs (they are only cheap) that will put out 2.1A and therefore will charge anything. This saves putting on the inverter, or relying on the boats USB sockets.
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Old 17-07-2014, 09:56   #3
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Re: USB Chargers

Quote:
Originally Posted by noelex 77 View Post
You can also buy your own 12v cig lighter plugs (they are only cheap) that will put out 2.1A and therefore will charge anything. This saves putting on the inverter, or relying on the boats USB sockets.
Or you can install USB charger socket like this one ( Dual USB Charger Socket - Blue Sea Systems ) Wire directly it to your 12V system.
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Old 17-07-2014, 11:25   #4
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Re: USB Chargers

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Originally Posted by vtlli View Post
Or you can install USB charger socket like this one ( Dual USB Charger Socket - Blue Sea Systems ) Wire directly it to your 12V system.
I put a couple of those in. To get the full charging current for an Android device (and probably most others) I need a special charge-only cable. These cables have the two data conductors (center pins) shorted together internally. That's the USB standard to identify a charge-only port.

You'll need something different for an iOS device. They identify the charging port by setting specific voltages on the data conductors. And of course you'd have to buy it from Apple.
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Old 17-07-2014, 11:54   #5
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Re: USB Chargers

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Originally Posted by CaptTom View Post
And of course you'd have to buy it from Apple.
Most of the generic models work, but for the iPad you need one of the high power (2.1A +) adapters. These are readily available.

The 12v models don't seem very reliable. I have gone through 4 in a couple of years, but they are only cheap.
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Old 17-07-2014, 12:35   #6
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Re: USB Chargers

Almost all USB chargers are capable of running off of any combination of 110/220v 50/60hz power. A plug adapter may be required, but the boxes themselves can handle pretty much anything.

What I did about a year ago is pick up a five port charger like Amazon.com: Anker® 25W 5-Port Desktop USB Charger with PowerIQ™ Technology for iPhone 5s 5c 5; iPad Air mini; Galaxy S5 S4; Note 3 2; Tab; Nexus and More: Cell Phones & Accessories and when I went to Europe last month just grabbed a different cord for each country.

These days I might look for a larger charger, since this one at 25w is only capable of really charging two iPads and three iPhones at a time. These days I would love something that could push more power for multiple large devices, but I wouldn't consider it a deal breaker.
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Old 17-07-2014, 12:47   #7
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Re: USB Chargers

Quote:
Originally Posted by noelex 77 View Post
Most of the generic models work, but for the iPad you need one of the high power (2.1A +) adapters
what a great reason not to buy an ipad
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Old 17-07-2014, 12:59   #8
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Re: USB Chargers

max A is you limit

get spares too

b.
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Old 17-07-2014, 14:20   #9
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Re: USB Chargers

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Originally Posted by Stumble View Post
What I did about a year ago is pick up a five port charger like Amazon.com: Anker® 25W 5-Port Desktop USB Charger with PowerIQ™ Technology for iPhone 5s 5c 5; iPad Air mini; Galaxy S5 S4; Note 3 2; Tab; Nexus and More: Cell Phones & Accessories and when I went to Europe last month just grabbed a different cord for each country.

These days I might look for a larger charger, since this one at 25w is only capable of really charging two iPads and three iPhones at a time. These days I would love something that could push more power for multiple large devices, but I wouldn't consider it a deal breaker.
This same manufacturer sells a 40W unit now, on Amazon for around $25. That lets you do 4 tablets at 10W (2Ax5V) each.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gonesail View Post
what a great reason not to buy an ipad
There are many other reasons But to be honest, any tablet or smart phone nowadays will charge MUCH faster with a 2A+ power supply. Apple has a non-standard way to identify the port as a fast charging port, so you need to buy their port, or one like the above that actually has "smarts" in it to switch to the Apple mode if you plug one in. Some dual-port USB adapters have a port marked "A" (Apple) and one marked "NA" (non-Apple) for this same reason.

I've heard there's a chip inside their "lightening" power cord so that you have to buy the cord from them, too, but I haven't actually tried a knock-off to see if that's true.

I do know there are counterfeit Apple wall chargers out there which can be useless at best, and actually dangerous at worst.
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Old 18-07-2014, 03:11   #10
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Re: USB Chargers

Quote:
Originally Posted by Time2Go View Post
I-Phone, Camera,
Go-Pro video camera and a Dolorme In-Reach all charge by USBS Cables and their manufacture supplied chargers.
Wow - Has your skipper redone the energy budget and added more solar in anticipation of your arrival - LOL...

I am a road warrior for business. If this is a crewed boat you might consider your "access" and sharing of power outlets on the boat with the rest of crew.

If the boat has 220 that you are charging the laptop with, check out the laptop USB for charging your other devices - I carry chargers but in a pinch I have charged a lot of different devices by just having a selection of mini and micro usb cables.

You could be styling while the crew is fighiting over the 3 USB outlets on the boat...

In regards to chargers? We are a big family of gadget holders. I got sick of fighting over chargers and cables. When to Amazon and read the product reviews on chargers and lightning cables. For like 50 bucks I have (dual port) chargers and cables up the wazoo.

I have had several Apple cables fail. They are not worth the premium. I got a 5-pack of lightning cables for like $10 - Yup, Chinese and working fine thanks.
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Old 27-07-2014, 22:01   #11
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Re: USB Chargers

Thanx to all for your input
After looking at all the specs of the various devices
400ma =camera
1000ma = Go Pro
1000ma = Delorme
1000ma = IPhone
So I decided to go with 1000ma chargers
One 12 volt 1000ma car type charger
One dual voltage 1000ma wall charger

As far as energy budget on the boat, I don't plan on charging every device
every day. The only thing that I plan on keeping topped off
Is the Delorme In Reach. I like to be able to communicate with my
family without relying on any other on board device. I've tested its battery duration and can get about 72 hours with tracking set at 4 hours and
5 or 6 text messages a day, this runs the unit down to about 20%
I'm also looking about for a charger that I can slip in some double A's
And give the unit a boost if all other systems go south.
If anybody knows of such a box I'd appreciate a link.
It is also my understanding that if I go with 2.1a chargers I wouldn't
harm the devices but they would charge much faster. Is this correct?
Thanx to all again
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Old 28-07-2014, 01:54   #12
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Re: USB Chargers

Quote:
Originally Posted by Time2Go View Post
It is also my understanding that if I go with 2.1a chargers I wouldn't
harm the devices but they would charge much faster. Is this correct?
A 2.1A charger won't harm the devices, but probably won't charge any quicker. The maximium current is limited by the device and if camera/phone will accept a higher current the device is usually supplied with one as standard.

The only proviso is that 12v chargers are really designed for car use and they sometimes assume an input voltage of around 13.8v (this is the voltage when the car engine is running). Boat battery voltage can lower than this and the charger can struggle to put out its rated power.

The 12v chargers are very cheap and small a 2.1A charger has the advantage it will charge anything so that is what I would get. Personally I would bring along a couple of 12v because they will be borrowed by others and it will enable you to charge more than one device at a time (if the boat has two 12v outlets). The Go Pro has a short battery life and will need charging often.
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Old 28-12-2014, 08:08   #13
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Re: USB Chargers

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Originally Posted by CaptTom View Post
I put a couple of those in. To get the full charging current for an Android device (and probably most others) I need a special charge-only cable. These cables have the two data conductors (center pins) shorted together internally. That's the USB standard to identify a charge-only port.



You'll need something different for an iOS device. They identify the charging port by setting specific voltages on the data conductors. And of course you'd have to buy it from Apple.

CaptTom, I don't need something different for my new iPad. It works, right now I'm charging it. Ironically I cannot charge iPad from mains in the shed where I building boat. Don't know why. It turns green but no charge at all. The only place where I can plug it for charge is the boat.


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