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Old 22-01-2021, 18:05   #1
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USB charging blocks

Hi all,

Looking for recommendations for a decent brand of USB charging block from 12 volts.

I notice the cheaper models can get quite hot when charging in the higher current mode.

A low standby power consumption would also be a bonus.

Matt
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Old 22-01-2021, 18:26   #2
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Re: USB charging blocks

Quote:
Originally Posted by GILow View Post
Hi all,

Looking for recommendations for a decent brand of USB charging block from 12 volts.

I notice the cheaper models can get quite hot when charging in the higher current mode.

A low standby power consumption would also be a bonus.

Matt
You mean like a USB power port? I tried the Seadog. I occasionally have had problems charging my tablet from it, even though the rating should be more than adequate. I just picked up the Blue Sea 1039. We'll see if that does any better. It has a higher amp rating than the SeaDog.
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Old 22-01-2021, 18:31   #3
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Re: USB charging blocks

We went with a blue seas 5 place (I think, been away from the boat for almost a year now ) It has 3-4 USB outlets and 1-2 DC outlets for variety. Back lit 1.5”x6-7”
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Old 22-01-2021, 18:37   #4
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Re: USB charging blocks

Depending on USB or USB-C, I've been quite happy with an Anker 10-port USB hub that comes with a 12V brick. It has been quite happy for a couple of years running between 12 and 14.4V.



I haven't measured idle current, I do turn it off when not in use.
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Old 22-01-2021, 19:27   #5
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Re: USB charging blocks

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B077BL3GT4

Very reliable on my boat

Negligible standby current


Supports USB-C power delivery for tablets and laptops and USB-A for older stuff


Has screw terminals so you don't need to splice on a connector


Will run on either 12v or 24v
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Old 23-01-2021, 02:44   #6
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Re: USB charging blocks

Thanks to all for the links.

Have any of you checked the temperature of these while they are charging?
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Old 23-01-2021, 03:42   #7
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Re: USB charging blocks

If I was buying one today, I would get a block that also supported USB-c. “C” appears to be the new trend. Would truly stink to put a new piece of gear in that is outdated in a year
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Old 23-01-2021, 04:37   #8
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Re: USB charging blocks

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jammer View Post
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B077BL3GT4

Very reliable on my boat

Negligible standby current

Supports USB-C power delivery for tablets and laptops and USB-A for older stuff

Has screw terminals so you don't need to splice on a connector

Will run on either 12v or 24v
I've been looking at that one.
Note that the other chargers mentioned in this thread do not support either PD or QC so will not charge laptops at all and won't rapid charge other devices.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Snore View Post
If I was buying one today, I would get a block that also supported USB-c. “C” appears to be the new trend. Would truly stink to put a new piece of gear in that is outdated in a year

It's inevitable that whatever we install now will be outdate soon. How much stuff have I installed and then pulled out and tossed later -- welcome to the technological age.


To be up to date as of 2021 you need Power Delivery so you can charge laptops and some tablets, and you need QCIII so that you can charge other devices. QCIII works over USB-A with a USB-A to USB-C charging cable; PD requires, AFAIK, USB-C to USB-C.


Next year it will be something else, I'm sure.
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Old 23-01-2021, 07:53   #9
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Re: USB charging blocks

I charge my recent model MacBook Pro with this adapter - https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1. We use use this adapter for an old school Macbook Pro - https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1 . Running both trips a 15 amp breaker.

We put a USB charge port in the cockpit - https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

It looks like Blue Seas has a round charger that will work in our cockpit. I'll probably stock one as a spare. The current ones last about 2 years with applications of CorrosionX. The charge cords tend to die young in the cockpit.

Cheers, RickG
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Old 23-01-2021, 09:52   #10
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Re: USB charging blocks

I installed this one:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Reasons for it:
- quick charge
- has volt-meter, which helps to keep tabs on batteries
- has mechanical on/off switch so it doesn't draw anything when turned off
- has dark cover that makes it hard to see that there is a USB port, so guests don't start plugging in and charging their devices and draining batteries.
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Old 23-01-2021, 10:27   #11
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Re: USB charging blocks

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Originally Posted by George_SD View Post
I installed this one:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Reasons for it:
- quick charge
- has volt-meter, which helps to keep tabs on batteries
- has mechanical on/off switch so it doesn't draw anything when turned off
- has dark cover that makes it hard to see that there is a USB port, so guests don't start plugging in and charging their devices and draining batteries.
Agreed that's a nice unit. If I was just installing one or two, that's what I would choose as well.

On our small boat, I installed a salvaged dual USB socket on each side of the cabin. All 4 sockets are powered from one cheap far-east DC-DC 2A stepdown board. This has been working well for 3 or 4 years.

To do it again, I would use 12v to USB adaptors like this in the cabin:

I have a few in stock, and I just measured the no-load current at just under 5 mA. Yes they're harder to mount, but they're really inexpensive. For saltwater boats, give the boards a spray of some protectant.

The USB standard is really flexible, and used by so many devices, including our handheld GPS. Our night-time reading lights are little gooseneck USB lights from IKEA
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Old 23-01-2021, 11:35   #12
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Re: USB charging blocks

When selecting USB charging sockets consider the parasitic drain (ie the power consumed when nothing is plugged in). This draw can mount up with numerous outlets. The efficiency converting the 12 or 24v to a lower voltage also varies enormously.

Unfortunately, these details are not always listed, or in some cases the specifications are hopelessly optimistic.

The only practical solution, if power consumption is important, seems to be to purchase one of various units and test them for yourself.
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Old 23-01-2021, 19:01   #13
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Re: USB charging blocks

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Next year it will be something else, I'm sure.

USB-A was in widespread use as a charging source starting sometime before 2010 and has become obsolete for two reasons: the stupid design where you can't figure out if the plug is upside down, and insufficient power handling capability.


USB-C is unlikely to become obsolete anytime soon because it delivers all the power the UL standards will allow and trends are towards lower power use.
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Old 24-01-2021, 02:32   #14
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Re: USB charging blocks

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jammer View Post
USB-A was in widespread use as a charging source starting sometime before 2010 and has become obsolete for two reasons: the stupid design where you can't figure out if the plug is upside down, and insufficient power handling capability.

USB-C is unlikely to become obsolete anytime soon because it delivers all the power the UL standards will allow and trends are towards lower power use.

USB-C is very cool, and although I have been using it for years, I just found out that there is a lot I didn't know about it. I learned a lot from this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USB-C Maybe others will, too.
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Old 24-01-2021, 10:38   #15
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Re: USB charging blocks

Quote:
Originally Posted by noelex 77 View Post
When selecting USB charging sockets consider the parasitic drain (ie the power consumed when nothing is plugged in). This draw can mount up with numerous outlets. The efficiency converting the 12 or 24v to a lower voltage also varies enormously.



Unfortunately, these details are not always listed, or in some cases the specifications are hopelessly optimistic.



The only practical solution, if power consumption is important, seems to be to purchase one of various units and test them for yourself.


Quiescent is around 5-10mA in my experience
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