Friday, October 10, 2014

Power over USB

In addition to PoE (Power over Ethernet), I commonly power 5VDC devices from an Anker 5-port USB charger. This has the benefit of very stable voltage supply that replaces up to five separate "wall-wart" supplies. I use one both in the office and at home, and have powered Roku players of different generations (the Roku 3 needs a 12VDC supply, but all of the others are 5VDC), Chromecasts, HDMI switches, Harmony hubs, and USB speakers (I charge my cell phone from a stand on my office desk that has the USB sync cable plugged into the VisionNet M505N DSL modem).

Here are photos showing the Anker charger, an adapter cable I found necessary for the earlier Rokus (they use a 5.5mm x 2.5mm power jack), and a volt/current meter for seeing how much power a USB device is using. The older Anker chargers I have are fuse-protected. If you blow a port out, Anker will provide you a free replacement, the new design has auto-resetting breakers.

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