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Snake oil or great idea? #200899 04/26/11 08:50 PM
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 984
G
ghost307 Offline OP
Member
I recently was asked about a combination duplex receptacle and dual USB port wiring device.
It's not UL Listed based on my research to date and it looks like a doohickey cobbled together to jam 120V and 5V in the same box.
Does anyone have any knowledge of these things?
It's being hawked by a company called fastmac, which handles stuff designed for Apple products.
http://www.engadget.com/2011/03/17/fastmac-u-socket-review/
Thanks


Ghost307
Work Gear for Electricians and the Trades
Re: Snake oil or great idea? [Re: ghost307] #200900 04/26/11 09:23 PM
Joined: Aug 2006
Posts: 356
Niko Offline
Member
I have heard about them but haven't used one. It seems to be a good idea at least one in every room for cell phones.

Also they are not Tamper Resistant.


Be kind to your neighbor, he knows where you live

Re: Snake oil or great idea? [Re: ghost307] #200901 04/26/11 09:29 PM
Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 402
J
jdevlin Offline
Member
Is the only reason for them to charge Iphones? I don't own anything that charges from a USB port. Is that a common thing?

Re: Snake oil or great idea? [Re: ghost307] #200904 04/26/11 11:43 PM
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 947
T
twh Offline
Member
From their site: "Safety Agency Approval(s)- TUV Rheinland"

Why didn't they just get UL approval, since it's made in the USA? Maybe that was the rigorous testing they claim.

Re: Snake oil or great idea? [Re: ghost307] #200905 04/27/11 03:52 AM
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 9,409
G
gfretwell Offline
Member
There is no "legal" difference between U/L and TUV. They are both NRTLs. I assume they used TUV because this was developed in Europe.

USB charged devices are actually pretty common. I am looking at 2 right here on my desk. (an MP3 player and a wireless blue tooth keyboard)
A lot of mobile devices charge on a USB port.


Greg Fretwell
Re: Snake oil or great idea? [Re: gfretwell] #200912 04/27/11 10:40 AM
Joined: Dec 2001
Posts: 2,455
T
Texas_Ranger Offline
Member
Quote
I assume they used TUV because this was developed in Europe.

... or because (I think) there's a Chinese branch of TUV Rheinland...

I definitely don't like that beast! If it were a single with two completely sealed USB ports in place of one of the two faceplate openings I'd say ok, but with a mostly open circuit board and exposed USB shield inside the box? Sounds like a 120/5V crossover from faulty isolation (think nicked wire or ancient crumbling rubber) waiting to happen.

Re: Snake oil or great idea? [Re: ghost307] #200959 04/29/11 04:29 PM
Joined: Sep 2001
Posts: 806
N
NJwirenut Offline
Member
Actually a pretty neat idea, although the physical execution could be improved along the lines mentioned above. Would also make it compatible with standard faceplates.

They should also rig some kind of mechanical switch that only powers up the 5V power supply circuitry when a USB plug is actually inserted into one of the DC ports. Otherwise, it is a bad a power waster as any other "wallwart" type adapter.

These would be nice in hotel rooms. Recharge phones, GPS, handheld games, etc.




Re: Snake oil or great idea? [Re: NJwirenut] #200976 04/30/11 04:22 AM
Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 8,262
Trumpy Offline
Member
So I take it that each one of these devices has a small transformer and rectifier behind the plate, to derive the 5V?

Re: Snake oil or great idea? [Re: ghost307] #200980 04/30/11 01:10 PM
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 9,409
G
gfretwell Offline
Member
Probably a switching regulator.


Greg Fretwell
Re: Snake oil or great idea? [Re: ghost307] #200983 04/30/11 01:53 PM
Joined: Sep 2001
Posts: 806
N
NJwirenut Offline
Member
To meet USB 2.0 specs, each port should be able to provide 500 mA @ 5V. A small switching power supply is all that would be needed. Could easily be built inside a package the size of a GFCI receptacle.


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