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USB Power Supplies

When I got the iPAD a while ago, it came with a VERY impressive USB power supply. Why impressive? well because it was hardly bigger than a normal mains plug yet puts out a wopping 10watts of power while running freezing cold (which means it is HIGHLY efficient). Most USB supplies put out no-where NEAR that.

The iPAD can’t handle the normal supplies or indeed USB outputs from most hubs and laptops because they simply don’t put out enough power, hence the more powerful unit supplied.

I thought little more of that until today, sitting in the window looking out on suburban Chicago and forced to use a dongle for broadband…. or more specifically the SIM from the dongle inserted into a NOKIA phone running Joikuspot to provide WIFI to both of our laptops. After about half an hour the phone died as the WIFI router uses LOTS of power. So I plugged the phone into it’s charger… no joy, as soon as the Joikuspot program came on the PSU was unable to keep up and the phone went dead again.

Then I remembered the iPAD power supply… having a usb-to-Nokia lead I tried that and BINGO – no problem at all – full use AND charge at the same time  – slightly marred when I found out that theiving Vodafone wanted to charge £29 for 50 meg – making a download of iTunes to the laptop cost £60 what a joke – VODAPHONE IF YOU’RE READING THIS YOU’RE A BUNCH OF THIEVES. The charger ran freezing cold which is more than can be said for the phone.

The moral of the tale?  Make sure as far as possible that all your gadgets charge using USB leads and get a couple of decent USB mains chargers (lead plugs into the charger) – forget the cheap Chinese crap and go for something like the Apple iPAD units which CLEARLY are built to a specification, not a price. A tiny additional benefit being that as they are very efficient, their standby current if left plugged in – is almost non-existent.


Peter Scargill

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