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USB Socket charger - good or bad?
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OtleyLad



Joined: 13 Jan 2007
Posts: 2737
Location: Otley, West Yorkshire
PostPosted: Sat Dec 13, 14 6:10 am    Post subject: USB Socket charger - good or bad?  Reply with quote    

We've both got phones and tablets and this means there is always a tangle of chargers and wires on the already crowded kitchen worktop.
Then I saw one of these.

It looks like it would be a good solution and most reviews say that it charges a variety of phone/tablets ok.
Being an energy miser though I wondered if it continues to draw power when nothing is plugged in the USB sockets?

Hairyloon



Joined: 20 Nov 2008
Posts: 15385
Location: Today I are mostly being in Yorkshire.
PostPosted: Sat Dec 13, 14 10:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I saw those. Looked a bit dear IMO.

I've never really understood how something like a phone charger which is basically just a transformer, actually draws power when it doesn't have a circuit.

Aren't you an electrician?
If you think something like that is the solution, then why not fit one up yourself? Then you can put a switch on it to be sure it doesn't use power.

Treacodactyl
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 25697
Location: Jumping on the bandwagon of opportunism
PostPosted: Sat Dec 13, 14 11:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

They seem quite common on electrical equipment sites, Screwfix etc. The reviews might be of help.

I wouldn't like one but then I like to keep things simple. If you're worried about leaving them on you can get unswitched single gang ones and that could be connected to a switchable FCU.

I would only buy a well know branded USB thingy though.

RichardW



Joined: 24 Aug 2006
Posts: 8442
Location: Llyn Peninsular North Wales
PostPosted: Sat Dec 13, 14 2:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Only £12 HERE

Interestingly they say not to megga test the socket as it will blow the usb part.


Or this metal one for £15.50

kGarden



Joined: 01 Dec 2014
Posts: 178
Location: Suffolk, UK
PostPosted: Sat Dec 13, 14 5:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

We have a multi-way power socket/block thingie for folk to charge things, and that is on a timer. Plug in your device and choose a suitable time duration. Nothing it on when folk are not using it for some sort of charging (which is usually over night)

Hairyloon



Joined: 20 Nov 2008
Posts: 15385
Location: Today I are mostly being in Yorkshire.
PostPosted: Sat Dec 13, 14 6:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Treacodactyl wrote:
I would only buy a well know branded USB thingy though.

Perhaps I have misunderstood, but for charging purposes, all that is expected is a stable voltage across the relevant pins, which is not at all a difficult task to accomplish, so why the need to be picky?

Nick



Joined: 02 Nov 2004
Posts: 34272
Location: Hereford
PostPosted: Sat Dec 13, 14 6:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Because an unstable current from a cheap chinese version might fry your expensive gadget?

Hairyloon



Joined: 20 Nov 2008
Posts: 15385
Location: Today I are mostly being in Yorkshire.
PostPosted: Sat Dec 13, 14 7:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Nick wrote:
Because an unstable current from a cheap chinese version might fry your expensive gadget?

That was what I thought, but I think the task is simple enough that even a cheap Chinese one should manage without problem.
I am open to correction: I would not claim that this is my field, but I think that you get a voltage regulator on a chip, and more than likely the bespoke expensive gadget charger uses exactly the same chip* as the cheap one.

{* from a chip factory in China}

Nick



Joined: 02 Nov 2004
Posts: 34272
Location: Hereford
PostPosted: Sat Dec 13, 14 7:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

You would think, but I have too much experience of cheap chinese stuff having forged bits, forged paperwork and catching fire to believe that, I'm afraid.

vegplot



Joined: 19 Apr 2007
Posts: 21298
Location: Ynys Môn
PostPosted: Sat Dec 13, 14 7:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I've had two chargers explode one of which was a USB charger.

Hairyloon



Joined: 20 Nov 2008
Posts: 15385
Location: Today I are mostly being in Yorkshire.
PostPosted: Sat Dec 13, 14 7:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Nick wrote:
You would think, but I have too much experience of cheap chinese stuff having forged bits, forged paperwork and catching fire to believe that, I'm afraid.

I see your point, but for the type of chip we are talking about, I think it would be a whole lot more expensive to forge than to buy.
Of course the build quality of the wiring to the chip is another matter.

vegplot



Joined: 19 Apr 2007
Posts: 21298
Location: Ynys Môn
PostPosted: Sat Dec 13, 14 8:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Hairyloon wrote:
Nick wrote:
You would think, but I have too much experience of cheap chinese stuff having forged bits, forged paperwork and catching fire to believe that, I'm afraid.

I see your point, but for the type of chip we are talking about, I think it would be a whole lot more expensive to forge than to buy.
Of course the build quality of the wiring to the chip is another matter.


It's not the manufacturing that costs but cheap products tend to be poorly designed and fail CE testing hence why a lot of rubbish product enters the supply chain through the back door with non compliant certification.

Hairyloon



Joined: 20 Nov 2008
Posts: 15385
Location: Today I are mostly being in Yorkshire.
PostPosted: Sat Dec 13, 14 10:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I do not disagree with what you say, but if we are talking about general tendencies of cheap goods, then we are drifting rather from the specific question of USB power outlets.
Also, if we're tlaking about knock-off copies of things, then isn't the point that they've pinched the design?
Which is always a good excuse to trot out the tale of the sweat shop that lost its contract with a designer label, and continued making the exact same clothes and selling on the black market...
Word is that they got caught because the quality was too high.

Nick



Joined: 02 Nov 2004
Posts: 34272
Location: Hereford
PostPosted: Sat Dec 13, 14 11:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

No, they got caught because the quality was identical, just they no longer had the licence to produce it, so even tho it was identical, it's technically fake.

They now tag some goods with DNA to certify and track it.

Hairyloon



Joined: 20 Nov 2008
Posts: 15385
Location: Today I are mostly being in Yorkshire.
PostPosted: Sat Dec 13, 14 11:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Do you know that, or are you making the assumption?
If the latter, then have you considered that the firm to whom they lost the contract may have been cheaper because they were not making them so well?

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