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Thread: High Current USB

  1. #1
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    High Current USB

    I would like to put a WD Passport in my glovebox that I can easily bring into the house or work when I do file maintenance. It is drawing over 500ma and giving me a blinking error light and not powering up. (WD lists 1A draw on their spec sheet.) It works fine on my other computers. What is a simple, inexpensive way for me to add a safe +5v 1A USB port off my 12vdc BATT that can boost the power? Was thinking something like a diode or regulator, but not sure if they would be safe enough for the HDD.

  2. #2
    Fusion Brain Creator 2k1Toaster's Avatar
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    if your PSU has 1A @ 5v available, the easiest is to splice the wire from the HD, so it disconnects the power and route the 5v line direct from the PSU.
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  3. #3
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    Not really an option at this time. Really hoping to run something off the dash +12vdc.

  4. #4
    Fusion Brain Creator 2k1Toaster's Avatar
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    Then there are simple things like http://store.mp3car.com/Point_Of_Loa...plies_s/10.htm

    the DCL11
    Fusion Brain Version 6 Released!
    1.9in x 2.9in -- 47mm x 73mm
    30 Digital Outputs -- Directly drive a relay
    15 Analogue Inputs -- Read sensors like temperature, light, distance, acceleration, and more
    Buy now in the MP3Car.com Store

  5. #5
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    USB ports on occasion will chop off power if above 500ma is being drawn, to get around this, there are cables made A to MiniB which have a passthrough usb attached to the cable to draw power through another port without blocking it. Dunno if you have a port to spare but it may be worth a shot. Wouldn't know where to get one tho... On the other hand there is the POL (point of load) route as mentioned by Toaster which converts the 12v to 5v which you just splice into your usb.

    My opinion, get a powered hub which doesn't limit the load, or a not so fancy enclosure.
    That being said, EVERYTHING gives you cancer nowadays so live it up before your cornflakes give you malignant tumors.

  6. #6
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    Long time getting around to posting, but here's what I did:

    First, bought a Y-cable a to b mini as Furian mentioned. Got mine directly from Western digital for something like $10. Apparently they are aware their product sometimes draws more juice than the usb ports can handle, so they made the patch cable to allow the hdd to draw power off two ports simultaneously.

    Next, went down to wally world and got a cigarette lighter usb booster, the kind like you use to charge your cell phone or what not. Found mine in a clearance bin for $5. Rated at 500ma continuous, 1a max. Took the thing apart and found a little pc board inside. The spring was for the center pin of the lighter, and the black wire went to the "wing" of the ground. :


    Cut those out, drilled two holes, then soldered in leads like this:


    I then attached the neg lead to the chassis of my stereo, and the pos lead to the ignition wire. Has worked good for 7 months now. For v2.0, thinking about potting the entire unit in epoxy so that the leads and usb cable have no chance of getting pulled loose; just sitting in a small plastic enclosure for now.

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