(Apologies for the repeat --- I posted this in the Lounge yesterday, before someone pointed me to the proper forum)
For those in DIY electronics...
Exactly how good is USB for providing power to a device? I specifically mean devices that are not attached to a computer and use the USB cable strictly for power.
I've long felt that we need a standardized low-voltage DC power source coming right out of our walls, much in the manner that we currently have 120V (or 220V) AC coming out of our walls -- to eliminate the need of all those "brick" power adapters cluttering our power strips. The last time I discussed this publicly (about 10+ years ago), I was scoffed, with the reason being every device uses a different voltage. (I rejected that, as AC devices were able to adapt to use 110V, so DC devices could adapt to use the standardized voltage).
The real problem was that every device used it's own plug size (and selling the proprietary adapter was a profit center). However, now there's some movement to power things with USB cables.
So, the question for the electrically minded here: If all you had available to power your device was an USB cable, would that be viable?
Clocks would be fine, Very small lamps (some LED Only?) and anything bigger than a novelty with a motor or tries to change a temperature will eat more amps than what USB ports deliver or cables are designed to carry.
I encourage you to continue your research though; please review motor home or camper power use - in many cases it's 24V DC and may answer many of your questions for how and what.
Or better yet, invent motors or heating elements that are actually practical and only require < 1 amp and 10V to run- that would make you a fortune!
You've got 4.5 watts. Check the power requirements for your devices. A 4.5 W fan isn't much of a fan. 4.5 W of LED light is bordering on the usable. A plain clock can easily run on 4.5 W, but if you are thinking of one with light and radio to wake you up to and animated display and so on, maybe it will break the power limit. Usually you can find the power consumption on some label.
And then: What you get without negotiation is five volts. If you want to adapt existing electronics, they may be built for two AA batteries, three volts, or for twelve volts. Some are for nine volts. So you will have to add some voltage regulator. Then you might consider adding a chip for USB power negotiation as well, and you will have the option for both higher voltage and higher effect.
I wouldn't have gone for USB as a low-voltage distribution system, though. Specifically: I am not going for it, I go for 12/24 V. I am in the process of stretching cables from the accumulators of my solar panels to sockets "all over the house". I go for far more robust plugs than USB-C; they will be XLR, probably 3-pin with ground, 12V and 24V. Before I start buying the sockets, I will again consider 5-pin, with a pin for 5V. The 12-to-5V converter will be right behind the socket, no 5V cabling, so maybe I rather put that converter outside the wall. I will put together various cables with XLR plugs for the wall side (usually the angled variant so it won't stick too much out), and various plugs / sockets in the other end: The common 12 VDC adapter plugs, the car cigarette lighter socket type etc. You can find most plug/socket types e.g. on Mouser.
At low voltage - definitely at 5V - the current for a given effect is high. The USB wires are thin. The losses are high. You cannot run long cables. That is why I added 24V alongside with 12V - actually, I've got 24V only from the accumulators to each floor, to a 24-to-12V converter. I am careful to minimize cable lengths: A "spine" along the middle wall through the house, fed from the middle. From the spine run "ribs" to the sockets, mostly on the center wall, or in a right angle out to a ceiling lamp. - Yet, I am using 4 sqmm cable for the spine, 2.5 sqmm for the ribs. I do not know the wire gauge used by USB-C, but it is a tiny fraction of this. For the cables, I might use thinner conductors; that depends on length and expected power consumption. Each rib will be protected by a fuse corresponding to the expected power drawn on that rib.
Note that the Wikipedia: USB-C[^] article states (in the Cables section): Cable length should be ≤2 m for Gen 1 or ≤1 m for Gen 2. This is usually good enough for equipment connected to the PC, but rather limiting if you intend to use it as a general power distribution system.
Bonus question: Why??
A couple reasons. We had a period of maybe 20 years with very few power outages - cables and transformers and whathaveyou up to modern standards. Then they started "optimizing", tuning the distribution for the absolute maximum utilization, and nowadays there are more or less zero safety margins. If an electrician sneezes at one power station, the fallout might ripple from one station to the next for twenty or thirty kilometers, maybe more. So the last few years, we have had a greatly increased number of power fallouts, the real cause far away, but the ripples are seemingly impossible to control. I do not want my house to get dark and communication to stop when this happens.
Second: In this country, you cannot do anything yourself on the 230VAC installation. You have to call an electrician for anything beyond replacing a broken fuse. For a 12VDC setup, you can put up a new lamp, or install a new outlet, yourself when you need it, saving at least a hundred Euro, maybe two hundred Euro.
Third: Adding computer control to a low voltage network can be done far more cheaply and easily, and in a far more compact way, than you can with a 230VAC network. And you can do it yourself.
I'm not really sure how to describe this, so bear with me...
I'm having this problem on my development PC.
HP ENVY Desktop - 795-0030 CTO
Intel Core i7-9700
Win 10 Pro
My PC is fairly new, probably a year 1/2 old.
Every few minutes I get what I can only describe as a "pause" that lasts for only a second or two. Everything stops - Mouse, Keyboard, music I'm listening to - everything. If I'm in the middle of typing, the key I last hit repeats across the page until the 'outtage' stops.
I have run the HP diagnostic tools on it and with no issues found. I don't see any problems in Hardware & Device manager, and no OS problems either that I can see. It almost seems like a USB problem, but I don't see anyting to confirm that.
So, I'm open to suggestion on this one.
If it's not broken, fix it until it is.
Everything makes sense in someone's mind.
Ya can't fix stupid.
If the pause doesn't happen during diagnostics (looping continuously), then it may be a driver or problem in Windows, or some other hardware problem. Windows can pause if the kernel is busy doing or waiting for something, completely unable to service any other interrupts until the current interrupt/operation is complete.
An I/O problem with a USB device may also be gumming things up.
Make sure all drivers are updated and see what happens. If the problem still persists, start unplugging things, one at a time, until the problem goes away.
I am trying to access the GPIO of an embedded computer. The device was installed with Windows 10 Pro 20H2 x64 (not my decision). I installed the vendor specific drivers, and the GPIO device is shown with "Intel(R) Serial IO GPIO Host Controller - INT34BB" in the device manager.
I searched the internet and could find a “GpioTestTool” (https://github.com/ms-iot/samples/tree/develop/GpioTestTool) which I could compile on my development machine. After installing “Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributable for Visual Studio 2015, 2017 and 2019” (“VC_redist.x64.exe”) on the embedded machine, I could start the program.
It shows following error message:
“Error: GPIO is not available on this system”
This error message is also shown when I start the program as an administrator.
That is, the program fails to detect the GPIO.
Can you suggest any tools for trouble shooting?
Oh sanctissimi Wilhelmus, Theodorus, et Fredericus!
My GLINK USB 2.0 extension cable isn't detecting External Hard Drive, though Pen drive is being detected. Plugging the EHD directly to the USB port of the CPU works fine. Only the extension cable isn't detecting it. How do I make the EHD work with the extension cable now? Or shall I try something else altogether? I'm running on Windows-7 32 bit. May I get some help, please?
modified 6-Jan-21 12:51pm.
Last Visit: 31-Dec-99 18:00 Last Update: 3-Oct-23 3:21