Charging 40 USB devices at one time.


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Old 03-17-15, 06:36 AM
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Charging 40 USB devices at one time.

Hello,

I am new to the site so I'm not sure if this is the correct section to ask my question. However, hopefully someone can help me. I have about 160 small iPhone like devices to charge. I was wondering how I can charge all of them at once. I've looked all over the Internet for usb hubs to charge them all and cannot come up with a practical solution. If anyone has any ideas as to what I can do, please let me know. Also, if I bought 4 of these would it work?

DHL 200W 40A 40 Port USB Charger AC Phone Charging Station Industrial Adapter | eBay

Any advice is appreciated.

Thank you,
Christopher
 
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Old 03-17-15, 07:41 AM
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That look's like a good solution,I can't seem to find any UL or CSA labels for it ,that might be something to question.
Geo
 
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Old 03-17-15, 08:07 AM
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Usually devices like you are talking about are purchased with their charging/docking stations. It's common with walking or guided tour audio systems. I've seen desk top stations with slots for each device and you insert the device into it's storage slot it plugs in and gets charged. Last year I saw portable solution where there was a trunk/suitcase that stored the devices. They got plugged into their storage slots and they could close the lid and stack up the suitcases and plug them in for mass charging. Again, all of those solutions came from the manufacturer with the charging stations custom made to fit their device.

Because of the number of devices you need to charge simply dealing with cables and plugging them in is going to be a hassle. Then there is the problem of where and how to pile them up while charging. If you'll be charging frequently you may want to build a charging station of your own, possibly using the power supply you linked or any other suitable 5vdc power supply. How difficult it will be will depend partially on what connector your devices use and sourcing the connectors.
 
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Old 03-17-15, 08:26 AM
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Does that mean you think it won't be safe? Also, I don't believe anything exist specifically for my devices and if they do it is way too expensive. Which is why I was hoping something like this would work, be safe, and adequately supply the devices with enough power to charge them over night.
 
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Old 03-17-15, 08:38 AM
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It's probably fine because it's assembled out of commodity parts and in a nice metal box, but with the discount devices from Asia you really can't be sure about the safety unless it is listed by a recognized lab like UL or CSA. It's more of a risk in exchange for a cheaper price. There is a theoretical risk of insurance company difficulties if such an unlisted device was found to be the cause of a fire or injury. That risk is probably much more realistic for a commercial operation given an employer's obligation to provide a safe workplace than for residential or personal use.
 
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Old 03-17-15, 09:25 AM
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If you built your own charging station using a transformer, diodes, USB receptacles, aluminum work box, etc. then that would not be UL listed either.

You need to be aware of the total current draw of all the devices that might be plugged in for recharging.

Alternately you might buy one of those premade 40 port stations and try it out, measuring the voltage at one of its USB ports as you plug in more things to be recharged. If you start seeing a voltage drop then you will know that the charging station is not able to charge as many of the various phones and small things as you first thought.
 
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Old 03-17-15, 09:37 AM
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(won't let me edit)

Then decide whether to buy more of them or use just the one you got together with other solutions.
 
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Old 03-17-15, 10:35 AM
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I did something similar for a large quantity of iPod Touch devices. There were some solutions out there in the $1-2K range for 20 or 30 devices, though we needed a case for 50-100. Looked into building my own chargers, but it's more complicated than it seems.

Settled on a collection of 10-port USB chargers. I can't find the ones we specifically used, but they were like this:
http://www.amazon.com/Sabrent-Family.../dp/B00OJ79UK6
We built it into a case with slots for each device, each slot with it's own dedicated charging cable.

I've never seen a 40-port charger before, it's pretty impressive. Personally, I'd go for something that's sold locally as opposed to a 'custom' setup like that. At least with a US-based purchase, you have a better chance for a warranty and in theory a better made product, though as we all know, you're still rolling the dice on that.
 
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Old 03-17-15, 04:03 PM
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Reading this with interest. I can't imagine anyone needing to charge 160 USB items at one time. I would be wary of necessary voltage drop once you start plugging items into it.
 
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Old 03-17-15, 05:20 PM
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Just curious what are the small iphone devices you are trying to charge?
Geo
 
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Old 03-18-15, 05:44 AM
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Yea, it's one of those things people sometimes don't consider when they don't buy a product that's already made for a task. Any mp3 or iPod can be used for a audio tour so I'll save some money... simple right? Keeping track of them (preventing theft), organizing, downloading files, charging and maintenance are the true crux of the system and what separates a hundred consumer iPods from commercial systems.
 
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Old 03-18-15, 06:10 AM
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I question whether the unit linked could actually put out a continuous clean 5V @ 40A. I have a 40A 5V mainframe computer power supply that I can barely lift.
 
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Old 03-18-15, 08:21 AM
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40 amps is a lot at any voltage. 40 amps at 5 volts is going to have some pretty big conductors or maybe it's a series of smaller supplies packaged together so they're dealing with lower amperage on each bank.
 
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Old 03-18-15, 08:54 AM
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40 amps @5v is impressive, and nobody knows how that original posted unit will perform without just getting it and testing it out.

If it were me, I'd go for it. But I am an electronics engineer and have equipment to test, and test I would totally do to be sure I am seeing expected current and heat tolerances. A part of me feels like - of course this will work. Why did they even bother making it if it didn't work? Yes, we are talking about China, but I've gotten a lot of parts from China over the years and found that while sometimes things are defective, they aren't necessarily an all-up bogus design.
 
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Old 03-18-15, 08:01 PM
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Thank you all for the great advice and numerous ideas. More and more it's seeming like the 40 port box just doesn't 1. seem too safe and 2. probably won't be able to provide enough amperage to each unit. I'm thinking I might go with what @zorfdt recommended and get 16 of the 10 port units. My only question with that is could I plug two of them into a standard 15amp outlet? And if so will it provide enough energy to charge a device pulling 1amp each overnight. It holds something like 8000mah. I'm not all too familiar with how to calculate something like that so any advice or answer on that subject would be greatly appreciated. Thanks again!
 
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Old 03-18-15, 11:01 PM
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160 1A USB devices is only 160A when at 5v, but things change when you up the voltage. 160A @5v is only going to be about 7A on your ~110v mains power (800W). That's only about half the capacity of your 15A breaker, and almost certainly less than your vacuum cleaner.

V * A = I (watts). So, 5v * 160A = 800W. Now that you have watts, divide that by a different voltage, say, 110v (the low end of household power) and you get 7.2A total on your wall outlet.

If you want to blow a breaker, turn on your vacuum while charging all 160 devices.
 
 

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