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multi hub for charging usb

can anyone recommend a multi port usb hub for charging? 3 ports would be ideal. Plan to take an extension cord from home, with plug adapter. I'm thinking there must be something light weight out there, but I'm not really sure I'm using the correct terminology. Thanks in advance!

Posted by
9363 posts

There are so many options out there! When I travel, I carry a netbook, so I plug everything else into the USB ports on the netbook, then plug the netbook in to charge. But if you want to carry an extension cord, just make sure that you are not using any kind of surge protector device to plug into. Your local electronics department should have lots of options to choose from. I bought a nice "cube" (which I would have to use with a plug adapter) that can charge 5 USB devices at once.

Posted by
19021 posts

You shouldn't have a problem finding USB chargers almost anywhere. I think I've seen them a Big Lots. Here is one at Walmart with four ports. You might ask yourself if you REALLY need three ports. (Is every device going to be used that much each day?) If not, there are lots of 2 port USB charges. Here's one.

Just make sure it says something like "Input 100-240 VAC".

Posted by
731 posts

i ordered this universal charger for our upcoming trip to multiple countries this spring:

www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B00F877VES

If that link doesn't work, trying searching for Bestek portable 4 port USB charger universal travel adapter and power converter. it comes with 3 european plug adapters and has room to plug in 3 additional devices.

Posted by
32152 posts

kathy,

What are you planning to connect to the 115V outlets on the Charger you showed in the link? As this device also appears to include a Voltage Converter, there are some "caveats" to be aware of. Many Voltage Converters that use a solid-state conversion method can cause problems with the Chargers of some electronic products. There are no concerns with the USB ports on the device.

Also the device appears to be limited to loads of less than 6 amps, so if you connect a hair dryer or other high wattage appliance to the 115V outlets, there could be "unfortunate consequences". I'm also puzzled by the spec's of the device on Amazon which state that the output is "AC Output: 110~120VAC 60HZ"? I haven't seen a Voltage Converter yet that changes the frequency from 50 to 60 Hz. I'll have to do some further research on that.

Posted by
13 posts

A general tip if you are on the road and dont have a lot of time for charging your mobile phone:
Switch on the flight-mode because than the battery charges more quickly!

Posted by
731 posts

Yikes, Ken!

For the plugs I intended on plugging in my camera batteries.....so that would be a Canon 70D battery and a smaller Canon Point and Shoot battery. I also have a small Dell 2 in 1 (11.6" laptop) for the third device to plug in. Here I thought this charger/adapter/converter would be my answer! I do have a smaller single converter and I'm sure I have just regular European plug adapters (without converter). I had hoped to avoid bringing all the other things with me. I shouldn't need to plug in the laptop overnight. I plan to leave that in the room at all times and thus can charge that one by itself while we are out exploring during the day/evening. I WILL be plugging in the battery chargers overnight every night.

Posted by
32152 posts

Kathy,

Don't panic yet. The Bestek product that you listed may indeed work fine, but I'm trying to get some further information on it. So far the manufacturer hasn't replied to my E-mail.

I find some of the wording in their specifications a bit "puzzling" (as shown on the Amazon website). I suspect they were written by someone who isn't entirely fluent in English or technology. For example.....

"AC Output: 110~120VAC 60HZ "

I can understand that the product would supply 60 Hz when connected to a 60 Hz electrical system, but I have my doubts that it's supplying that when connected to a 50 Hz system in Europe. I haven't seen a power bar yet that could convert frequency, but perhaps I'm missing something here?

"Please don't use this power converter to charge your hair dryer, hair straightener, and curling iron."

Given the high wattage, I don't think rechargeable hair dryers or similar appliances are too common. I'm assuming the warning is intended to prevent people from connecting that type of appliance to the power bar, as it simply can't deliver that much power. The power bar is capable of handling only 200 watts total (and preferably under 180 watts), so can definitely not be used with high wattage appliances.

THIS is the Amazon link that I was looking at. If you know any Electrical Engineers or similar in your area (perhaps at a University or technical school), you could also ask them about this.

I suspect the Bestek unit is using solid-state switch-mode power supplies rather than transformer based voltage conversion. Given the 1.2 lb. shipping weight, that's almost certain, as transformers are inherently heavy. For example, THIS is a 200 watt Transformer, which has a shipping weight of 4.3 lbs. Many Chargers these days use similar technology and sometimes these don't "get along well" when connected together.

You'll have to check each of the Chargers you plan on travelling with, but at least the Canon chargers should be rated for operation from 100-240 VAC (I also use Canon, and the chargers have been this way for many years). As they tend to use proprietary chargers, you're going to have to pack those along anyway. Your Laptop charger should also be rated for multi-voltage operation, but you'll have to check. As you have to also pack along the Canon chargers, something like the Monster travel power bar would also have worked in this case (it provides three outlets and one USB charger).

If I receive information from the manufacturer, I'll let you know.

Posted by
7050 posts

kathy, I shouldn't speak about a device I haven't seen. But I've owned many laptops over the years, and I've NEVER seen one whose power supply ("brick") didn't say "Input: 100-240VAC" on it. That means that you only need a prong-adapter for it. Similar comment for almost any electronics device you buy nowadays - but get a flashlight and look at the "Nameplate" to be sure.

This isn't because the manufacturer wants things to be easier for us. It's because they only have to make and stock ONE power supply (for each device) for worldwide sale!

Posted by
731 posts

So is it bad for the charger itself if I plug it into this charging hub even if it doesn't require converting? I rather like the idea of being able to charge multiple things at once. I'm not really sure how many outlets there will be in each of the RS chosen hotels!

Posted by
32152 posts

Kathy,

"So is it bad for the charger itself if I plug it into this charging hub even if it doesn't require converting?"

The short answer is, "it could be". It may work fine but If your phone or camera charger does go up in smoke because the two switch-mode power supplies "don't like each other", that will put a damper on your holiday.

You could also use something like the Monster Power Bar which would eliminate the Voltage Converter so you'd be connecting your camera and phone chargers directly to 220 VAC, which they are designed to handle without using extra Voltage Converters. You can verify that by checking the Input Voltage spec's on each device you're travelling with.

You may enjoy reading THIS article, which covers the same points I've mentioned here but with slightly different wording.

Posted by
731 posts

Kathleen......I took the bait on that one and for $2.67 and free shipping, I thought, what the heck! I will report back on this topic when I return in May. I have every possible combination of adapters/converters known to man now......and will give them a try here at home first to make sure I don't blow anything up!

Posted by
32152 posts

That small E-Bay charger probably won't work for the cameras, as Canon normally uses proprietary chargers which must be connected directly to the outlet. None of my Canon Cameras have ever been supplied with a USB charger.

Posted by
731 posts

Oh, yes....no USB charger for cameras but I'm just amassing a collection of adapters :)

Posted by
193 posts

Kathy/Ken/All - I also bought the Bestek converter/adapter - and now I'm getting worried. I obviously don't totally understand the electric conversion issue... Kathy, if you return before June 10th or 11th & use this device, please give an update. I'll keep it in its box ready to pack - but maybe not until last. Think I will also send this to an electrician cousin. See what he can tell me. Gosh, the electric conversion & money conversions make me feel like I'm back in school (or should go back!!) ;)

Posted by
193 posts

I just looked at the CPAP plug in and it says 90W (It's on the pug in charge) - so that device would need a converter, correct?

Posted by
32231 posts

advocatecare

the wattage isn't the important figure on the plug for you cpap., at least not at first.

I've looked back through this thread and don't see where you checked the voitage on the plug or adapter.

Most these days are world voltage 100-250 vAC. Can you check that before we commit to a converter?

Posted by
731 posts

I used the Bestek power strip type very easily while everywhere in Europe. I had to use 3 different adapters depending on the country, though. France/Germany/Netherlands used the Schenko (sp)? adapter, Italy had it's own, and Switzerland had their own. I know of people that have just used a universal adapter successfully in Europe so I'm thinking it's the one for Italy (the thinner, 2 prong). It'll fit in the France/Germany/Netherlands hotels but it isn't as thick as the Schenko one. I had to use the Switzerland adapter specifically as there was no way the universal adapter would work at that hotel.

The interesting plug that Kathleen posted the link to worked for anything that had a USB plug (cell phones, hubby's e-cig) but it made me nervous to use it as it got very warm! I only used it a couple of times. It already had the European plug and had room for 4 USBs to plug into it.