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 Post subject: Efficiently powering a lot of 5V electronics?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 09, 2020 10:59 pm 


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Location: Bellevue, Washington, USA
I’ve got a bunch of small electronics that require 5V power at 1 amp or less. Some using USB connectors, some using DC barrel plugs.

To reduce power strip clutter. I tried powering a bunch of these devices with a Anker 60W 10-Port USB Wall Charger, PowerPort 10
But I’ve found that I get strange behaviors in my electronics if I use more than 4 or so ports at a time. That device should be capable of 1.2A on every port simultaneously. Which is greater than the 1A or less needed for my devices.

Has anyone else run into a similar situation and come up with an innovative solution?
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 Post subject: Re: Efficiently powering a lot of 5V electronics?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 09, 2020 11:06 pm 


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I'd like to power 4 things by USB-to-DC, but can only do 2 right now becuse I own only one adapter that's not noisy (parasitic distortion on screen).

Seems many of those USB wall chragers produce noise. Tried several, no luck, my only good is one I bought like 3 bucks in a general store lol.
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Last edited by Xyga on Fri Jan 10, 2020 9:27 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Efficiently powering a lot of 5V electronics?
PostPosted: Fri Jan 10, 2020 1:49 am 



Joined: 05 Jul 2019
Posts: 58
I bought a 4 amp version of the 5V Triad PSUs from FBX's recommendation thread to power a gscartsw, OSSC, and HDMI matrix switch. DC barrel splitters and extensions seemed to produce a significant voltage drop so I haven't gotten around to integrating the new PSU yet.


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 Post subject: Re: Efficiently powering a lot of 5V electronics?
PostPosted: Fri Jan 10, 2020 11:11 am 


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Not innovative, but being from Kramer it might be higher quality: https://www.kramerav.com/us/product/va-102p5

There's one on ebay.com for 100 bucks right now, don't know if that would be reasonable for you


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 Post subject: Re: Efficiently powering a lot of 5V electronics?
PostPosted: Fri Jan 10, 2020 1:49 pm 



Joined: 21 Aug 2016
Posts: 631
One of the things to look out for is isolation. A lot of the nicer guitar pedal power supplies that can power multiple pedals have transformer-isolated banks of power because once you start plugging multiple things into the same power source, you get ground loops and noise. I don't have any recommendations for supplies, unfortunately, but as you are looking, that's something you'll want to keep an eye out for.


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 Post subject: Re: Efficiently powering a lot of 5V electronics?
PostPosted: Fri Jan 10, 2020 2:07 pm 



Joined: 02 Sep 2012
Posts: 45
makar1 wrote:
I bought a 4 amp version of the 5V Triad PSUs from FBX's recommendation thread to power a gscartsw, OSSC, and HDMI matrix switch. DC barrel splitters and extensions seemed to produce a significant voltage drop so I haven't gotten around to integrating the new PSU yet.


This is what I do too. A Triad 5V 4A with a splitter powers my Ethernet switch, OSSC, HDMI switch, and HDMI Extractor. I've had zero issues for the six or so months since I implemented it.

I've also done the same using a 9V Triad with my Genesis 3, Super Nintendo, and SCART Switch. It has really helped to clear up and manage all the plugs.

The highest amp PSU that I could find on Digikey and still matched the specs of the Triad was a Mean Well 5V 6A.


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 Post subject: Re: Efficiently powering a lot of 5V electronics?
PostPosted: Fri Jan 10, 2020 10:35 pm 


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Xer Xian wrote:
Not innovative, but being from Kramer it might be higher quality: https://www.kramerav.com/us/product/va-102p5
There's one on ebay.com for 100 bucks right now, don't know if that would be reasonable for you


At least it's designed for the exact use case I have. I didn't know such a device existed. Thanks!


thebigcheese wrote:
One of the things to look out for is isolation. A lot of the nicer guitar pedal power supplies that can power multiple pedals have transformer-isolated banks of power because once you start plugging multiple things into the same power source, you get ground loops and noise. I don't have any recommendations for supplies, unfortunately, but as you are looking, that's something you'll want to keep an eye out for.


Good to know. Sounds like they're generally designed for my use case. And maybe I'll find one without the Kramer price gouge. Thanks!
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 Post subject: Re: Efficiently powering a lot of 5V electronics?
PostPosted: Sat Jan 11, 2020 3:22 pm 


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Joined: 21 May 2013
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DirkSwizzler wrote:
I’ve got a bunch of small electronics that require 5V power at 1 amp or less. Some using USB connectors, some using DC barrel plugs.

To reduce power strip clutter. I tried powering a bunch of these devices with a Anker 60W 10-Port USB Wall Charger, PowerPort 10
But I’ve found that I get strange behaviors in my electronics if I use more than 4 or so ports at a time. That device should be capable of 1.2A on every port simultaneously. Which is greater than the 1A or less needed for my devices.

Has anyone else run into a similar situation and come up with an innovative solution?

I had been considering upgrading to that exact Anker 60W 10-Port Charger for the same purpose as yourself, so thanks for the warning. I am curious to know what sort of strange behaviors you experienced though?

I currently have an Anker 25W 5-Port Charger which I have been using to power a HDMI Switcher and HDMI Splitter without issue, but its an older discontinued Anker model which only has two IQ ports, and I only use the three non-IQ ports for powering devices.

Another option I had been considering is a powered USB hub, and the Atolla brand seems to get good reviews:-
8-Port
https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07ZGF73MC/
11-port
https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07DWQBBZX/
(Also available on AliExpress)

The only issue is I couldn't decide if I should go for the 8-port which uses a 5V/4A power adapter, or the 11-port which uses a 12V/4A power adapter so presumably performs a 12>5V DC conversion internally - so its not entirely clear to me what the overall maximum available 5V amperage would be on the 11-port version.

One of the nice things about using a powered hub is that you could potentially upgrade the power supply to a better quality/less noisy version should you need to, which is something you cant do with the Anker PowerPorts. I'm aware that at that point I would basically just be using it as an expensive DC splitter, but it seems like a nicer solution than chaining multiple DC barrel splitters and adapters together, or building a DIY solution. Plus with USB I could connect multiple controller charging cables as well.

My only concern is what thebigcheese mentioned - that there might be noise/inteference on the power lines, since I dont think each USB socket will be individually isolated.


Last edited by Link83 on Mon Jan 13, 2020 2:38 am, edited 8 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Efficiently powering a lot of 5V electronics?
PostPosted: Sat Jan 11, 2020 3:52 pm 



Joined: 19 Jul 2017
Posts: 1786
Would that interference be due to the lack of isolation, or from use of a square/modified sine wave? Or both?


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 Post subject: Re: Efficiently powering a lot of 5V electronics?
PostPosted: Sun Jan 12, 2020 3:31 am 


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Joined: 28 Apr 2017
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Location: Bellevue, Washington, USA
The weird behaviors I would see are devices appearing to be on. But not functioning correctly. And what I observed is that they would work flawlessly after moving to another power supply.

My ethernet switches would have power lights. But no activity lights and would fail to forward network traffic

My audio extractor would power on. But not forward audio on the hdmi audio port.

Various switches and splitters would fail to forward along hdmi signals.

All these behaviors were also seen when I barrel split a power supply too much. So maybe it's isolation. Maybe the initial power draw is too much of a spike. I'm not sure.

And maybe it's something completely unrelated that I haven't noticed yet. I'm not ready to call my random frustrated swearing evidence yet.
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 Post subject: Re: Efficiently powering a lot of 5V electronics?
PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2020 1:54 am 



Joined: 05 Jul 2019
Posts: 58
Have you measured the voltage output of your power supplies when powering on multiple devices?


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 Post subject: Re: Efficiently powering a lot of 5V electronics?
PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2020 5:19 pm 


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Joined: 28 Apr 2017
Posts: 524
Location: Bellevue, Washington, USA
I have not. I had thought that I'd need to test across an active barrel which seems impossible. But now that I think about it. A split barrel is probably the same reading.
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 Post subject: Re: Efficiently powering a lot of 5V electronics?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 04, 2020 8:42 pm 


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A bit of followup.

The Kramer VA-102P5 has been working well. Thanks to Xer Xian for pointing out one on eBay for $100 instead of the usual $500+ they seem to be listed at everywhere else.
However, it's pretty loud for a power supply. Like it's got some massive cooling fan inside. But it doesn't have any vents. It's not jet engine loud. But it's way louder than my PC.

I might open it up to see if I can disable that and just add some vents to the case. Otherwise I'm definitely going back to quieter barrel splitting of smaller power supplies.

I reconfirmed that using a Anker 10 port charger is a bad plan. Got up to 2 network switches and 3 hdmi devices before my network switches stopped working.

At this point I'm thinking I need to ditch USB chargers altogether and just use DC barrel plug to female USB A adapters so I can use reliable power supplies even for USB devices.
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 Post subject: Re: Efficiently powering a lot of 5V electronics?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 04, 2020 9:12 pm 


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DirkSwizzler wrote:
The Kramer VA-102P5 has been working well.

This is literally what I have been looking for to power all my small 5v devices (GBS-8200 scaler / VGA to HDMI converter / HDMI switch / HDMI splitter / Audio DAC)
Fortunately I found one on ebay in the UK for £55. Pretty good deal, and I believe there is still one available if anyone else wants one.


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 Post subject: Re: Efficiently powering a lot of 5V electronics?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 05, 2020 3:10 am 



Joined: 05 Jul 2019
Posts: 58
Larger AWG barrel splitters might be needed to avoid the voltage drop when powering multiple devices.


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 Post subject: Re: Efficiently powering a lot of 5V electronics?
PostPosted: Sat Feb 08, 2020 4:09 pm 


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Ok, so a follow up on the Kramer VA-102P5. The fans are obnoxiously loud. Too loud for any kind of real use imo.

So I spliced in a 100 ohm resistor to each of the 2 fans, and they are now silent. They should still cool efficiently too, but time will tell.


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 Post subject: Re: Efficiently powering a lot of 5V electronics?
PostPosted: Sat Feb 08, 2020 5:44 pm 


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DirkSwizzler wrote:
I reconfirmed that using a Anker 10 port charger is a bad plan. Got up to 2 network switches and 3 hdmi devices before my network switches stopped working.

Out of curiosity, did you notice if any specific device(s) in particular caused the problems with the Anker 10 port charger? Or was it more correlated to the number of devices connected?


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 Post subject: Re: Efficiently powering a lot of 5V electronics?
PostPosted: Sat Feb 08, 2020 6:23 pm 


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Location: Bellevue, Washington, USA
Link83 wrote:
DirkSwizzler wrote:
I reconfirmed that using a Anker 10 port charger is a bad plan. Got up to 2 network switches and 3 hdmi devices before my network switches stopped working.

Out of curiosity, did you notice if any specific device(s) in particular caused the problems with the Anker 10 port charger? Or was it more correlated to the number of devices connected?


I hadn't considered the possibility of a problem device. I have not tested for that.

Will do so soon'ish. Hopefully within a week.
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 Post subject: Re: Efficiently powering a lot of 5V electronics?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 11, 2020 1:52 pm 


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Quote:
So I spliced in a 100 ohm resistor to each of the 2 fans, and they are now silent. They should still cool efficiently too, but time will tell.


Yeah I found the fans a little too loud too, is this difficult to do, like could I just send this thing to a modder and say "splice in a 100 ohm resistor to each of the 2 fans" and he'd know what I was on about?
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