Parametric USB power hub

by profezzorn, published

Parametric USB power hub by profezzorn Dec 13, 2012
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A simple USB power distribution block. Hook it up to a 5v power supply (like ATX) and plug in as many devices as you need for your project. I use mine to power a raspberry pi, a teensy and a ethernet/wifi bridge.


Get straight USB connectors made for circuit boards. The STL has room for three, but the scad file is parametric, so if you want to have 47 of them, go ahead. Insert the USB connectors into the holder, bend the side tab on each one out to keep it in place. Also make sure to squish the inside springs a little as inserting usb cables will be very tight otherwise. Solder the data pins (the middle ones) together on each usb connector, then connect pin 1 and pin 4 to the power as shown. (Make sure you get + and - right, I'll let you figure out which is which so you can't blame me if you get it wrong.) Once everything is hooked up, simply press the holder into the back part. It should be a snug fit which will not require any glue. Use double-stick tape or velcro to attach it wherever you need it.

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I like your implementation better than what I had. I got a box of the USB sockets and made a 7-port charger by soldering them vertically to a protoboard and wiring that to plug into a HDD power plug on an old desktop power supply. Plenty of amps at 5VDC there. And no, don't plug your laptop into this, there's no reason to. Plus, anything you're typically charging from USB would be a single-cell lithium battery, with a max. voltage around 4V, so there will be electronics between the USB power and your battery; you aren't going to discharge-charge anything unless one of your devices is very badly designed.

Don't you need a diode in there?

You'll need to be more specific.
What would the diode be for and where would it go?

A diode to prevent feedback. Think of it this way: if you plug in a laptop using a male-male cable it will feed 5V back into your hub even after you disconnect your ATX supply.

Nov 1, 2016 - Modified Nov 1, 2016
Orngrimm - in reply to Gil

Eh what? You want to plug in a powered USB-port into a USB-charger?
This idea has disaster all writen over it...
I hope you never had the idea on plugging on wall-socket into another wall-socket just because you made some cables? If you are unlucky and have a different phase, the result will be a blown fuse at least... Maybe even more.

Never plug in one power-source into another.
Chaging batteries is a special case as the giving-source (Charger) has inteligence to prevent bad things...

A diode is indeed important there. One device could end up charging another. Instead of shorting the data pins, putting a resistor there would mean that this could also be made into a USB hub.

where would you put the diode? I’m doing a strip of USBs and don’t want the devices charging each other...

A USB hub would require an IC that routes messages from the ports to the USB master.

I have an excellent device that you can use on your USB-A-to-USB-A cables to prevent that sort of mishaps: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Large-scissors.jpghttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/F...

In general, plugging a laptop USB port into an USB charger is a bad idea, don't do it.