USB Ports are quite handy to power all our day-to-day electronic devices, but most charging devices are limited to a single port. While it is possible to get a commercial multi-port USB-Charger ( I have quite a few myself), they are usually limited in charging current or very cheaply made.
I decided to do my own, at this time limited to supplying power only, but with a few added features to make it my own.
- Individual switching of ports
- Individual power LED indicator on each port, that can be left disconnected for total dark operation ( I don’t like charging lights in the bedroom )
- Switchmode Power Supply unit, up to 2A output
- Wide input supply options, not limited to 5v
- Wide power tracks to ensure decent current transfer, and reduce heat generation on the PCB
Why did I choose to build my own?
We use USB ports on almost all our electronics devices, and most of the charging units that comes with these are quite badly designed. They are underpowered, have only one port, and have annoying lights that are quite bright at night.
I wanted a single unit that can accept up to 4 devices, control each port individually, as well as be relatively small and compact for travel use.
The PCB is a double layer, with wide power tracks on opposite sides of the board. The component count is quite low, with only USB3 Type Female connectors(4), a single MP1584 Buck converter module, 4x current limiting resistors for the LED indicators, as well as male header pins for the switches and LED indicators.
The biggest challenge was to get the port spacing correct so that it will be easy to use all of them at the same time. CNC cutting the enclosure should also not be too difficult as well, once I get around to designing that in CAD/CAM
I have chosen to keep it simple on this revision, and only supply power via the ports. I plan to maybe do a full data-capable USB 3.0/ USB3.1 Hub later.
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