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Mains socket with USB built in

Discussion in 'Electrics UK' started by KennyPowers, 21 Oct 2017.

  1. KennyPowers

    KennyPowers

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    Hi,

    I am looking at replacing one of the double mains sockets in our front room, with a double that has USB sockets built into it. The amount of phones and tablets that need charging is getting a PITA.

    Should I just order the front bit, or do I need the back box bit too? (assuming the ones with USB built in are deeper due to AC/DC adaptor inside?)

    I guess I should also stick to a decent brand like MK?

    Cheers,
    KP
     
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  3. Tigercubrider

    Tigercubrider

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    They fit in my back boxes fine.
    If in doubt, pop into a b&q or screwfix and look
     
  4. John D v2.0

    John D v2.0

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    Check the current limit, I think the total current for them isn't high as the wall chargers. If you charge iPad and phone at the same time, some take 4A between them for rapid charge.
     
  5. JohnW2

    JohnW2

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    Indeed. I think that most of the ones in sockets only provide a maximum of about 2A across both outlets.

    In passing, as I have observed before, I have kept away from these things for a number of reasons. One of them is the pace of technological change. It's not that long ago that many of the general public would not even have recognised a USB socket for what it is. I therefore wonder what connectors (if any physical connectors at all!) we will be using for our charging in 10, 15 or 20 years time, and whether the younger generation then will be asking "what are those funny holes in our sockets?"!

    Kind Regards, John
     
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  6. StephenOak

    StephenOak

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  7. JohnW2

    JohnW2

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    Maybe, but I still have some of those on my walls, still doing good service ... whereas it's possible that there will be little, if any, use for a USB socket in a decade or two's time!

    A better example might be the serial and parallel port connectors on the back of a good few of my (still in-service) PCs!

    Kind Regards, John
     
  8. bernardgreen

    bernardgreen

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    The IBM compatible parallel port is essential to allow my PCB CAD dongle to operate, hence a 20 year old DOS machine is still essential. I really do like DOS,

    cad dongle.jpg
     
  9. StephenOak

    StephenOak

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    Never tried mine, I suspect that they are no longer connected.

    All analogies are imperfect. I was just showing a real world example of what you were talking about.

    However, AFAIUI, those sockets were only installed for a few decades (roughly 1910s to 1950s). The first USB standard was in 1996 and devices appeared a year or so later. So that is already two decades, add the time you are suggesting and the lifetimes may be similar.
     
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  11. JohnW2

    JohnW2

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    Mine were installed in the 1990s (mainly for above-bookcase/furniture lighting) and are still in service. They are still readily available e.g. click here
    True, but their widespread use for charging mobile devices is appreciably more recent that that. I may, of course, be wrong, but I do suspect that it will not be all that long before we (generally) use some different method of charging mobile devices.

    Kind Regards, John
     
  12. KennyPowers

    KennyPowers

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    Bit confused on the current limit bit.

    So a double mains socket might take 2 x 13A before the fuses in the plug go, plus 2 x 1.5A for the USB sockets, so a total of 29A max?

    Is there a danger of the mains wires in the wall getting to hot and catching fire or something?
     
  13. JohnW2

    JohnW2

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    We're both giving away our ages! I still quite often use 'DOS' batch files.

    I still have some old printers connected to old machines via ('Centronics') parallel ports, and I still use the RS232 serial ports for some purposes, but that doesn't mean that my offspring are likely to recognise what the connectors are, or are for!

    Kind Regards, John
     
  14. JohnW2

    JohnW2

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    Yes, you're a bit confused. The USB sockets can provide, say, 1.5A x 2 at 5V - forgetting losses etc, that equates to only about 0.07A at 230V, so a negligible additional load.

    Kind Regards, John
     
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  15. oldbutnotdead

    oldbutnotdead

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    I just have concerns with embedding chunks of electronics permanently connected to the power circuit. One wee concern is whether the things are always on (I think some use a shutter mech so when nothing is connected the innards aren't energised), the next concern is fault finding when one fails will be irksome, the 3rd concern is how well they cope with 500v insulation tests. But maybe that's just little old Luddite me .... and if you lot run short of ageing PC hardware I might have a stack of Dell Optiplex boxes in the garage (as well as every laptop I've ever owned, starting with the Amstrad PPC512) :)
     
  16. JohnW2

    JohnW2

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    Indeed, that is one of the other issues.
    We've discussed this before, and it would seem that few, if any, do switch the 230V 'input' to the 5V generator. I suspect that one reason is that it would be difficult get get a 230V switch very close to the 5V circuitry without invoking separation/isolation problems.
    I don't think they can cope (or can be guaranteed to cope) with 500V insulation tests. In any event, even with 250V IR tests, they would mess up the results, so one would have to disconnect them.
    You are definitely not alone, but maybe that's because I can also identify with your user name :)

    Kind Regards, John
     
  17. StephenOak

    StephenOak

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    So no where nearly as obvious as mine that are just above the mantelpiece and hence easier for visitors to see.

    Oh sure, but I would have thought not as commonly used as when mine were put in (c. 1934). When XYZ technology stops frequently being installed or attached to devices by default that does not mean that everyone stops making, selling & using it. At times, like your example, for different uses than originally intended and at times for legacy applications.

    They were not installed in the millions even in the 1930s but I am sure the usage now is a lot less.

    Certainly more recent than mid 90s but I'm not sure I'd say appreciably more recent. USB has always had power as well as data and before devices used proper (i.e. standards compliant) USB connections, many manufactures used USB-type cables to connect & power their devices but with software on the computer (or a dedicated wall-wart) so you had to buy a proprietary product. Those normally used mini-B sockets on the device and mini-B was in 2.0 standard which came out in 2000. So I suspect these were common by the mid 2000s, they certainly were common by 2009, I had a mobile phone like that then and there were masses of USB-type proprietary chargers.

    No real idea. USB will still be common, as you said, for at least a decade. If something clearly better comes along then it drop back reasonably quickly on new devices. However it is being updated (for data and for power) so anything that replaces it will need to have a clear advantage to make a change worthwhile.
     
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