Stop Wall Wart Infestation with Power2U
[June 2012] In any electronic intensive setting, there are power supplies all over the place. In many homes, there is almost a fight to get a socket to charge your and your family’s phones, MP3 players, GPS devices, tablet computers, etc. There must be some way to recharge without hassles.
I hate wall warts. And I know you most likely hate them too.
What is there to love? It seems as if every electric socket is jammed with some of those big blobs – wall warts – these days. Worse, often they will block more than one power socket on the wall or power strip. They look messy and waste power. It would be great to get rid of them, would it not?
Several possible solutions have been proposed, including refusing to buy anything that is powered by a wall wart. As much as I would like to do that, it is not yet practical.
USB Moves to Power Duty
Fortunately, many of the newer wall warts, especially those for cell phone/PDAs and iPads, for example, have a sort of commonality that makes a great solution possible.
The solution is the USB connector. You will find it on the end of most cables used to get data in and out of your computer. In addition to carrying data, they can carry power. To electronics goods manufacturers, it allows one cord to do double duty. For us, it can liberate us at least partially from those wall warts.
That is where Newer Technology’s Power2U comes into play, in an elegant fashion.
The Power2U is an AC and USB wall outlet with an integrated transformer. It is UL Listed.
It replaces your double AC socket with a double AC socket and two USB sockets capable of delivering up to 2 Amperes at 5.2 Volts. Hence, you effectively double your available outlets.
In other words, it should charge almost anything you have around the home or office.
The Power2U is rated at 15 Amps and has a safety rating almost four times higher.
A big plus for the Power2U is that, unlike many of the units for sale that simply plug in to the existing sockets and stick out from the wall, the Power2U sits inside the electrical box and extends from the wall only the thickness of the standard socket cover.
Avoiding Vampire Power Waste
One of the reminders we get all the time about wall warts is that they are always on when plugged in – even if the appliance is not on.
By contrast, the doors on the USB sockets turn the DC power on and off, avoiding any of the Vampire Power wastage that usually comes from the wall warts, since they are always “on.”
True, the savings might be only a couple of Watts but, over time, those Watts do add up.
At the very least, you will have gotten rid of a wall wart or two. And that makes you just a little bit greener, which cannot be bad.
Additionally, the doors protect the connectors from dust.
Where It Does Not Work
Installation is usually quick and easy – but please be sure to turn the power breaker off before making the change.
One caution: the size of the ample transformer does occasionally cause a problem for some installations: you need to have a modern electrical box of 16 cubic inches or more. The smaller metal boxes found in older homes just do not have enough room. To use the Power2U in such locations means you will need to replace the box.
Thus it is a good idea to measure your electrical box carefully before starting. It will save a lot of frustration.
As this article is being put together, the price on the Power2U is being reduced, and additional colors are being added to the line. You should expect the street price for the Power2U to be under $20.
You will enjoy getting rid of those wall warts from the kitchen counter, the home office, and other places in the house or office. However, you may need to buy more than one; once you have installed the Power2U in one socket, you may find the rest of your family will want one for themselves, too!
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The minimum box dimensions from the user manual: 54.5mm wide x 62.3mm deep x 90.5mm tall.
For more information on the Power2U, please click here.