XYMer's Home away from Home

When http://bbs.xlr8yourmac.com is down (i.e. always)
It is currently Tue Oct 17, 2017 12:26 pm

All times are UTC - 8 hours




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 8 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: Charging stations
PostPosted: Mon Feb 22, 2016 8:52 pm 
Online
User avatar

Joined: Mon Sep 14, 2009 8:51 pm
Posts: 485
Location: Minnesota, USA
I volunteer with a friends group for our local library. The library wishes to set up charging capability for guests for a variety of mobile devices from Apple to Android. Mostly tablets and phones (most computer users bring their own chargers and use the already existing sockets on the tables). Right now guests ask the desk librarian if there is something and the librarian lends them his own or forgotten or donated items. I believe the librarian asks for ID as security for the loan. The library has approached the friends group about other solutions.

One solution was: https://chargetech.com/product/cell-pho ... ation-cs6/ It seems to get good ratings. A bit pricey at $150 then there's $50 for security and $50 if you get the extended warranty. That's $250 for 6 charging stations. Cables and tips seem to be the biggest breakage issue and the extended warranty may cover this for a while but in the long run it is $20 per cable. Once you get the unit fastened down somewhere the retracting cables should deter cable theft but won't help with breakage.

An alternative would be buy a set of medium priced individual charging units and a set of cables. I know chargers have different amperage ratings and the higher ones charge faster and are more expensive. I don't know how big an assortment of cables we would need. I priced out some Apple 10 W chargers on OWC macsales.com at about $15 each. Enough for tablets? Work okay with other brand phones? Cables seem to run about $10 each and we probably would not need 10 of each kind, just a couple each of the more common variety. This solution will likely require a bit more work on the part of the librarian issuing chargers and cables and making sure they are returned. It would be easier to use the chargers around the library vs. all tied to one station. It may also be easier to obtain replacement cables.

Any comments or recommendations?


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Charging stations
PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2016 2:03 am 
Offline

Joined: Thu Jul 05, 2012 4:02 pm
Posts: 1012
Location: Melbourne
I see more of these multi-chargers coming onto the market. Some where you can directly plug in an iPhone.
Further down this linked page are a range of designs, with different applications.
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B009DCNP9O?psc=1
Thingcharger looks handy, but I have not used one.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Charging stations
PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2016 3:54 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Thu May 15, 2008 8:13 pm
Posts: 9496
Location: Caught between the moon and NYC
I'm generally of the mind to let people bring their own cables, since you've got at minimum three different possible connectors (MicroUSB, Lightning, Dock), though possibly more the older you go (LG had it's own USB variant, then you've got MiniUSB on others). As you said, the problem is going to be that people will be people and the cables will get damaged at their stress points (tie the cables down and the cable will break right after the tie-down point). You could simply get a variety of cables to stock and use the same system you're currently using for loaning them out to people, with dedicated charging stations for them to plug into.

On the cheap side of charging are these:
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0115MVRO4/
http://www.monoprice.com/product?p_id=13915
http://www.monoprice.com/product?p_id=12715

The closest I've personally come are power strips that have a couple USB ports built-in. We put one on every couple tables in a lab, secured them to the desktop & cable trough, and kids have been happy. They routinely bring in laptops as well as their phones. This stopped them from frying lab computer USB ports with their frayed cables, and stopped them from unplugging systems & equipment to connect their laptops. Occasionally we'll get a not-so-bright individual who still does one or the other but you know what they say about horses and water.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Charging stations
PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2016 1:34 pm 
Online
User avatar

Joined: Mon Sep 14, 2009 8:51 pm
Posts: 485
Location: Minnesota, USA
Thanks roam, Monkeyboy.

That's a good point about the USB ports and my idea of possibly replacing receptacles with ones with USB ports maybe not being so great.

These really are items of convenience. People tend not to carry cables with them for mobile devices unless they are in the habit of charging them someplace regularly where they do not supply cables such as a school computer lab. People probably come to the library, see other patrons with computers plugged into the power points, realize they forgot to charge their phone that morning and want to do it while reading the newspaper.

One other library in the city has the Chargetech unit. They have had 2 of them since last August and had no issues with it. They said they see them in use everyday but I don't think they had a good idea as to actual number of users per day.

My other idea is we make up about 4 or 5 kits in really heavy-duty transparent zip bags. Each one has a small USB unit with one or two USB ports. Ideally something along 5V/1A supply so even if it isn't ideal for a tablet/iPad you get some charge from it. Each with a lightning and microUSB cable so we have most modern devices covered, and maybe one with a 30 port Apple old-style connector. Transparent bags are so the librarian doesn't have to open the bag to check all parts are returned. People hand over ID to borrow the kit and get it back upon return. I think we can do each kit for perhaps $20-$25. That way they are using the existing power sources and can take them where they exist in the library rather than the library having to designate a special table for a central station.

I know with anything we are dealing with user wear and tear. Maybe a few things still get stolen or damaged. As long as it isn't too much per year, well that's the kind of things the Friends support and we'll just budget on replacements.

Next time I am in the library I can also check on the exact placement of power sources and if a powerstrip + USB ports might work for some stations so all we have to lend out are cables.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Charging stations
PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2016 3:56 pm 
Offline
Benevolent Dictator
User avatar

Joined: Mon Apr 21, 2008 2:03 am
Posts: 14629
http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Tripp%20Lite/U360007/

http://eshop.macsales.com/item/IOGEAR/GUH285/


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Charging stations
PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2016 10:21 am 
Online
User avatar

Joined: Mon Sep 14, 2009 8:51 pm
Posts: 485
Location: Minnesota, USA
BDAqua wrote:
http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Tripp%20Lite/U360007/


This one might work but would still require we monitor cord distribution. I think it isn't too different from the one I use right now by Plugable. One thing to note about this kind of unit is although they provide many ports the actual total power rating is not high. For example this one provides 4A across 8 ports. I believe most devices now charge at 1A or more (my wife's Apple iPhone 5S charger rates at 1A) so if you had somebody charging a tablet on the sole 2A port you'd only really have 2 of the others available or everybody slows down.

BDAqua wrote:
http://eshop.macsales.com/item/IOGEAR/GUH285/


That one is cute but has to be plugged into a power source. It really is a data hub extender, not a charger.

http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Belkin/F8Z981TTP/ This one would work for a kit style setup. It even comes with old 30 pin connectors so we would just have to get some newer ones such as lightning cables. It charges at 1A which I imagine would work for most newer devices although it might be a bit slow for tablet use. At $7 per unit if one or two break/disappear it is within an annual budget for replacement.

Does anybody know if any newer devices absolutely must have 2A rating capacity? iPhone6? Newer iPads?


Last edited by Limnos on Thu Feb 25, 2016 10:35 am, edited 2 times in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Charging stations
PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2016 10:28 am 
Offline
Benevolent Dictator
User avatar

Joined: Mon Apr 21, 2008 2:03 am
Posts: 14629
Ah, I see.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Charging stations
PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2016 9:10 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Thu May 15, 2008 8:13 pm
Posts: 9496
Location: Caught between the moon and NYC
2A tablets will charge at 1A however only when they're being actively used. If you plug a newer iPad into a 1A source it will display the message "not charging," but if you let it sit while plugged in it will actually charge (though slowly). However, if you use it while its plugged in, it will continue to discharge. The 2A plugs won't display the error, but can still result in the unit discharging if you use CPU intensive tasks while its charging (typically this means more involved gaming apps, although since it happens with ALL chargers the owners should be familiar with it).


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 8 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 8 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group