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I have several gadgets and a nifty cord setup on my desk that ensures I don't have to connect/disconnect cables; the thing I would love to do would be to keep the gadgets connected overnight (or during the day while I'm at work) to charge regardless of whether there's a computer connected or not. This includes high-power-draw iPhones and iPads alongside lower-consuming gadgets.

My lone powered USB hub is not enough to charge even a single iPhone without having a computer to draw power from. I know most hubs are that way. My question is: are there any hubs that can provide as much power as a connected Mac can (that is, enough to charge at least one iPhone plus another gadget)?

I know some docking stations (e.g. the Thunderbolt version of the Apple Cinema Display) can provide enough power regardless of whether a computer is connected. I would prefer not to get an entire display just for the USB ports though. :)

PS: To keep the cord setup as it is, I need a hub, not a charger: I want to be able to connect the computer to it and see connected devices :)

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We really do not provide shopping suggestions. I have never seen something like this. The reason those displays can do it is because their USB HUB device is seperate from the computer itself. –  Ramhound Jan 18 '12 at 18:39
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3 Answers

up vote 1 down vote accepted

I found this on the apple website: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4049?viewlocale=en_US

From what I can tell, your device may not be able to charge off of the 500mA that a standard USB hub can provide. USB3 hubs have a max power output of 900mA so that may work for you.

From what the apple doc tells me, some apple USB devices are designed outside the USB specification and may not work properly with industry standard USB devices. This design decision may limit your ability to charge your device how you want on anything other than Apple devices.

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Is this a PC on Windows 7? If your HUB is not powered because the PC is turned off, there might be a way of putting your computer in SLEEP mode (not off, not Hibernate) while retaining USB power.

  • Go to your power options in the control panel.
  • Go in Advanced Plan Settings for your current plan.
  • Open the USB settings
  • Set USB selective suspend to Disabled.

I have not tested it myself, but this is supposed to allow current to go through in sleep mode. One possible issue is the PC waking up due to the device usage, but there are some solutions for that including disabling BIOS wakeup settings.

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Sound like MAC OS from some details in the OP –  Dave M Jan 18 '12 at 20:00
Yeah.. I guess. Those are all frequent PC devices except the Thunderbolt part. There may be a similar Sleep setting in Mac OS? –  mtone Jan 18 '12 at 20:09
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Some powered hubs will provide enough to charge some devices. I have one that charges a cell phone and a headset. How much does the iPhone draw? This StarTech USB hub provides 900mA per port

There are others: Anker or exsys

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