The Charging Challenge

So, I have a lot of USB devices, laptops, USB batteries, camera batteries lightsaber batteries, flashlight, fans, shoes, etc. that needs to be charged. I also have lots of chargers. What I don’t have is a good place for it. Wherever i put it, it almost immediately turns into a mess because of all the cables involved.

Does anybody have any ideas of how to manage this mess? Maybe put a power outlet in a drawer and do all the charging there? Or maybe retractable usb cables? Or maybe it takes some particular piece of furniture?

I suspect you will have come up with a good combination of chargers, furniture, and cables.

I have a suggestion for cables: Try magnetic cables. This reduced the number different cables needed. In my cases this helped with my children having different USB ports on their devices. It also kept them from damaging the USB port. I used cables like this:

If you need fast charging:

I did not use these since it’s ok with me if they have to wait for the device to charge.

I haven’t tried magnetic charger connectors, because they generally fail the USB specs, and I’ve seen a few examples of shorts caused by them. Doesn’t mean they are all bad, but some definitely are…

I looked at the two links you provided.
The first one doesn’t provide data lines, so there is no way it can support Power Delivery, which is requirement for fast charging in most cases.

The second one looks like a short waiting to happen.

Yes, that is a problem. One out the ten cables I got were was bad, but it did not have a short. It was open so would not charge.

It maybe worth trying, but there are some compromises. The one I use are charge only, and do not fast charge. They are simple enough so no shorts. My children have been using them for about a year now without any issues.

Edit: I got one of the second type to try. It looks like it is easy to short, but it turns out not to be so easy. I tied with a paper clip, screws, and allen wrench. It fast charges and was really hard to short. The risk will depend on the charger. A good USB charger will detect the short, but the a cheap one may catch on fire!

I would worry more about the cheap chargers! I made sure I got rid of all of them, regardless of the cables.

The really nasty shorts occur after the connection has happened. Once the + line has increased to to 12, 15 or 20 volts, a short will generally fry the data pins. Very few devices have data pins that can handle 20 volts…

So you connect your laptop with one of these magnetic thingies, then bump it and poof, the magic smoke is let out of your device.

I have to guess… Built-in warmers?

Oddly, this just showed up in my news feed:

I guess I forgot about 12, 15 or 20 volts devices. I have only two devices at home that really need this, but I only use the original cables and charges for these! I don’t really trust that everyone follows the specs in the same ways.

For me it’s not all or nothing. I use magnetic cables where it makes sense with right combination charger and furniture.

I really like NoSloppy’s Drawer!

The drawer-outlet thing is interesting.
I have these desk units which could maybe be used with something like this:

Alternatively I could just install keystone jacks in the back and drop the actual chargers behind all the drawers. (These drawer units have a good 5-6 inches behind the drawers to the back of the unit.)

No, one of my daughers shoes have lights on them…

I hang my nest of cables over the back of a chair, and they plug in at floor level. Maybe a less savage version, draping cables over a nice towel bar… just something to keep the extended as opposed to the retractable loop.

I’ve been taking my kid on college/university tours. The students giving one tour loved the spots where the cables came down from the ceiling, droid shop style. The students were from all different departments and power dripping from the ceiling was a unifying force.

Kids are so proud of their light up shoes. I try to downplay sneaker culture a lot because it gets competitive for my students (the “what are those?!” trend was intense around here :slight_smile: ). But light up shoes get a full gym teacher high five.

(spelling edit)

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