Boost PowerBook USB Power?

witness

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Apr 7, 2005
435
0
Austria
I realise that the answer to this question is probably "no", but I thought that it is worth asking anyway, just in case.

I have some bus powered USB devices that won't work with my PowerBook because it doesn't provide enough power to the USB ports.

Is there any way to increase the power output (without using a powered hub)?
 

mikeyredk

macrumors 65816
Mar 13, 2003
1,268
1
What device are you trying to connect? Your powerbook should have enough juice to power anything
 

witness

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Apr 7, 2005
435
0
Austria
mikeyredk said:
What device are you trying to connect? Your powerbook should have enough juice to power anything
It won't power external USB hard drives, I've tried 3 PowerBooks and they were all the same. And I've tried the same device on several PC notebooks and they all worked.
 

yellow

Moderator emeritus
Oct 21, 2003
15,925
1
Portland, OR
witness said:
Is there any way to increase the power output (without using a powered hub)?
Unfortunately, as you suspected, no.

Were these all Titanium PBs, or Aluminum PBs, earlier models?

Firewire is a much better technology with a Mac, far more useful IMO.
 

mms

macrumors 6502a
Oct 8, 2003
784
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CA
Are you sure the hard drives didn't have separate power supply bricks? The PowerBook ports are definitely not made to be low-power.
 

homerjward

macrumors 68030
May 11, 2004
2,745
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fig tree
if the drive has a 2nd usb cable (perhaps red) that's for extra power. perhaps that would help. i dont have any 2.5" external drives on which to test it, only a 3.5" but it should work.
 

witness

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Apr 7, 2005
435
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Austria
It's a laptop hard drive (100Gb USB2 Fujitsu HandyDrive). It did come with a double USB cable, but even with that plugged into both ports it won't work (I assume that both ports on the PowerBook are on the same root hub, and therefore no extra power is provided).

It didn't come with a power brick, and I really don't want to have to take a USB hub with me where ever I go.

At the moment I have to plug my drive into a PC and access it over the network from the PowerBook.

So I'm wondering now, if I were to get a new enclosure with firewire would the PowerBook give enough power to run it? I don't really want to spend the money only to find that it has the same problem.
 

witness

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Apr 7, 2005
435
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Austria
I've just purchased a combined firewire and USB2 caddy, hopefully then I can use the firewire on my PowerBook and the USB on PC's without firewire.

I just hope that it works.
 

witness

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Apr 7, 2005
435
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Austria
Just in case anyone is interested, the USB and firewire enclosure/caddy arrived today and it works just fine using the firewire connection to my PowerBook.

It's a little bit thicker than my USB only enclosure but I guess that's because of the extra components required to provide a firewire port, but at least it works.
 

witness

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Apr 7, 2005
435
0
Austria
mikeyredk said:
did you try the USB 2.0 bus power with the new enclosure?
Not yet, I've tried FireWire with a PowerBook and USB with 2 PC's and it works just fine.

I'll give USB on a PowerBook a go tonight (I don't have my PowerBook with me), I'd be very surprised if it works because I'm using the same 100Gb drive.
 

mikeyredk

macrumors 65816
Mar 13, 2003
1,268
1
it might have been a bad power supply in the enclosure, that can happen. If it works return the first one for a refund
 

witness

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Apr 7, 2005
435
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Austria
Well I gave it a go with USB and it still didn't work, firewire works ok though, so at least I can use the drive directly now without having to go over the network.

I guess that PowerBooks must give out slightly less power than that USB specs (Apple always did favor FireWire over USB).

Thanks for all the suggestions.