Multiple Charging Station

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by sam19, Mar 3, 2013.

  1. sam19 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2010
    Location:
    Wotton,England
    #1
    Hi everyone,

    I'm not a regular poster on here but i am a regular reader:)

    I'm currently in my Second year at university studying product design and I am sick and tired of all my apple devices being plugged in separately and taking up loads of space on my desk, at the same time my mrs has a few apple devices and they also are all over my desk:mad:,

    Which makes my desk almost useless with my iMac and my Macbook on there (not a big desk)

    So to combat this problem I want a docking station that can charge multiple devices at once, i know there is a few devices out there and I was all but ready to buy a XtremeMac X5 that can charge up to 5 devices at one but it only uses the 30 pin connector, but I need to charge at least 3 devices that have the new Lightening adapter, so i researched it a little and people said you can use a 30pin to lightening adapter but there isn't a lot of support for the device at the support isn't very high.

    So as I'm studying product design I thought why not make my own with all the free resources i have at uni.

    Attached is a picture of my design, please let me know what you think and negatives you have.

    I'm currently trying to figure out the best solution so power each charging station, im going to make my own adapters that are the black retangler shape pieces infrom of the back rests, the idea is to make 5 30 pin connectors and 5 lighting connectors.
    I'm thinking about using a USB 3.0 Powered hub and then shortening the apple cables so they fit nice and neatly underneath. personally i think it will work as the USB hub I'm looking at gives 900mA which is perfect for charging my new full size iPad.

    If there are any electronic engineers on here that would like to advise me a better solution i would be more then happy to take your advice?

    Currently I want to machine it out of a piece of aluminium so it matches the look of all my apple products, or I could machine it out of a piece of ABS I'm currently not sure it all depends on costs.

    Please respond with advice and criticism

    regards
    sam
     

    Attached Files:

  2. smellalot macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2011
    #2
    If I were to build something like this I'd be looking at a more powerfull USB hub. A quick look on amazon shows me 3 A hubs for example. If you want to charge more than one iPad at a time you'll need that.

    I'd also build a mechanism that holds the plugs in place so that you simply slide it onto the plug to charge.
     
  3. sam19 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2010
    Location:
    Wotton,England
    #3
  4. sam19 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2010
    Location:
    Wotton,England
    #4
    OK guys

    iv taken some more renders to better explain myself,

    the image below is the adapter plates that i going to make out of Black or White high gloss ABS not sure yet.

    [​IMG]

    the next image below shows how the adapter it will fit into the dock

    [​IMG]

    and the image below shows how it will look when installed into the dock

    [​IMG]

    hope this explains my questions clearer

    sam
     
  5. balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    New England
    #5
    I'm still a bit confused about the electrical bits.

    Is this like the Belkin iPhone 5 dock where the OEM USB -> lightning cable is used? Or a 30 pin where needed?

    B
     
  6. smellalot macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2011
    #6
  7. sam19 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2010
    Location:
    Wotton,England
    #7
    I'm not 100% sure how to secure the adapters

    I thought the easiest way to apply power would be to use the exsisting USB 3.0 technology.

    Sam
     
  8. Giuly, Mar 3, 2013
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2013

    Giuly macrumors 68040

    Giuly

    #8
    The question here is how you obtain a Lightning license for your one-off project.

    You have five bays, which means you need a random 2.4x5=12A @5V power supply (read a cheap notebook power brick and a voltage regulator). To indicate a charger that's capable of delivering 2.4A, you supply 2.8V to both data lines (IIRC, 2A is 2.8V on D+ and 2V on D-).
    And then you need to use genuine Lighning cables (or the Lightning to Micro USB adapter) for that part, as you can't just go out and buy the electronics inside. 30-pin doesn't have electronics inside and works fine the way described above.

    Well, Happy Hacking. Send me one when the Kickstarter is through.
     
  9. rgarjr macrumors 603

    rgarjr

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2009
    Location:
    Southern Cal
    #9
    Looks like a cool muti dock station draw some idevices docked on there.
     
  10. sam19 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2010
    Location:
    Wotton,England
    #10
    thanks for the replies this is really helping my,

    im guessing apple have patented the lightening cable which means if i was going to produce and sell this product i would need to obtain a licence?

    whats the difference between genuine lightening cables and cheap ones you find on ebay? i dont mind spending the money just wondering if there is a huge difference,

    also how would i go about wiring it up inside in your opinion? im still not 100% sure on what i need to do.
    im trying to research but theres not alot out there on it

    sam
     
  11. sam19 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2010
    Location:
    Wotton,England
    #11
    So having a quick search around on the forum and found this

    http://store.griffintechnology.com/ces-2013/powerdock-5-device-charger

    which would solve my problem that i am having but it appears that it isn't available in the UK and i still think it looks untidy and i don't like the design

    but it says it supplies 10watts of power to each device, im guessing you would also need to have some sort of smart charger built in so it doesnt over laod the batteries


    sam
     
  12. dmax35 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2012

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