USB Power Injector & 15" Alum PowerBook

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by Hack5190, Jun 9, 2016.

  1. Hack5190 macrumors 6502a

    Hack5190

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2015
    Location:
    Stuck on Earth in the USA
    #1
    The 15" Alum PowerBook USB port's lack enough power to drive a USB hard drive or a USB solid state drive. To be clear, the USB ports work fine and can power a standard USB thumb style drive. So I started searching and the best options I found appear to be this cable or building your own.

    So two (2) questions:

    1) Do any other PowerBook users have this problem?

    2) What was / is your solution?
     
  2. happyfrappy macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2007
    Location:
    Location eh?
    #2
    The USB port power limit dated as far back as the iBook G3/TiPB, the ports share power with the 56k modem, bluetooth, light sensor(15/17" Alu PB G4) and on late era AluPB/pre-unibody MB/MBP the iSight are on the shared bus. If I remember the iMac G5 iSight model also suffered one port being castrated, Apple listed the port to be only used for the wired keyboard+mouse--this limit ended with the Core 2 Duo(mid-2007 iMac).

    Only solution I can recommend is if you must use a HDD/SSD storage device would be:
    --Single platter 5400 HDDs such as Seagate Thin(7mm), Hitachi/HGST 7mm or the new WD 7mm series(320GB/500GB are single platters). Don't attempt multi-platter 5400/7200 RPM drives as they will be prone to random disconnects which jacks up SMART error rates, learned this headache with a Spinpoint MG 400GB in a USB enclosure.
    --Don't use a fast SSD, Samsung 850 & SanDisk Extreme SSDs require too much juice... lower tier SanDisk Plus/Z-series and others are less power demanding.

    If you must buy a pre-fab external HDD, Seagate Backup Plus Slim 1TB uses the Seagate Thin 7mm HDD and the ultra-compact Seagate Seven(500GB Seagate Thin) are power friendly. Don't bother with WD Passports past 500GB, the 1TB is supposed to use less power but if you do intensive disk writes(ex: backups, disk images, restoring files) it'll randomly disconnect which leads to corruption--WD used to include a Y-adapter with Costco & BJs specific models but that ended and you're stuck buying one from NewEgg or Amazon.
     
  3. Hack5190, Jun 13, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2016

    Hack5190 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Hack5190

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2015
    Location:
    Stuck on Earth in the USA
    #3
    happyfrappy Thanks for the information, much appreciated. There are a few of those 'Y-adapter' cables in my junk box. Haven't pulled them out because they all terminate in a Mini-B plug and the drives I want to connect all require a Micro-B SuperSpeed plug. At some point I plan to build a USB hub that's powered from the A/C adapter (think pass-thu and also a way to keep the number of AC outlets at 1) - but until then I'm using a powered USB hub.

    A search turned up the below cable that has the Y you mention and the SS plug I need. Not certain if using both of the 15" PowerBook's USB port's would supply enough power (or not). It's available on Amazon for a very reasonable price, $3.99 (USD). When I submit my next 'Free-Shipping' order I'll toss one in the cart.

    [​IMG]
     

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