USB Voltage Question

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Corndog5595, Jul 18, 2010.

  1. Corndog5595 macrumors 65816

    Jul 16, 2010
    I figure somebody is going to ask me why I have this question anyway, so I am going to start with a quick explanation.

    I have type 1 Diabetes. I recently started using the Omnipod which is an insulin delivery system that closely matches the way the pancreas works. Pods are easier alternatives to just using needles or a ‘pen,’ and this is one variation of the many pods available.

    It works with a thing called the PDM (personal diabetes manager I think) which is basically the brain of the operation that sends all the info to the pod that is attached to my body (insulin delivery information, etc).

    Anyway, it stores lots of information like BG records and insulin delivery information, and that info can be downloaded to your computer via USB. There are warnings that say “DO NOT PLUG INTO AN APPLE COMPUTER.” So I called tech support to ask why as I did not want to experiment with this $800 piece of equipment that my life literally depends on.

    The tech support guy said something about USB voltage on a mac and that if you plug it into one the device will pretty much kill itself to prevent it from being internally fried. He admitted to knowing little more than that it had to do with the USB voltage.

    Can anybody shed some light on this situation. I apologize for the long explanation.
  2. ryannazaretian macrumors 6502a


    Sep 21, 2008
    I call bullcrap.

    The USB port voltage on an Apple computer is the same as any other non-Apple computer. USB is a very common standard. 5V, 500mA for USB 2.0 spec.

    My best guess is that there is software that is not compatible.

    Of course, I don't guarantee any of this information if I have $800 at stake.
  3. Corndog5595 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Jul 16, 2010
    It doesn’t just not work, it actually completely clears itself of all memory and requires you to reset it and then put all your info back into it (which takes about half an hour).

    I doubt they would make it kill itself just cause it doesn’t work with macs.
  4. FireSokar macrumors regular

    Jun 21, 2010
    If this was true, which I doubt. Seems to me maybe they provided the warning because of a possible filesystem issue, perhaps the drive memory is formatted in a Windows compliant format like exFAT or NTFS. Try plugging the device into a powered USB Hub and it should have no idea its plugged into an apple device if the voltage is to high.
  5. Corndog5595 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Jul 16, 2010
    Like I said, as soon as you plug it into a mac, it beeps real loud for a few seconds, and then gives an error message with the number to tech support. Plug it into a windows computer and the new device window pops up.
  6. FireSokar macrumors regular

    Jun 21, 2010
    have you plugged it into a Apple computer with Windows bootcamped onto it? also have you tried a powered usb hub.
  7. Corndog5595 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Jul 16, 2010
    I haven’t tried either of those. I already spent an hour entering in all my info again twice because of this when I first got it shipped to me (because I am curious like that). I am not going to test it out again. Plus, I don’t have windows bootcamped right now, and I don’t have a powered USB hub.
  8. FireSokar macrumors regular

    Jun 21, 2010
    Best bet would be trying it in Windows bootcamped. I just measured my usb ports with a multimeter and it matches my son vaio exactly so i do not see how its voltage related. They probally had a bug in their firmware related to osx, so instead of patching it they just decided to have it crash on purpose. Bootcamp windows and try again when your feeling up to it.
  9. synth3tik macrumors 68040


    Oct 11, 2006
    Minneapolis, MN
    I used to work for a company that made the USB controllers for Apple, many other companies bought the same controllers.

    I'd assume that the tech was not trying to lie to you. I am sure that is what they were told. I have a feeling though that it has something to do with software licensing.

    If there truly was an issue with voltage, then I'm afraid that device was not made very well and not worth $800.
  10. Corndog5595 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Jul 16, 2010
    alright, questions answered I guess. It is most likely just a bug with the firmware and it resets itself to prevent any kind of error.

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