Charging from various sources has always been hit and miss. With our current high performance smartphones and large batteries, charging takes far too long from some USB ports. And with our phones dying after less than a day, it’s imperative that we get that charge as fast as possible. But how can you tell how fast your device is charging?
With the Practical Meter, you can. This new Kickstarter project is for a very simple device. It goes between your USB port and the USB cable that goes to your device, and using five simple LEDs, it’ll tell you how many watts your device is pulling. Most devices max out at 5 watts, so all five LEDs being lit is a good sign. But if you’re pulling less, then you know your device will take a long time to charge.
Some ports will only output 2.5 watts to some devices, yet 5 watts to others. You never know how a specific USB port will react to a specific device. Using this Practical Meter, you can find out. But there is no point in finding out if you can’t do anything about it.
Part of the Kickstarter is also their special cable that contains optimized charging circuits in the tips. One side is a full size USB plug, and the other has three plugs coming out of it; mini USB, micro USB, and an Apple 30 pin plug. This allows for using one cable with all of your devices. Using this cable, you can draw double the current if you were charging slowly before. It does not support data transfer, but it greatly speeds up charging times when they’re bad in the first place.
Giving $7 to the Kickstarter gets you the three-tip cable with optimized charging circuits. A pledge of $20 will get you the cable and the Practical Meter, showing you where you need to use it and how much faster your charging is. And in some applications, like solar panels, it’ll even tell you how much power the panel is pushing out.
If you’re interested in keeping an eye on how fast your devices are charging, and optimizing it, hit the source link and go back the Kickstarter. It’s already over its goal by about 70%, so the risk is far smaller. Oh, and head to the updates part of the page. You’ll like what you see.