Power from a Computer with USB

Powering Students' Work from a Computer is as Easy as Using Batteries

Many commercial products such as phones, MP3 players and cameras take their power from a computer's USB port (when connected) and school projects can also do this. This is a great power source, especially for small devices as it saves on bulky batteries or the expense of a mains adapter. A USB cable has four wires. Two are used to transfer data, while the other two provide the power. The two power wires supply a 5V power source that can deliver a current of up to 100mA. This is more than enough to power a typical educational circuit. To simplify using USB power we have introduced a lead that is manufactured specially for Kitronik. The lead only has the two power connections, so there are no data wires to confuse the student. Using the lead (shown below) you can quickly replace a battery pack or DC power supply and power your circuit from a USB connection. If you want to run a lighting project, why not considered powering it from a USB port and use the lamp project kit described at the bottom of the page.

USB power lead

Take power from a PC with this handy USB lead. The lead is 1m long and has pre tinned red and black wires which connect to the 5V pins on the USB plug. The data wires are not connected making it extremely easy to use. usb_power_1 Click here for details on this product

USB powered lamp kit

Build a computer desk lamp or ornament using this simple board. Available with either a white or colour changing LED the board takes power from a USB port. The kit includes a switch and the USB cable (described above). usb_power_2 Click here for details on this product Learn more about the author

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