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What To Do With All of My Gadget Chargers?

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the visa-or-mastercard dept.

Power 696

legoman666 writes "On my desk I have chargers for the following gadgets: Nokia N810, LG Chocolate, Sony Ericcson Z310a, Canon Powershot SD1000, Cowan iAudio X5L, Lenovo Thinkpad, Logitech MX1000 and my Nintendo DS. Not a single pair of them share a similar connector. I have two power strips whose singular purpose is to energize these chargers. My question to Slashdot is: How do you organize all of your different chargers? Please, share your secrets."

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Insomnia (5, Funny)

Harmonious Botch (921977) | more than 6 years ago | (#24762349)

I organize mine alphabetically by manufacturer. It gives me something to do on the nights that I can't sleep.

But no matter how sleep-deprived I am, I would never submit such drivel to slashdot, nor, were I an editor, would I post it.

Re:Insomnia (1, Insightful)

uigin (985341) | more than 6 years ago | (#24762435)

I have to agree. How did this make the homepage? Shouldn't this go in Slashdot Idle?

Re:Insomnia (0, Redundant)

HungryHobo (1314109) | more than 6 years ago | (#24762525)

I agree. This is the most pointless thing I've seen on the front page in a while.

Re:Insomnia (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24762667)

I agree as well, lame stories such as this shouldn't ever be posted to the front page of Slashdot! On the other hand, whining about which stories and questions are posted, and 'me too' replies to them, keep me fascinated, please tell us more of your expert editing opinions. If at all possible, please continue to do so without any humor, off hand insight, or any other redeemable content, as we all are better knowing that you too, have felt like your time is wasted.

Re:Insomnia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24762799)

You must be new nere.

Re:Insomnia (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24762607)

The editor is kdawson. He often posts this sort of rubbish, and as you just found out mods down anyone who dares critcize him. I wish the other mods would beat this guy up.

Re:Insomnia (3, Informative)

b4upoo (166390) | more than 6 years ago | (#24762451)

Organizing those dongles is beyond human efforts. The only real way to deal with those stupid things is to have a tray beneath the rear of the desk to keep their power strips hidden. Then run the wires underneath the desktop and fish the ends up through a hole near where you will plug in the gimmicks that use them.
          Every time I look at mine I feel guilty for not having a smoke alarm hanging above them.

Serious issue! (5, Insightful)

Swizec (978239) | more than 6 years ago | (#24762455)

It does raise a serious issue of why the flying fuck in the sky don't gadgets simply have the same bloody connectors for charging? There's no excuse! If all manufacturers could agree on the USB standard then why can't they make a charger standard?

Re:Serious issue! (-1, Offtopic)

oodaloop (1229816) | more than 6 years ago | (#24762507)

Won't somebody think of the children?!1!

Re:Serious issue! (5, Funny)

ex0a (1199351) | more than 6 years ago | (#24762515)

It does raise a serious issue of why the flying fuck in the sky don't gadgets simply have the same bloody connectors for charging? There's no excuse!

Your question takes two steps to solve. First, hold shift. Second, press 4.

Re:Serious issue! (5, Funny)

rarel (697734) | more than 6 years ago | (#24762791)

First, hold shift. Second, press 4.

I have a French keyboard, you insensitive clod!

Re:Serious issue! (0)

endemoniada (744727) | more than 6 years ago | (#24762805)

Shift and 4, you say? So, what is supposed to represent?

Re:Serious issue! (4, Informative)

kmac06 (608921) | more than 6 years ago | (#24762523)

For one thing, different gadgets require different voltages. If you hook up the wrong voltage, you can fry the gadget. Different size plugs helps to avoid this. Also, different devices require different amperage. There is no reason to make a rectifier that can handle higher amperage that it really needs, since that adds cost.

Re:Serious issue! (4, Insightful)

cheater512 (783349) | more than 6 years ago | (#24762641)

Boost/Buck converters negate those factors.

E.g. phones which can charge over USB dont use 5v batteries.

Re:Serious issue! (1)

kmac06 (608921) | more than 6 years ago | (#24762677)

It doesn't negate the fact that the rectifier must provide enough amperage for an arbitrary device, adding cost. And the boost/buck converter has some cost associated with its implementation.

Re:Serious issue! (2, Insightful)

cheater512 (783349) | more than 6 years ago | (#24762751)

USB spec says half a amp, less means that the device is charged slower.
Not a big issue.

And the regulators are mandatory anyway. CPUs dont run on the 3.7v or so of Lithium cells.

Re:Serious issue! (1)

kmac06 (608921) | more than 6 years ago | (#24762781)

Oh I was talking about a wall plug in charger, not a USB charger. If that was the standard, then yes it would be better, assuming the user did not mind having to use a computer to charge. For some devices that's fine, for others it is a problem.

Re:Serious issue! (5, Interesting)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 6 years ago | (#24762763)

Yes, AT THE MOMENT.

There's no reason why gadgets can't be designed around a particular voltage - look at all the stuff you can buy which plugs into car cigarette lighters.

Being forced to use 12V doesn't seem to slow anybody down.

Because chargers cost $0.99 to make (3, Insightful)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 6 years ago | (#24762653)

And you are more than happy to buy one locking you to a specific manufacturer for $19.99. Same reason the headsets are all different.

The manufacturers are simply giving you what you ask for. YOU are the problem.

 

Re:Serious issue! (3, Insightful)

v1 (525388) | more than 6 years ago | (#24762793)

One would assume that the manufacturer's motivations remain where they "should" be, to insure profit. If you lose or break a charger, or if it just plain fails, you can either order another one from the manufacturer for some unreasonable amount, or you can buy a whole new unit. I've had to buy a whole new unit on several occasions.

The packs are almost always marked for voltage and polarity, but the hardware rarely is. (the packs are probably required by UL to be marked) So if you lose the pack you have no idea what the requirements are to replace it yourself. Experimenting is very likely to lead to smoking the equipment. (see first point, I'm sure they're very satisfied with this possibility)

Most larger airports have a shop that sells a variety of fixed packs and universal packs for travelers that have forgotten to pack the cord to their gadget, cordless razors in particular. I'd be interested to see some input from one of those employees.

USB only supplies 5vDC nominal, and not at terribly high current, so I don't think that would make a good universal standard. Firewire would be a better choice for current and voltage, but it can vary between what, +12 and +24 or something like that, and isn't nearly as popular to begin with so that's probably also out.

Many of my toys are 12vDC, of the round pin variety. Polarity is totally random, as is size of the center pin, but many are compatible. If they're going to standardize, this is probably where to go.

Through them out (2, Insightful)

rolfc (842110) | more than 6 years ago | (#24762357)

You don't need all those gadgets, and you would save your self a lot of money in the future.

Re:Through them out (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24762403)

He means "Throw", not "Through".

Re:Through them out (1)

canix (1176421) | more than 6 years ago | (#24762715)

No, he meant "Through them, out!"

Re:Through them out (3, Funny)

Xiph (723935) | more than 6 years ago | (#24762417)

Or as the khalif of baghdad, when it was taken by mongolian forces.

You should be placed in a tower, with all your gadges, and the the doors should be sealed, and all the windows should be barred, and you would no bread nor water delivered for thirty days, for you are so happy for your gadgets, that i can only conclude you can live on them!

There, i've made a reference to Marco Polo on slashdot, although sort of half-assed but hey...

Three step process... (-1, Redundant)

shmlco (594907) | more than 6 years ago | (#24762599)

This, my young Padawan, can be solved with a simple three step process...

1) Buy iPhone.
2) Throw away everything but theThinkpad.
3) Charge iPhone on Thinkpad's USB port.

And add a new phrase to your vocabulary: convergence device.

Seriously. I've pretty much stopped wearing a watch, got rid of that stupid keyring LED flashlight, gave away my PDA, sold the RAZR, sold my iPod, sold the portable DVD player, returned the Kindle, only dig out the camera on holidays and special occasions, and see no need for a DS or Gameboy.

Re:Three step process... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24762647)

You bought an iPhone. You've thrown out your dignity as well.

Re:Three step process... (0, Redundant)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 6 years ago | (#24762663)

I agree, I used to be such a gadgetphile till I got my iPhone, now for the most part my gadget lust is sated(though a DS is still a better gaming machine)

Re:Three step process... (1)

khing (936015) | more than 6 years ago | (#24762679)

missing steps 4) ... 5) profit!

Re:Three step process... (1, Insightful)

daveime (1253762) | more than 6 years ago | (#24762701)

Dump it all for an iPhone ... yeah right !!!

Just because you are willing to compromise on everything doesn't mean the rest of us should ...

Nokia N810 = 800 x 480 display
iPhone = 320 x 480 display (FAIL)

Canon Powershot SD1000 = 7.1 megapix
iPhone = 2 megapix (FAIL)

Cowan iAudio X5L = 30GB storage
iPhone = 4GB or 8GB (FAIL)

Lenovo Thinkpad = erm, it's a Laptop
iPhone = erm, it's NOT (FAIL)

Logitech MX1000 = erm, it's a Mouse
iPhone = erm, it's NOT (FAIL)

Nintendo DS = erm, it's a good little games console
iPhone = erm, it's NOT (FAIL)

To be honest, I can't think of a single, sensible reason to buy an iPhone. It is jack of all trades and master of none.

easy (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24762373)

take all the gadgets and throw them away. no need for chargers thereafter.

side by side!! (3, Funny)

Unclenefeesa (640611) | more than 6 years ago | (#24762375)

on a longer power strip would be an obvious solution !!

Re:side by side!! (2, Interesting)

anss123 (985305) | more than 6 years ago | (#24762493)

I've noticed that the power warts get quite hot. I'm not comfortable keeping them plugged in all the time. On off switches on the strip is in this case useless since you need to keep it on almost always (since something is charging). Ahh, luxury problems. Aren't they sweet?

News for nerds? (4, Insightful)

Kuroji (990107) | more than 6 years ago | (#24762377)

Or stuff that matters? I'm trying to figure out which this falls under, because it doesn't look like it's remotely close to either of them.

Re:News for nerds? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24762425)

Well, it's stuff that matters for nerds who wants to read the news on their handheld devices

Re:News for nerds? (1)

lucas teh geek (714343) | more than 6 years ago | (#24762449)

just wait until the response from someone who's built their own power supply to power 20 different chargers simultaneously, while defying the laws of thermodynamics. then it'll be news for nerds

Re:News for nerds? (5, Insightful)

Max Romantschuk (132276) | more than 6 years ago | (#24762499)

Some of use nerds have "wives", and desks messed up with mountains of chargers has a low WAF (Wife Acceptance Factor)... Anything with a low WAF will lower the chances of wife-provided entertainment, a.k.a. sex.

It matters, my friend. It truly matters. ;)

Re:News for nerds? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24762655)

Ah, a newlywed I see.

chance_of_sex = 1 / (year_of_marriage + number of children - WAF/1000)

As you can see, prior to marriage, a high WAF can actually be detrimental (she'll think you are gay). But after a few years of marriage and/or children the WAF becomes all but meaningless.

Re:News for nerds? (3, Insightful)

DoktorTomoe (643004) | more than 6 years ago | (#24762755)

How eerily accurate, even for the Wife Beta-version (aka. "SignificantOther")

Re:News for nerds? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24762697)

Some of us wives on the other hand like to play around with your gadgets. Not allowing us to play with them lowers your personal WAF, and on the other hand letting us play with them might not leave enough time to provide you with that "wife-provided entertainment". Quite a dilemma.

    -One Actual Nerdy Wife :)

Re:News for nerds? (0, Flamebait)

Gewalt (1200451) | more than 6 years ago | (#24762681)

This would have been a good article if TFS had touched on the fact that *CHINA*, of all places, has outlawed the practice of using non-standard charging connections for electronic devices. Meanwhile, back home in the usa, we allow electronics manufacturers to walk all over us. Ain't it grate?

organize them according to their risk level (5, Funny)

extirpater (132500) | more than 6 years ago | (#24762379)

Risk of Exploding
1- nokia
2- dell
3- sony
4...

Re:organize them according to their risk level (4, Funny)

oodaloop (1229816) | more than 6 years ago | (#24762561)

I don't get it. Any vertical list of positive integers on /. should include ??? and Profit! What gives?

Re:organize them according to their risk level (1)

PKFC (580410) | more than 6 years ago | (#24762621)

Yeah #5 should be explosive profit.. but then it would be closer to the top... Making the punchline before the joke....

USB (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24762383)

Pack them all away and get USB charging cables for them all. Much easier and takes up much less space.

Re:USB (5, Interesting)

Barny (103770) | more than 6 years ago | (#24762579)

And will make your USB power fall over and die and blow something up, very creative and "performance art".

Better:

500W PSU
a pair of side cutters
soldering iron
a terminal block
tons of heat-shrink

Select and solder some heatsinked resistors over the 12v and 5v rails so that you are sinking an amp in each (switchmode PSUs need a constant load).

Next tap wires for different chargers, 12v and 5v are easy (as almost all are now) 3.3 and 12v will give you around 9v, 5v and 12v will give you 7.

Then all you need is a nice little cabinet with some ventilation and one power lead and you can dump all your junk in there to charge and GO THE FUCK OUTSIDE AND LEAVE THEM BEHIND!

A phone, an mp3 player and a camera should do anyone, heck some phones can be your mp3 and camera too now.

And if you can't follow even a bit of what I said, don't try it :)

Re:USB (3, Interesting)

SpooForBrains (771537) | more than 6 years ago | (#24762609)

If you can get hold of a Blackberry Travel Charger, it serves as a very handy charging plug for all your USB powered devices. Except Sony Ericssons, which, for some reason, will ONLY charge from USB if the USB cable is connected to an actual computer.

Sounds like someone needs to simplify (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24762387)

You're working for your gadgets ... maaan!

Wherever possible, use usb chargers. (4, Interesting)

DJProtoss (589443) | more than 6 years ago | (#24762389)

Yes the charge rate is slower, but you need far fewer plugs - I've managed to get usb chargers for all my gadgets ( ds included ) and net result is I only need to manage one plug for the server. ( the number of usb cables is a different question, but they are much easier to manage ).

Re:Wherever possible, use usb chargers. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24762593)

Genius! I can charge my thinkpad from my thinkpad's USB port! Could this be the solution to the world's energy problems?

Re:Wherever possible, use usb chargers. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24762771)

sometimes its better to have a slow charge...

fast charges can damage/overheat batteries.

The power is yours! (1)

Boombox2003 (1352089) | more than 6 years ago | (#24762397)

Since they draw little power you could chain two power strips together to save on plug space

How (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24762399)

I organise them with anger and frustration.

Thank you

Randomly (5, Funny)

Patrik_AKA_RedX (624423) | more than 6 years ago | (#24762411)

I store all my chargers in a drawer. Each time I need one I sort throught them, untangle the wires and curse about it.

Plug them out (1)

uigin (985341) | more than 6 years ago | (#24762423)

I keep them in a box. If you leave them plugged in they will continue to use electricity even when they are not charging (or even connected to) a device.

Re:Plug them out (2, Insightful)

Bazman (4849) | more than 6 years ago | (#24762471)

Use a power strip with switches on each output, then only switch on the ones you want.

Re:Plug them out (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24762669)

If you leave them plugged in they will continue to use electricity even when they are not charging (or even connected to) a device.

Citation needed [cam.ac.uk] .

a great post (3, Funny)

QX-Mat (460729) | more than 6 years ago | (#24762433)

forget the nay sayers... I for one want to see what the /. community do. Do they run a DC ring around the house? Strip the wires and fudge some coins together to make a potential divider? replace the transformers with rodent power?

I have 4 USB hdds that I've not gotten around to putting in a case yet, because I dont have the cash for a mixed sata/ide jbod server, all of which need their own adaptor. I have a headset that needs an adaptor. My phone charger, and mp3 charger. That's some 7 sockets I'm using on 8 socket power strip, with the 8th going to a another 4 socket in serial to power my PC and high-fi (i know you shouldn't have power strips in parallel... but pfft, im not running a kettle off it like at Uni :D)

it is a problem. step down transformers are notoriously wasteful. There has to be a better way!?

Re:a great post (1)

QX-Mat (460729) | more than 6 years ago | (#24762459)

Mmmm i did not read that back before posting :(

Re:a great post (1)

HJED (1304957) | more than 6 years ago | (#24762631)

put them on a usb hub the you will only have one transformer for all the devices note you may have to buy multiple USB cables with different ends but its good for the environment right?

Really? (1)

neokushan (932374) | more than 6 years ago | (#24762437)

Do they all NEED to be plugged in at the same time?

You could get one of those 200-in-1 universal adapter things and keep a note of the power requirements for each device in a handy notepad. Then you can just dump those chargers in a drawer somewhere, where they belong.

Just you wait... eg, for "PV panels on every roof" (0, Offtopic)

ivi (126837) | more than 6 years ago | (#24762439)

With some luck, going Solar (eg, with Photo-Voltaic panels, etc.) will see our future homes able to supply DC voltages, directly, without all the chargers.

It's just a matter of time before PV panels get cheaper to make and/or more efficient at converting solar to electrical power.

Disassemble them all! (5, Funny)

ThomsonsPier (988872) | more than 6 years ago | (#24762443)

Cut off the plugs from all of the cables and solder all of the wires to the output of one transformer, thus enabling you to simultaneously charge all of your devices and cook your dinner on the monstrosity you now have plugged into the wall.

You may wish to update your fire insurance.

use computer PSU.. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24762465)

there was an pci board that just converts to various voltages, so that you could use your ATX PSU to charge batteries or various equipment. It should be more efficient as ATX is switching power supply instead of most of those little 'bricks'.

Callpod (5, Informative)

aluxe (1352095) | more than 6 years ago | (#24762479)

http://callpod.com/ [callpod.com] I think they're a bit pricey, but definitely worth it if you've got a ton of gadgets. Two cellphones qualifies... :)

A few practical tips (2, Informative)

Max Romantschuk (132276) | more than 6 years ago | (#24762481)

I try to hide whatever chargers and wiring in general I don't have to unplug. That way I can wrap it all up with cable ties and keep it managed somehow. Fastening power strips to the bottom of the desk can be a good option. (The double sided tape thing never works... Use something more permanent.)

Also non-brand chargers can make sense when space is a premium. TinyPlugs are excellent for Nokia phones, for instance.

Having an off switch on the power strip with all the chargers can be a good idea too, if you aren't charging anything you can turn the whole thing off and save power. (No leeching.)

Chargers stay at same fixed locations... (1)

freedom_india (780002) | more than 6 years ago | (#24762485)

I too have an LG Viewty, an iBook G4, a Nokia 6600, my iPod mini, and the battery-operated SUV my 3-yr son drives (the charger is very similar to a nokia phone charger).
Organisation is key: i charge my iPod at work: The white cable always is connected to my PC.
The iBook G4 feeds off its charger which is permanently hooked to UPS power supply that also feeds my SLI-config PC. Yes, the laptop stays close to PC, and yes its neanderthal for a slashdotter to keep it that way, but the charger doesn't get lost this way.
The Viewty (KU990) is tricky since the charger gets lost quickly enough in my clutter. But i have found one wall socket at home where the charger stays connected to permanently. I plug the phone in when i reach home, and take it out when i leave for work.
The Nokia is my company's: i don't care if its charged or not. Not my money, so if i happen to answer it i check for battery and if it has run out, i replace the viewty charger with Nokia charger (and this is why my LG Viewty is down today).
I found that having fixed location chargers for moving devices creates some discipline and order. Plus you don't have to haul the chargers every day.
iPod Mini runs out of charge?=Work PC.
LG Viewty: Fixed wall socket.
iBook G4: Charger near UPS.
Nokia: Charger at same wall socket as Viewty. (when not charging, it lies in my bag).
SUV: The charger is placed near kitchen. My wife plugs the charger in when she makes coffee in morning. My son brings the SUV to kitchen when it needs to be charged (which is about 11.30 AM when the kitchen is free).
No one is allowed to move chargers. Not even my son is exempt from this law:
This way i don't lose chargers and things are organised.
Devices can move; Chargers can't. (when i travel, everything goes into my laptop bag). Unfortunately this made me once carry the SUV charger too for about a week.

Name Them! (2, Informative)

argee (1327877) | more than 6 years ago | (#24762487)

Its easy to mix the chargers up. First thing I do is stick on a piece of duct tape, and with a Magic Marker or Sharpie, write the name of the device it fits, such as "WRTG54GL" or "MOT V235". Avoids sticking 18 volts into a 5 volt device!

Why Not ,... (0, Flamebait)

pilsner.urquell (734632) | more than 6 years ago | (#24762489)

Why don't you lobby Congress to pass a law standardizing voltage with connector type. Then we can have another more worthless legislation to deal with!

Re:Why Not ,... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24762665)

thats actualy a good idea!

Consider future consolidation and brand loyalty. (1)

Shag (3737) | more than 6 years ago | (#24762495)

I'm going to hazard a guess that in addition to not sharing chargers, they don't share much else either... they don't necessarily use the same memory, or have interchangeable parts, or interoperate in cool and interesting ways (like forming Voltron, for example).

So... congratulations. You've ammassed enough technology to discover why corporate IT departments standardize on a limited number of vendors. It looks like you surf the web, talk, take pictures, play media, and do computer stuff... right?

You've got somewhere between 2 and 4 different ways to surf the web. You've got somewhere between 3 and 5 ways to talk. You've got somewhre between 3 and 5 ways to take a picture.

Do you actually need this degree of redundancy? Are you collecting random shiny toys just to say you've done it? :)

I surf the web, talk, take pictures, play media, and do computer stuff, too. The only things charging off my power strip, 99.999% of the time, are a laptop and a phone. Why? Well, the laptop lets me surf the web, talk (via Skype etc), take crappy pictures via a built-in webcam, play all kinds of media, and do all kinds of computer stuff. The phone lets me surf the web, talk, take slightly better crappy pictures, and play media.

Do I have other kit? Sure - but I don't use my standalone media player that often any more, so it stays in my backpack. Ditto for the pocket camera. Ditto for the DSLR. Ditto for a lot of chargers. Oh, and my phone and media player are the same brand, so they charge the same way.

Get a life? (1, Troll)

bushboy (112290) | more than 6 years ago | (#24762501)

If your worried about where to plug your *ahem* gadgets, I'd say that's the least of your worries.
Perhaps you need to step outside into that room with the big light, get a bit of exercise, read a book, have sex, go for drinks with friends, go on holiday, live a little.

Perhaps ask yourself "Why do I have so many gadgets? What would happen if I got rid of some of them? What is regular sex like?"

Luxury problem (3, Funny)

TheP4st (1164315) | more than 6 years ago | (#24762503)

A classic case of luxury problem.
Why three mobile phones, are you waiting for the not so ineviteble question "Is that 3 mobiles in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?"

Stop Being Greedy? (1)

ilovegeorgebush (923173) | more than 6 years ago | (#24762505)

It's called K.I.S.S [wikipedia.org] . The following devices could be combined into one with numerous offerings that are on the mobile phone market these days:
  • Nokia N810
  • LG Chocolate
  • Sony Ericcson Z310a
  • Cowan iAudio X5L

Arguably, you could also scrap the digital camera as most phones have cameras on them. I'm a photographer myself so I can appreciate not wanting to do that.

For the Logitech MX1000 (wireless mouse) - use batteries. As for your Nintendo DS, the battery life is pretty good on that, so you could just charge it each night instead of lugging the power adapter around.

My secret and Thinkgeek's secret (1)

Rob Kaper (5960) | more than 6 years ago | (#24762521)

..is not having many single-purpose gadgets but just one multi-purpose pocket computer (aka a modern mobile phone). I'm not bloody Rambo.

That said: Thinkgeek might have a few gadget-organising gadgets you might be interested in.

I've given it thought. (1)

pecosdave (536896) | more than 6 years ago | (#24762529)

I get USB chargable devices.

First of all I try to get things that will charge via USB.

For instance your Nintendo DS IS USB chargeable. I don't have a DS, but I do have the GBA equivalent to this nice Pelican charger kit [jr.com] . I use the cigarette lighter to USB adapter to charge other low wattage devices, like my iRiver when I'm in the car, not just my GBA SP and GBA Micro (it wasn't powerful enough for any of my previous phones though).

I bought a PSP a few days ago, I know it's also USB chargeable, I just haven't picked up an adapter yet.

My Jabra JX10 doesn't take much wattage to charge, neither does my Skype phone I use the USB ports on the back of my KVM [iogear.com] to charge those. The KVM is powered, so thats 1 power port for 3 devices.

I've changed phones many times in the last year, my company keeps swapping them out on me. All three of the phones they've given me in the past year, an older Motorola Q, a Blackberry Curve, and now the older model iPhone all use USB to charge. For the iPhone I actually bought an alarm clock [ilounge.com] to handle charging that.

I used to think the idea of using USB to power things was ludicrous, mostly because the first things I saw utilizing USB power were fans, lights, and mini vacs, just stupid little power suckers. Now that I've actually been utilizing it I've been freeing up the power strip. Things like this [expansys-usa.com] and this [outletpc.com] actually seem worth buying.

Three Mobile Phones? (5, Interesting)

ilovegeorgebush (923173) | more than 6 years ago | (#24762533)

I neglected to ask this in my previous post: why the f-ck have you got three mobile phones?

Re:Three Mobile Phones? (2, Insightful)

unix guy (163468) | more than 6 years ago | (#24762629)

He's only got 2 mobile phones - the Nokia N810 is an Internet Tablet. I'm never seen anywhere without mine. It's a geek thing...

Re:Three Mobile Phones? (1)

oodaloop (1229816) | more than 6 years ago | (#24762813)

Oh, well then that's completely reasonable. 2 mobile phones, internet tablet, MP3 player, digital camera, and a laptop. Perfectly respectable ensemble for any red-blooded American.

Re:Three Mobile Phones? (2, Funny)

Inda (580031) | more than 6 years ago | (#24762651)

One for business
One for friends
One for women

Doesn't everyone have three phones?

Consider charging station DIY or buy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24762551)

Build one your self... Ikea style :-)
$3 project..
http://lifehacker.com/software/diy/ikea-charging-station-277771.php

or get this
http://lifehacker.com/software/household/mobile-device-recharging-station-137835.php

I've had an idea, and I'm yet to do it. (1)

pecosdave (536896) | more than 6 years ago | (#24762557)

I've thought about taking an old AT power supply, or maybe even just a single large 12V AD/DC adapter, building a multi volt break down box, then adding a bunch of by-the voltage power taps to it.

Say, a common negative rail and a select your own positive rail setup. I figure I can cut the cords off of the chargers each device I want to charge came with, crimp some banana plugs onto them and select the appropriate ports from the box. I've given some thought on a commercial version of this as well, of course the commercial version would have identical plugs on the "box" side and the connecting cable would be keyed for voltage/polarity, we don't want the average luser figuring out their own voltages and polarities now do we?

I already did this for my USB hard drives. (1)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 6 years ago | (#24762785)

I have about of them around here and a couple of transformers already died. HDDs are 12V so I got an old AT power supply and used that for power.

Hack your Life! (1)

StarfishOne (756076) | more than 6 years ago | (#24762567)

I mean.. look at sites like Lifehacker:

Tired of cords and chargers?
http://lifehacker.com/software/clutter/build-a-cordandcharger-organizer-229408.php [lifehacker.com]

Somehow I could not reach the article right now, but here's the image of the project that is being described:

http://cache.lifehacker.com/assets/resources/2007/01/charger%20box.jpg [lifehacker.com]

Welll (3, Insightful)

ledow (319597) | more than 6 years ago | (#24762569)

What sort of answer are you expecting?

- I chop off all the connectors from my expensive, official chargers and solder them to cheap multi-level adaptors?
- I bought X, a thing which includes connectors for everything and lets you charge Watts of equipment simultaneously?
- I run DC electric around my house in multi-voltage and have purchased specific connectors for every piece of equipment I own and hope I don't plug my phone into the wrong voltage?

I don't think that there is a sensible solution at the moment. I tend to have a charging area - where I keep all the chargers on a power strip which is plugged in whenever I need to charge anything. My wife and I often want to charge two similar items at the same time - for those cases I purchase an extra charger (usually from eBay or a boot sale) or use one mains charger and plug the supplied car-charger into a 220-12v adaptor I bought that has a "cigarette lighter" socket on it.

The other options don't really bear thinking about. Running DC electric around a house is an absolute nightmare so you're basically going to want to lump all the things needing charge near a suitable DC output - which could be the official chargers on a powerstrip, or a multi-voltage thing, like a PC PSU or similar multi-out DC supply if you have THAT many but I'd check the efficiency of using such a thing when a single mobile phone is plugged into it.

So you have to have all your charging equipment in one place, and you can either rig up some Heath Robinson solution to charge any peripheral with any connector via any voltage or you could just plug the mains adaptors that you already have into a £2.99 power strip. You can neaten it up by hiding the actual blocks out of site and rigging up a bit of polished wood that can hold all the various gadgets with the right connectors already in place through holes on it. But that's just poncing about.

You don't save much by doing anything different - in fact, the exact opposite when something goes wrong or doesn't work first time. Forget the whiners moaning about the power used by extra PSU's on the strips - plug in an energy monitor while they are all idle if you are that worried, but the easiest solution is "plug them all in when something is charging, take them all out when nothing is", which is facilitated by an amazing invention called the main switch on a power strip.

There is no magic solution. Even "wireless charging" is bound to be the same in 100 years - every bloody manufacturer will use a different field strength, frequency, polarisation etc. so that you have to buy their charger. Until someone (ISO, I'm looking at you) actually standardises on a DC supply to a house and countries enforce its use in law, you're stuck with it. The only DC standard I'm aware of is in cars and that actually WORKS to a degree - a car charger is a car charger and will work in basically every car in the world (24v supplies on lorries not included, but they do usually come with rather large warnings on the dash and you can get 24-12v convertors for just such an occasion).

Self retracting (1)

bpkiwi (1190575) | more than 6 years ago | (#24762575)

I have a couple of power strips under the desk, and the charger's leads all come up between the desk and the wall, and then through a small Velcro loop (attached to my in-tray). This gives me a 'charging medusa' and I just extend out whatever lead I need. The weight of the leads hanging down the back of the desk means gravity self-retracts the connector back down to the loop when not in use.

My solution... (1)

raehl (609729) | more than 6 years ago | (#24762591)

Whenever possible, only buy things that run on standard, rechargeable batteries - A, AA, C, D and 9V - although I only actually use A, AA and in very limited cases 9V.

The only place this hasn't worked for me is cell phones, but even there I mitigate by sticking with one cell phone manufacturer. And I suppose one could argue it doesn't work with laptops either, but I consider the power adapter there to just be an external power supply. That it also charges the battery is a bonus.

Re:My solution... (1)

troon (724114) | more than 6 years ago | (#24762691)

ITYM "AA and AAA". A cells are quite rare.

Keep-A-Cable (3, Informative)

lapse (94787) | more than 6 years ago | (#24762625)

I've found this to be very helpful: keepacable.com [keepacable.com] .

Just buy all your stuff from Apple . . . (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 6 years ago | (#24762639)

. . . with the Extended-Dance-Mix Warranty. When your device's batteries are empty, you just take it in to your local Apple Store, and they will return it to you in a couple of days, fully recharged.

Probably.

Standardize, please ! (1)

bytesex (112972) | more than 6 years ago | (#24762645)

I think it's time for walled-in 12 volt DC circuitry around the house. Something that sits as a tiny, standard connector on top of all my light sockets. Would that be very difficult; I mean, can you safely, (almost) losslessly, transport 12 volt DC over regular copper wire over a distance of, say, fifty meters ?

Standardise on one or two voltages (1)

russsell (185151) | more than 6 years ago | (#24762703)

I choose 12V equipment wherever possible and have made a tiny power-board where many things plug in: ADSL modem, Ethernet switch, Radio gear, LED lighting, etc.

I also have a 5V connector for things that I can't get 12V versions, eg Zonbu computer, etc

Overall it works very well - the desk is very neat.

Re:Standardise on one or two voltages (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24762773)

So wait, you plan what electronics you'll buy based solely off the idea of whether they will or won't plug into the power board you made?

How long have you known you have Asperger's?

Multi purpose charger (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24762711)

get a charger with multiple plugs and charge them all using a single transformer

most mobile devices will charge at similar voltages

The fun only starts ... (1)

Ihlosi (895663) | more than 6 years ago | (#24762745)

Not a single pair of them share a similar connector.

... when you have devices with identical connectors that expect different voltages/polarities. Let the smoking and fireworks begin!

PowerMonkey is your friend (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24762759)

PowerMonkey charges anything I own (iPhone, ipod, Nokia phones, mini-USB, DS, PSP etc) and to top it off it has a built-in large capacity battery.

Check it out: https://powertraveller.com/

Tangled chargers are part of geek biology (1)

damburger (981828) | more than 6 years ago | (#24762769)

You buy the gadgets, then sew the leads into a nest in which you can raise geeklets.

To be honest, I think having too many chargers to handle is a sign of having too many gadgets. Either find ones with combined functionality, or do without some of your toys you freakish cyborg person.

Tripp Lite mounted behind my desk... (1)

mccabem (44513) | more than 6 years ago | (#24762787)

I use these units [tripplite.com] mounted behind my desk, parallel and about 12" above my desktop. Mounted a few inches below the desktop would be a little harder to access, but would be nearly invisible. Make sure you screw into nothing but studs for support.

Of course wall warts still chew up multiple outlets, but it hurts less when you have that many.

-Matt

Charger box (1)

tcdk (173945) | more than 6 years ago | (#24762811)

I inserted a 6 plug power strip with on/off switch in to a large box, with a hole at one end with the on/off switch sticking out. All the bricks and chargers are in the box and plugged in. A few of the charge wires come out on the side of the box, for easy attachment of a device. For some of the devices, mostly my pocket camera that has a charging station, I have to lift the lid of the box. Just search for "charger box" and you'll find example of people doing this: http://www.google.com/search?q=charger+box [google.com]
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