USB charger built it. No more power packs battling to find room to plug in.
USB charging is here to stay. The 5V DC in the USB interface makes charging ~3V device batteries easy. However a standard USB interface only allow 0.5 amp to be sourced which is only enough to charge lower capacity phones battery. Today's tablets with larger capacity batteries require 2 amps or more in some cases. There is no standard protocol on how to detect that a USB host (charger) can source that higher current. However, since the Apple iPad is so popular suppliers are using it's charging protocol as the de facto standard for higher charging rates.
The USB charger outlet I installed is iPad (2.1 amp) compatible. I picked it up at my local home improvement box store for $20. Click the image to view the album with the details of the install and some upgrades to my home automation. I added some additional z-wave switches to allow automation to control the front and back yards flood lights. I also hid some wires using a cord cover.
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