Can I use the power from the UBB port on Flex 6300

  • 1
  • Question
  • Updated 1 year ago
I want to power a laptop cooler from my Flex 6300
Photo of Delbert McCord

Delbert McCord

  • 108 Posts
  • 19 Reply Likes

Posted 1 year ago

  • 1
Photo of KY6LA - Howard

KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

  • 3593 Posts
  • 1446 Reply Likes
Yes. I have been using a laptop cooler powered by my 6700 USB port for several years.
Photo of Ria - N2RJ

Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

  • 2270 Posts
  • 904 Reply Likes
You can but generally you shouldn't. 
Photo of WX7Y

WX7Y

  • 571 Posts
  • 104 Reply Likes
yea not a real good idea, better to get a POWERED USB  Hub  then plug the powered hub into your 6000 series and your Fan, FTDI Cables and devices into the HUB.

Bret WX7Y
(Edited)
Photo of Delbert McCord

Delbert McCord

  • 108 Posts
  • 19 Reply Likes
Thank for the input, I see 2 reply's that say I should not do it, can you tell me why? The lovely laptop cooler has the on and off switch on the back and I do not want to have to move the rig to turn it on and off. I power my Flex (and the rest of my shack for that matter except the amp that needs 220) from my solar battery bank. The bank is never switched off so I was just thinking (damgerous for me) that the fans would turn off and on with the rig. I can build a 5 volt supply from 12 volts and wire a switch but if there is not a good reason why do it. This cooler has 2 5 inch fans in it that run slow to the point that I do not hear them at all.

Please do not think I am arguing I just want to know why, the Flex 6300 has 2 USB ports and I at this time do not use either of them. Is the current draw a problem?

Thanks for your time in replying.
Photo of Ken - NM9P

Ken - NM9P, Elmer

  • 4025 Posts
  • 1248 Reply Likes
I think the concern for those who don't recommend it is the current draw from attached equipment.
.
If something were to short out, or deliver a voltage or current surge, then what would you rather repair of replace....a $20 USB hub, or a $4,000 Flex Rig?
Photo of Ria - N2RJ

Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

  • 2270 Posts
  • 904 Reply Likes
That is my thinking as well. The last thing I want is an inductive load connected to my radio that could induce a power surge back into it. They probably have filtering up the wazoo but I would rather not take the chance especially when USB wall warts are a dime a dozen.
Photo of George Molnar, KF2T

George Molnar, KF2T, Elmer

  • 1590 Posts
  • 555 Reply Likes
Like Howard, I have run a laptop cooler off the USB port for quite a while with no apparent ill effects. About all I could think Bret and Ria are suggesting is that there could be a potential rig issue if there was a failure of the cooler, either through a short or transient. Of course it also does take up a port, so if you need more than one USB connection, Bret's solution is definitely the way to go.
Photo of Tim - W4TME

Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

  • 9152 Posts
  • 3478 Reply Likes
My initial concern would be electro and magnetic noise generated by the fan getting back into the radio's circuitry.  In addition, Ken brings up a good point about voltage surges, which if they damage the USB port, would not be covered as a warranty repair
Photo of Delbert McCord

Delbert McCord

  • 108 Posts
  • 19 Reply Likes
OK, thanks to everyone that took the time to reply.
DE K8OCN
Photo of G8ZPX

G8ZPX

  • 196 Posts
  • 110 Reply Likes
If designed in full accordance with the USB2 standard then the port should be current limited to either 100mA or 500mA, so should be self protecting. I have seen thousands of phyically damaged usb ports but not a single electrically dead port.