Can you use the USB port of a router to charge a phone?

Discussion in 'Wireless Internet' started by Steven Bornfeld, Aug 19, 2015.

  1. Can you use the USB port of a router to charge a phone?
    Steven Bornfeld, Aug 19, 2015
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  2. Per Steven Bornfeld:
    Try it.

    Depends on:

    - Whether-or-not the router designer supplied 5v to the port

    - How many milli-amps the phone needs vs how many are
    available on the port.

    I would not expect any of the above....
    (PeteCresswell), Aug 19, 2015
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  3. It likely depends on the router. My Cradlepoint has two usb ports. I
    can not only charge a phone from one of them but can also connect to
    the internet using USB tethering on the phone. I can probably tether
    two phones, but I haven't tried that.
    Charlie Hoffpauir, Aug 20, 2015
  4. Steven Bornfeld

    Char Jackson Guest

    AFAIK all USB ports can be used that way. I've used the USB ports on my
    little media player, my A/V receiver (both front panel and rear panel), my
    Roku, the USB port on a commercial flight, the Time Warner cable box, the
    Uverse cable box, you name it. If it's USB, it has 5V DC @ about 500mA (off
    the top of my head, but I think those are the numbers), so it should work
    fine. Note that you asked about a phone. Tablets and other larger devices
    might try to draw more current than what the port can safely provide, but
    phones should be fine.
    Char Jackson, Aug 20, 2015
  5. Since you didn't bother supplying a maker and model number, I'll
    simply suggest that you find the maker and model number of your router
    and check what the router specifications have to offer.

    However, I can make a good guess(tm) that it's 5V 1A output per USB
    port. If the router vendor expects people to plug in self powered USB
    hard disk drives, it should handle at least 500 ma and preferably 1A.
    However, I don't think the power will charge a smartphone or tablet
    that requires 2A.
    Jeff Liebermann, Aug 20, 2015
  6. Steven Bornfeld

    Char Jackson Guest

    Are there smartphones that require 2A? I know of tablets that do, but I
    haven't seen smartphones that were that power hungry. Then again, my
    experience is mostly limited to a few Samsung Android models.
    Char Jackson, Aug 20, 2015
  7. Yeah, sorta. The way they work is that if you plug in a 2A charger,
    it will charge at up to 2A. However, if you plug in a 1A charger, it
    will reduce the charge current to 1A. I've seen mumbling in the
    reviews about charging time, where buying a 2A charger cuts is roughly
    in half. However, I don't recall which phones, and am too lazy to dig
    it out.

    Incidentally, I bought a pile of these USB ammeters, which have been
    very handy at checking out charging current:
    However, I've been too lazy to record numbers because the actual
    current depends on the state of charge and battery condition as well
    as the charger capabilities. I believe that I've seen over 1A on a
    (not sure) Nexus 5 smartphone but am not sure. I just tried it on a
    half battery Nokia something Windoze phone (running Android apps)[1].
    I just measured 1.3A on a 1.5A charger:
    "More power in less time. Up to 35% faster charging for first 30
    minutes with an empty battery."

    Jeff Liebermann, Aug 21, 2015
  8. Its a tp-link archer c5 but none of the specs on the net show the
    current capacity of the two usb 2.0 ports.
    Steven Bornfeld, Aug 21, 2015
  9. The Nexus 5 wall charger says it's 1.2 Amps.
    Steven Bornfeld, Aug 21, 2015
  10. Well, it says USB 2.0 which is a start. I'll assume that you can't
    measure the current capacity and are in pre-purchase mode.

    The FCC ID is TE7C5
    There's a V1 and V2 both of which appear on the same FCCID page.
    Plug the FCC ID into:
    Find the "internal photos"
    Argh... too small to see the USB chip numbers. Dead end.

    I also tried to find an inside photo with Google image search with
    nothing useful found.

    Here's a review that might show a photo:
    There's an inside photo, but not big enough to ID the chip.

    If you're charging a Nexus 5, the charge current is NOT the labelled
    1.2A. That's just the maximum current and usually appears only with a
    totally dead battery. The rest of the charge cycle is much less
    current. Buy one of these:
    and MEASURE how much current you really need. Be sure to try it with
    a nearly discharged battery. If it's less than 1A, it will probably
    work as a charger.

    Under the USB 2.0 spec:
    Battery Charging Specification 1.2:
    Released in December 2010. Several changes and increasing limits
    including allowing 1.5 A on charging ports for unconfigured devices,
    allowing High Speed communication while having a current up to 1.5 A
    and allowing a maximum current of 5 A.

    I doubt that the USB ports on the router comply with this
    specification and are more likely to just supply the standard 1.0A
    maximum. At this point, the only ways to find out is to ID the chip,
    or find a similar unit and measure it.

    Why you would want to charge a phone from a router will remain a
    Jeff Liebermann, Aug 21, 2015
  11. The laptop has all its ports already full, and I don't
    always have the wall wart USB handy, and the router
    USB ports will be glaringly empty and already right there.
    Steven Bornfeld, Aug 21, 2015
  12. When I've plugged my Lumia err, something smartphone
    to the side of my computah it charges up fine. (Don't have
    a USB'ed router).

    When I plug it into the jack formerly known as the power
    supply for a cigarette lighter in the car, it beeps at
    me and says something like "this is a low current
    charger. Please use a higher power one".

    However, it sucessfully charges the phone when I've
    left the phone in standby. More importanlyu, it supplies
    all teh current needed when I've got the phone in GPS/map
    display more, which would otherwise drain the battery
    in an hour or two...
    danny burstein, Aug 22, 2015
  13. Jeff Liebermann, Aug 22, 2015
  14. Steven Bornfeld

    dold Guest

    Any port in a storm, or shortage.

    Hotel rooms are prime candidates for a shortage of wall outlets.
    I've charge my phone from the back of the TV, and the USB port, which might
    be disk-power-enabled, on a DirecTV box.

    It might just be handy, too.
    I have run out of ethernet, AC and USB outlets in my office. Too many
    Internet of Things in one room. Oh, and the tortoise is hogging two AC

    I wouldn't mind having a USB cable dangling from my Asus router
    disk/printer port. It has two... charging might be a selling feature.
    And, I could share my phone storage on the network at the same time!
    dold, Sep 1, 2015
  15. Steven Bornfeld

    dold Guest

    My Asus RT-N56U has two USB ports, and one of them is now charging my
    Samsung S4.
    Oh... I can 3G tether my phone, so maybe it does provide charging power.
    It sees it as a CDROM, though, so no file sharing without some further
    kernel: scsi 0:0:0:0: CD-ROM SAMSUNG File-Stor Gadget 0001 PQ: 0 ANSI: 2
    kernel: scsi 0:0:0:0: Attached scsi generic sg0 type 5
    dold, Sep 1, 2015
  16. Ok, I guess it's justifiable. Still, there are better ways:
    Might as well get some exercise while charging.
    Jeff Liebermann, Sep 1, 2015
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