Need a USB UPS of Sorts - a USB Batt Pack Allowing Simultaneous Charging and Use

johnatthebar

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Nov 17, 2009
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I need a small (and cheap) solution for back-up power for USB devices. One (of several) use cases are my security cameras. They're all USB powered, and if the power goes out (even for a brief moment) they stop working. My network has backup power, but I can't imagine putting a UPS under each camera, as that seems excessively large and expensive.

Many external USB batt packs warn you not to charge the pack and use the battery at the same time (b/c of overheating concerns). Does anyone know of one that actually supports this? That's all I'd need, is an external battery pack that can be used and charged at the same time, so that if the power goes out, each device plugged in will run off the battery.
 

Rukbat

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Feb 12, 2012
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I've done that many times, for a long time, and never had a problem. I was in physical rehab for about 3 weeks, and the battery pack was plugged in all that time, sometimes under the blanket (were overheating is really a problem) and it's still going strong now, almost 3 years later. And I've never felt it anything but cold. (Metal always feels cold.)

Look for one with a solid metal case, plastic doesn't conduct heat very well. (This one, a Cocheer, looks as if it's designed for use on the battlefield - a solid block or aluminum. I wouldn't really try to drive a tank over it, but it might survive even that.)

The power packs use the same charging circuitry as the phones - they shut off at 100%.
 

johnatthebar

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So I went ahead and hooked up to one older single-cell Anker batt that I have and it worked. Doesn't seem to get warm but I'm still a bit apprehensive - partially b/c of what I found with others...

I tried a newer (2017 model) Anker single cell on another camera, and it shuts off power as soon as you plug power into it - so that's a no go. I bought a RavPower single cell unit and had the same issue - it doesn't let you use and charge at the same time. No good for my use case. I'm really surprised no one else is looking to backup their camera (or other USB device) power without a full UPS taking 120VAC to 12VDC to an inverter, to an adapter to take that down to 5VDC. Seems so inefficient (and costly). May try and build something myself since I'd like quite a few of these.
 

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