This cable is kinda fascinating - it has an integrated boost converter, so you can plug it into any USB port (from a computer, battery pack, etc) and it will give you a higher DC voltage! It's a handy way to power 9V powered devices with a center-positive 2.1mm DC barrel jack from a USB port. We also have a version that provides 12V, and if you just need a passthough cable, here's one for 5VDC.
These are rated at 500mA output, but you can go a little higher, Adafruit pulled 700mA and Adafruit got a little voltage droop but it worked fine. Probably best not to draw 700mA continuously though!
Here's Adafruit's measurements for various current draws when Adafruit set Adafruit's bench supply to provide a steady 5V voltage
- 50mA (9.0V output), 100mA, 90% efficiency
- 100ma (8.95), 205mA in, 87% efficiency
- 200ma (8.9V): 410mA in, 86% efficiency
- 300ma (8.8V): 620mA in, 85% efficiency
- 500ma (8.8V): 1060mA in, 83% efficiency
- 700ma (8.8V): 1550mA in, 80% efficiency
So, overall there's a 90% efficiency at low current draw that drops do about 80% at high current use. There's also a 3 mA quiescent current. Note that often times the USB port voltage can droop too, and in addition you may have power losses with any thin or low quality cables with high resistivity!
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Documentation and Resources:
- The Maker Revolution
- Powering Portable Projects: Batteries
Want to make your project portable? We've put together a quick guide to get you up to speed on battery options and help you decide which batteries might be best for your project. Batteries are a whole different game to plug packs and benchtop power s...
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