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101 Posts

01-24-2013

Germany

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Re: TPT2 has USB port power issue

2013-04-04, 16:07 PM

I can reassure you, I have read the whole thread.

 

One should study before buying not only the advertising brochures. But no matter. I'm glad not to have you as a customer. :smileywink:

 

It is ridiculous to believe that Lenovo will change the design of the current tablets because of the forum.

 

 In a year there will be a new tablet with BayTrail ... You should look forward to... :smileywink:

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5020 Posts

12-22-2008

Canada

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Re: TPT2 has USB port power issue

2013-04-04, 17:24 PM

I'm a bit reluctant to post this because my intuition says this may damage TPT2s in some way. If any moderators feel the same way then feel free to delete this post.

 

However since many others (see links below) seem to have used this to increase the power output from the USB ports on their PCs to recharge iDevices perhaps this or similar hack can used to get more power out of the TPT2's USB and/or mUSB ports to power external HDDs. 

 

The USB power issue is unimportant to me so I'm not willing to play with this on my TPT2. But if it's important to you then use at your own risk! 

 

Asus Ai Charger Quickly Charges Your iPhone or iPad Over a Regular USB Port

 

How to fast-charge your iPhone or iPad using a standard USB port

 

Quicker charging with asus ai charger?

 

Fast Charging via USB port MOD

 

Note that on the TPT2 the only the standard USB port provides both power and data. You need both with an external HDD. It's therefore likely that for the techniques mentioned above to work you'll have to hack a Y cable of similar to use both USB and mUSB ports to get 5V power.



My comments are mine. I don't work for or speak for Lenovo.
Please do not send me PMs. Ask your question on this forum so that everyone can respond or learn.

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66 Posts

01-21-2013

Seattle, Washington, USA

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Re: TPT2 has USB port power issue

2013-04-04, 21:43 PM

Nowhere does the advertising say that it won't run USB 2.0 devices that every other tablet will run. An asterisk would be nice.

However, the reviews all mention it as a downside.

I expect every company to listen to their customers. Lenovo seems to be reasonably good at it, in fact. It's common to redesign computers during their lifespan; we'll see if Lenovo changes this or not.

I actually like to have a tablet now, not in a year. I've waited long enough for this kind of functionality, and am very thankful to Microsoft, Intel, and companies like Lenovo, Dell, HP, Asus, and Acer for making these tablets possible.

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66 Posts

01-21-2013

Seattle, Washington, USA

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Re: TPT2 has USB port power issue

2013-04-04, 21:59 PM

At one point in the article it suggested putting a 220 ohm resistor across the green and white. That might work, allowing data to pass while tricking the port. But it's hard to say what the port will do. Most of the circuitry should be the same across Atom tablets since the USB 2.0 port is built into the System-On-a-Chip with the processor and so forth.

I may try the Asus software, too.

But first I'm going to try a Y cable with a battery. I have a solution that works with a hub for most things (a hub powered by AC works for everything).

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10 Posts

01-18-2013

Australia

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Re: TPT2 has USB port power issue

2013-04-05, 0:10 AM

As a previous owner of the TP2, it was frustrating that the usb is not powered. I now have a competitors tablet and it is nice to be able to plug in a usb powered monitor and extend my desktop, plug in a scanner or even a hard disk to be able to free up some memory.

 

In terms of a work around, when I had the TP2, I bought a portable usb hub with a power input, to which I plugged a battery pack to that and was able to read a usb hard disk, but I found it a little cumbersome.

 

Overall I did like the TP2, but with the handicapped usb, I found that its defeated the whole point of the tablet. Its selling point was that it was as light as an iPad but with a functional usb. 

 

I myself am looking forward to BayTrail and hopefully after this usb debarcle, Lenovo will produce a TP3 that is up to expectation.

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135 Posts

01-19-2013

Austria

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Re: TPT2 has USB port power issue

2013-04-05, 11:09 AM

wrote:

Note that on the TPT2 the only the standard USB port provides both power and data. You need both with an external HDD. It's therefore likely that for the techniques mentioned above to work you'll have to hack a Y cable of similar to use both USB and mUSB ports to get 5V power.


I had tried that already really far back in this thread with a mUSB-USB adapter + Y-cable and found that this does not work, since the mUSB seems only to accepts 5V and does not really push power the other direction.

 

That would have solved the whole issue for me back then already, but NO, NO, NO; they didn't even open up this route for us.

 

 

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66 Posts

01-21-2013

Seattle, Washington, USA

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Re: TPT2 has USB port power issue

2013-04-07, 23:01 PM

OK, I've found a setup that works well enough to satisfy me in terms of my goal of running USB-powered DVD burners and hard disks without AC power.

As ameridian and others suggested, a Y cable (I got a StarTech 1 ft USB Y Cable for External Hard Drive - USB A to mini B pn/USB2HABMY1) from Amazon does the trick.

It powered all of the devices at full power when black USB A connector was connected to the TPT2, the red USB A connector connected to either a 1A or 3A battery, and the mini B end connected to any of the hard drives or DVD (using a mini B to micro B adapter with the newer drives). It even ran the DVD writer at 1.5A even with the 1A battery (tested using Lite-On's test software). SCORE!

But I was hoping to avoid hooking the battery directly to the TPT2's port. (I'm not sure that it matters, but it bothered me).

So I tried to power the hub with each of the batteries (one at a time) and use the Y cable connected to two ports on the hub. No dice.

Then I tried the idea I'm pretty happy with: the hub connected to the TPT2, the black USB A connector on the Y cable connected to the hub, and the red USB A connector connected to a battery (the mini B connector was connected to the drive).

All of the devices worked. However, with a 1A battery, the DVD drive would only work in low-power (1A) mode. With a 3A battery, it would work in normal (1.5A) mode. (This is about as you'd expect, right?)

So, with a hub that will work without AC power, a Y cable, and an appropriately-sized battery, it looks like you can hook up just about anything to a TPT2's USB port without needing AC power. SOLVED!!!!!!  (Mark_Lenovo: can you check with the engineers and ask them to comment on these solutions?)

By the way, it appears from the fact that the DVD burner would run at 1.5A with only a 1A battery that the TPT2 *IS* providing significant power from its USB port (in the ballpark of the 500mA or 2.5W, as the specs say).

It looks like the hardware design of the TPT2 is to not provide much power--note that you can't hook up a normal HDMI to VGA adapter (which draws power) to the HDMI port, and that if you hook up the Lenovo VGA adapter to the docking port, the USB port is disabled (although it seems to supply a small amount of power, at least--it lit the status light on a USB MIDI keyboard I tried even though the keyboard would not connect if the VGA adapter was connected).

So what I will do is use the hub and a battery with the Y cable, with the battery connected to the Y cable. This should reduce (or eliminate) any risk of damaging the TPT2 AND reduce battery drain on the TPT2--so the small hub will be worth carrying.

I'd rather have a port that provides more power, but I don't intend to use a portable hard drive away from home very often, so this is good enough. If I were to use one every day, this wouldn't be a good enough solution.

 

THANKS to those who helped provide a solution!

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69 Posts

03-10-2012

United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

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  • Message 378 of 411

Thinkpad Tablet 2 - USB port power

2013-06-01, 11:49 AM

I hear the USB port on the thinkpad tablet 2 does not deliver sufficient power to run an external USB hard drive.

 

Is this true even when the tablet is plugged into the mains?

Is this limitation generally present in other Windows 8 tablets (e.g. Dells, HPs) or is it an uncommon limitation?

 

Thanks 

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135 Posts

01-19-2013

Austria

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Re: Thinkpad Tablet 2 - USB port power

2013-06-13, 8:33 AM

Hi ozaz,

 

Yes it is true, even when plugged in,

 

and

 

No it is not a general problem of Win8 tablets (e. g.  my Asus VivoTab Smart deliveres enough power for a drive on which my TPT2 fails, HP Envy X2 has no USB port on the tablet itself, only on the dock, which has its own battery, so enough power there).

 

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66 Posts

01-21-2013

Seattle, Washington, USA

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  • Message 380 of 411

Re: Thinkpad Tablet 2 - USB port power

2013-06-13, 14:29 PM

I've found workarounds which are a few posts back.

 

But they involve at minimum a Y cable and a USB power pack. :(

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