Saturday 15 May 2021

3D Printer: isolating the USB 5Volt feed

I'm really not happy that my printer's display "lights-up" when I turn on my connected computer.

This is not how USB is intended to work when connecting one 'machine' to another.

So I had to come up with a fix.

my problem

Although USB ports are supposed to provide power for certain peripherals like memory sticks, I don't like it when one device partially powers another.

If I power on my laptop while it is connected to my un-powered 3D printer, the printer's display lights-up, albeit at about half brightness. There isn't enough power for the laptop to fully power the printer, so the printer's controller does not boot.

my solution

As there are no circumstances where I want power from one device being shared with the other, the obvious solution was to identify the 5Volt wire in the USB cable and disconnect it.

Its a delicate job cutting through the outer insulation with a Stanley knife, without damaging the inner cores.

But once I'd established (with a voltmeter) that the red wire was in fact 5V (that's not always the case)...

... I cut it and taped up the exposed cores.

Jobs a good un!

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