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U-Socket

Posted by mike_kaiser (My Page) on
Fri, Mar 18, 11 at 5:46

Saw a review of this over on Engadget and thought I'd pass it along. Combines a duplex receptacle with two USB 3.0 compliant ports for charging phones and the like. Seems like a pretty good idea and I can think of a location that it would come in handy right now. According to the article, the device does require a 16 cubic inch box and it's available in traditional and Decora styles.

It's American made but I don't see a UL listing anywhere.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: U-Socket

If it has a UL listing, I've lost all respect for the labs.
You have a metal shielded thing running a 5V digital logic wire 1/4" away with not even a spec of plastic in between it and the 120V wiring. They did at least put it on the grounded side, but still.


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RE: U-Socket

UL logo is visible on the closeup photo'.


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RE: U-Socket

"You have a metal shielded thing running a 5V digital logic wire 1/4" away with not even a spec of plastic in between it and the 120V wiring."

The 120 V contacts are well recessed behind the faceplate of a receptacle.


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RE: U-Socket

I have been watching this item forever- waiting for UL approval. The website still says "waiting on final safety approval", and so I wait, longingly.


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RE: U-Socket

Just to be clear, this is just a "charger" and doesn't provide any USB signals. Great for a cell phone, not so good for a printer. One nice feature seems to be that the power is disconnected when there is no USB device plugged in, thus saving energy (as compared to a "wall wart" charger).


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RE: U-Socket

Unfortunately, the USB sockets were not. The exposed metal shield of the USB jack housing extends into the box area (it's not covered entirely by the plate). This allows that to be potentially energised.
There's now a copy of a letter from the manufacturer posted in the comments section that UL had them make a number of changes in the production version (which I suspect is NOT the one in the picture).

The truth is still this is an ILLEGAL device until they get a listing for it. They are however expecting to have it when they ship.

It's still beastly expensive compared to just getting a regular receptacle and I've got a little $10 device from Target that extends one receptacle out and provides two USB power ports and a little shelf to set my cell phone on. It has the advantage in that I can still unplug it completley to avoid phantom loads.


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RE: U-Socket

Interesting, I just looked at the closeup, and it seems it's just a standard leviton duplex rec. modified. I bet they used the quick stab connects in the back to power it. That is why it says UL listed in the closeup. it is the rec. however, and not the whole thing that is approved I would say.


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RE: U-Socket

I really like the concept but obviously without UL approval, I wouldn't install it. I know there are plenty of "charging station" options but they all seem to leave "one more thing" sitting on the counter.

As it does seem that this is a modified Leviton device, I wonder how Leviton feels about it. Somebody installs this thing and it starts a fire they're going after the deepest pockets.


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