Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Upgraded to Modern Times

While watching a home improvement show a few weeks back, I saw them install one of these in a kitchen. It hadn't even occurred to me that such a thing even existed until then but now that I knew, I had to order me a few of them. I got this one which is all USB jacks to replace an outlet that we use to charge all our electronics. We have this little marble topped side table that we bought at an auction years ago for pennies, where we place everything needing charging. I had a power strip plugged into the outlet behind it and sitting on top of the surface with a bunch of power adapters plugged into it followed by a myriad of different cables. It was cluttered looking for sure and took up lots of real estate on the side table.

When I went to replace the standard outlet that was in there, the 1970's era metal box was way too small to fit the USB transformer on the back and the three sets of 10 gauge bromex wire leads that had been connected to the outlet so I had to cut it out with a sawsall which is why their is some chipped paint on the left edge that I will have to patch up. I replaced it with a retrofit single gang plastic box that was much deeper with today's standards and all is well. I cut a piece of scrap wood and puts some slots in it and screwed it to the back of the side table so that all the cords can now slip into place when not in use. Now there is about 33% more side table to catch other things and a power strip that I can use somewhere else when needed.

I did buy two more USB outlets that have two USB outlets and the standard two 3-prong electrical outlets that I am going to put somewhere where I might use both USB and electrical plugs. I'm thinking one should go in the bedroom somewhere since I keep my phone close during spring and summer severe weather times because there is 'an app for that' which lets me know when severe weather is upon my area. Before I've had to stay up to charge my phone enough to make it through the night because I didn't have the foresight to do it earlier. Now I can go to bed earlier and sleep better not worrying that my phone ran out of battery. Better living through technology!


warren said...

I've gone back and forth on whether to install a few of these. I suppose I should but I can't decide where probably makes sense in my house, but I hate to commit!

Anonymous said...

My issue with putting something like that i would be the sheer speed such things go out of date.
A few years ago all the chargers were bayonet type of varying thickness. I have car chargers packs with different ends. Now everything is mini USB.

Ed said...

Warren - I'm still deciding on the other two that I bought. It should be easy since they are normal outlets with two USB ports extra. But I just know that whatever outlet I choose will require me to remove the outlet box with a sawsall and then the leads going into the box will be too short or will fall into the wall cavity and it will result with more holes in the wall followed by a complete remodel of the room!

Vince - The other end of the cords certainly change but I haven't seen anything on the charging end but USB for nearly a decade here and I don't see it changing with USB ports becoming ubiquitous on all computers and electronic devices. Everyone wants their device to be charged by plugging into their computer. I'm not worried and in short, if it does change five years from now, the device pays off in the convenience of it since it is so cheap to begin with.