What gadget junkies can learn from SCUBA divers

 

Buddy breathing from laptop USB

Buddy breathing from laptop USB

One of the first things you learn at SCUBA diving school is how to buddy breath. Should you suddenly find yourself breathless at the bottom, being able to breath off of your buddy’s air tank can save you from making a dangerous, emergency ascent. 

Being able to charge your electronic gadgets from your laptop’s USB ports is a lot like buddy breathing. In lieu of an AC adaptor, connecting to the powered, USB port of a laptop can save the day. Using this as a re-charging strategy could have your gadget bag starring in a Jenny Craig commercial by the end of the week.

As a photographer, I like it because I’m always trying to squeeze everything into carry-on baggage. By packing only the USB cables (sans AC adaptor) this helps me meet my travel goal of carry-on only. For international travelers, this has has the added benefit of not having carry adaptors for the adaptors. 

To be a buddy breather:

*If your device came with a USB cable for data transfer it will most likely work for recharging but not all devices will charge from USB so check your manual to determine the device power requirements.

*All USB ports are not created equal. For example, my Macbook Pro 17 (unibody) has three ports but only one at a time will deliver the full 500 mA of charging power.

 *Also, if you’re running the laptop off on-board power on an airplane charging a second device could put you over the wattage allotment per seat. My previous Macbook 17 would shut down the power to my seat (on some airlines) if I was charging the laptop battery simultaneously.

*I always keep a small bag containing all the buddy breathing cables in my laptop bag. It’s always there whenever I need it.

*Oh, yea. This post is NOT about charging your laptop through it’s USB connection. I’ve seen several posts  about devices that can do this but personally I would not want to try this. 

*More on USB charging here: http://www.powermanagementdesignline.com/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=208401289

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~ by keithphilpott on April 8, 2009.

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