USB Battery Charging and the Amazon Kindle Fire

This is the new USB Battery Charging Standard in action with the Kindle Fire and the $19.95 Plugable 4 Port HUB with 2.5A Adapter and BC 1.1 support.

As both support the new standard, you can fast charge — even without a computer attached.

A few notes:

* The Kindle Fire has a standard USB micro-B connector, but the Fire doesn’t come with a USB cable in the box. You’ll need to buy that separately (in the video, we show using a cable borrowed from a Kindle Touch).

* The Kindle Fire will actually charge at up to 850mA. The video shows it pulling 650mA, because the Kindle is almost fully charged.

* The Apple iPad/iPod/iPhone are *not* BC 1.1 compliant, so this support is of no use for charging those devices at a faster rate. And the iPad won’t charge while the screen is on when connected to any standard USB 2.0 hub.

If you’re curious about our measurement rig, it’s a nice simple setup – just a multimeter and some passive components. Give a comment if it would be helpful for us to post the components we used.

We welcome any comments. Thanks!

2 comments on “USB Battery Charging and the Amazon Kindle Fire”

  1. Steven Reply

    okay now i got a question is it possible to split the cord the tablet is charging off of to say a mouse and keyboard and still charge it much like a dock via a hub cause it sucks it only has one port and i cant find a kindle fire dock that will do just that also if yes how much data can be transferred (using a mouse or keyboard or other accessories) while charging

    • Bernie Thompson Reply

      Hi Steve – Yes, absolutely. That’s the great thing about the USB battery charging specification – you can have devices like this that are a fully functioning 4 port USB hub, but that also can charge at a high rate (if the device also supports the BC 1.1 spec).

      So, yes – you can connect the hub to your PC and to wall power, then plug in your Kindle Fire and 3 other USB devices (like keyboard, mouse, etc) — the Fire will charge, and all the other USB devices will be usable with your computer as usual.

      Hope that helps. Let us know if you have any questions. Thanks for asking! Bernie

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