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Laptop power ports on both sides

Make laptops with power cable receptacles on both sides
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Upon sitting down to use your laptop, you’re privy to a mysterious world. A perfect world. You are not part of this world, but your mind eye catches glimpses of it. Cubicle farms fifty rows deep, each with an identical design. First class seats on the A380. Here, you plug the adapter into the wall, the brick slides into some specially made brick caddy, and you plug the cable into the correct side of your laptop—the side Airbus and HP mutually agreed to use.

But you’re just at home, at your desk, on your couch. The laptop designers did not take your apartment into consideration when choosing a side. The cable crosses beneath your legs or snakes around the back of the computer on the table, bending that delicate connector. Maybe they even tried to compromise, putting the connector on the back, effectively doubling the laptop’s depth.

Half of us say to ourselves, “Why couldn’t the connector be on the opposite side? Well, I guess if it was the other half of the population would be complaining.” and give up, declaring the problem unsolvable. Why not place connectors on both sides? A simple circuit could ignore one connector whenever the opposite is plugged in.

Lucent, Jun 15 2009

Tesla's patents on wireless energy transmission http://en.wikipedia...ssion#Tesla_patents
[Ian Tindale, Jun 16 2009]

[link]






       Because USB cables carry 1.5v, which would take literally weeks to charge an 8 cell laptop battery?
DIYMatt, Jun 15 2009
  

       Nice idea [+]. Should be easy to implement, though it will need to take up extra laptop panel real estate (which comes at a real premium).
imho, Jun 15 2009
  

       // Because USB cables carry 1.5v, which would take literally weeks to charge an 8 cell laptop battery? //   

       USB cables carry 5V, with very strict current limits.   

       You're correct that it would take a long time to charge a typical laptop battery; For a 2A/hr unit, about 150 hours, assuming that your DC-DC converter to swithc up the 5V to 20V to charge the battery was 80% efficent or better. (168 hours in one of your Earth "weeks").   

       It has always puzzled us as to why notebook computers don't have photovoltaic arrays built into the back of the screen.......
8th of 7, Jun 15 2009
  

       Why not just have a brand specific "Power Connector Flipper", basicly it would be a power plug to fit into the exsisting connector, a flat cable to run under the computer and a connector on the other end of the cable, this thing could be made for about $.50 in china, and you could sell it for $29.95, there I just made you a millionare. ;)
Hirudinea, Jun 15 2009
  

       Overall idea is great...   

       Specifically I like [21Quest]'s USB solution. Plug in the USB power cable, laptop detects it and communicates its desired power characteristics (current/voltage), laptop triggers device to switch to supply mode and simultaneously diverts those specific USB communication pins to the main laptop power track. Device detects disconnection of device and resets to communication mode ready for next laptop.   

       Not only would it solve the charge-side problem, but it would neatly enable a single universal laptop power solution to cut across all brands, makes and models.
vincevincevince, Jun 16 2009
  

       What i mean by doubling the depth is you can no longer set the laptop flush (LCD) against the wall/desk. You have to leave room for the cord to stick out and keep from bending it as well, which is a good 5 or 6 inches.   

       The danger with requesting more power through USB is if the power cable is behind a hub. It'll blow out the hub requesting more power through it.
Lucent, Jun 16 2009
  

       //The danger with requesting more power through USB is if the power cable is behind a hub. It'll blow out the hub requesting more power through it.// Laptops do not usually request power from devices, devices request power from laptops. A laptop would therefore only request power from a device which it knew to be a power source, and in doing so it could easily check the usb addressing to ensure that it was communicating to something directly connected to the port.
vincevincevince, Jun 16 2009
  

       USB would work to power a device, but the fact that you could plug the power into something else could be a problem.   

       I prefer the idea of having it on the bottom and having trenches for the cable.   

       Another alternative would be a contactless charging pad which could be orientated any way you like
miasere, Jun 16 2009
  

       I can't find any evidence that standard USB can handle more than about 2 or 3 Watts (although modified specifications for chargers and the like can handle more, sometimes by sacrificing some or all data capacity). USB is also strictly one directional; there seems to be no provision for power to flow in the B to A direction.   

       Firewire or ethernet would be better candidates, but would not solve the stated problem, as there is not usually one on each side of a laptop, as with USB.   

       If power were supplied over a standard, common port it could allow not only non-proprietory power supplies, but also external, hot pluggable battery packs or more exotic power supplies (such as photovoltaic arrays) to be used to extend or replace the internal battery.
spidermother, Jun 18 2009
  

       Is this a good time to bring up radio-thermal batteries again?
DIYMatt, Jun 19 2009
  

       // Plug in the USB power cable, laptop detects it and communicates its desired power characteristics (current/voltage), laptop triggers device to switch to supply mode and simultaneously diverts those specific USB communication pins to the main laptop power track. //   

       Great, so now software is going to control power spikes to specific USB ports? Sounds like a virus-magnet to me.
RayfordSteele, Jun 19 2009
  

       //It has always puzzled us as to why notebook computers don't have photovoltaic arrays built into the back of the screen.......//   

       Because you need to go outside into the sunshine to use it, at which point it becomes hard to see the screen. Sure, modern screens are bright enough, but you could also sit in the shade and turn the brightness down. This saves as much power as you would get from panels.   

       What would be nice, would be having the back of the screen transparent so the sun would illuminate the screen for you.   

       Even nicer would be an e-paper display that met the standards of a modern display. That way you could have those panels and sit in the sun without having to illuminate the screen.
Bad Jim, Jun 20 2009
  
      
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