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What Type of USB 3.0 Y-splitter Cable to Use for Extra External HDD Power?

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May 4, 2013 9:54:56 PM

I am trying to use a kingwin TL-202US-BK USB 3.0 enclosure with a WD Scorpio Blue WD10JPVT 1TB HDD installed and connected to a USB 3.0 expresscard 54. The drive and enclosure don't seem to have enough power to operate correctly. I am also using external power of 2.0A to the expresscard 54.

The enclosure comes with a straight USB 3.0 A Male to USB 3.0 Micro B Male cable. I want to add a USB 3.0 Y-splitter cable to get more power to the drive to see if that will help. I have seen two cable types advertised:

Cable 1- USB 3.0 A Male with USB 3.0 A Male power only to USB 3.0 Micro B Male
Cable 2- USB 3.0 A Male with USB 2.0 A Male power only to USB 3.0 Micro B Male

Assume I only use USB 3.0 ports.

Question 1: If I use cable 2 will I get the maximum current to the drive or will it be limited to 500mA on the USB 2.0 A male power end instead of possibly 900mA I could get using cable 1 and the USB 3.0 Male power end? In other words will cable 2 give me the same current to the drive as cable 1?

Question 2: This may be mute depending on the answer to question 1. Cable 1 is advertised but when I query some of the sellers they indicate that they really are selling cable 2. Does anyone know where I can purchase a cable like cable 1?

Any other thoughts or help would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.
a c 359 G Storage
May 5, 2013 1:53:55 PM

Read the user comments on Newegg's site. MANY report the USB connector in the enclosure is weak and breaks. At least one reports the cable at the computer's USB port performs oddly on a USB2 port and can be made to work, but is unpredictable. This does NOT appear to be a power issue. In fact, one of the features of USB3 ports is that they CAN supply sufficient power for most external HDD units.
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May 5, 2013 2:30:48 PM

Paperdoc said:
Read the user comments on Newegg's site. MANY report the USB connector in the enclosure is weak and breaks. At least one reports the cable at the computer's USB port performs oddly on a USB2 port and can be made to work, but is unpredictable. This does NOT appear to be a power issue. In fact, one of the features of USB3 ports is that they CAN supply sufficient power for most external HDD units.


I have previously read the user comments and even purchased the enclosure from there. The cable and enclosure connector seem to be intact as far as I can tell. The HDD current requirement is 500mA but I have been unable to determine the enclosure current requirement. I think the total should be within or very near 900mA. I wanted to try a Y-splitter cable to supply more current but wanted to get one with the maximum possible current and thus this is what my questions were geared toward.
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a c 359 G Storage
May 5, 2013 8:11:51 PM

So you're looking for something like this:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

which plugs into two computer USB ports and gives you one female USB port to plug your cable into. This allows drawing power from two USB ports and feeding to one device. The cable itself does not limit the power - after all, 0.5 amps is not heavy current, and this is designed to handle twice that. The limit is imposed by the USB2 source wiring on the mobo.
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