Travelling with lots of gadgets doesn't mean you have to take heaps of chargers and poorly organised cables -- you only need one. Just take the right USB hub and a clever organisation sleeve, and you can have a seven-port travel charger that keeps everything organised, packs easily and charges any USB-based gadget quickly.
What You'll Need
If you want to make one of these, here's what you'll need:
- Neatnix Large Ready 2Go
- DLink 7-Port USB Hub
- Cables for the devices you want to charge (presumably you already have those)
- OPTIONAL: An AppleCore Cord Organizer
Putting it all together is pretty straightforward. The Neatnix Ready 2Go is designed for handling cables already, so you just have to put all the messy stuff (USB hub and everything plugged into it) on one side and have the cables reach around to the other. The elastic bands will keep everything in place and you'll be all set. Of course, we'll walk you through this process with lots of pictures.
Step 1: Insert the USB Hub and Power Adapter
Just a little above the middle of one side of the Ready 2Go's elastic band board, insert the USB hub. Above it, on the side with less space, add the power plug. It should look something like this:
You need to leave enough room for the power adaptor to plug into the back of the hub. You'll need slightly more room if you're using an AppleCore for better cable management:
When you're done, you can start attaching cables.
Step 2: Attach Desired Cables
Attaching cables doesn't take a lot of know-how, but keeping them neat and managed in a tiny space gets a little tough -- especially when they're all so close together:
Short cables are ideal, but you can shorten longer ones with a simple cable-shortening technique:
Just be sure not to shorten them too much as you'll need a little extra cable to reach around to the other side of the Ready 2Go's elastic band board.
Step 3: organise Cables on the Other Side
Once you've connected all your cables to the hub, pull the remaining ends of the cable around the bottom edge of the Ready 2Go's elastic band board. Then, secure the cables with a few elastic bands on the other side. In the end, it should look something like this:
The goal is to make the cables end at different points on the board so they don't rest directly next to each other. Seven devices make up a pretty big crowd, but varying the lengths can help to avoid too much clutter.
Step 4: Add Any Extra Cables in the Case Pockets
Inside the Ready 2Go you'll find a secret advantage: little pockets designed to fit extra cables:
In most cases you should have no issue attaching all the cables you need to the hub, so you won't need to swap anything out, but you should store at least one cable: a USB cable that connects the D-Link hub to your computer. While this little setup we're making focuses on charging, you probably need to sync from time to time and have little interest in removing the cables you worked so hard to arrange just to do that. Instead, just connect the hub to your computer over USB. The hub actually still works even if the power adaptor isn't plugged in, so long as you don't connect tons of devices that will draw too much power from your machine. Basically, with one cable -- one that comes with the hub anyway -- you can use this whole setup for syncing as well.
Step 5: Travel!
You're all done, and now you can go anywhere! Because the Ready 2Go works like a packing cube, it'll fit nicely into most bags and suitcases. On top of that, it comes with a convenient carrying handle so you can take it all by itself without a problem:
Even though this multi-gadget charger works primarily for on-the-go use, you can use it at home as well. I keep an extension cord that runs to a bedside table back home so I can plug it in without the need to even unwind the power adaptor. It works so well at home and requires no effort to pack when I need to leave. I just zip it up, toss it in a suitcase, and call it a day.