OR, can you put a powered hub on the Apple AC/USB charger and connect devices through the hub?
If it's a powered hub, you wouldn't need to plug the hub into the Apple charger. The hub would be supplying the power. Note that USB hubs would likely be limited to the USB standard of 500mA. It would charge an iPad, but you'd have to have the screen off (and it would still be slower than if the iPad was plugged directly into a Mac.) I have not seen any USB hub that can supply the 10w of power that the iPad adapter can supply.
I charge my iPad, two phone, and a bluetooth headset though a powered hub and it works. I do have the hub plugged into my Mac Mini for syncing, but even with the Mac off, the hub will charge the devices.
You can buy chargers that have multiple USB ports. And you can buy "dual head" cables to allow charging multiple iPods/iPhones from one USB port. However, most that I've seen were designed prior to the iPad, so tend to not have more than a few watts capability. So again, they might not charge the iPad as quickly as the iPad adapter, or worse, you may have to have the iPad's screen off.
To complicate this, it seems that some USB hubs don't activate the ports unless they are connected to a computer. My D-Link behaves that way. Each port has a light which is off unless the whole unit is connected to a computer - then the lights go on for all the ports and the devices charge.
Are there hubs that are always hot?
The Powermat will allow you to charge several devices at once wirelessly, but with some limitations and at quite a cost. I received one as a Christmas gift but returned it when I realized that you need additional adapter/covers for all the devices in order for this to work. It also has a conventional USB hub for one additional device to charge from. However, when I connected my iPad to the USB hub, it did not appear to be charging.
In all fairness, once I found out that I would have to spend another $120.00 or so to get all the adapters/covers that I would need, I put all the pieces back in the box and decided it wasn't for me and I returned it to Best Buy.
You can check it out. It may suit your needs.
I bought a iHome iB967 charger.
It can charge up to 4 units at a time (2 of them being ipods). As it has 2 top mounted iPod docks and underneath the unit are 2 USP ports which you plug appropriate cables into to terminate in whatever end you need.
It has a 2 high output ports (one of the iPod cradles as well as one of the USB ports) up top so you can "quick charge" an iPod and the other which works great for the iPad. You can also switch the "high output" off if you want to charge a device slower (why?).
It comes with several cords for other devices as well. I keep one cord for my cell and one for my iPad attached to the USP ports underneath and use the 2 top iPod ports frequently. It also has an "expanding deck" for you to place items on which is nothing more really than a slide out. It allows placement of a larger item like an e reader to sit flat but this is more for looks than function.
Oh, almost forgot. It also has a mini USB port so you can connect it to a PC and sync your iDevice while it's docked.
IMO For under $60 it's a good deal for 4 charging ports and not having to plug it into a computer but having the option to. Best deal is to buy it at Bed Bath & Beyond (when they have it - check the website) and use a 20% off coupon that they always send out.
Message was edited by: Cacher123
I have found that a product from Digital Innovations called the "Connect + Charge 7-Port Hub" works great for everything BUT the iPad:
I have been thinking of what could be done to charge a whole bank of iPads - and my latest idea is a power strip with a LOT of outlets, an iPad charging brick for each one, and a paper tray stack to hold the devices.
Something like this power strip:
Paired with this to get access to all four of the top outlets:
That gets me 12 iPad charging station plugs for around $25 USD
John, et. al.,
I bought Digital Innovations "Connect + Charge 7-Port Hub" (4 of them actually) to give to family members to use as charging stations for multiple devices. Contrary to John's "works great," we found it didn't work at all unless the USB plug was connected to a computer. I bought these so we wouldn't need computers, or individual power bricks. Unfortunately, the Digital Innovations "solution" was NOT a solution for my needs. I'm still in search of a 6, 7, or larger USB "hub" that I can connect to an a/c outlet and charge as many items as it has ports. If it has one or more "super" SUB slots that would charge an iPad so much the better.
Why do I write at length to "take on" Digital Innovations? Frankly, because there was NOTHING in any of their packaging, user materials, or web site to indicate you MUST connect the hub to a computer in order to use it to "Connect + Charge." I think their package markings are very, very misleading. Not only do I think that but I specifically asked that question of the sales rep from whom I bought the hubs. He erroneously told me that it would certainly work to chage USB devices solely with an A/C connection... no computer was required. So I was fooled but so was a guy whose job it is to know these things. Digital Innovations fooled him too.
I certainly understand your frustration! I would be royally angry if I was in your situation.
All I can tell you is that I bought two of the "Connect + Charge 7-Port Hubs" and have been using one of them for about 6 months without connection to a computer - charging Android devices and iPhones and iPods.
I have only had one disturbing incident with these hubs. Two days ago when I went to use a backup phone I had charging (and Android device) - only to find that the Android device's battery had completely worn down and the device would not turn on or even start to charge. Now, that could just be the handset device that decided it was charged, but kept itself going in a high-power state b/c the USB was connected. Or it could be something with the hub.
But that same hub had two other handsets charging that worked just fine when I swapped out SIM cards.
So, I am not sure why your devices are not charging on your hub and my devices are charging on my hub.
Mmmm... I wonder why the difference?
As indicated, I bought 4 of these devices. When the first one didn't work I had two of my children (son age 31 and a software engineer and a long resume of extraordinary Geek capabilities and daughter age 24 who runs software and mobile hardware programs for a major federal research... she often has 5 to 15 mobile phones, pads/tablets, etc., that she is testing... both kids "know their stuff") try with exactly the same results I noted above. Sure wish mine worked as your appears to do.
If you are looking to do large scale charging (and syncing), I'd check out Datamation Systems 49 device USB charger - it works with iphones, ipads, ipods, you name it. There's more info about it over at www.ipadcarts.com.