Thursday, May 26, 2016

My Avantree CGTR-520-W desktop power station with 5 USB charging ports and 2 AC outlets

You've probably read about my Belkin B2E027 4-port 2.4A full rate USB power charger before. It is still working fine and I am still using it.

Recently, I discovered something even better, which is the Avantree CGTR-520-W desktop power station. It comes with 5 smart USB ports, which each single port able to charge up to 2.4A and the total combined charging capacity is 8A.

It also comes with 2 AC sockets with surge protector of 1,700 Joule and power rating of 1,250W.



You've probably seen it in action when I talked about my KCX-017 USB current and voltage tester in my previous post.

This power station is handy when you have limited wall sockets, as it won't occupy your wall socket and at the same time it extends another socket for your use. You can use its sockets to charge your laptop and other bigger devices that need to be charged with electrical socket instead of USB.

My KCX-017 USB current and voltage tester

Sometimes you will face problem with USB charging such as charging speed slower than normal, unable to charge, or worse still, you encountered a "reverse charging" whereby current is drawn away from the battery of your device instead of charging it.

The problem could be due to faulty charger, faulty USB cable, or faulty USB port of the device to be charged.

In addition, certain 3rd party USB cables are having quality issue with unstable current flow, or only allow low current flow through it.

A USB tester such as the KCX-017 will be handy to diagnose such situations.


This small gadget only cost around RM25, and works well with wall charger, car charger, power bank, etc. by connecting its attached USB cable to the charger, or by connecting the charging cable to its micro-USB port. It will measure the input voltage and display on its LCD screen.

Its other end is a USB port which you can use a USB cable to connect to a charging recipient such as mobile phone, tablet, GPS navigator, etc. Beside the voltage, it will also measure and display the current drawn by the recipient, and also calculate the mAh value of the charging session.


In summary, this gadget is used to:
  • Test no-load voltage of the power supply
  • Test output power of USB output devices
  • Test working voltage and current of the USB output devices
  • Test voltage and line loss of charging cables
  • Perform real-time monitoring of the charging status

Its specified working environment is as below:

  • Voltage range: 3-7V
  • Current range: 50mA-3,500mA
  • Capacity range: 0-19,999mAh
When the input voltage is lower than 4.7V or higher than 5.3V, its LCD screen will flash with an arrowhead indicating under-voltage or over-voltage.

This device can record up to 10 sets of readings. There is a button near to its LCD screen.
  • Double click the button, the display will start flashing. Single click the button to switch to different memory slot (from 0 to 9). Double click again to use the current memory slot displayed on screen.
  • Long press the button will reset the next memory slot reading back to 0000.
This device is able to memorize the last reading when unplugged. The next time when it is turned on again, that reading will be displayed on its LCD screen.

It is a handy device to troubleshoot USB charging problem, as well as to test for the charging quality of USB cables.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

My VST-706 3-in-1 car battery voltage monitor, digital thermometer and USB charger

I have just bought this VST-706 car gadget which plugs into the car cigarette lighter socket and function as 3-in-1:

  • Battery voltmeter
  • Digital thermometer
  • USB 2.0 charger

This little car gadget cost less than RM30 and works with car using 12V battery or 24V battery.

The interpretation of its voltmeter reading is as follow:


Its thermometer measuring range is -9 ~ 80 degree Celsius.

The maximum output current of its USB charging port is 2.1A.

With it, you can always monitor the voltage of your car battery and be alerted of its faulty and timing for its end-of-life, before it went flat. The thermometer and USB charger are extra features that good to have too.


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