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So my daughter and I have each bought a few Pi computers (A, B+ and two 2's). We'll likely be playing with a couple more in the future.

I'm running out of plugs for all these and would prefer a single power option. Can I get a powered USB hub, plus the appropriate cables, and power the Pi's through that?

What is everyone else doing for an organized, plug-and-play easy approach to powering several Pi computers?

  • Hello and welcome. There's nothing wrong in using a hub with a powerful supply for multiple Pis. There was a recent question about such a hub - which I just cannot find again right now. – Ghanima Jan 5 '16 at 18:39
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    Check out the Anker 10-port USB power supply. I use this unit with Wonder Workshop robots (I can charge 10 of them at the same time) so I know it works well. It's 60W so it should be fine to power at least 6 Pi2B's at full 2A/5V power. – Phil B. Jan 5 '16 at 19:24
  • I once stumbled across a webpage where someone had taken an unpowered USB hub and wired it to the +5V and GND of an extra PC PSU they had around (basically making it a multi-outlet USB power supply). It was used strictly for power, not data. Is this something that would be advisable? If so, are there any precautions (inline fuse or other circuitry, or even cutting data traces) that should be taken? – Pete Hooper Jan 6 '16 at 1:23
  • I recently had similar challenge to power up 6 PIs in a rack with single power supply. Solution I used to solve this problem: - Power supply x 1 - Link - Splitter x 1 - Link - Adapter x 6 - Link All worked as expected :) – Ruslan Imadiyev Apr 26 '18 at 0:10
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You could use a multiport USB charger like this one. I have seen a couple of Pi cluster builds like these 1, 2 that utilizes this or similar Anker chargers. One advantage of these over a USB hub is that they are designed to supply more current per port

5V / 8A overall / 2.4A max per port

for the 5 port model.

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The multihub solution should work. You will need to pay attention to the Hub's max power out. Each RPi will need a bare minimum which will increase as their workload increases. I'm sure you can find an appropriate hub, but it probably won't be one of the bargain bin models.

According to the Raspberry Pi Foundation FAQ, the power requirements for each RPi are:

Raspberry Pi Model A    700mA   500mA   200mA
Raspberry Pi Model B    1.2A    500mA   500mA
Raspberry Pi Model A+   700mA   500mA   180mA
Raspberry Pi Model B+   1.8A    600mA/1.2A (switchable) 330mA
Raspberry Pi 2 Model B  1.8A    600mA/1.2A (switchable) 
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    To clarify the last three column headings there are Recommended PSU capacity, Maximum USB peripheral draw, and Typical bare-board consumption. I think you could power 2 or 3 pis from a run of the mill 3 A unregulated USB hub. – goldilocks Jan 5 '16 at 19:26

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