Today we are pleased to announce a new product: The USB Switch Buddy
This kit was made to solve a simple problem: Connecting to a USB device without also powering it off the USB host.
Originally this came about with one of our 3D printers where the main control board would receive power from the Raspberry Pi running OctoPrint. The original solution was some mild surgery on a spare USB cable. But there are plenty of other situations we run into on a regular basis where this has become a problem. For example, many of our LED displays require far more power than USB can deliver, so power is provided to the micro-controller separate from the USB connection. With the USB Switch Buddy that’s no longer a problem.
We considered not including a switch at all. But decided that it could come in handy, allowing you to power cycle a USB device without fully unplugging the cable. To top it all off, there’s a 4-pin 0.1” header allowing you to monitor the USB line voltage and even the data lines, should you need to.
The kit is, of course, open source and you can find all the files and details here: https://github.com/ManiacalLabs/USBSwitchBuddy
Available for sale now, on Tindie: https://www.tindie.com/products/ManiacalLabs/usb-switch-buddy/