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 Post subject: Catch-phrase for single cord external USB DVD drive
 Post Posted: Wed Oct 29, 2014 12:08 pm 
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Joined: Sun Feb 07, 2010 2:47 pm
Posts: 94
I have previously bought external DVD drives that are powered only by the incoming Mini-B USB plug. Extra power is supplied from the computer through an extra "pigtail" standard-A USB plug on the other end of the cable.

Now all the drives I am seeing have two cables. An extra cable is used for power.

It may just be my bad luck, but I have been shopping on eBay and Newegg for over 45 minutes and I haven't been able to find any of the single cable design.

Do you know if there is some kind of catch-phrase I can use in my searches to specify that I want the single-cable design?


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 Post subject: Re: Catch-phrase for single cord external USB DVD drive
 Post Posted: Wed Oct 29, 2014 1:37 pm 
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Joined: Sun Feb 04, 2007 11:44 am
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From the wording of your question I'll assume that you mean only USB 2.0 devices. The search phrase you are looking for is "USB powered", here is one for example: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6827106389

Unfortunately that search will find those having both one or two cables, you have to look at the unit itself to see that it has only a single USB connection and no separate power connector. Note that true USB powered (single cable) drives would include only readers, as drives with burning capability would use more than the 2.5W power that USB 2.0 can deliver. In otherwords, if you limit your search to DVD-ROM drives only you should be able to find those that are truly "USB powered".

USB 3.0 can deliver 4.5W so USB 3.0 external "USB powered" drives are available in writer (burner) versions: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 14J0PB0834

Unfortunately even most slim-line writeable drives draw more than 10W so many if not most USB 3.0 burner models will still require dual connections (or Y-cables) in order to supply the necessary power. Scott.


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 Post subject: Re: Catch-phrase for single cord external USB DVD drive
 Post Posted: Fri Oct 31, 2014 7:01 pm 
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Joined: Sun Feb 07, 2010 2:47 pm
Posts: 94
I should have mentioned I needed the drive for a USB 2.0 application. The ThinkPad T40 and T60 I use have been serving me so well for years I've forgotten everybody is using USB 3.0.

Those are good things to know when you're shopping for an external drive. About half the drives from a "USB powered" eBay search are the "Y-cable" type. And like you say you have to actually look at them to really tell if they are the Y-cable design.

I had a Y-cable supermulti drive that was able to burn CDs. I don't know if I ever burned a DVD with it. It seemed like it was really slow at reading DVDs when I was backing up my collection. I don't think I looked carefully at the speed ratings when I bought it. I suspect it was slower so it wouldn't draw much current. I will probably go with the DVD-ROM reader you recommended. With luck it will read faster than the other drive.

Thanks, Scott.


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