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Today I am sharing with you a cleverly designed non-smart EU socket extender which I’ve been using for a year now and although it’s not directly controllable it’s a very useful addition to any Smart Home with many devices.
This is a simple overview of the the Tessan Multi Socket Extender with USB Ports available on AliExpress for $14. I have two versions of this device, one with 3xUSB-A ports and another with 2xUSB-A and 1xUSB-C, both are awesome and very handy.
Tessan also produces versions of their outlet extenders for the US and UK markets, all available on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk in various shapes and sizes. I will link some interesting models bellow.
- Color: White + Gray
- Weight: 250g
- AC Outlets: 3
- USB Ports: 3 total 4.5A
- 2 x USB-A – 5V2.4A
- 1 x USB-C – 5V3A
- Power Rating: 3600W
- Power Input: 100-230V
- Max Current: 16A
- Dimensions: 160x94x40mm
Opening up this model with 3 AC sockets and 3 USB ports was a frustrating hassle. The device is sealed shut and closed with triangle screws, for which I did not have an appropriate screwdriver. I had to sand out a Phillips head and turn it into a triangle-shaped tool to be able to take a peak inside.
The AC sockets of the device are connected with some kind of brass/copper alloy, which seems sturdy enough for it’s purpose. I haven’t pushed this device’s AC sockets to any kind of claimed limits though, so I cannot give any guarantees. My focus were always the USB ports, which I’ve used extensively and they performed without issues. Components are neatly arranged and the input wires powering the AC sockets are thick.
The ground wire is also there and properly connected, unlike similar outlets I’ve seen that have a fake ground connection leading nowhere.
The PCB transforming AC current to 5V on the USB ports has it’s own connection with separate wires. It lies isolated underneath the main plug, with the ports pointing outwards. I don’t see any weak points on this device that might worry me.
Naturally, a wall socket is used for any and every thing actually requiring mains power. But for the purpose of this tutorial, I’m going to list a few things that you can use this socket extender’s USB ports in a Smart Home setup:
- Powering ESP8266/ESP32 Boards
- Powering Zigbee Network Extenders
- Powering a Raspberry Pi from the 3A USB-C Port
- Powering 5V LED Strips
- Powering Smart Home Hubs
- e.g. SwitchBot Hub 2
- Powering Human Presence Sensors e.g.
- Powering IR Blaster Remotes
- Powering Curtain or Blind Motors e.g.
- Charging phones and tablets
These are just some general ideas and the way I use this socket extender to power some of my devices. Naturally, you can use it to power any gadget that fits within the specs of the USB ports: 5V2.4A for the USB-A and 5V3A for the USB-C. I have one installed next to my office desk, it has been my go-to plug for testing various devices, including powering the latest Aqara FP2 Presence Sensor directly.
I rather like this cheap wall socket extender with USB ports by Tessan, so I whole heartedly recommend it to anyone who might find a use case for it. It’s cleverly designed, so it will not cover any adjacent outlets because its frame drops underneath the wall socket you are plugging it into.
Tessan has stocked up stores on AliExpress and Amazon, so I suggest checking out their full arsenal. I would recommend the following variants of their plug extenders, more suitable for Smart Home enthusiasts to power their devices.