Can I Use a USB-C to Barrel Adapter to Power My USB4-HUB3A?

Last Update: August 2nd, 2023
Article ID: 1979389

In general, we only recommend using the included power adapters with all of our products, as it minimizes the risk of damaging the docks or hubs. However, with GaN chargers delivering higher wattages over USB-C in a more compact package, many people are wanting to use these chargers to power their hubs, as they tend to be more compact than the included charger.

We have gone ahead and done some limited testing with a 100W power delivery source and a 100W USB-C to barrel adapter to see if this is possible. Note that we tested here with a USB4-HUB3A, as the power supply it comes with has a maximum rating of 100W as well.

Below is a diagram of the setup that we used with our USB4-HUB3A:


We used our USBC-VAMETER3 to measure wattage outputs at the 100W PD supply as well as the host connection from the hub to the host.

Below is the connection from the 100W PD power supply to the USB4-HUB3A through the USB-C to barrel connector with all peripherals connected to the hub:

Below is the connection from the USB4-HUB3A to the host (M2 MacBook Air):

With our limited testing, the hub was able to function and output to a display as well as charge both the host MacBook and a phone, all while being powered by a USB-C PD power supply. It even seems that there was a little bit of headroom for the power supply to supply a little bit more power if needed.

While the testing shows a proof of concept, it is still not recommended to connect any other power supply besides the included one that comes with your hub or dock, as there is a serious chance that you can damage the device and it would not be covered by our warranty.