Archive for November, 2009

Archive for November, 2009

USB 2.0 to RS232 Adaptor – Could it be more simple?

Friday, November 27th, 2009

I think, the aswer is no. It’s really popular here at USBNow, and the reason is because it’s simple to use and allows you to still use you Serial (RS232) hardware. It is suitable for remote access, retail and industrial applications, data collection and other applications requiring a High speed and or LOW serial communications port. Uses the highly regarded FTDI Chipset. This USB Serial Adapter provides instant connectivity with modems, ISDN TAs, PDS, handheld & pocket PCs, digital. Included in the price is a 1m cable to added flexibilty.

What’s more, it’s compatible with Vista & Windows 7 – No drivers needed!

On top of this it’s a mere £9.99! SAVE £1.46! Click to view.

Here’s what Barry Learoyd had to say:

“I’m a Cisco Engineer and I needed a USB to serial connector to use with Windows XP and Linux (Ubuntu). The VE229 is perfect and easy to setup. It gives me console access to Cisco devices using Putty on both types of Operating Systems directly from the USB port. This is much better solution than the Keyspan adapter I used to use. The VE229 is more robust, it will take knocks when stuffed into an overfull laptop case and it doesn’t require an A-B cable. It is recognised natively by Ubuntu 9.10 (pendrive installation running on a dane-elec 4GB micro-mate) without kernel modifications. Windows XP requires the driver from the FTDI site, the one on the supplied disk doesn’t work. The only minor annoyance is that the gender of the attachment screws cannot be changed to nuts to give a permanent attachment to the console cable (also screws). I can buy through nuts to achieve this but it would be good if these were included. Meanwhile zip ties! Service from USBNOW was faultless, delivered through the letter box within 48 hours.”

Not much proof needed, grab youself one: USB 2.0 to RS232 Adaptor

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USB 3.0 Cables – Going Superspeed!

Monday, November 23rd, 2009

USB 3.0 has been confirmed for about a year, some of us still have no idea it exists but it does!

USB 3.0

Because USB 2.0 is still so popular it may take years to fully phase it out. Manufacterers are reeling out USB 3.0 products almost as fast as the cable itself! USB 3.0 offers up to 10x fast data transfer than USB 2.0, now that’s quick! As well as this, our cable is backwards compatible with USB 2.0 so should you decide you want to keep that USB 2.0 device that’s fine.

So, get up to speed and be one of the first to get your hands on these cables. Our 2 metre version is just £9.99! Click here for more information or take a peek at the USB 3.0 demo below:

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USB to IDE and SATA Kit is the Product of the Year in 2009

Wednesday, November 18th, 2009

Even with just a few weeks of 2009 left to run its pretty obvious already that our top selling product of 2009 is going to be the USB to IDE and SATA Cable Kit. This incredibly handy and popular piece of kit allows you to read/write to pretty much any hard disk drive going. It matters not if the Hard Disk is from a laptop, a desktop or whether its an IDE, SATA, PATA or ATA hard drive because the USB to IDE/SATA cable kit supports them all.

USB to IDE and SATA Kit

USB to IDE and SATA Kit

The kit has been flying off the shelves and is now a critical component of many an IT engineers armoury. But, don’t think you need to be a professional IT guru to use and take advantange of this product. Its incredibly easy to use, it comes with all the cables you need to connect to the hard disks drives and it includes a UK power supply unit as well.

Whether you’re looking to recover data from a salvaged hard disk drive or just to “test” a variety of hard drives you’ve found lying around this cable kit is invaluable. Its currently on sale at £18.95 and has helped a wide range of customer in desperate need of recovering data they thought they’d lost.

Here are just a few comments from customers who have purchased the VE328/VE225 USB to IDE and SATA Adapter kit:

“This is a great product got info off my old laptop which has no power due to a loose connection on the motherboard and also got files off a Compaq prosario 5030 very easy and straight forward (hot swappable)”

“Took the HD out of the failed Maxtor External Drive box, Hooked it up and ‘Hey Presto’ recovered all my early Digital Family Photo’s etc. I thought I’d lost. Much cheaper than a data recovery service and not too difficult to use if your machine is out of waranty and you don’t mind taking things apart. I didn’t get all my files back due to some corruption (which is almost inevitable with a drive failure) but by far the majority. Wish I’d bought it a year ago.”

“Easy to use and versatile. Performs well and excellent value.”

There are loads of other positive comments on our site but if you are looking for something to recover data from a Hard Disk Drive then we’d strongly recommend buying one of these.

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Monday, November 16th, 2009



Because the SATA interface is very different from the others its been important to know which type you have otherwise you’ll end up with a caddy that does not fit or connect to your hard disk drive.

Now, we have in stock, a new 2.5″ hard drive enclosure that supports all types of hard disk drive so it doesn’t matter what type you have. This clever bit of kit is slightly longer than  a standard 2.5″ caddy to allow it to accomodate both types of interface but the difference is marginal so its still a neat, compact bit of kit.

As with all of our Hard Drive cases it comes with all the cables and connects you need

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USB Fairy Lights – Brighten Up Your Desk

Monday, November 16th, 2009

Its that time of the year again and we’re expecting a big interest in our range of USB Christmas Gadgets and USB

USB Fairy Lights

USB Fairy Lights

Christmas Decorations.  Last year the most popular of our USB gadgets were the glowing USB Fairy Lights and we expect them to be equally as popular this year. Last year we ran out early and whilst we’ve bought some extra stocks in this year we’re not sure if we have enough.

After the year we’ve all been through it looks like everyone is determined to enjoy themselves this Christmas albeit with one eye on the cost. So, what better a way to bring a little bit of seasonal cheer to your own working space than these fantastic glowing USB fairy lights. There are 8 little glowing stars on each string and the whole thing is long enough to reach from under your desk to wrap around your PC monitor or wherever else you want to display them. They don’t need batteries or a mains supply – just plug them into any spare USB port and away you go. – they’ll rotate through a range of colours and emit a great soft glow!

We’ve also got some cracking office USB decoration bundles so why not get together with a few of your colleagues and buy one of these packages and save yourself a few £’s in the bargain.

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Aaah – He’s a cutie our USB Snowman

Monday, November 16th, 2009

This little fella is going to melt a few hearts this Christmas there’s no doubt about that. Dressed in his little blue scarf and hat that his mother could have knitted for him our USB Snowman looks adorable. Not only that he’d been brushing up on his singing and now has a whole repertoire of Christmas songs and tunes that he can belt out for you.

Standing at only 9cm tall in his little cold tootsies he really is a little charmer. To bring him to life and really make him glow you just need to introduce him to any spare USB port you might have. If you push his buttons he’ll start to show

USB Snowman

USB Snowman

you what tunes he can play. But don’t worry if the tunes are not to your liking you can discretly tune them off.

Our little USB snowman is bound to be popular this Christmas so pop onto our site and get one before they all go. Checkout some of the other USB Christmas Decorations we have as well including the USB Christmas Tree, USB Fairy Lights and our drumming santas!! We’ve also got some great “office party packs” that’ll save you a fortune. Go on, adopt a snowman for Christmas!

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The Custom USB Process

Friday, November 6th, 2009

Bored with the same old style of USB memory sticks? Then why not consider a customised USB Branded Memory stick. They can be produced in any shape or design which is totally unique to you.

The introduction of new tooling machines has resulted in greater design scope and a dramatic reduction in the set up costs.

So what goes into producing your own Custom USB Memory Stick?

Custom USB Process

•      The first step is to have an idea of what shape or design you would like for your Custom USB. Ideally provide a photo or drawing of what you are after. The better the initial brief the closer the manufacturer will get to meeting your requirement.

•      From your initial idea a 3D virtual mock up would be produced. It will show the size and shape of the Custom USB Memory stick. This is the stage to make as many changes as you require, as no tooling has yet been produced.

•      Once the 3D drawing has been agreed, moulding tools are manufactured. These are the same tools that will make the final production run, so you can be sure that the sample will be an exact replica of the Custom USB Memory stick you are after.

Custom USB Process

•      Silicon is mixed with selected colourings and poured into the mould. This is then baked in industrial ovens to set the silicon.

•      The moulding for the Custom USB will normally come in two separate parts that are stuck together with the USB components sandwiched between them.

•      The excess PVC is trimmed and any additional colours added my hand.

•      The sample is complete! This is your chance to ensure it’s what you expected. Ideally you would need to see the physical sample as the tactile nature of the Custom USB is just as important as the aesthetics.

Custom USB Process

•      Once the sample is approved the same process as above is undertaken for the full production run.

Due to the labour intensive process the typical leadtime is 3-4 weeks.

If you want to explore the art of the possible, simply email your ideas to and we shall produce a 3d mock up free of charge and without any commitment.

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Top 10 Tips For Buying USB Memory Sticks Printed with your Logo On

Friday, November 6th, 2009

USB Memory sticks printed with your logo on are incredibly popular at the moment but there are a few golden rules to consider when sourcing them. Here’s our starter for ten:

USB Twister

  1. Be clear about what logo you want printed on the Printed USB sticks. In many cases you’re not going to have a huge amount of choice about which logo or brand to use particularly if you’re printing your corporate logo and you have clearly defined brand rules and guidelines to adhere to. But, there’s no doubt about it that some logo’s work better than others. Because of the relatively small amount of space the logo will be printed on a complicated or over fussy logo will not reproduce well. Try to use simple logos with strong colours that have a good visual impact. It may be necessary to adapt an existing logo to get the best effect.
  2. Printed USB

    USB Artwork

  3. Prepare the right artwork: Don’t expect to be able to use the low-resolution images from your company’s web site for printing. To get a great finish its essential that you make available to your supplier images in the highest resolution possible. Vector shape logos are preferred because they never lose any sharpness irrespective of how big or small you make them. Vector logos will typically be saved as .EPS or .AI files. If you have an in-house designer they’ll understand what’s needed.
  4. Select a memory stick that works with your logo: Sounds obvious really but some logos look better on certain style Printed USB Flash Drive than others. A popular option at the moment is to go for a model where the main body shell can be pantone matched to one of the primary colours from your logo. The end result when this is done looks fantastic because it looks as though the flash drive has been specifically designed for you. If you’re not sure what the best option is then ask your supplier to work up a range of “mock-ups” for you. They should be happy to do this for you and at no cost.
  5. USB Chic

  6. Printing is not the only option: Until recently spot printing was the only option available but now slightly more complex logos with colour blending can be accommodated using digital print technology. On metal-cased memory sticks you could also consider laser engraving. This is a professional looking, long lasting option.
  7. USB Memory Sizes

  8. Don’t skimp on the memory size: Whilst cost will of course be a determining factor its important to get the balance right between choosing the correct capacity and the budget available for your logo USB memory sticks. Low capacity memory sticks that don’t offer much on-going use to the recipient. They are “ok” if you’re just using them to distribute data but if you want them to have a life beyond the initial distribution its important you give the user a reason to carry them around. A memory stick with little or no real or perceived storage will just end up in the back of a drawer.
  9. Data to load? Get it ready early: If you have data that you want to load onto your logo branded memory sticks then try if at all possible to get it ready early. This way the data can be loaded during the manufacturing process for just a few pennies per stick. It’ll save hours of pain and heartache of doing it in-house or further cost if you have to have the data professionally loaded after they have been manufactured.
  10. Packaging Accessories

  11. Don’t forget the packaging and accessories:  If cost is a real issue or if the memory sticks are just promotional giveaways then you probably won’t want to run to the additional cost of presentation boxes or lanyards. But there’s no doubt about it that a good quality presentation tin or box coupled with a neck strap (lanyard) really raises the overall look of the end product and if you want to go the extra mile you can print your logo onto the gift box and embroider your logo into the lanyard.
  12. Allow enough time: Some supplier can provide printed memory sticks in a couple of days but you’ll be very limited in terms of choice, colour and the number of colours that can be printed. Ideally allow at least 14 days and this way you’ll be able to choose from a very comprehensive range and you’ll even have enough time for the sticks to be pantone matched. Remember the memory sticks are all produced in China so as well as the production time(s) the lead time of 14 days is to allow for the shipment of the finished product to you.
  13. 9. Don’t always buy the cheapest Printed USB’s: There are many horror stories of memory sticks being supplied with “used” or Grade “B” memory chips inside. Some factories also disguise smaller capacity chips and sell them as larger memory sizes. If you’ve been offered a price that no-one else can match or get close to then its time to ask some hard questions and make sure that chips are brand new, does the price include a warranty, if so how comprehensive is it? Finally, does the price include all of the costs, i.e. Artwork setup, production and delivery.
  14. Go with the right supplier: There are far too many people trying to make a ‘quick buck’ from unsuspecting customers looking to buy logo USB sticks so make sure you undertake proper due diligence. Get testimonials; check it’s a “real” business and not operating “side of desk” somewhere. Make sure they are a registered company and have QA processes and warranty policies in place.
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