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Question Powering a SSD from Pi 3B


Active Member
I'm not sure if this is the right place for this (and it may be a really dumb question) but here goes ........

I have a Pi 3B running RUNEaudio with a HiFiBerry DAC+ HAT to play music files. It's basically a standalone system so the music files are currently on a USB memory stick in MP3 format. However, I've now converted all of my CD's to FLAC - approximately 400GB - and put them onto a SSD. I have a number of cheap 2.5" enclosures which all have either a straight USB cable or, in some cases a USB Y-cable.

My question is, will the Pi 3B power the SSD through it's USB port without damaging the Pi, or will I need an external power source?

If I need an external power source, if I plug one 'free' end of the Y-cable (I assume the thin cable) into a USB mains adapter and the other 'free' end into the drive with the joined end into the Pi, is this safe? I can only find explanations where the Y-cable is used with two USB ports on a PC/laptop.

Thanks in advance


Distinguished Member
USB power is negotiated so any USB-compliant device should not damage another by pulling too much power.

Although when you're dealing with cheap stuff they're sometimes not USB compliant in all areas, a Y-cable isn't part of the USB spec for example.

Generally SSDs don't pull much power, they're the same tech as USB sticks, so I'd just go for the normal enclosure.

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