I just received a USB passive load. It’s basically 2 resistors connected to the USB power wires in parallel, each with a switch in series:
It can draw approximately 1, 2 or 3 amps (depending on switch positions) from a 5 volt USB source.
The resistors can dissipate 10 Watts, and will become very hot.
The resistor for 1 amp (4,7 ohms, tolerance 5%) maxed-out my FLIR One thermal camera (> 150 °C), but I could measure around 220°C (that’s close to 451°F) with another thermal imaging camera.
The second resistor (2 amps: 2,2 ohms, tolerance 5%) maxed-out that other thermal camera too: this one got hotter than 280°C.
I’m referring to 451°F, because presumably, that’s the temperature to ignite paper. Something I’ll have to test out in safe conditions.
I also measured the resistors, and they are well within tolerance:
Here is a short thermal imaging video of the first resistor heating up: