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Thread: USB Hub recommendations?

  1. #1
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    USB Hub recommendations?

    I've tried searching on the forum for a good USB hub, but I think the search is broken.

    I've got a bunch of USB devices that I'm trying to run, and want to get a recommendation for a couple hubs. Right now I've got a powered 7-port hub from Monoprice ( http://www.monoprice.com/products/pr...seq=1&format=2 ) that works pretty well, but it's not 100%. I'm powering the hub with 5v from the PC (M4-ATX), but about 10% of the time when I boot up the hub fails. I have my low-bandwidth devices all plugged into it (arduino, bluetooth, touch screen, sound card), and when it fails I lose most functionality. There doesn't seem to be any particular steps to reproduce the issue - sometimes it happens when I boot up after having the car off for a minute, sometimes it happens the first time turning on the car in the morning.

    I'm in need of two USB hubs - One 4+ port powered hub that will be behind the dash. I'm considering the mp3Car hub, but it's $85 and does more than I need. The other 4-port hub will probably need to be unpowered, and needs to be VERY SMALL, as it will be mounted up above the headliner.

    Any recommendations for specific brands that might not have issues? Thanks!

  2. #2
    FLAC SNOtwistR's Avatar
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    I don't have any experience with the carnetix brand but the 6 port Ram mount brand works perfect. I have over 50 installed in transports and they all just work. For the small 4 port for above headliner, I would get a 4 port octopus type one and hack it open. The ones I have done this to, reveal a 1 1/8" x 1 1/8" board that I either desolder the wires or I leave them on depending on my requirements. You can find a very small 5v power supply like for an arduino to power this small hub. Just my 2 cents SNO

  3. #3
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    Great suggestions! That Ram mount USB hub looks like it would outlast the car it's going into!

    I am going to try and put a few capacitors on the 5v line running to my existing hub to see if that will filter out some interference (I have no idea what is causing the intermittent issue), if that doesn't work I'll use the 5v to trigger a relay and use a 5v regulator. If all that fails... THEN I'll dump the $80!

  4. #4
    The Last Good Gremlin GizmoQ's Avatar
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    I was experiencing the same kind of intermittent issues and Mitch recommended a 7- and a 4-port hub that has been working for me for the last two years.

    My actual issue was more the lack of power coming from my Tablet and I knew that. I also didn't want the 4-port powered, but needed it to be rock stable. The ones he recommended met all my needs.

    PM Mitch and mention the hubs he told me about.
    HARDWARE: Fujitsu Stylistic ST5111w/WiFi and dock, internal Hitachi 500G HD, external 1TB HD, Sierra Wireless Aircard 550, DVD-RW, BoomzBox HD radio, XM Commander, Delorme GPS, Saitek X-52 Pro joystick, BluSoleil Bluetooth, TPMS, FB, Elm327

  5. #5
    FLAC SNOtwistR's Avatar
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    Here is a couple of pics of the hub I use for small projects Name:  2013-02-06 23.08.01.jpg
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Size:  31.6 KB they even have 5v input holes. They are based on the GL850g chip actual size is 1"x 1 1/8" SNO
    Last edited by SNOtwistR; 02-06-2013 at 10:26 PM.

  6. #6
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    I haven't installed it yet, but I bought this for my build : http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...ls_o08_s00_i00

    I'm going to run an active USB 3.0 extender from the trunk to the front of the car where that will be installed, and several things (including a small secondary bus powered USB 2.0 hub for low speed devices) will be connected. I was going to just take car power directly since it has a wide voltage range, but to power the optical drive in the glove box (connected via USB3 to SATA adapter) I decided to use a small M3-ATX (the picoPSU style Mx PSU) and have it's turn on triggered from the trunk, so I'm going to use it to power the hub too so that everything powers on and off together.

  7. #7
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    I went ahead and ordered a few different USB hubs.

    I ordered 3 of those "octopus"/"squid" USB hubs. On eBay they're like $2 a piece. I also picked up a beefier and more expensive powered 4-port hub.

    I realized that I don't really need to have powered USB hubs, since my PC has four of these yellow colored "high power" USB ports. I also looked into USB spec some more, and found out that some assumptions I had about USB were not true. For example, I thought each physical USB port on the motherboard would have it's own dedicated 480Mbps connection - but this isn't the case. I haven't been able to find out exactly how much total USB bandwidth I've got (the total number of USB roots) based on the specs, but I plan on finding that out soon.

    My motherboard I/O shield has 2 USB 3.0 ports, 2 high-current USB 2.0 ports, and 2 regular USB 2.0 ports. Internally there are headers for 2 more USB 3.0 ports, 2 high-current USB 2.0 ports, and 2 regular USB 2.0 ports. That's a total of 4 USB 3.0, 4 high-current USB 2.0, and 4 regular USB 2.0 - 12 total ports.

    I really wish I had a device that would monitor the amount of current that each device needs, so I could correctly balance devices across the hubs.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by CyberBill View Post
    I really wish I had a device that would monitor the amount of current that each device needs, so I could correctly balance devices across the hubs.
    you can use the OS to give you an idea or power consumption, under XP...... settings ~device manager click on each of the usb root hub listings and there should be a power tab this will give you the power usage on that port

    be careful of the cheap powered hubs as they don't have any protection on the 5v line between the pc and the hub.....the more expensive ones have this isolated so if there is a spike the pc is protected

  9. #9
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    i had zero problems with my carnetix usb hub.

    and there are cheap inline current testers for usb (a reviewer does note this particular one has problems with high-current devices, but there are others out there): http://www.amazon.com/Micro-SATA-Cab...dp/B005Z1E3IY/

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by theksmith View Post
    i had zero problems with my carnetix usb hub.

    and there are cheap inline current testers for usb (a reviewer does note this particular one has problems with high-current devices, but there are others out there): http://www.amazon.com/Micro-SATA-Cab...dp/B005Z1E3IY/
    ERRRRMAGERRDDD!! That's exactly what I was looking for! Holy hell, does it have a bad name & description, though. :P Ordering 6 of them now, haha!

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