This is just a post to give my experiences with a few items listed below during the past few days.

Generic External USB 2.0 3.5" case with 40Gig IBM laptop drive (bus powered)
Maxtor External 120Gig drive (Powered by brick)
Storix External DVD/CD-R slim drive (Bus or brick powered)
SIIG USB 2.0 SlimHub 4000P
Manhattan 2.0 USB 4 port hub

I am at the last stages (hopefully) of my Carputer and I need to have a number of USB connections. So, instead of making a bunch of runs to and from the cabin area to the trunk I was hoping to make it easy and make one USB run and one Power run to a USB hub and branch off of that. So, my quest for a 2.0 USB hub started.

I didn't want to spend a ton of money and I wanted it to be small enough so it could fit in the center console without any MODs. Also I was thinking it needed to supply enough power for my bus powered DVD/CD-R drive with other USB items attached including another small USB 1.1 hub for my game controllers and keyboard.

I went to a Mom and Pop computer store and the first small USB hub I found was the SIIG mentioned above. Very slim and used an external brick which supplied 5V @ 2.5A. Perfect as I could cut the brick part off and use the 5V from the PSU. I think most are like this...So, I got home, hooked it up and tested the DVD drive first. Plugged it in and plugged in the USB to power cable as well and it didn't supply enough power to power it. So, for poops and laughs I decided to see if it could handle some "stress". I plugged in my external Maxtor drive copied some files and the like and it worked very well. Then I plugged in my other external drive (1 usb cable for data and 1 for power). My computer freaked and rebooted instantly. I'm running XP Pro BTW. My computer rebooted and didn't see either drive but if I unplugged one or the other it would see the drive that was still plugged in. I was ****ed to say the least.

Back to the store for a return and I was going to go to another store to get the new slim Belkin 4 port USB hub but I didn't have the CC I bought it with so I couldn't get money my money back. As a result the only other hub was a Manhattan and I was not happy. None the less I chose that one and headed home for the test.

Same set up for the most part. Slim and the brick was 5V @ 2.2A. I was a little worried about the lower Amp rating and the fact that it felt very cheap as most of the stuff Manhattan puts out seems to be, but it was all I could do at the time. Got home hooked it up and tested the DVD drive first. Connected it the same as the first test, one USB for data and one for power, and it worked!!! I was pleasantly surprised...So, with the DVD drive hooked up, and playing my Rob Zombie DVD, I pluged in my Maxtor drive and started copying files and such. Not a hick-up, droped frame, or audio glitch. WOW!! Ok so now I added the other external drive to the mix BUT this time when I plugged in the first USB cable my computer saw it imediately. I DIDN'T HAVE TO PLUG IN THE POWER CABLE!!! I did read this drive inclosure could do this if enough power was supplied on the bus but I have never had it happen before. COOL!!! So, I started copying files from the Maxtor to the other and vice-versa. Still no problems with DVD playback.

Another thing I have never been able to do is get the DVD drive to work without the extra power cable. There is a switch on the side of the drive to select either Bus or External power, BTW. So, I unplugged the extra cable and switched it to the bus power and with everything plugged in it worked!!! I even burned a CD while copying files back and forth, playing MAME with the controllers plugged into the mini USB hub, which was plugged into the Manhattan, with no problems. I am still having a hard time believing this little hub can handle all I have thrown at it. I'm thrilled to have found this hub as it will do exactly what I want and more.

I know this was a long post but I hope it helps some of you out if you ever wanted to do something similar.

Good luck with your set ups!!!