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Thread: DIY self-powered USB hub... is it possible?

  1. #1
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    Question DIY self-powered USB hub... is it possible?

    So I've finished the CarPC, tucked it away somewhere nice and hidden, did some pretty little fabrication to the Xenarc 700TSV frame so it looks factory sitting in my Double-DIN hole, when I realized...

    I need more than the 6 USB ports my motherboard comes with -_-

    Problem is, host-powered hubs won't work as I've tried them, and has been a waste of money.
    7-port self-powered hubs cost about 20 bucks to buy, then the custom work to make em sit and look factory installed in my car is not worth the cost/work.

    So why not just buy USB extension cables, wire them up to have independent power (coming from the radio harness) and just wire the D+ and D- cables together... It should work... Right?

    The problem I'm running into is how will it differentiate the COM PORT data from say an iPhone and a WiFi adaptor if their D+ and D- wires are on the same line?

  2. #2
    FLAC
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    woah what?

    USB: clean, regulated 5volts.
    Car: Unregulated 10.5-15 volts.

    Any usb device taking in 12 volts will fry.

    Usb has 4 cables inside of it. Red, black, green, and white. Green and white are data. Black and red are power.

    USB ports are limited to 500mA.

    A usb hub uses 100mA to power itself. Then gives the remaining power available to the other ports.

    However you shouldn't push more than 500mA on a usb cable. This is why powered hubs exist.

    The data cables cannot be joined. A hub actually has a lot of electronic stuff going on.

    What you need is a powered hub powered by either a 5 volt regulator or by the computer power supply's 12 volt rail.

    From there you can plug in extensions to make it look OEM
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by PaulF View Post
    woah what?

    USB: clean, regulated 5volts.
    Car: Unregulated 10.5-15 volts.

    Any usb device taking in 12 volts will fry.
    Exactly, which is why it would be wired to the 5v line, and would be fused >.>

    Quote Originally Posted by PaulF View Post
    The data cables cannot be joined. A hub actually has a lot of electronic stuff going on.
    Ok, that's what I was looking for. What is the "electronic stuff" that is going on? Would it be easy to manipulate with a PIC chip or ARV? If so, would the cost of that out-weigh just buying a self-powered hub?

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chronus72488 View Post
    Ok, that's what I was looking for. What is the "electronic stuff" that is going on? Would it be easy to manipulate with a PIC chip or ARV? If so, would the cost of that out-weigh just buying a self-powered hub?
    That electronic stuff is USB itself, and they make chips specifically for that. They're the same chips inside a USB hub, and they're none too simple.
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  5. #5
    Raw Wave
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    Just get a hub with external power.
    Then connect a 5V supply of suitable output.

  6. #6
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    Yea that's pretty much my plan, fuse it with a 7.5A and it should be good to go, just need to find a cheap one i can break apart and fabricate into the dash...

  7. #7
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    USB Self powered hub

    http://store.mp3car.com/DC_Powered_4..._p/adt-015.htm

    And before anyone says it's too expensive, I have one and can highly recommend it as it has solved issues I had with three devices which would not be detected on a reboot and I had to keep plugging and unplugging them. With them plugged into this hub they work perfectly.

  8. #8
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    If that's $85...

    http://www.amazon.com/D-Link-DUB-H7-...2520046&sr=1-1

    Shouldn't that be like... $150?

    Besides it being DC-powered and turning on with the ignition... I don't see the difference...

  9. #9
    North of the land of Hey Huns
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    That's the difference...

    If that D-Link one were made in such low production quantities and was a relatively new product to the market I'm sure it would cost significantly more.
    "stop with the REINSTALLS, what do you think we got some lame-o installer!!!" - mitchjs
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  10. #10
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    Cheap hubs.... yeah!
    I had 2 that didn't work. Inspection showed misaligned SMD resistors.

    I ended up getting the formerly bling "Shining Light" brand.
    I have since bought many Shining Light and rebadged similar hubs, card readers, and combined card-readers & hubs. The only failure - one memory stick slot (in well over a dozen units purchased).

    The Shining Lights are white with a large round light-blue lit area, but they are not bling because they work well.
    Typically priced here from $15-$25 at Computer Swap Meets (new unused products).

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