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Customer Review

110 of 114 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great 7-port device hub; not the best for a poor-man's USB switch, January 8, 2013
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This review is from: Generic 7-Port USB Hub with ON/OFF Switch, Black (7 Port USB Hub) (Personal Computers)
Here's a two-part rating. The first and most important concerns its attributes as a device (data-moving) hub. I'm quite happy with it in this capacity, due to the following benefits:

Pros
* Compact form factor
* Cool blue lights for each active port (the blue is more saturated and slightly darker than a blue coneflower, if that helps)
* One on/off switch per port (so you can temporarily disable individual devices from being enumerated or unnecessarily powered up)
* All seven ports work (kind of a base requirement, but I'm pleased that they all do)
* Automatic driver installation in Win7/64 (and presumably other OSes as well)
* Black case (goes better with my other components)
* Positive engagement of the USB-A plugs (not loose at all, but not difficult to insert)

Cons
* Just discovered today that it doesn't supply a huge amount of power for charging. I was attempting to recharge a small 1500mAh backup battery and running two other devices -- a wired keyboard and a wireless mouse (the dongle for it). When I started charging the battery, the mouse jerked around and then stopped working. This abated when I used the hub's convenient switch to turn off the battery. I've plugged in the hub to a 5v power supply to remedy this.
* Minor: the device is lightweight and thus is capsized by the cables I have plugged into it. This is a nit not worth docking a point for, rather just an FYI in case this sort of thing matters to you.
* Some people may find the LEDs a bit bright (then again, it gets flipped over by cables, so the LEDs don't aim up, anyway).

Other thoughts
The power issue is a little annoying, but I'll live. I won't dock the device a star for this, but it is something future buyers should be aware of.

----

And here's where the review from the standpoint of a hub ends. Read on, if you want to try using this device to share peripherals between two computers by way of swapping plugs.

The integral USB-A cable, rather than a USB-B socket with a B-male or mini-male to A-male cable supplied, slightly derails my original game plan for swapping peripherals between two computers using two interchanged USB-mini male plugs (one each per computer). I clearly see this pictured on the item page, and thus I won't be dropping any points from the rating of a fine piece of equipment. This is just a heads-up for those of you who might want to use this excellent hub like I plan to. I have purchased USB A (female) to USB A (male) extensions and all is well. I just switch manually, which beats a KVM that ultimately does unpredictable things or enforces keyboard emulation.
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Showing 1-10 of 10 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jan 29, 2013, 11:33:55 AM PST
ELStiko says:
Question. Since this is a powered USB hub, what is the Output Amperage of Adapter, if you are using one at all...

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 29, 2013, 12:52:17 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 29, 2013, 2:15:46 PM PST
Photoleif says:
Thanks. That is a useful question. For that test, I was not using a supplemental adapter. You're correct that this does offer the option to power it. The adapter is fairly hefty -- 2.5A. The battery I attempted to charge requires 600mA, so that's past its unassisted capacity, but the wall-wart should help it easily handle more.

Posted on Oct 29, 2013, 2:45:20 PM PDT
>... it doesn't supply a huge amount of power for charging ...
A 7 socket expander expands one socket into 7, but it does not expand the maximum power available 7 times, or at all. The power limit is the one USB socket it plugs into.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 13, 2014, 2:58:21 PM PDT
iKarith says:
So you're saying this device provides more than the expected 500 mA to a port, if powered? For my use, that's a desired feature. I certainly doubt it has the intelligence to negotiate a fast charging rate with a device like an iPhone, but I'm tinkering with a Raspberry Pi here, so mostly I'm looking for convenient 5v rail with switches and occasional data connections. :)

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 13, 2014, 7:08:28 PM PDT
Photoleif says:
I don't have the equipment to properly load the hub to test its power supplying, but in an attempt to help, I'm testing my phone, which is picky and puts up a display alert when it has low charging amperage. So far, so good on getting a charging symbol, so I'm feeling that it does supply more than the standard 500mA. For the moment I have it only plugged into a USB2 port on my computer and have no other devices plugged into the hub. The phone charger is rated at 1.2A, so without some more advanced testing equipment and strategies, I'll tentatively conclude that it's supplying over 500mA.

I have available a voltmeter and some modified USB cables, so if you (who would likely have electronics knowledge beyond mine) want to outline a test for me to run, I'll be happy to give it a try.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 13, 2014, 7:33:32 PM PDT
iKarith says:
I think you pretty well answered the question. Chargers for modern smart phones tend to provide at least 1 amp, and devices that tend not to charge off of older USB ports want that much. So even if it won't supply the 2.1 amps wanted by tablets, it'll still supply enough for my Pi.

If you had a shunt handy, you could throw it in line with the negative power lead and measure the voltage across it (in milivolts). Shunts are rated in terms of the amps they can handle and the voltage drop across them at that current level. In other words, they're just very low-resistance resistors that can handle a lot of current. The rest is simply proportional math. If your shunt reads 10 A as 10 mV, then no math is required. If it reads 5 A as 20 mV, divide by 4... That kind of thing.

Posted on Apr 7, 2014, 7:07:07 PM PDT
Ms. Wonder says:
@"photolief".......

Luv luv lived the detailed, direct, yet gentle comment!!!
Exactly as I would have put it.......also, so direct that it made me laugh a bit:-)
Thanks
Cris

Posted on Aug 6, 2015, 9:36:55 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 6, 2015, 9:39:18 PM PDT
Sierra Brown says:
Quick note regarding the power supply issue - USB ports on a computer only output a certain amount of power. If you use a USB hub like this, you're splitting that power between every device that's connected to the hub at the time. So, if you're trying to charge off a single USB port on your computer and rub other devices off that same USB port with a hub, everything connect to that hub is getting less power than it expects/was designed for.

According to the article I linked at the end of this, these are the typical power outputs for USB ports on a PC:
USB 1.0 and 2.0: Up to 500mA
USB 3.0 (Typically has a blue plastic piece on the female port): Up to 900mA standard downstream, 1500mA charging downstream (not 100% sure what that means tbh)

http://www.extremetech.com/computing/115251-how-usb-charging-works-or-how-to-avoid-blowing-up-your-smartphone

Posted on Apr 27, 2016, 5:13:16 PM PDT
AK_USA says:
Could you tell me what kind of power adapter it needs? Mine doesn't even run two flash drives well.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 27, 2016, 6:50:59 PM PDT
Photoleif says:
Hi. I've used a 5V 2A adapter and it seems fine. 2A is probably overkill, but it's what i have on hand. Finding one with a small plug is the trick. The plug OD appears to be about 3.5mm, but it's difficult to know for sure. Unless you need the switches or this many ports, you can probably find a USB3 hub for less than the price of an adapter.
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