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Powered USB hub safe?


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8 replies to this topic

#1 bcmo

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Posted 16 June 2017 - 05:56 PM

As these three USB hubs get their power from the computer or laptop and not from a power outlet, is it safe to use them with multiple USBs, a cooling pad, wireless mouse, and/or a printer all together?
Thank you.

https://www.amazon.com/Sabrent-4-Port-Individual-Switches-HB-UM43/dp/B00JX1ZS5O

https://www.amazon.com/Anker-4-Port-Macbook-Surface-Notebook/dp/B00XMD7KPU

https://www.amazon.com/Anker-Unibody-Aluminum-Portable-Notebook/dp/B00IJ331WY/


Edited by bcmo, 16 June 2017 - 06:31 PM.


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#2 Chris Cosgrove

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Posted 16 June 2017 - 06:11 PM

If you have this extender connected to a standard USB3 port then the maximum current draw is 900 mA (0.9A). The only item in your list that would concern me is the cooling pad as this takes power to drive the fan(s). You would need to check the power rating on the cooling pad - it should be printed on it somewhere

 

Devices like keyboards, mice, joysticks that are typically plugged into USB slots only draw minimal curent, typically a few milliamps. The printer connection is purely a data feed.

 

There are special USB3 ports capable of delivering higher power, commonly called 'charging ports', the manual for your computer will identify these if you have one. I have seen references to a new high power USB3 spec capable of delivering up to 100 W, which would be 20A at 5V, but these do not yet exist. I imagine these ports would be easily identified by the much heavier cables they would use. 20A is quite a lot of current !

 

Chris Cosgrove



#3 bcmo

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Posted 16 June 2017 - 06:39 PM

Thank you.

 

What about USB hubs that go into a USB type C port like these, are they better?

https://www.amazon.com/Half-Price-iXCC-Individual-Including-Chromebook/dp/B01G5WCZSG

https://www.amazon.com/Anker-Devices-Including-ChromeBook-Aluminum/dp/B00XU6IMWY

https://www.amazon.com/STANDARD-NRGized-Devices-MacBook-ChromeBook/dp/B01921HJ4C

https://www.amazon.com/CableCreation-3-Ports-Gigabit-Ethernet-Adapter/dp/B0179U0LNO



#4 Chris Cosgrove

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Posted 17 June 2017 - 05:27 PM

USB C is a more complex beast than I thought !  It can be a very useful power source, indeed it can be used as a charging source for things like mobile phones. But from my reading the amount of power they can supply depends on the exact spec of the installed connector. The best place to find information on what the one(s) on your computer are capable of is the computer manual, this should spell it out.

 

For a general overview, and links to as much information in depth as you might want, see -

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USB-C

 

Remember that an adapter like the ones you list can only supply whatever power the connector on the computer is capable of, divided between the devices you have connected to it. If, for example, you have a standard USB 3 port which can supply up to 900mA at 5V (= 4.5W) then that is the total power the adapter has to share out. It is not 4.5W per connected device but 4.5W total.

 

Chris Cosgrove



#5 bcmo

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Posted 17 June 2017 - 10:14 PM

The best place to find information on what the one(s) on your computer are capable of is the computer manual, this should spell it out.

Unfortunately it doesn't. Would there be any other way to find out?



#6 Chris Cosgrove

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Posted 18 June 2017 - 06:46 PM

I have just had another look at the links you posted. The three in your first post all appear to use USB3 Type A connectors, the four in your #3 all appear to have USB C connectors.

 

USB 3 and USB C are not interchangeable - they won't fit each other's sockets. USB 3 Type A connectors look like any other USB Type A that have been around for years - about 11mm wide, 3mm deep with a plastic 'tongue' taking up about half the internal depth. In the case of of USB 3 these tongues are normally blue. USB C uses a socket with a tongue in the middle of the internal space and the connectors are on either side of ths central tongue.

 

To the best of my knowledge and belief, the maximum power you can get out of a USB 3 socket is 4.5W (5V x 900mA). You can get more, possibly much more, out of a USB C socket but you need to know its ratings and the place to find this infomation is the computer manual. You may need to go to your manufacturer's web-site to download a copy of the manual, typically this information is no longer shipped with the computer !  I just spent several hours this afternoon setting up a brand new laptop for my sister-in-law and the documentation that came with it just about showed you the power button and where the CD drive was. OK, not quite, but not much more !

 

Chris Cosgrove



#7 bcmo

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Posted 18 June 2017 - 07:33 PM

I have just had another look at the links you posted. The three in your first post all appear to use USB3 Type A connectors, the four in your #3 all appear to have USB C connectors.

 

USB 3 and USB C are not interchangeable - they won't fit each other's sockets. USB 3 Type A connectors look like any other USB Type A that have been around for years - about 11mm wide, 3mm deep with a plastic 'tongue' taking up about half the internal depth. In the case of of USB 3 these tongues are normally blue. USB C uses a socket with a tongue in the middle of the internal space and the connectors are on either side of ths central tongue.

I know, I especially switched to type C USB adapters since my laptop only has 2 regular USB ports and a USB type C port, so I might as well "convert" the type C port into three or four regular USB ports in addition to the two already there. Also it might provide more power.

I checked the manual on Asus's website, but couldn't find it discussing this aspect.


Edited by bcmo, 18 June 2017 - 07:34 PM.


#8 Chris Cosgrove

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Posted 19 June 2017 - 05:44 PM

If all you are wanting to do is run fairly standard USB devices off it then you will have no problems. The only device I might have reservbations about is the cooling pad and it should have its power rating marked on it. It should be expressed as 'so many volts at so many amps ( or milliamps, 1A = 1000mA)'. In any case I would expect there to current protection on the socket. How this would work I don't know but the most likely thing is it would either crash your computer or shut down the USB C socket.

 

One other thing to remember is that we have been talking about power here, your data also gets split between the four outputs in terms of bandwidth.

 

One final point - I admit it is a pet 'thing' of mine - but there is no need to quote a complete post in your reply to it. By all means use quotes to pick out one particular point you want to address but if you look you will see that everything you have quoted is still sitting there - about one inch above your reply !

 

Chris Cosgrove



#9 bcmo

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Posted 19 June 2017 - 10:23 PM

...there is no need to quote a complete post in your reply to it...

You are right, that is why I only quoted the part of the post where you pointed out that regular USB 3.0 ports and Type C ports were different, and I responded to that - that I specifically changed the kind of USB hub links that I listed. Admittedly I probably could have made due with quoting less, but I didn't quote your entire post, only the relevant part.

 

But your point is well taken. :thumbup2:


Edited by bcmo, 19 June 2017 - 10:24 PM.





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