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back to article USB fanboys teased with 16-port hub

Do you have at least 16 USB devices you'd like to connect to your computer at the same time? Look no further: gadget retailer Brando has a USB 2.0 hub with exactly that number of input ports. Brando 16-port USB hub USB 2.0 being what it is, none of the devices you hook up will communicate at the bus standard's peak speed, …

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Silver badge

No More Cables!

I presume if you use all the sockets you will be connecting to the hub from the next room via wireless.

Or is this stitch and bitch thing catching on in the testosterone charged world of IT?

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Boffin

Only 16

Cambrionix have had a 49-port hub for over a year.

Made from 7 7-port hub chips cascaded off an 8th, I would assume.

Mostly used for bulk device testing.

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This bugs me.

When USB was first mooted, it was asked "why not make it daisy-chainable?"

The USB consortium said that they'd designed it to make the hub so simple and cheap that every device would have one built in, and it would look like a daisy chain without any of the compromises to the protocols that would have been required in true daisy chain.

What was the last device you saw that was both USB device and USB hub? Medium to high-end keyboards have one, but my scanner doesn't and my printer doesn't. As desk-bound devices with independent power supplies, they're the perfect candidates. But there's more profit in selling us the hubs separately. Joy.

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Monitors...

LCD monitors often have USB ports. The Apple ones (and perhaps others) also have a webcam, making them both USB devices and powered hubs.

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Silver badge

Better than the alternative extreme

When I first heard of daisy chaining USB my first thought was how long before someone puts a hub in a mouse...

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Go

Like this?

Like these?

http://www.geekalerts.com/usb-mouse-hub/

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Boffin

USB RAID

It's for making a 16 drive RAID from USB memory sticks of course.

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Too late for me...

I could have done with one of those when I was doing this:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/alan_woodland/4907798836/

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A title containing letters and/or digits

There's a certain amount of geek appeal in that picture but I think what we all want to know is...

What does the big red perspex-protected button do?! World domination? Missile launcher?

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Grenade

The red button

Doesn't actually do much at all! I wrote a very simple Linux, userspace HID driver for it that executed a script/program of your choosing. I had a PTZ camera doing face detection, tracking and recognition. The idea was that the button would be linked to a USB, PTZ webcam equipped missile launcher but I didn't have time to finish the driver for that and sold it on.

http://www.geekalerts.com/usb-missile-launcher-with-webcam/

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Useful for

Test benches, for avoiding faffing round the back of the machine(s) all the time.

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Coat

Ho ho ho!

Time to buy 16 USB Christmas Trees!

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Black Helicopters

I retract the USB trees comment...

I want 16 of these babies instead! Muwhahaha!

http://www.usbmissilelauncher.co.uk/

Shooting down that black helicopter.....

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Silver badge
Linux

Not utterly bonkers

Sensible uses I can think of:

Batch-duplicating USB data sticks.

Uploading data from multiple devices, for example portable standalone barcode scanners

Testing software RAID with 16-disk configurations (where the disks are probably memory sticks)

Or even just as a charging station for umpteen USB-chargeable devices. I've got an 8-port USB hub doing just this. The hub has never been connected to a computer, just to its mains "brick".

Does seem a bit pricey, though. One can get three six-port hubs for considerably less.

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1. take to a music festival

2. Advertise charging at 5quid/device/hour

3. Profit!!!

(so long as you can get a power source)

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Bronze badge

But don't three hubs

Need three mains sockets, and this only needs the one?

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Boffin

Mains

Since this device clearly has TWO power input sockets on the back, I would assume that it actually needs two mains sockets.

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I wish I had this one a few years back.

I built a terminal server for a project out of a fanless via EPIA. 16 USB-to-Serials and voila here is your Cisco 2511 analogue.

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Go

Flash... aaahhh... one in a million

Yup, perfect for bulk writing USB flash disks for distribution on a modest scale.

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Flame

16 ports @ 500mA

... does it get a bit warm after a while?

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no

Not if it's just passing those watts on to the connected devices. They might get warm, collectively, but the hub won't.

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Flame

At mains voltage maybe

Its 500mA at 5V DC so its only 40W if all the ports are drawing max current.

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8A psu?

That's a fairly hefty brick/wall wart.

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Go

Not anymore

With switchmode gear becoming the most prevalent, it's probably no bigger than a small laptop/netbook PSU :-)

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Live work...

That would be ideal for the sort of musician who needs to use a laptop as a "brain" for performance. You could synch lights, usb/MIDI controllers and audio bridges together with just one hub. Plus it looks cool!

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Seven

Could be fun - I've had seven custom devices plugged in at the same time to prove that (a) they work and (b) my software could cope. I've never tried it with 16, but I'm sure it would be just fine.

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Flame

Current Draw

Wouldn't the psu be really big for that, around a whopping 8amps maybe 9amps at 5volts considering overheads aswell, the power connctor doesn't look sturdy enough for that kind of punishment.

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Bronze badge

Funny

I'm sure I'd find a use for it if the school I work for hadn't managed to get dozens of £1.99 USB2 4-port hubs (with 5v power-brick) a few years ago.

We had a load of new netbooks that needed installing to our normal image but they didn't have floppy / CD / etc. obviously. The only options were USB sticks and / or PXE booting and it was actually quicker and easier to duplicate USB sticks en masse and then just boot them from them. Any faults / returns could just have a USB stick stuck into them again and I didn't need to worry about setting up even more options onto the existing PXE boot and somehow getting lots of fast Ethernet connections to one point (the number we had could easily kill a Gigabit backbone to the point where we have to do updates / upgrades in batches and that's just incremental data rather than a full image).

So we daisy-chained dozens of hubs and I already had a shed-load of USB sticks - a Linux script to format them, put the image on, make them bootable, etc. and then automatically detect replacements and do the same to them took seconds. I could churn them out faster than I could unbox the USB sticks from their retail packaging.

More seriously? The school also have several USB fax modems to automate several fax lines (using Hylafax), and several USB 3G dongles to automate SMS gateways (using Gammu-smsd), and several USB 3G dongles to provide backup if the dual-line 24MBps ADSL should go down. Not to mention that I have to plug in a USB-Serial adaptor to my laptop every time I want to play with the switches - a 16-port hub or more could easily be put to good use in a business situation. Hell, the 4-port hubs we got ended up in classrooms and there's only a couple that aren't already full of the staff's various USB devices.

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Silver badge

Thinkgeek already did it, and cheaper

They've had a 16-port hub in a much smaller cube form-factor, and I think it's cheaper too.

It lets me have just a single USB cable run across the floor to the equipment rack, where it connects to the scanner, TV digitizer, digital camera, printer, etc.

And yes, it gets warm when all the equipment is powered on.

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Anonymous Coward

How about 24...

24 port hub here...

http://www.thinkgeek.com/computing/usb-gadgets/e5be/

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Unhappy

Duty ed off sick today?

"Do you have at least 16 USB devices you'd like to connect to your computer at the same time?" Surely that should be at most; have any more and you will indeed have to look further.

"And in case your system's USB port can cope with this little lot, you can hook the hub up to a second port too."

Surely that should be "can't cope"; if my system's USB port can cope with it, why would I want to hook up another one?

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