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Gregg_Seipp

Can we talk about USB hubs?

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I've always had problems with USB hubs and, sometimes, USB ports in computers.  Not just my sim computer.  Seems there's always one that's flakey.  Controllers plugged into USB hubs tend, to me, to make them more intermittent.  I have 4 controllers, keyboard, mouse, headphones.  My current USB hub is powered and has 6 slots.  Wondering if there's a specific kind of USB hub that is more reliable or, perhaps, settings in my Gigabyte BIOS that might make this more stable.

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All I can add is that I have been using a belkin usb2 powered 7 port hub for years together with a 4 port non powered hub and had no real issues running my hardware, except a couple of small issues when I went over to W10.  It might come down to what hardware is being used and the total power draw.

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I always assumed that you could plug anything into USB3, but was told that USB3 is for handling a lot of data.  Simple controllers are going to have problems if they are plugged into USB3.

I find this to be true.  I have around ten different controllers and all need to be plugged into USB2 to work.  Since most newer computers are coming with mostly USB3, it's a problem.

I have two ten port USB hubs that I use for my controllers.  For the most part, since I've been keeping them plugged into USB2, everything works very good.  Every once in a while, I will have to remove a plug and plug it back in to get a controller back.

I'm using Windows 7 Professional 64bit.  When I tried Windows 10, I could only plug in three controllers. That's why I went back to Windows 7.  I believe they might have fixed that problem by now though.

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I always assumed that you could plug anything into USB3, but was told that USB3 is for handling a lot of data.  Simple controllers are going to have problems if they are plugged into USB3.

I find this to be true.  I have around ten different controllers and all need to be plugged into USB2 to work.  Since most newer computers are coming with mostly USB3, it's a problem.

I have two ten port USB hubs that I use for my controllers.  For the most part, since I've been keeping them plugged into USB2, everything works very good.  Every once in a while, I will have to remove a plug and plug it back in to get a controller back.

I'm using Windows 7 Professional 64bit.  When I tried Windows 10, I could only plug in three controllers. That's why I went back to Windows 7.  I believe they might have fixed that problem by now though.

 

Strange, USB3 should be backwards compatible. 

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Simple controllers are going to have problems if they are plugged into USB3.

 

+1  I would add that even complex controllers may have problems with USB 3.  I had problems with my TM HOTAS on the USB3 ports of my ASUS Maximus VII Hero.  Once I installed a USB2 PCI card and plugged the HOTAS and my Saitek Combat Rudder Pedals into it I've had no problems.  I'm using Win 7 Home 64bit.

 

Greg

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I've always had problems with USB hubs

 

I'm sure that's frustrating.  I use two off brands of powered USB controllers without any problem whatsoever.  I should probably run a Belkin (I'm betting there the best). 

 

One thing to remember that USB runs from the motherboard and is also affected by the power supply (especially one that isn't noisy (frequency speaking) or is over taxed (as a hardware engineer I'd hypothesize that many could be). Older single rail power supplies might also hinder USB operations. Assuming up to date drivers, clean pots, good cables and the like, I'd look at the motherboard and power supply.  Both are easy to get info and reviews, and one can also add up the wattage (from component specs) and if they are 200 watts or less from system peak demand then I'd probably recommend an updated power supply.  Also important to remember is the effect that heat has on power.... in a PC the two don't work well together, so the better cooling you have, the less frequency issued one might have.

 

 

 

Strange, USB3 should be backwards compatible.

 

Yeah, but for controllers, especially Saitek products, the timing is just off and thus it doesn't work very well - at all.  At this point, I don't believe it's something that will ever be corrected.

 

I personally think it's preferable to add a USB Card to one's computer over the use of a Hub.  With the 8 controllers / flight sim panels and 6 USB hardware USB devices (TrackIR, two webcams, keyboard, mouse, headset) that I run, I have all the USB ports on the computer in use which includes x2 USB 2.0 cards, so I still had to go to a HUB.

 

 

Something else that can help those having USB issues... If you're computer has been on for a while, say 3+ hours, it's a good idea to power it off and reboot it before you settle down for a flight.  If you don't want to do that, at least power off the USB Hub, then unplug it from the computer port (you have to do both to reset it).

 

Finally, I'm not sure (and have never seen the schematics or done any testing), but would think that a USB 3.0 Hub should work fine if plugged into a

USB 2.0 port on the computer.  But for my flight sim use, it's only USB 2.0 Hubs.

 

 

Happy New Year my friends!

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Actually the GoFlight TQ6 does need to be plugged into a MB port.

 

My TQ6 is plugged into a powered 7 Port USB 2.0 hub (D-Link DUB-H7) AND that hub is plugged into a discrete USB 2.0 card on the motherboard. This has worked for me with no problems for several years.

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My TQ6 is plugged into a powered 7 Port USB 2.0 hub (D-Link DUB-H7) AND that hub is plugged into a discrete USB 2.0 card on the motherboard. This has worked for me with no problems for several years.

 

Hmmm...maybe my little hub is underpowered. 

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Hmmm...maybe my little hub is underpowered.

 

Perhaps!  Not all hubs are created equal.

 

It helps, I think, to estimate the overall power requirements of all your USB devices. Devices such as keyboard, mouse, and printers, generally have low power requirements. Less than 100ma each. Plugging them into a PC should not be a problem. It's my understanding that default motherboard usb 2.0 ports provide about 100ma each. In my setup, keyboard, mouse, 2 printers, a scanners, backup UPS, flight sim yoke, and pedals are all plugged into PC motherboard ports. Their current needs avg 38ma (range 2-100ma).

 

Since I have a number of GoFlight modules including the high current EFIS and MCP-Pro, I decided to use a combination of a powered PC USB card and a powered 7 port USB hub. The PC USB card is connected directly to the PC power supply and the USB HUB is powered by a 5V Adapter providing 3A (3000ma, avg 428ma per port).

 

The modules, including the TQ6 are plugged into the hub. The TQ6 requires about 50ma and the other modules about 32ma each. By my estimate the modules require about 275ma total. The EFIS and MCP Pro require 500ma each so they are plugged directly into the PC USB card.

 

FYI: The 7 port powered hub is a D-Link DUB-H7. The usb card is a Rosewill RC-503. I think the current equivalent is a Rosewill RC-508.

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And don't forget Windows 10 USB power management and some powered USB hubs tend to allow power to the PC causing some issues too If you unplug  the power cord from your PC and there is still power to your motherboard get ready of the hub.

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