need compact bus powered USB 2.0 hub for macbook

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited January 2014
hi



i am using my intel macbook to DJ using traktor software, and need to connect three USB 2.0 peripherals in order to be able to do so, an M-Audio Transit Soundcard, a Kontrol DJ controller and an iPod Classic. Because there are only 2 usb ports on the macbook, i am going to need some kind of USB hub/splitter which i would like to be bus powered and small for transportation. Ideally it would only have 2 ports, but it seems like even the smallest hubs have 4 ports. I am aware that there may be power issues if two devices are connected to a bus powered hub, and that it depends on how much power each device draws.



So i have 3 questions: (i) is it possible to use 2 bus powered usb devices on a bus powered hub on the macbook? (ii) is there a way of testing how much power each device draws? (iii) i understand that some bus powered hubs are better at handling multiple devices than others. can someone recommend a good hub for my purpose?



thanks



nick

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 1
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,182moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by nick_harambee View Post


    So i have 3 questions: (i) is it possible to use 2 bus powered usb devices on a bus powered hub on the macbook?



    I'm pretty sure it's possible but laptops tend to have lower powered ports so there may not be enough power for both devices on one port.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by nick_harambee View Post


    (ii) is there a way of testing how much power each device draws?



    The system profiler gives you some information when you plug the device into a USB port. Just go to Apple menu, about this Mac and then click more info. I'm sure at one point this gave me specific info about how much power each device was drawing but it doesn't seem to now.



    Anyway, it tells you the bus port power output and you can usually find the power draw on each device. My mouse for example has 100mA printed on the bottom and my keyboard has 0.5 Watts @ 5 Volts: Watts/Amps = Volts so Amps = 0.5/5 = 0.1A = 100mA, same as my mouse. Both are connected to a single port via bus-powered hub, which the profiler says is 500mA so I have enough power.



    My bus powered hard drive however is 650mA. Now this actually works on a single 500mA USB port on both desktops and the newer laptops but it requires the use of 2 ports on older laptops.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by nick_harambee View Post


    (iii) i understand that some bus powered hubs are better at handling multiple devices than others. can someone recommend a good hub for my purpose?



    I hadn't heard that but I would assume like all products there are varying degrees of quality. One thing I do know of is that hubs can cause interference between products as I've seen someone plug loads of stuff into a computer at once, printer, scanner, webcam, device cradle etc and one device won't work right or not at all until some other device is unplugged. This may be something to watch for audio equipment.
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