Self-powered USB Hubs?
June 16, 2006 7:18 PM   Subscribe

Hello MetaFilter. This is my first question, so I thought I'd start with something easy. I'm looking for a a USB hub that runs off it's own adapter. Any recommendations?

I have a G4 PowerBook with two under-powered USB ports. USB thumbdrives and mice work fine, but iPods don't. My iPod Photo is dead, and the 5G iPod Video is USB only. I was considering a PCMCIA USB card, but I'm not really sure I trust those (if my USB ports are under-powered, what else is?) and it seems like a hub would be cheaper.

So what does the MetaFilter community like?
posted by AndrewH to Technology (6 answers total)
We like searches.
posted by jmgorman at 7:23 PM on June 16, 2006

Most USB hubs are self-powered. You can just go grab one at best buy or whatever. this one has an AC adaptor. Just found it off froogle.
posted by delmoi at 7:25 PM on June 16, 2006

I just bought a D-Link 7 Port powered hub.
posted by MrZero at 8:16 PM on June 16, 2006

USB 2 card, btw, will work fine. most decent ones come with a power brick (there's a power port on the card itself). or use the combo firewire/USB cable. works fine for me on my 4-yo Titanium, but won't help your transfer speeds at all. (and, minor nit, your ports aren't underpowered. they're USB 1.1 and they provide enough power to be in the spec. USB 2 provides more.)
posted by mrg at 8:45 PM on June 16, 2006

I've seen an iPod Shuffle cause lots of trouble until it was run off a powered hub; in that case it wasn't a lack of power as such that was the problem, but a slightly-under-spec voltage (4.65V) on the computer's 5V power supply rail. If your problem has the same cause, simply adding USB2 ports won't help and you will indeed need a powered hub.

I just bought the first el-cheapo generic 4-port USB2 hub I saw in my local supermarket, and it worked fine when its power brick was plugged in. I think it would be very hard to go wrong with a commodity hardware item like this.
posted by flabdablet at 8:46 AM on June 17, 2006

Belkin makes a number of economy powered hubs; I have a four-port hub which works fine with my G4 iMac (except I already need like half a dozen more ports) but like flabdablet's note I have the occasional odd hardware problem, specifically a touchy scanner which insists on being plugged into the actual computer.
posted by nanojath at 11:37 PM on June 17, 2006

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