View Full Version : Buying a USB Adapter

24-06-2004, 04:28 PM
At the weekend I am going to buy a USB adapter. I need one because my PC only has one USB port. I need to connect three things - two different printers and a digital camera. It is far too difficult to get around the back amongst the tangle of wires to change every time.

* What should I look for - are they all much the same ?
* Go to Dick Smith or similar ?

Any suggestions much appreciated

Misty :)

24-06-2004, 05:27 PM
DSE have a 4 port USB/PCI adaptor for $39 (on sale until 27/06)

Graham L
24-06-2004, 05:45 PM
Make sure that you get one with a power supply. The socket on the computer can only supply 500 mA, and each device is allowed to pull up to 500 mA. So an unpowered hub will cause problems if several devices are working at the same time.

There is a speed difference between USB 1.1 and USB 2. A hub on special is probably USB 1.1, which might be a problem in the future. Printers will probably work on 1.1 well enough, but if your camera is USB 2, and you use high resolution, picture downloads might be lengthy. ;-)

24-06-2004, 05:49 PM

Do you mean a USB hub perhaps, as you will not be wanting a PCI card since these only give rear access

If so there are some things to consider:

Not all devices actually like working from a hub, some demand a port. Only when you try them will you find out.

Use a powered hub (with an AC adaptor) and not a "bus powered" one, as its too easy to exceed the power ratings when they share one port.

USB 2 hub (4 port) Catalog XH6778 is $68 including the power adaptor at DSE ($57.82 trade price) as an indication. It will only run at USB 1.1 unless your present port is USB 2 of course.

24-06-2004, 05:52 PM
What you want is a "4 port USB hub" This plugs into your single USB port and has 4 ports available to plug things into. Also, as it has a lead, you are able to put the 4 port part on your desktop, and plug the lead into your rear USB port on the PC.

Available here (http://supercheappc.biz/site/product_info.php?cPath=23_24&products_id=1370) and their info :-

Web site: http://supercheappc.biz/
Tel: 09-3580404
Fax: 09-3585565
Shop and freight: retail store

Lev-1, 86 Pitt Street, Auckland City.

City: Auckland

24-06-2004, 05:55 PM
Same place, but the USB 2.0 version with power supply here (http://supercheappc.biz/site/product_info.php?products_id=1225)

30-06-2004, 09:10 PM
Godfather - the points you raise are well taken. I will keep away from rear access.
>>> It will only run at USB 1.1 unless your present port is USB 2 of course.>

I am not sure how to tell this. Looking at the breakdown from "Belarc Advisor" (a great freebee !) I see it says --

Bus Adaptors
VIA Tech 3038 PCI to USB Universal Host Controller
VIA Tech 3038 PCI to USB Universal Host Controller

Other devices
USB Root Hub
USB Root Hub
XH7916 DSE USB Network Interface

The last thing above I guess will be the Ethernet Router.

Can I tell from the above whether it is a 1.0 or 2.0 existing connection ?

Misty :|

PS Pheonix - the prices at that place seem really good and the location is pretty easy for me to get too. Mind you Mrs Misty used to work in Pitt St until last Friday ( "he who hesitates is lost ") !!

30-06-2004, 09:27 PM
USB 2.0 is usually described as a "USB 2.0 advanced host controller"

If it does not clearly say it is, then assume USB 1.1

30-06-2004, 09:40 PM
Thanks Godfather - which means that I might as well settle for 1.1 as it will not go any faster. The Asst. Manager at DSE said that using a 1.1 for my uses including a digital camera would not mean a great speed loss over using 2.0. I am not that likely to want to run two devices at one time either.

>>> some demand a port >

Would it be likely that a printer would demand a port ?

Misty ?:|

Murray P
30-06-2004, 09:42 PM
Another way to do it would be to get a multi port USB 2 PCI card (say 4 ports) and use a shortish double adapter extension cable plugged in permanently for your camera and other items that will only be connected for a short period of time. It's better that printers and routers are plugged in at the back because usully you only change them infrequently and it keeps their cables from the front and out of the way.

Cheers Murray P

30-06-2004, 09:51 PM
Thanks Murray

Sounds an excellent idea !!

Misty :D