A USB Hub that Works Well with the Raspberry Pi

We’re excited to be launching our Plugable 7 Port High Speed USB 2.0 Hub with 3A Power Adapter in the UK today.

Because of its best-in-class USB 2.0 hub controller chipset, this is a good choice for any computer where you need more ports — Mac, Windows, Linux, game consoles, and USB-capable tablets.

With our focus on getting the details right, we find we’re able to deliver better compatibility, better reliability over time, and better handling of power issues (which is the toughest issue for a USB hub). Take the Amazon link for the USA model to see how this has played out over hundreds of customer experiences.

In particular the hub’s better power handling, combined with our hub’s included premium 3A power adapter, make it a great match for difficult cases — like the hot $25 Raspberry Pi development board.

Almost a half million of these Raspberry Pi boards have been sold, but they come bare bones without a power supply. And even with a dedicated supply, if you try to connect USB devices to its two available USB ports, the board isn’t able to provide USB 2.0′s typical amperage. So many USB devices will fail when directly connected to the Pi.

They need a powered USB hub. But not just any USB hub will work — many draw too much power from the host at times and trigger a brownout on the Pi — so it can be difficult to find one which won’t reset the Pi at inopportune times.

Our 7 port hub, however, works great with the Pi — both to provide power to the Pi board, and to power attached USB devices *at the same time*. So you don’t need any other power supply to run the Pi and several USB devices, other than our hub and its included 5V 3A power supply. It’s a great companion product for any Pi user.

We’ve been testing the Pi with all our Plugable products, and will have a post later this week on all the products that will (like this hub) and those that won’t, so we can provide the best advice for Pi users.

Here’s a link to a video with more detail: Plugable 7 port Hub and the Raspberry Pi

So again, here’s where to buy our hub in the UK:
Plugable 7 Port High Speed USB 2.0 Hub with 3A Power Adapter (for UK Mains)
Dispatched from Amazon.co.uk to the UK and 26 countries in Europe (power prongs for UK, not EU, mains)

And from Amazon.com, fulfilled to any USA address (with USA power adapter):
[usb2-hub-ag7-post]

Questions are welcome in the comments. Thanks for your support of Plugable products!

13 thoughts on “A USB Hub that Works Well with the Raspberry Pi”

    1. Hi Colin – Thanks for asking! No schedule as yet — in the near term, the best solution is buying the UK version and a plug converter. The power supply handles inputs of 100-240V ~ 50/60Hz 1.6A. Output is 5V @ 3A. Thanks!

  1. Have you been able to do much testing to see if this will be able to power the RPi revision 2s through back feeding power via the now non-fused Pi USB outputs?

  2. Bought one of these on amazon on the strength of your other products and this video. Unfortunately, my experience was not so great. As a hub i have no problems. As power to the Pi it fell over. It was pretty obvious out of the box. With only a couple wifi devices and a kbd attached the pi had blocking kworkers (signs of power issues). I switched back to my android 5V 1A supply and am stable again.

    It is a fine hub, but you are doing a disservice to advertise it as a power supply. On that note, can the ports on your hub deliver more than .5A through any port? The spec says the pi should have at least .7A (mine still had issues with this) and suggested is 1A. If i get an answer to this i can buy a usb Y power cable and test it as i would really like to get rid of the separate power line for the pi.

    Thanks

    1. Thanks for posting! The hub comes with a 3A power supply – assuming the Pi itself may take up to 1A, there should be ~2A left for other devices (minus a .1 – .2 A for hub controller). In our tests, this worked well. You mention multiple Wifi devices – could you say what makes/models of USB devices you have attached (in addition to the Pi) — that’ll help us figure out if it’s an issue of 3A being exceeded or something else …

      1. I have two ralink 5370 devices which many at raspberrypi.org report is low power enough to run directly off the pi.

        Certainly your power supply is great. The question is, how much of that is allowed in hardware to come out the usb port. Unless you are deviating from usb spec (which i hope you are), the default for a usb2 device connected _only_ to the power rails only is 1 unit (100ma) and can go up to 5 units for a device connected to the data lines which requests more power.
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Universal_Serial_Bus#USB_2.0

        Like i said before, a solid 1A seems to be needed to keep the pi relatively stable. Can you tell me if the pluggable hub delivers that much current to each ports or is it current limited to spec? If not, what is the max ma per port? If it is at least 500ma i can test out a usb Y power cable as I have extra ports on the hub.

        Thanks

        1. To clarify that last paragraph….
          I’m wondering how much a device can draw from each USB port if it is connected ONLY to the power lines as the pi is.

          Thanks again

          1. We’ve got some nice rigs to measure power draw over USB. Give us a few days, and we’ll try to push our Pi above 500mA and post an update with photos of what we see. This is an important question, and we want to give a definitive answer!

  3. Here’s the results of the current testing we promised. Using a 2.5 ohm power resistor as a shunt across the V++ and Ground lines directly from the USB 2.0 7 port hub, we measured ~1.75 Amps. Here’s a link to a picture of the test:

    http://plugable.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/7port-current-draw-med.png

    Also, I was able to pull much more current with lower resistance — So, we would definitely expect any device that does not have data lines to behave the same, as the hub places no limit on the current available across V++ and Ground.

    I hope this helps your troubleshooting the blocking kworkers issue you’re having.

    Let me if there’s anything else I can do to help.

    Thanks,
    Jerome

    Plugable Technologies

    1. Wow. That is way more than the 1.1 amp from my android recharger. Any ideas why I might be crashing so much more when powered from the hub as opposed to using a separate power supply? Thanks for the tests!

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