All posts by Aaron Knopf

UPDATED: Plugable Products on Mac OS X 10.8 (aka Mountain Lion)

Listed below are our latest updates about how to make your Plugable products work on Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion with all the caveats shared by customers. If you read this post before and notice changes, it’s because we’ve revised our advice based on differences between our test results and what many customers were reporting. For now, in all cases we are recommending the solutions that have worked for everyone.

Any Plugable products not listed below have not yet been tested or have no Mac support (USB 3.0 graphics adapters, USB 3.0 docking station, Windows Easy Transfer cable).

Product
Type
Products
Tested
Drivers
Needed
Download Site/
Setup Notes
10/100 Ethernet Adapter USB2-E100 N Uninstall previously installed third-party ASIX AX88772 driver before upgrading 10.7 or 10.8, to use Apple’s built-in drivers.
Gigabit Ethernet Adapter USB2-E1000 Y Leave the Gigabit adapter unplugged. Go to network settings and delete any existing USB Gigabit Ethernet interfaces by highlighting and clicking the minus button.

Download and install drivers from:
plugable.com/products/usb2-e1000/drivers

After installation and reboot, plug in the adapter.

Go to network settings. If a new USB Gigabit interface hasn’t been created, then click the plus button, and add a new interface for the USB Gigabit Ethernet adapter.

Click the gear button, choose to set the service order, and drag the Gigabit Ethernet interface to the top of the list to make it your primary network connection. Approve the change to return to the main network settings screen.

Click Apply in network settings.

If the status in network settings goes green with a good IP address (not 169.x.x.x), the adapter is working properly.
USB 2.0 Graphics Adapters UGA-2K-A,UGA-165,
USB-VGA-165,
UGA-125
Y Uninstall any old DisplayLink drivers before upgrading from 10.7.x.After upgrade, download and install the production version of DisplayLink’s v1.8 driver (or later) for OS X at DisplayLink’s Mac driver page.

Note that the performance of USB graphics on Mac is not yet at the same level as Windows. And some customers have reported crashes and hangs after installing DisplayLink drivers on Mountain Lion. See DisplayLink’s Mac user forum for the latest details. There is a specific thread on possible causes of Kernel panics.

We are filing bugs with DisplayLink based on Plugable customer feedback. If your system is not performing properly once you have installed the latest DisplayLink drivers, please contact us at support@plugable.com for assistance.
USB 2.0 Universal Docking Stations UD-160-A, DC-125 See Notes Follow the instructions above for the 10/100 Ethernet adapter and the USB 2.0 graphics adapters.
Hard Drive Dock USB3-SATA-U3 N
Serial Adapter PL2303-DB9 Y http://plugable.com/drivers/prolific/ (Mac security settings must allow installation of executable files from anywhere)
Hubs, Switches, Extension Cables N 10.8 has a regression where USB Hard Drives attached to a Mac through a USB hub may report “drive wasn’t ejected properly” on return from sleep. We have customer reports of this issue in particular with USB 3.0 hubs like USB3-HUB4

Please feel free to comment here or e-mail us at support@plugable.com with your findings, questions, or problems. We’re here to help.

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Plugable’s New USB 3.0 to VGA Adapter

We’re pleased to announce the latest expansion of our USB 3.0 product line with the USB3-VGA: Plugable’s USB 3.0 to VGA graphics adapter for Windows PCs.

Most monitors, TVs, and projectors still have the familiar 15-pin VGA input port for attaching a computer. Don’t let VGA’s age fool you. Images on your display will look exactly the same when transmitted through a VGA connection as they would through all the competing, latest-and-greatest video connection types (DVI, Dual-Link DVI, multiple versions of HDMI, DisplayPort, Thunderbolt, etc.). Customers are used to VGA, and we’re happy to offer a USB 3.0 adapter that works with their existing display devices.

This new USB 3.0 to VGA graphics adapter offers the same ease of use as our highly regarded USB 2.0 to VGA adapter but supports a higher range of display resolutions (up to 2048×1152/1920×1200) and includes the ability to provide high-definition video to a 1080p-capable VGA display or projector.

These improvements are made possible by USB 3.0′s faster data transfer speeds of five gigabits per second versus USB 2.0′s 480 megabits per second and by the improved data compression capabilities in the DisplayLink DL-3100 chipset. The DL-3100 chipset uses the host computer’s central processor and graphics processor more efficiently than its USB 2.0 predecessor, making the USB3-VGA outshine USB 2.0 to VGA adapters even on computers without any USB 3.0 ports.

Adapter USB Version Video Output Max Resolution Supported OS*
USB3-HDMI-DVI USB 3.0/2.0 HDMI, DVI 2048×1152 Windows
USB3-VGA USB 3.0/2.0 VGA 2048×1152 Windows
UGA-2K-A USB 2.0 HDMI, DVI, VGA 2048×1152 Windows, Mac OS X
UGA-165 USB 2.0 HDMI, DVI, VGA 1920×1080 Windows, Mac OS X

*See product detail pages for specific version information.

The one drawback of the DL-3XXX chipset is that it’s only supported by DisplayLink on Windows right now–including the soon-to-release Windows 8. Sorry Mac and Linux customers, but there are no OS X or Linux drivers for our USB 3.0 graphics adapters. Please continue to use Plugable’s USB 2.0 graphics adapters for now.

Now that we have digital and analog adapters, think about your usage scenarios to make the best purchase decision.

  • If your monitor or projector only supports an HDMI or DVI connection, you’ll want to go with the USB3-DVI-HDMI.
  • If that monitor or projector only has a VGA input, the USB3-VGA is for you.
  • If you can hook up with any of these three display types, it may come down to price or the displays you intend to purchase in the future.

As with all Plugable graphics adapters, you can connect up to six to your Windows PC either directly (if you have enough open USB ports) or through a self-powered USB hub connected to your PC. Our new USB3-HUB4 four-port USB 3.0 hub with a four-amp power supply offers an easy, cost-effective way to connect four USB3-VGA graphics adapters through a single USB 3.0 port on your PC.

If you have questions about Plugable’s new USB 3.0 to VGA graphics adapter or any of our other USB 2.0 or USB 3.0 products, don’t hesitate to leave us a message below or to write to us at support@plugable.com. We’re here to help.

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Charging the Samsung Galaxy S III

The hottest new mobile phone on the market is the Samsung Galaxy S III, and we’re eager to let everyone know that you can recharge it with the Plugable four-port hub and fast charger.

In short, you can plug the four-port charger into an electrical outlet, attach a Samsung Galaxy S III’s to the charger via its USB cables, and the Galaxy S III phone will recharge at nearly the same rate as if it was plugged directly into an electrical socket.

This works because the Samsung Galaxy S III supports the USB battery charging specification (aka BC 1.1/1.2). Following the battery charging spec means that customers can get a predictable result for recharging when the Galaxy S III is plugged it into a USB hub that also supports the charging spec. The Plugable four-port hub and fast charger is such a hub. Plugable’s 10-port and seven-port hubs don’t support battery charging even though they do have their own power adapters.

Anyone who’s ever tried to recharge a phone or tablet computer just by plugging it into a standard USB 2.0 hub knows that results aren’t often positive. Yes, sometimes it seems to work, but it’s almost by accident.  In general we can’t guarantee the desired results when either the device or the hub don’t comply with BC 1.1/1.2.

With the Samsung Galaxy S III, we can say unequivocally from our own testing that it will recharge when plugged into Plugable four-port hub and fast charger. We hope the Galaxy S III is in the forefront of a wave of devices that support the battery charging spec. But for now, the Galaxy S III’s support of the spec is another plus for a phone that’s already winning rave reviews.

Plugable USB 2.0 4 Port Hub and BC 1.1 Fast Charger with 2.5 Amp Power Adapter, charges Samsung Galaxy S4, iPhone 5,... Product Details $19.95