Category Archives: News

Using the USB2-E100 on Windows RT

Officially, we don’t support our USB 2.0 10/100 Network Adapter on Windows RT. This is because Windows RT won’t recognize it automatically — Windows RT 8.1 lacks the plug and play IDs, and doesn’t provide a way to install INFs or 3rd party drivers to provide them after the fact. The full Intel/AMD version of Windows has none of these issues. So skip this post unless you’re on an ARM-based Windows tablet.

But for those with an ARM-based Surface or other Windows RT device running 8.1 — If you jump through a few hoops, you may find that the adapter does work just fine on RT, using binaries that are already on the system.

Windows RT puts devices it doesn’t recognize under the “Other devices” category in Device Manager. While the drivers exist on the machine to get ASIX 88772-based network adapters working, the operating system can’t figure that out on it’s own. What it needs is to be force-fed the correct ASIX driver. The following slideshow with screenshots details that process.


(Click the right arrow to navigate through the slideshow)

As a side note, this same process works with the USB2-MICRO-200X. The only differences are the following:

6mIn step 6 “Imaging devices” needs to be selected instead of “Network adapter”
7mIn step 7 the manufacturer is “Microsoft” and the model is “USB Video Device”.

Have any questions or tips for other users with RT devices? Feel free to comment below. Thanks!

Zoom Behavior on the USB2-Micro200X USB Microscope

Our Plugable Micro 200X USB Microscope is a wonderful tool for individuals interested in the finer points of the world around them, or teachers trying to get students engaged in the classroom. But how do the optics actually work?  This article will address how the Varifocal Lens works in relation to our microscope.

First off, what is a Varifocal Lens? Wikipedia defines a varifocal lens as “a lens with variable focal length in which focus changes as focal length (and magnification) changes”.  Inside the microscope, there is a lens on rails that moves toward and away from the imager as the focusing ring is rotated, which changes the focus point and magnification of the object at the focus point. Most “zoom” cameras work this way, with the exception of high end SLR lenses that employ very expensive to manufacture lens arrays.

For example, in the images below the Plugable logo is positioned several inches in front of the camera.

In this picture the lens is focused further out, which decreases magnification. Notice how blurry things get outside the where the lens is focused, and the overall magnification of the image.

Photo on 1-22-14 at 3.09 PM

Now below, the camera and the object haven’t moved, but the focus has been adjusted. Notice it looks slightly bigger, and the closer part of the logo is sharper? That’s because the lens is directing light differently than before. Not only has the focal length changed, but the magnification has increased.

Photo on 1-22-14 at 3.10 PM

 

What these characteristics gives us is a camera with the ability to vary magnification and focal length, which allows some fairly powerful magnification. Examples below show successively closer views of the P on the Plugable logo. You can start to see that it’s made of individual dots the close you get, and the last one you can see all the colors the grey is made up of!

Photo on 1-22-14 at 4.26 PM #2Photo on 1-22-14 at 4.20 PM Photo on 1-22-14 at 4.22 PM Photo on 1-22-14 at 4.23 PM

Plugable USB3-HUB4AC1

Plugable Launches New Aluminum SuperSpeed Hub

USB gets used for everything. Today’s tablets and ultrabooks just don’t have enough ports. You don’t want to be stressing the few ports you have with constant plugs & unplugs every time you want to use a different device.

And these same USB ports are needed for charging all your mobile devices — but charging on USB is not well standardized, and there are many devices out there (like Apple’s) that won’t charge on a “normal” USB port .. at least not while the computer is sleeping.

We designed our new USB 3.0 hub to solve both of these issues. Built in solid brushed aluminum, the Plugable USB3-HUB4AC1 provides 4 standard USB 3.0 ports with the latest chipset and firmware (VL812 firmware 9081). Plus it provides a single dedicated charging port, that will charge most devices at fast rates, even when your computer is off.

Using Aluminum for the body looks great, dissipates heat better, and is arguably more recyclable: the plastic ends can be removed, and the PCB slid out, leaving only aluminum to recycle. This new 4 port model rounds out our Aluminum USB hub line, which also includes an existing 7 port model.

Power Details

Unlike its larger 7 port predecessor, the USB3-HUB4AC1 has a 5th port dedicated to charging. This port stands out from the rest with a bold red connector. No data communication will happen here but for charging, it’s got you covered. This port replicates the Apple 2.1A charging signal. What that means is that it is fully compatible with iPhones, iPads, iPods, etc. Most Android devices will also recognize this signal.  The best feature of having a dedicated charge only port is when compared to other hubs that support charging and data, most charge functions only occur when the host computer is either off, in sleep mode, or not present. This port charges independent of a host PC regardless. Charging rates are device dependent, see the USB3-HUB4AC1 product page for details.

Compatibility

USB3-HUB4AC1 units have been tested to work well with both Windows 8.1, and OS X 10.9.x, as well as older systems running Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP, and OS X systems with both USB 3.0 and USB 2.0. Older USB 1.1 devices connected to USB 2.0 systems via the hub are also supported.

Convenience

For desktop PCs where USB 3.0 ports may be hard to reach, the HUB4AC1′s design with top-facing angled ports can make connecting devices easier. The extra ports on a USB hub can also help avoid damaging built-in ports when frequently swapping devices. The built-in power button on the hub also makes for a convenient way to quickly disable all attached devices with the press of a single button, to make sure attached USB devices are off and saving power.

Power

With the included robust 12 volt 2.5 amp power supply, more than enough power to operate several power-hungry devices is available, 30 watts to be exact. Even when charging a 2 amp tablet, there is a full 20 watts left over to power all four data ports at the full USB 3.0 900mA per port specification.

One exception of note is the Apple “SuperDrive” which requires a direct connection to a supported Mac. From http://support.apple.com/kb/HT2801

The SuperDrive is designed exclusively for use with MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, and Mac mini’s that do not have a built-in optical drive. The SuperDrive must be directly plugged into the computer’s USB port, and cannot be used if connected to a USB hub.”

Any questions? Feel free to comment below or just email support@plugable.com. We’re happy to help. Thanks for going out of your way for Plugable products!

Plugable 4-Port Aluminum USB 3.0 SuperSpeed Hub with Dedicated 2.1A Charging Port and 30W Power Adapter (VIA VL812 R... Product Details
$29.95