- USB 2.0 compliant 4-port hub with premium 2.5 A power supply
- Support for the new USB Battery Charging (BC 1.1) specification
- Charges non-BC 1.1 devices at USB 2.0 standard rate: 500mA with computer on
- Charges BC 1.1 compliant devices at up to 3x normal rate (1.5A) on any one port
- See below for our current list of BC 1.1 compatible devices
USB has become more than a way of connecting devices to a computer with plug and play ease and high performance. It has also become the method of choice to power and charge a range of battery-powered devices from headsets to controllers to phones and tablets. Some of those phones and tablets have adopted proprietary mechanisms to draw more power than USB 2.0 was designed to allow – which has caused confusion about charging.
That is being solved by the new USB 2.0 Battery Charging (BC 1.1 and later) standard – when both the device and the hub/charger is BC compliant, it can charge at a faster rate (up to 1.5A) in a standard way.
The Plugable USB2-HUB4BC is among the first of a new generation of USB 2.0 hubs that does everything existing USB hubs do, plus has support for the new Battery Charging standard. So it’s a no-compromise solution for both gaining extra USB ports, and for charging the new generation of BC compliant devices.
BC 1.1 compatible devices
Prior to USB’s new Battery Charging Specification 1.1 specification, compliant devices could draw only 100mA by default, and negotiate up to 500mA.
With a BC 1.1 compatible device and a BC 1.1 compatible hub, charger, or port, up to 1800mA can be drawn from a dedicated charging port (no data), 1500mA when in low/full speed mode, and 900mA when in high speed mode.
Given the growing importance of USB charging, this is a huge advance. But it will take some time (years, probably) for the current mess of proprietary charging solutions on the market to adopt the standard (many of which use a USB cable, but signal in proprietary ways).
Charging rates and notes for specific devices with the Plugable USB2-HUB4BC
|Device||Charging Rate||Charge with computer off? (Y/N)||BC 1.1+?||Notes|
|Google Nexus 7||1400mA||Y||Y|
|Kindle Fire||860mA||Y||Y||Fire stays under 900mA HS limit, even when not connected at HS|
|Kindle Touch||500mA||Y||Y||Allows four Kindle Touches to charge at full rate simultaneously|
|Kindle||500mA||N||N||3G Kindle: If hub is initially computer connected, Kindle continues charging after computer sleeps|
|Apple iPod (9-pin connector)||830mA||Y||Y|
|Apple iPhone (9-pin connector)||830mA||Y||Y|
|Apple iPad Mini (9-pin connector)||830mA||Y||Y|
|Apple iPod (30-pin connector)||500mA||N||N||500mA is ~50% max rate|
|Apple iPhone (30-pin connector)||500mA||N||N||500mA is ~50% max rate|
|Apple iPad (30-pin connector)||500mA||N||N||Only charges with screen off. 500mA is ~25% of max rate|
|ASUS Transformer Prime>||500mA||N||N||Not recommended (use the Prime’s own custom charger)|
General Compatibility and Notes
- All GSMA Universal Charging Solution (UCS) compliant devices should be BC 1.1 compatible (as UCS is built on BC 1.1)
- All Apple devices (iPod, iPhone, iPad circa 2011) use proprietary signaling to charge above 500mA. They are not BC 1.1 compatible
Have a device you’d like to see added to the list? Email us at email@example.com
Frequently Asked Questions
Can the hub charge iPods/iPads and other smartphones?
It does not have special support for Apple proprietary charging, beyond the 500mA rate which is standard for USB 2.0. This means iPads will only trickle charge, and only when the iPad is turned off (if turned on, the iPad will report “Not Charging”). For iPods, iPhones, and other non BC 1.1 compliant devices, it will charge only at the standard 500mA rate.
Can devices be charged without a PC attached (or when the PC is off)?
If the device is BC 1.1 compliant then the device can charge even if the hub is not attached to a PC (or the PC is off). USB 2.0 devices which are non-compliant with the BC 1.1 require device-host negotiation, before they can pull the full 500mA . Without negotiation, these devices can pull some current (< 100mA), but it is not enough to charge most high-power devices.
Is the AC power adapter required?
When the hub’s power adapter is not connected, the hub is capable of running purely from bus power (from the host PC). When a hub reports itself as bus powered to the OS, the OS looks in the USB descriptors for every attached device, sees how much power the device reports that it needs reserved for it, and pops up a error (and possibly disables devices) if the total amount of power requested exceeds what a bus-powered hub in theory can count on pulling, which is 500mA for USB 2.0/1.1. We recommend always using the power adapter for best results.
Does the power supply switch for different regions or is it tied to US voltage and frequency?
The switching power adapter with our 4 port hub supports inputs of 100-240V ~ 50/60 Hz 0.5A. Output is 5V 2.5A and comes with a US standard plug. You will not need a power converter as long as the input is within the given ranges. You might need a plug adapter for different regions which is not included.
The blue light indicates that the hub is receiving power. To test the AC power supply, connect the hub to only the AC adapter and nothing else. The blue light should be on, if it’s not there’s something wrong — contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance.
Is there a way to turn off the blue LED bar on the hub?
No, the LED indicates that the device is powered.
Where to Buy
|Plugable USB 2.0 4 Port Hub and BC 1.1 Fast Charger with 2.5A AC Power Adapter (Charges Kindle Touch and Fire)||Product Details||$19.95|