Is my USB Hub 2.1 faulty?

MammonMachiner
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Is my USB Hub 2.1 faulty?

Unread post by MammonMachiner »

(Final Edit: Just wanted to add that Ken of LegacyPixels reached out to me and offered to send me a new hub, free of charge! It even has a new special modification of his own design that should help with wifi issues. He shipped it out within hours of his first e-mail! You really can't beat that kind of customer service.

I also wanted to say, for the record, I truly had no ill-intent when I mentioned his company in one of my comments below. I bought my IO board and RAM from him too and it's all very well made. The issues I'm dealing with may be, and likely are, from something else entirely. Nonetheless, he was generous enough to send me a new board and I'm very grateful for that. I'd definitely recommend him to anyone else interested in Mister stuff. Thanks again, Ken!)

Hi, I'm new to the Mister project and I'm just now finalizing my build. I've had the USB hub for about 3 weeks (around when I first built my Mister) and I've been having an issue where I could only have around 3 (or maybe 4) things plugged in at one time, otherwise I'd experience issues. I wrote this off as being a power issue with the stock PSU. Well, today I finally got a new PSU from zerohimself (5v 4 amp), along with the y-splitter/power button cord from misteraddons, and when I tried using more than 4 ports, I was getting the same strange issue where the USB LEDs would sporadically flash or not come on at all on a few of the ports. Just to clarify, I have 3 8bitdo pads plugged in, a logitech 400 unifying dongle, and tried adding a bluetooth and wifi adapter (both from misteraddons). The LEDs for the last two would never go solid green and wouldn't work at all.

If anyone has any idea on what the problem is, I'd really appreciate the info. Thanks in advance!

Edit: Just turned on the Mister again and two of the ram-side USBs are a solid green and one isn't working at all, while the three LEDs opposite of the ram are blinking successively (one, two, three, one, two, three, etc). This seems so strange.

Edit 2: Just realized the splitter + power button cord I just got from misteraddons is "rated for 2A." https://misteraddons.com/products/in-line-power-switch Could that be the problem?
breakbeatscientist
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Re: Is my USB Hub 2.1 faulty?

Unread post by breakbeatscientist »

It does sound like your USB hub may be faulty. Have you tried powering the USB hub and the DE-10 Nano with individual power supplies instead of the Y-Splitter? Also try rearranging the USB peripherals into different ports.
MammonMachiner
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Re: Is my USB Hub 2.1 faulty?

Unread post by MammonMachiner »

breakbeatscientist wrote: Fri Mar 26, 2021 2:45 am It does sound like your USB hub may be faulty. Have you tried powering the USB hub and the DE-10 Nano with individual power supplies instead of the Y-Splitter? Also try rearranging the USB peripherals into different ports.
I just tried that after your suggestion (used the 4amp PSU for the hub and the stock PSU for the DE-10) and it didn't make a difference. I can have four controllers plugged in, no problem, but if I try to add a fifth the lights on a few of the other ports start blinking sporadically and they don't work. I also noticed that when I only had the wifi dongle plugged in with my keyboard dongle, the keyboard would blink sporadically until I unplugged the wifi dongle. Seems like the Wifi dongle by itself causes issues (and this is the one sold on misteraddons).

To add insult to injury, I realized that I've had this hub longer than I thought. I actually bought it slightly over a month ago so I imagine returning it won't be possible now. I got it from legacypixels because they had good reviews. Maybe it's not the board but I don't know what else it could be at this point.

For what's it's worth, I re-seated the bridge connector because it looked like there was a bit of a gap left between the connector and the board. I guess that's by design though because I wasn't able to push the connector onto the pins any further than they already were. I'm at a loss.
breakbeatscientist
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Re: Is my USB Hub 2.1 faulty?

Unread post by breakbeatscientist »

Do you keep the WiFi dongle plugged in at all times? Also from what I remember the USB port next to the power connector on the USB hub can be used to charge certain peripherals maybe try using that port for the most power hungry device.
This is the WiFi dongle I use and have never had an issue with it.
https://www.amazon.com/TP-Link-Mini-Wir ... 894&sr=8-4
MammonMachiner
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Re: Is my USB Hub 2.1 faulty?

Unread post by MammonMachiner »

breakbeatscientist wrote: Fri Mar 26, 2021 4:07 am Do you keep the WiFi dongle plugged in at all times? Also from what I remember the USB port next to the power connector on the USB hub can be used to charge certain peripherals maybe try using that port for the most power hungry device.
This is the WiFi dongle I use and have never had an issue with it.
https://www.amazon.com/TP-Link-Mini-Wir ... 894&sr=8-4
I had planned to do that just so I wouldn't need to mess with it again (and so I'd have the clock). As it stands, I can't get it to work even when nothing else is plugged in. The USB LED always blinks when I plug it in; it's never solid. The bluetooth adapter isn't working either. It will stay solid for a bit, then it starts blinking randomly for a few seconds, then back to solid. As for the gamepads, I noticed that the d9 daptor that I ordered (to use original sega, atari, colecovision controllers) doesn't work unless I only have two other things plugged in. This definitely appears to be a lack of power issue and I don't know what could be causing it. I would think it might be the splitter/power button cord, but even with separate PSUs the behavior seems to be the same.

Kind of wishing I hadn't bought the hub now and just opted for a cheaper external one. No one seems to have issues with them.
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Threepwood
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Re: Is my USB Hub 2.1 faulty?

Unread post by Threepwood »

The MiSTer USB Hub 2.1 is simply not well designed and there are issues to be expected with it, when you use many devices or power hungry things, like usb powered 2.5" hdds. You may be better off with a normal, professionally implemented USB hub that is powered. See this thread: viewtopic.php?f=8&t=2116&p=19149 :
Update: Someone on the MiSTer FPGA Computer Facebook group said this,

The MiSTer USB HUB v2.1 is known for having a 2-layer layout, without a reference ground plane under the upstream USB port which concentrates all the traffic with the DE10-Nano. Wrong return path in GND and wrong 90-differential impedance transmission lines without the reference ground plane on that upstream port... and other “features” implemented for DIY “AS IS”...
That board works well for low-speed connections and few USB endpoints.
If you are intended to mix full-speed and several high-speed peripherals you better use an external USB HUB, professionally implemented by any hardware manufacturer.
Hope this comment helps understand your MiSTer related issue.
MammonMachiner
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Joined: Sun Mar 21, 2021 9:58 pm

Re: Is my USB Hub 2.1 faulty?

Unread post by MammonMachiner »

Threepwood wrote: Fri Mar 26, 2021 10:40 am The MiSTer USB Hub 2.1 is simply not well designed and there are issues to be expected with it, when you use many devices or power hungry things, like usb powered 2.5" hdds. You may be better off with a normal, professionally implemented USB hub that is powered. See this thread: viewtopic.php?f=8&t=2116&p=19149 :
Update: Someone on the MiSTer FPGA Computer Facebook group said this,

The MiSTer USB HUB v2.1 is known for having a 2-layer layout, without a reference ground plane under the upstream USB port which concentrates all the traffic with the DE10-Nano. Wrong return path in GND and wrong 90-differential impedance transmission lines without the reference ground plane on that upstream port... and other “features” implemented for DIY “AS IS”...
That board works well for low-speed connections and few USB endpoints.
If you are intended to mix full-speed and several high-speed peripherals you better use an external USB HUB, professionally implemented by any hardware manufacturer.
Hope this comment helps understand your MiSTer related issue.
I'm getting that impression from the other threads of people dealing with similar issues. I still think this is beyond that though. I mean, the wifi dongle will not give me a solid LED even when it's the only thing plugged in. It just blinks forever. What could be causing that? Are there any suggestions for y splitters that don't limit your PSU? That's about the only other thing I can think of.

Edit: Just wanted to add that Ken of LegacyPixels reached out to me and offered to send me a new hub, free of charge! It even has a new special modification of his own design that should help with wifi issues. He shipped it out within hours of his first e-mail! You really can't beat that kind of customer service.

I also wanted to say, for the record, I truly had no ill-intent when I mentioned his company in one of my comments. I bought my IO board and RAM from him too and it's all very well made. The issues I'm dealing with may be, and likely are, from something else entirely. Nonetheless, he was generous enough to send me a new board and I'm very grateful for that. I'd definitely recommend him to anyone else interested in Mister stuff. Thanks again, Ken!
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