When using different USB devices in your PC, you may have found two issues:
- You run out of ports in your PC: most PCs come with 4 USB ports, and for some applications, like the ones we will show you below in the demo, you may need more than that. If you already have set up your USB-based keyboard, mouse, printer and scanner you can’t even add memory card readers, charging/syncing cables for your phones, tablets and other portable devices. Connecting and disconnecting the devices that you use on a daily basis is not really comfortable nor productive.
- You may also have one of your PC’s USB port broken, so you are more limited. Fixing this can be same price as what we suggest to use in this post and you’ll gain ports with our solution 🙂
Luckily, there is a nice solution for that: an USB hub! We have tried the 7-port USB 3.0 Hub from Gearbest:
It’s got the following features:
- Fully compliant with USB 3.0 / 2.0 / 1.1
- Supports hot swap, just plug and play
- Compatible with Windows / MAC / Linux
- It’s powered from your PC through an USB port
- It’s got a switch per USB port, so you can turn on and off each USB individually
- It doesn’t require any additional driver installation
- It’s really affordable. Check it here
If you read our blog, you may know already that we like to play with RTL-SDR dongles as well as WiFi adapters and, like the rest of humans beings, we also use pen-drives for storage.
For this demo, we have connected these devices in our hub and turn each switch on:
Now, without installing anything else, by checking our PC’s Device Manager, we can quickly identify the NetGear WiFi adapter and one of the RTL-SDR dongles:
Also, in our file explorer, we find the pen-drive:
Now, for the tricky bit (make sure both RTL-SDR dongles are working), we previously changed their serial numbers to make sure we can differentiate them and now, with the dongles plugged in the hub, we run this Python script:
And voilà! This is the result:
We didn’t mention that the hub looks quite good, so our rating for it is 10/10 🙂
As you can see, all devices were easily identified and we can connect some more. Actually, we are preparing a new post where we will use at least 3 RTL-SDR dongles, but it will be scalable to N dongles, and they will be plugged in this hub.
You can also have different WiFi adapters, your phone charging, pen-drives with virtual machines or just storage…the uses are numerous! How would you use it? Just curious! 😀