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#1 Razwald

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Posted 31 December 2017 - 10:20 AM

My question is actually simple its about USB ports.

 

So with all the controls I have. I'm running them through a USB hub. I'm trying to save space in case I get into VR. My joystick is running straight to the computer figured that was the most important didn't want any issues with that one.

 

So when I went into DCS my DIY control panel wasn't there. I pulled it out of the hub and put it into my computer and it showed up. I guess 7 was too many in one hub.

 

So here is my question.

 

So what I have left over for inputs on the backside of the computer is two 3.1 USB and one 3.1 type C. Since USB is all about band width should I just get a second 2.0 hub and split the differnce? 3 controllers on 1 four on the other?  Would a 3.1 hub help at all?

 

My thinking is an extra 2.0 hub would be fine the most tasking controllers I have are the joystick and TrackIR. The control panels and throttle not so much. An extra hub would free up 1 USB port of my choosing either a 2.0 or 3.1.

 

So the other question is, could VR run through a hub? I'm not sure but I think 3 USB's are needed for it. I'm a bit confused about the amount of sensors needed for just flight sims.

 

Thanks,

S!  Razwald



#2 Britchot

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Posted 31 December 2017 - 12:28 PM

For Oculus, you can get away with one sensor (no touch controllers) flying sims. I had mine offset to the right-front for months with zero seated tracking issues. Having two does give you more room vertically, by offsetting the angle the two look at. I have my sensors plugged into a powered hub, but the HMD, itself, is plugged into the back of the computer, directly to the MoBo.

The other questions, I’ll leave to those more knowledgeable than I.

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#3 Luftritter

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Posted 31 December 2017 - 06:37 PM

A lot will depend on your motherboard specs and how the ports are divided up.  If you wanted to maximize throughput though, you would want to get rid of your USB 2.0 hub and get one or more USB 3.1 hubs.  These will generally have USB 3.0 ports for the outputs (the connection to the computer, or "upstream" port is USB 3.1).  Motherboards usually have 2 or more USB controllers.  For reasons I don't fully understand, one is almost always an Intel controller, and the ports run by that are the most reliable.  Then they'll have a second controller, made by Via or some other brand, that control other ports.  Sometimes the USB 2.0 are on one controller, USB 3.0 or 3.1 on the other; it might have a special provision for 3.1 that is separate, etc.  In the BIOS, newer MOBOs can have a setting to enable a charging capability, which allows the USB 3.0 or 3.1 port or ports to supply increased current on their 5 volt supply, for charging phones or even tablets.  The following explains what USB types are capable of in terms of data transfer, and power supplying abilities:

 

USB 2.0:  0.48 Gb/s (480 Mb/s) ; +5 Vdc @ 0.5 A (500 mA)

USB 3.0:  4.8 Gb/s  (4,800 Mb/s);  +5 Vdc @ 0.9 A (900 mA) , or 1.5 A (1,500 mA) in charging mode

USB 3.1:  10 Gb/s  (10,000 Mb/s);  +5 Vdc @ 1.5 A (1,500 mA) , or 3.0 A (3,000 mA) in charging mode

 

Any hub that you buy that is powered (that is, has it's own power supply, as opposed to using the power supplied by the computer through the USB port), is generally capable of running more devices without causing a problem by having the devices draw too much current.  Of course it all depends on what devices you have connected; if the device uses a USB 2.0 plug, you can bet it will draw less than 0.5 A, sometimes a good bit less.  Still, as in your case, having 7 devices connected might well have stressed the power supply enough to cause a device to not work.  My opinion is that is probably what happened in your case....even a powered hub's power supply has it's limits.

 

In any case, it's usually better to connect a device directly to a port on your computer, if you have enough.  In that case, the power requirement and data throughput will be guaranteed to be met.  But if you're connecting a lot of USB 2.0 devices to a 3.1 hub (with 3.0 outputs), there is little chance there will be any problem with data transfer, especially when you're talking about game controllers, keyboards, mice, etc., as opposed to things like flash drives or external SSD's or HDD's, etc.  The latter are of far more concern if you're looking for maximum data transfer rates (bandwidth).

 

Don't forget there is another option as opposed to using a hub.  You could install an add-in card that could provide more USB ports, in many cases up to four.  These can be found in PCI-e X1  interface, with USB 2.0 or 3.0 outputs.  These can have the advantage of being able to supply power from a separate power output from your computer's power supply (not through the card slot) via a separate power input to the card inside the case; and they use their own USB controller.  I believe the maximum data rate for PCIe X1 is 8 Gb/s, so not enough for USB 3.1, but certainly enough for game controllers, etc.  Before buying one of those though, you have to carefully make sure you have a slot available on your MOBO that is not physically covered up in some way, or also will not, if used, cause a downgrade in speed to any of your other PCIe slots (especially X16 slots).  This will generally not be a problem if you use a X1 slot, but can be if you install the card in a long slot (X4/X8/X16 slot).

 

One other thing to remember is that it's best to not use excessively long USB cables or extensions.  These can cause data transfer rate degradations or voltage drops that can cause your device to work intermittently or stop working.  Those won't be a problem if connected directly to a dedicated port, or one on a powered hub.

 

Here's an example of a powered hub that would probably offer good speed and reliability.  You get what you pay for.  My first choice would be to try to do it without using hubs, unless absolutely necessary.  Powered hub  This particular example would connect to your USB type C port.  You should be able to find a model that uses a USB 3.1 type A plug, or you could simply use an adapter cable.

 

S!


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#4 Razwald

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Posted 31 December 2017 - 07:41 PM

A lot will depend on your motherboard specs and how the ports are divided up.  If you wanted to maximize throughput though, you would want to get rid of your USB 2.0 hub and get one or more USB 3.1 hubs.  These will generally have USB 3.0 ports for the outputs (the connection to the computer, or "upstream" port is USB 3.1).  Motherboards usually have 2 or more USB controllers.  For reasons I don't fully understand, one is almost always an Intel controller, and the ports run by that are the most reliable.  Then they'll have a second controller, made by Via or some other brand, that control other ports.  Sometimes the USB 2.0 are on one controller, USB 3.0 or 3.1 on the other; it might have a special provision for 3.1 that is separate, etc.  In the BIOS, newer MOBOs can have a setting to enable a charging capability, which allows the USB 3.0 or 3.1 port or ports to supply increased current on their 5 volt supply, for charging phones or even tablets.  The following explains what USB types are capable of in terms of data transfer, and power supplying abilities:

 

USB 2.0:  0.48 Gb/s (480 Mb/s) ; +5 Vdc @ 0.5 A (500 mA)

USB 3.0:  4.8 Gb/s  (4,800 Mb/s);  +5 Vdc @ 0.9 A (900 mA) , or 1.5 A (1,500 mA) in charging mode

USB 3.1:  10 Gb/s  (10,000 Mb/s);  +5 Vdc @ 1.5 A (1,500 mA) , or 3.0 A (3,000 mA) in charging mode

 

Any hub that you buy that is powered (that is, has it's own power supply, as opposed to using the power supplied by the computer through the USB port), is generally capable of running more devices without causing a problem by having the devices draw too much current.  Of course it all depends on what devices you have connected; if the device uses a USB 2.0 plug, you can bet it will draw less than 0.5 A, sometimes a good bit less.  Still, as in your case, having 7 devices connected might well have stressed the power supply enough to cause a device to not work.  My opinion is that is probably what happened in your case....even a powered hub's power supply has it's limits.

 

In any case, it's usually better to connect a device directly to a port on your computer, if you have enough.  In that case, the power requirement and data throughput will be guaranteed to be met.  But if you're connecting a lot of USB 2.0 devices to a 3.1 hub (with 3.0 outputs), there is little chance there will be any problem with data transfer, especially when you're talking about game controllers, keyboards, mice, etc., as opposed to things like flash drives or external SSD's or HDD's, etc.  The latter are of far more concern if you're looking for maximum data transfer rates (bandwidth).

 

Don't forget there is another option as opposed to using a hub.  You could install an add-in card that could provide more USB ports, in many cases up to four.  These can be found in PCI-e X1  interface, with USB 2.0 or 3.0 outputs.  These can have the advantage of being able to supply power from a separate power output from your computer's power supply (not through the card slot) via a separate power input to the card inside the case; and they use their own USB controller.  I believe the maximum data rate for PCIe X1 is 8 Gb/s, so not enough for USB 3.1, but certainly enough for game controllers, etc.  Before buying one of those though, you have to carefully make sure you have a slot available on your MOBO that is not physically covered up in some way, or also will not, if used, cause a downgrade in speed to any of your other PCIe slots (especially X16 slots).  This will generally not be a problem if you use a X1 slot, but can be if you install the card in a long slot (X4/X8/X16 slot).

 

One other thing to remember is that it's best to not use excessively long USB cables or extensions.  These can cause data transfer rate degradations or voltage drops that can cause your device to work intermittently or stop working.  Those won't be a problem if connected directly to a dedicated port, or one on a powered hub.

 

Here's an example of a powered hub that would probably offer good speed and reliability.  You get what you pay for.  My first choice would be to try to do it without using hubs, unless absolutely necessary.  Powered hub  This particular example would connect to your USB type C port.  You should be able to find a model that uses a USB 3.1 type A plug, or you could simply use an adapter cable.

 

S!

 

I was just behind my computer swapping cables to retrieve some data on my old computer I over looked. When I noticed a cord not plugged in and yes it was the USB hub. I'll check it out when I reswap the cables. I'm sure that is my issue.

 

 

A lot of good info. I may end up getting a 3.1 hub eventually.  I think for now if everything is good, I'm not going to touch anything.



#5 Luftritter

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Posted 31 December 2017 - 09:24 PM

I've always hated the way USB plugs are so cheaply designed and have no decent way of keeping themselves securely connected.  IMHO they were designed for temporarily connected devices originally, but have now become universal; even for important, permanently connected devices.

 

 

Here is my method for keeping USB plugs securely connected on the back of the computer, and for providing stress relief:

 

 

 

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#6 Razwald

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Posted 31 December 2017 - 11:16 PM

So there isn't any confusion on my bonehead oversight. It was a power cord that wasn't plugged in. I agree on the poor design on USB connectors. I do have to be careful not to knock my cables out of my USB hub. On the other hand my motherboard has very tight and secure fittings for the USB ports.



#7 Razwald

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Posted 01 January 2018 - 02:55 AM

Ok got it. Ignore everything above. So no matter what I did couldn't get my Warthog stick and my DIY panel to work in BOS. So I did some investigating. I had double the amount of devices in BOS and 1 triple. The triple was my joystick which I had to replace recently. So basically I had 13 devices in my file 7 registries from my old computer which pushed my new setup down. I guess BOS didn't like devices ID numbers after 10.



#8 Luftritter

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Posted 01 January 2018 - 02:23 PM

Glad you got it figured out, Raz! It's always fun to talk about hardware, and USB is a cause of problems for a lot of people. Maybe somebody else will get a tidbit of help from these discussions 🙂
"People who believe they are ignorant of nothing have neither looked for, nor stumbled upon, the boundary between what is known and unknown in the universe." -Neil deGrasse Tyson

#9 Britchot

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Posted 01 January 2018 - 02:45 PM

It was a great discussion. I edited the title to reflect the USB topic.
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