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Adding USB ports

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rjack22

Guest
#1
I want to add some more USB ports to my system. The two that came with the system are both being used, one for my printer and the other for my digital camera.

I do not want an external hub. Too many cables makes a mess. So I guess that brings me to two choices. I can add a PCI USB port card or I have seen ports that mount in a drive bay thereby giving you front of the case access. My question is...how do these drive bay USB ports connect to my system? They say the power is from the floppy drive power connection. But how does it connect to the USB? Would it plug into one of my existing USB ports? If so, that could be messy looking as well. Does anyone know?
 
#2
they normally attatch to motherboards will extra usb port capabilities. you should check your moterboard/pc manual to see if it has that option.
 
#3
I have just put in a USB 2.0 PCI card that added 5 new ports, no connection required, plug it in XP give new 2.0 drivers and away you go.

Belkin produced the card NEC chipset. check their site www.belkin.com
 

madmatt

Bow Down to the King
Political User
#4
I beg the differ on a USB hub. I have a Belkin and it is bus powered so the only cable/wire is the one that plugs into the PC (USB).

So if you bought a four port USB hub, basically all you would have to do is run it to an open USB port on your PC and then you have four additional ports.
 
#6
I used too have two of those. PCI USB cards are easy to install and work ok...but I would get ( actually I have ) a USB 2.0 card.
 

Hipster Doofus

Good grief Charlie Brown
#7
I just installed a 4 port usb pci card. It came with a driver for xp but I did not need it. Turned the computer on & it installed itself. What a breeze. :D
 

Taurus

hardware monkey
#8
jackson,

i'm willing to bet your motherboard has extra usb headers on it... waiting to have a rear bracket or front bay thingie plugged into them.

to tell if they're currently activated, go into device manager and open "Universal Serial Bus controllers" and see how many "USB Root Hubs" you have installed. each one is 2 ports... so one is for the two ports in back that you're using... and each hub after that is 2 more ports waiting to be used.

if you only see one, then your motherboard doesn't have any others or they're disabled in the bios.

look into it, man.
 
B

bruce_ers00

Guest
#9
Originally posted by madmatt
I beg the differ on a USB hub. I have a Belkin and it is bus powered so the only cable/wire is the one that plugs into the PC (USB).

So if you bought a four port USB hub, basically all you would have to do is run it to an open USB port on your PC and then you have four additional ports.
I had a Belkin USB hub too. However, the above statement is only true to a point. The bus power is not always enough to run a specific device or devices. If the device your plugging into the hub does not have it's own power supply, your going to get an error that not enough resource exist to power the device therefore needing an AC adapter to plug into the USB hub. That creates two additional wires (creating more mess). I have to agree with the USB PCI card addition. USB ports are very limited and seem to be the most used ports these days. I am glad new systems are coming with more ports. My system alone came with 6, 4 in the back of my PC and two in the front for easy access. :) This still doesn't seem like enough.
 
#10
USB ports - how many is enough? I have 4 front, 4 rear now another 4 USB2 plus 1 internal USB2 - each port can run 127 devices! :) that's 1,651 wow! :D I only have 8 devices I'd better get cracking lot to do no time to do it....:eek:
 
R

rjack22

Guest
#11
Extra USB ports

Taurus,


Yes, my motherboard has those extra connectors. I'm not just sure how to use them. I thought adding the PCI card would just be easier.

I am torn between adding USB ports on the back or on the front of the case.

Right now I only have two USB devices, my printer and my digital camera. It would be great to have the digital camera plugged into the front, but all others would be better on the back, such as a keyboard or mouse. So I am leaning towards having them on the back.

BTW: I am a woman. ( I know you didn't know)
 

madmatt

Bow Down to the King
Political User
#12
Re: Extra USB ports

Originally posted by rjack22
BTW: I am a woman. ( I know you didn't know)
Well, the name in your sig sort of gives that away.

I think you should first give a USB hub a try, only $20 at your local Wal-Mart, just make sure you get one that is BUS powered. You would be suprised at the ease of installation and use. Only one wire.

And at $20 it is hardly a waste of money and can server other purposes in the future even if you decide to go an alternate route.

Good luck.
 
R

rjack22

Guest
#13
hubs

Just to be sure that I understand this correctly. Bus powered means no AC adaptor is required right?

I have been told that if I go this route that I should make sure that I get one that IS AC powered. But then again it depends on the kind of devices you are using. My printer for example has its own power supply and would be fine without additional power. What about devices such as keyboards or mice? Digital cameras?
 

madmatt

Bow Down to the King
Political User
#14
BUS powered runs off PC power, meaning no AC adaptor requried.

The only problem I ran into was the hub didn't have enough power to power my cam, mouse, keyboard, and flashcard reader (since the cam uses a lot of power I had to redirect it to another port).
 
#15
There are 2 considerations with USB ports.

1. if the device does not have it's own power supply it takes it from the USB port this is limited to a maximum of 500 mA per port.

2. Each device takes a certain amount of bandwidth, once a 100% is reach you have problems, a std mouse for example is about 12 to 15% in bandwidth - an unpowered scanner may need a full 500 mA on it's port - it's all a question of balance ;)
 
B

bruce_ers00

Guest
#16
Originally posted by madmatt
BUS powered runs off PC power, meaning no AC adaptor requried.

The only problem I ran into was the hub didn't have enough power to power my cam, mouse, keyboard, and flashcard reader (since the cam uses a lot of power I had to redirect it to another port).
I am aware of that. :D The problem again, there is not enough resources available to power many devices plugged into a USB hub if there is no external power supply for (either) the USB hub OR the USB devices plugged into the hub. Sooner or later you will run into this problem. Be it one device or 4 devices (depending on the hub).

Either way both are good options, hub or PCI card. It's up to the user to decide if he/she wants ease w/install or less mess. :p
 

Taurus

hardware monkey
#17
i'm pretty sure most usb hubs come with an ac adapter but it's optional.. it works either way.

since your motehrboard has those extra ports, though, you sure it didn't come with any usb brackets? i attached an un-focused picture to try to show you what one looks like if you were drunk. there are also ones that go in drive bats so you can have usb ports on the front of your computer and they connect to your motherboard in the same fashion.

if you don't have any, i'm sure you can buy them at your local geek store for a bit less than a whole seperate pci card or hub. your computer already has the ports and they're installed... just get the bracket so you can use em.
 
R

rjack22

Guest
#19
Thank you everyone for your input. I have decided to go with a USB 2.0 5-Ports 3.5" Front Panel Internal Hub. This package features a front panel with three USB ports and a PCI card with two USB ports. After I install it I will have four rear USB ports and three front USB ports. I bought it on eBay. Here is a link if anyone else is interested. http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=2060497677&rd=1

This is the best of both worlds because although I want some front access ports for convienence, I also wanted more rear ports for things that are permantently plugged in like printers, keyboard, moue, etc. Things like my digital camera and gamepad can plug in the front when required.
 

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