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USB 3.0 Hubs comparison

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#1 H-Alfa

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Posted 03 January 2020 - 01:25 PM

Hello,

 

I'm on the market for upgrading my Generic USB Hub for a better one. I'm have had connection issues these days and even when I'm not sure if the usb hub has the culprit, I think it's time to replace it.

In a previous thread, the user jdupont share a really valuable information (for me, at least so thank you John!) regarding how the usb hubs works. That made think that I must go for a 4 port hub, to achieve more straightforward connections. Luckily my equipment requires only 4 data ports, so I will go for it.

 

In any case (and that's the reason of this tread) I have made a 2h research about different high quality USB hub, to make a comparison table and try to see which kind of features have I to look for. Most of them are Industrial Grade ones.

I would like to share it here, as I found some points that I really don't understand and maybe someone with more knowledge that me can make an interesting insight. I really miss an in deep discussion about USB Hub. seems that many of ours have issues with them, but there are not much than "this one worked for me" comments. Don't get me wrong, I would appreciate every of this comments, but every system is unique and I will not buy a >50€ device only because it works to someone with a equipment radically different than mine. I'm sure that there's something more...if not, USB hubs would not exist!

 

hubs-2.png

 

There will be much more options, for sure. If you know some, please share here, if I have time, I will update the table.

 

Regarding Chipsets, you can find official info here:

Genesys Logic: http://www.genesyslo...hp?1st=3&2nd=10

VIA: https://www.via-labs.com/product.php

ASMedia: https://www.asmedia....83&cate_index=0

 

Now, some points:

-What's TAA Compliant? I see that concept in some Industrial Hub claims, but not sure the requisites.

-What about the chipsets? Do someone knows which is better? I found one source putting VIA in first position and Genesys Logic, but don't know why.

-There's any source where I could see wich USB hubs have, let's say VIA chipsets?

-Very curious that this "innocent" Delock 63309 is the only one that meets 10Gbps, and has the most advanced VIA chipset.

-Anker is not on the list. I know that they are reliable, but they don't have any 4 port powered hub and they don't share which chipset do they use.

-I've seen other brands that seem to be high quality, but they don't meet my specifications (400€? Ouch!)

 

Right know I have the Startech ST4300U3C3 on my Amazon's basket, but I'm opened to read more options/suggestions.

Edit: I have now the Orico M3H4-G2 on my Aliexpress basket... I will investigate a bit more before taking a decision.

 

Thank you in advance!

 

(Please take into account that my knowledge about computers is limited to "standard user".)


Edited by H-Alfa, 03 January 2020 - 03:13 PM.

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#2 rgsalinger

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Posted 03 January 2020 - 02:00 PM

I have three of the ST7300USBME hubs. They range from 3-5 years old. Zero problems, zero failures in an observatory setting where they are used a least 100 nights a year.

Rgrds-Ross


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#3 Exciton

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Posted 03 January 2020 - 02:15 PM

H-Alpha,

 

A very nice start to your research.  I have also been looking at various hubs and considering implementing them into my telescope mount.  In my mind, two purposes that the hub needs to serve are 1) moving data from the main and guide cameras to a laptop, and 2) powering the cameras, mount, and all other electronics on or near the mount.  Thus, I think you should expand your table to include 1) specified data transfer rate of the hub (i.e. 680 Mb/sec or 5 Gb/sec data rate for moving data around), and 2) power supply rating (they usually spec 5V at 2.5A, 5V at 3A, etc) to let us know how much DC power the hub can provide to all of the accessories.  It seems that the hubs you list are relatively expensive, when I look on Amazon or the electronics stores, there are lots of powered USB hubs in the US$15-40 price range.  I wonder how they would compare.  Too many choices, too little good information....thanks for working on this- it will be interesting to see how your table fills out.

 

Exciton


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#4 shortonjr

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Posted 03 January 2020 - 02:18 PM

I use this longer than a year with no issues. Runs using 12v off the battery and when the device is connected the blue light comes on to let you know that it's working. I mounted mine with zip-ties to the stalk.

 

https://www.startech...Hub~ST7300USB3B


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#5 f430

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Posted 03 January 2020 - 02:27 PM

I've been using one ST7300U3M for 2 years now without any faults or failures. Its on a mount setup in my backyard, only covered with a tarp when not in use. 


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#6 H-Alfa

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Posted 03 January 2020 - 03:35 PM

Hello,

 

I've updated the first post, includind additional info, as well as the brand ORICO.

 

Regarding your replies, thank you so much.

 

rgsalinger, f430, shortonjr, thank you, I have heard a lot of users using startech with succes. My concern about this model (7 port) is what I have pointed about the explanation that jdupont shared.

https://www.cloudyni...178m/?p=9619277

I'm not really sure, but I suspect that my problems come from the mix of devices in the same hop USB, as I use a 10 port hub, that seems to have this typology:

 

post-160007-0-53749700-1567621656.png

 

 

and, if I understood correctly, a 7 port, would have 3 direct ports and 4 "hopped" ports.

 

 

Maybe it would be interesting if you could share how do you use your ports.

 

Mine is like this:

1. IMAGING CAMERA (QHY163M - USB 3.0)

2. MOUNT (HEQ5(EQDIR) - USB 2.0)

3 (AKA 3.1). GUIDE CAMERA (QHY178M - USB 3.0)

4 (AKA 3.2). FOCUSER/ROTATOR CONTROLLER (SELETEK ARMADILLO2 - USB 2.0)

 

If I mix the mount with the focuser, the mount fails. If I mix the guide camrea with the focuser, the guide camera fails...

 

Regards.



#7 MikeMiller

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Posted 03 January 2020 - 03:57 PM

I have used several StarTech hubs and have been happy with all of them. The 12v connector is very easy to use. 

 

I still have one in my computer box, but on the OTA now rides a Pegasus



#8 rgsalinger

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Posted 03 January 2020 - 04:27 PM

While a 7 port hub would, indeed have 3 direct and 4 hopped, it's rare that this is a problem. I have, in one case, a full hub attached to a complex system of four cameras, two focusers and a filter wheel. This has been running this way now for about 3 years with zero problems. We did move the USB 3 camera directly over to the PC to get a better frame rate but that's all we've seen. We connect the mount also directly to the PC. 

Rgrds-Ross


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#9 jdupton

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Posted 03 January 2020 - 05:59 PM

Alberto,

 

and, if I understood correctly, a 7 port, would have 3 direct ports and 4 "hopped" ports.

 

 

Maybe it would be interesting if you could share how do you use your ports.

 

Mine is like this:

1. IMAGING CAMERA (QHY163M - USB 3.0)

2. MOUNT (HEQ5(EQDIR) - USB 2.0)

3 (AKA 3.1). GUIDE CAMERA (QHY178M - USB 3.0)

4 (AKA 3.2). FOCUSER/ROTATOR CONTROLLER (SELETEK ARMADILLO2 - USB 2.0)

 

If I mix the mount with the focuser, the mount fails. If I mix the guide camrea with the focuser, the guide camera fails...

 

   You are correct about the configuration. As Ross indicated, for the equipment you list, a 7 port Hub should work out well. You need only be careful about what you connect where. (And the 7 port Hub would give you some room for expansion in the future if needed.)

 

   To hook up your system, put the high bandwidth devices on the direct ports of the hub. Put low bandwidth devices on the cascaded (hopped) ports. I would suggest configuring as follows:

 

7 Port Powered USB Hub

Direct Ports:

  • IMAGING CAMERA (QHY163M - USB 3.0)
  • GUIDE CAMERA (QHY178M - USB 3.0)
  • Spare for future use -- High bandwidth or Low latency

Cascaded Ports

  • MOUNT (HEQ5(EQDIR) - USB 2.0)
  • (AKA 3.2). FOCUSER/ROTATOR CONTROLLER (SELETEK ARMADILLO2 - USB 2.0)
  • Spare for future use -- Lower bandwidth / Normal Latency 
  • Spare for future use -- Lower bandwidth / Normal Latency

   You can use a utility like USB_Tree_View to help you figure out which are the direct and which are cascaded ports.

 

   I am not sure why the mount and focuser do not like to coexist. Since both are likely really Serial devices, this may be a COM port or interrupt conflict rather than a USB issue per se.

 

 

John


Edited by jdupton, 03 January 2020 - 07:24 PM.

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#10 SonnyE

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Posted 03 January 2020 - 07:08 PM

I tried a few non-powered USB hubs, but they were cheap with cheap results. I finally got smart, and a friend recommended the Star-Tech to me.

I've use the 7 port STM 7300U3M for ~4 years, no problem and great results. Powered off my mount battery with all the rest of the stuff.

 

I have my hub mounted to my Focuser box with Velcro, and a Velcro strap to keep it a bit more rigid. Then short USB cables to bring the camera's, focuser, and mount all together with a single USB-B to USB-A cable off the mount.

All my computer based programs work fine through the single cable. I credit the Powered Star Tech Hub for the success.

Much better than when I began with a loom of individual cables to work with.



#11 H-Alfa

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Posted 03 January 2020 - 08:21 PM

Alberto,

 

 

   You are correct about the configuration. As Ross indicated, for the equipment you list, a 7 port Hub should work out well. You need only be careful about what you connect where. (And the 7 port Hub would give you some room for expansion in the future if needed.)

 

   To hook up your system, put the high bandwidth devices on the direct ports of the hub. Put low bandwidth devices on the cascaded (hopped) ports. I would suggest configuring as follows:

 

7 Port Powered USB Hub

Direct Ports:

  • IMAGING CAMERA (QHY163M - USB 3.0)
  • GUIDE CAMERA (QHY178M - USB 3.0)
  • Spare for future use -- High bandwidth or Low latency

Cascaded Ports

  • MOUNT (HEQ5(EQDIR) - USB 2.0)
  • (AKA 3.2). FOCUSER/ROTATOR CONTROLLER (SELETEK ARMADILLO2 - USB 2.0)
  • Spare for future use -- Lower bandwidth / Normal Latency 
  • Spare for future use -- Lower bandwidth / Normal Latency

   You can use a utility like USB_Tree_View to help you figure out which are the direct and which are cascaded ports.

 

   I am not sure why the mount and focuser do not like to coexist. Since both are likely really Serial devices, this may be a COM port or interrupt conflict rather than a USB issue per se.

 

 

John

Hi John,

 

Thank you for the reply.

 

You can use a utility like USB_Tree_View to help you figure out which are the direct and which are cascaded ports.

Yes, I use USB View to monitor every time I connect the equipment... and it always starts with some errors, and then it reconfigures the ports and then the warnings disappear. It happens so quickly so I can't explain more in detail. I think I will make a slow-mo video and share here...

 

I am not sure why the mount and focuser do not like to coexist. Since both are likely really Serial devices, this may be a COM port or interrupt conflict rather than a USB issue per se.

Sorry, because I didn't explain correctly. By the tests I made, I think that it is not that the mount or guide camera don't like to be with the focusser.

The point is that the mount and the camera want to be in a direct port.

 

Anyway, I don't want to hijack my own thread, sorry for going inside my own problems.

 

So John, if I can make you 2 questions...

 

-Do you know what the chipsets do, and if they are responsible of the never-endind story between connection issues and astrophotography?? Or long story short, is VIA better that Genesys Logic?

 

-Will the new USB 3.1 10Gbps Hubs improve this connection issues?

 

Thank you in advance.


Edited by H-Alfa, 03 January 2020 - 08:24 PM.


#12 rhcrooks

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Posted 04 January 2020 - 01:33 AM

I've never had a problem with any StarTech device vs the equivalents. They also have an english website that doesn't have any broken links.

 

StarTech is what you want here I think.


Edited by rhcrooks, 04 January 2020 - 01:34 AM.


#13 psandelle

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Posted 04 January 2020 - 11:20 AM

Three ST4300's (one going strong since 2012) and one ST7300. No hiccups. I will say, though, I traded them and all my Anderson Powerpole splitters that I used as power hubs for a Pegasus Astro Ultimate Powerbox V2.

 

Paul



#14 rgsalinger

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Posted 04 January 2020 - 01:15 PM

When figuring USB things out, don't forget to look at the USB topology inside your computer. Some computers, like laptops, have only a single internal hub, others have many. Some cannot (my experience) deliver full power to more than one device that needs it. I used to have trouble with my SBIG STi guide camera which had a shutter (I miss it sometimes) because of that. 

Rgrds-Ross


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#15 HxPI

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Posted 04 January 2020 - 01:20 PM

I use the Anker 7 port hub and had no problems with them. Pegasus Astro has a 6 port hub coming out that should work well also. I use an Anker 7 port and Pegasus Astro Ultimate Power Box V2. The only high speed devices used are ASI cameras, which go into the first port on each hub.

 

https://www.anker.co...30-hub/A7505112

https://pegasusastro...sb-control-hub/


Edited by HxPI, 04 January 2020 - 01:27 PM.


#16 H-Alfa

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Posted 04 January 2020 - 07:23 PM

When figuring USB things out, don't forget to look at the USB topology inside your computer. Some computers, like laptops, have only a single internal hub, others have many. Some cannot (my experience) deliver full power to more than one device that needs it. I used to have trouble with my SBIG STi guide camera which had a shutter (I miss it sometimes) because of that.
Rgrds-Ross

I understand. Thank you for pointing that also. I investigated time ago how to update the USB controllers but I was not sure if the drivers I found where suitable for my laptop (is a 10 years old Asus Zenbook UX32VD) so I preferred to not to try.

As an update of the original question, I finally ordered a ST7300U3M. I really expect to solve my communication problem with this hub...

Thank you so much for your replies!

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#17 t-ara-fan

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Posted 05 January 2020 - 09:43 PM

I use the Anker 7 port hub and had no problems with them.

I have two of the Anker, they have worked very well.

 

Watch out for some USB3 hubs with a power switch. I bought one from Amazon with a power switch. I thought "no big deal" except it is a MOMENTARY switch. That means if you cycle power it is off until you go to the telescope and press the power button. So I said

 

LuIZbDC.jpg


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#18 AradoSKy

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Posted 06 January 2020 - 07:11 AM

Hello,

 

I have attempted to put all eggs (equipment) in one basket (7 port monster). All I got was a mess of wires and a clogged USB pipe. I decided to vary my needs and design. I split duties between 2 4-port powered USB devices.

 

I selected the RSHTECH 4-port with powered splitter in an aluminum case. The hardiness of the product allowed me to Velcro it to easier access points. For my needs, I use two. This hub has buttons to turn off unnecessary ports. This distributes the 5v 4A better. More power to power hungry devices the better.  



#19 DennisK

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Posted 11 January 2020 - 11:06 AM

Has anyone had experience with the Vantec hubs?  They look very similar to the Startech hubs, wondering if they perform as well.



#20 calypsob

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Posted 11 January 2020 - 11:24 AM

The only thing I can contribute is that I hav ehad bad experiences with as media usb chipsets. I sent them 10 emails and got no response about driver support.  This was an issue on a laptop I had moving form win 7 to 10. Maybe they have gotten better since then but I would still be hesitant.



#21 DennisK

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Posted 11 January 2020 - 12:21 PM

I have 6 different USB 3.0 external hard drive enclosures from OWC, they all use various ASM chips (1051, 1053, 1153) and they work great, never had any problems with any of them.  I have a Vantec external enclosure, it uses JM chips; I've run tests using the same hard drive in the OWC versus the Vantec enclosure and the Vantec is VERY slow.  So I was wondering if the Vantec USB hubs would have the same issues.



#22 H-Alfa

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Posted 15 January 2020 - 01:39 PM

Hello,

 

Just as an update of the topic. I installed the Startech on my system and my communication problems persist. Seems that the problems are not related to harware, but to software.

 

To not to hijack this topic, I will continue in my original topic about connection issues with the QHY 178M.

 

https://www.cloudyni...8m#entry9623753

 

Thanks to all of you for the suggestions! :)



#23 HxPI

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Posted 15 January 2020 - 04:47 PM

Could it be the USB cables? I had some USB cables that cause problems and changed them out then everything worked with no problems. Seems not all USB cables behave alike!


Edited by HxPI, 15 January 2020 - 04:49 PM.


#24 H-Alfa

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Posted 17 January 2020 - 05:42 AM

Could it be the USB cables? I had some USB cables that cause problems and changed them out then everything worked with no problems. Seems not all USB cables behave alike!

Yes, I tried 5 different cables (original that came with the camera, original from 163m, Delock, and Startech) and 2 hubs. Nothing works. I'm trying to solve it with the qhy stuff also without success. It is possible that the camera is defective.

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