How to check if a USB router is not frying components?

swampwizMay 19, 2009

I have a USB router that seemed to fry 2 successive wireless receivers. I'd like to check this component before throwing it way, but I don't want to fry any more components. Perhaps the transformer is bad? Any ideas?

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What makes you say they're fried? Is there smoke or have the lights disappeared? Does the device manager detect the adapter?
Is this is a powered usb hub? It's possible the transformer's providing too much voltage I suppose - is it the original transformer?

If you have a lot of stuff you might also be drawing too much power, which can also damage stuff. If you're using usb coffee mug warmers, lights or fans, that's a possibility.

If you can get hold of a cheap usb cable you can cut up, you can check the voltage if you have a voltmeter - I will provide a link to the 'pinout' configuration below.

If it's self-powered, I'd test it disconnected from the computer, to be on the safe side.

One other thing, you've got a wireless adapter connected to this hub? I doubt that's the best approach, for something like that, I'd connect it directly to the computer. Another thing, you don't have a second computer connected to the hub do you? Unlike an ethernet router, you can't 'network' two computers through a usb hub unless the instructions specifically say you can, and I'm not sure why you'd want to. Some people try it so they can share a printer, but that's a no-no. If you have an ethernet router, you can share your printers via your network.

So get hold of a dollar store or spare usb cable, carefully cut, strip and separate the wires, and measure between pin one (red wire) and 4, usually black. (if you know how to use the continuity tester and can get your probes to the pins on the connector, it wouldn't hurt to make sure the wire colours correspond to the right pins.

You should see 5 volts dc and no more. Many 'wall wart' power supplies are unregulated, so you may get more than 5v so that could be your problem.

Otherwise, usb hubs are very cheap and many are bus-powered (no transformer needed) if you don't connect too many things. You could also get an add-on usb card to install inside the computer, which will take its power from the pc supply. The advantage of these is you get an extra usb port on the card itself usually, so you could set up a removable drive with a usb connection which means you can dismount and eject it with the computer running, a handy thing.

Here is a link that might be useful: USB pinouts

    Bookmark   May 20, 2009 at 1:41PM
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I found out why the USB router was frying everything. I was using the wrong transformer cord - 12V instead of 4.5V. :(

    Bookmark   June 2, 2009 at 1:05AM
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What happened to the goodie powered wrongly with the lower volt cord ?

    Bookmark   June 2, 2009 at 6:55PM
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