A.K.A Why do all my USB 3.0 Hubs break?

I’ve gone through two powered USB 3.0 Hubs now, one still kinda works, sometimes, the other, well I sent that one back because it didn’t even last 6 hours during my normal use.

But then I thought,

I just burnt the second powered USB Hub I bought, am I expecting too much from them?

And I might just be expecting too much…

The Broken Hubs

The hubs which I’ve now broken in some way:

  • An Anker 7 + 2 port charging 60W hub.
  • A GenBasic Elite 10+2 charging 84W hub.

I still use the Anker one while I await shipping of other hubs, but it can only support ~4-5 of my devices at a time before it will occasionally reset or drop USB connections. (Most noticeable with the DSD USB DAC I have for my audio system - which screams when the hub has a disconnect hiccup.)

The GenBasic hub was dead within 4 hours of having all 10 ports populated. It burnt when I plugged in my headset to charge (the 10th device…) and after that it would not support more than 1 device connected at a time before the hub would continuously power reset. I returned this hub, it cost almost $90…

I don’t think there’s anything too unusual about my USB device setup either.

Yes, I have a lot of USB devices… but that’s why I’m buying these hubs… because they are supposedly higher amperage and have the minimum number of ports I need.

If you know of a 10-port or greater 3.0 hub that’s lasted you well, maybe tell me about it? (I just added a new page where you can find places to contact me!)

The use case

I don’t know if this is a common thing, but I have easily somewhere around 5-12 USB devices in use when I’m at my dock setup. Here’s what the USB tree looks like:

  • Laptop
    • USB 3.0 Hub
      • USB DAC (to stereo audio receiver)
      • USB MIDI Keyboard
      • USB 2.0 Hub (monitor)
        • MIDI to USB converter (to keyboard)
      • Type-C cable (phone #1)
      • Mini-USB cable (phone #2)
      • Steam Controller Dongle
      • G933 Headset wireless dongle
      • G933 Headset (Charging-only ports)
      • Generic USB drives
    • USB Hardware KVM switch
      • Mouse (Wireless)
      • G710+ keyboard

Already I’m at 11 devices, and I haven’t even plugged in any of my backup drives, or more than one flash drive, and yet somehow this is just too much for normal 3.0 hubs.

Can I make one myself?

I’m starting to wonder, I probably have enough electrical knowledge to purchase a usb controller board and ports, make my own hub but probably with overkill power delivery.

Although if it turns out not to be a power-related problem (some device sending bad data back up the bus?) then I will have a much harder time figuring out this problem.

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