Expresscards for expanding USB ports. Experiences? Issues?
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  1. #1
    Tech Wizard DirtyDeluxe's Avatar
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    Default Expresscards for expanding USB ports. Experiences? Issues?

    Anyone else tried these for DJ gear? What are your thoughts?

    I bought an Expresscard 34 card with 2 USB ports yesterday for my mediocre laptop to get an additional couple of ports. Wanted to avoid carrying a powered USB hub.

    It wont power my external portable hard drive properly (the disc spins and lights up then switches off then goes thru this loop again, laptop doesnt recognise it either). It does work fine when I plug in a mains adaptor into the socket on the expresscard (the adaptor is from a powered usb I have spare). According to the user pamphlet, the powersocket is designed for providing the additional juice required for running USB 3.0 devices (I have none though).

    It also creates MASSIVE delay and latency for my VCI100 and wont let Traktor recognise my Audio4DJ soundcard, which both work fine on the standard usb ports on the laptop itself.

    So, it's only useful for my harddrive but only with the power supply so kinda defeats the point of having it. My mouse works on it without power, and maybe other low power / slow data gear. The card fits into the laptop's expresscard 54 slot but it will also spring out if you accidently press it or tug on it, so not brill. Damn, I though I was onto a neat solution there.

    May try another brand, pref one that sits flush with the laptop body. Maybe I should uninstall the usb 3.0 utility that installs with the driver, or reinstall the driver? I will try those things. I'd LIKE to get a better laptop with more usbs but hey...

    Here are the specs of the gear:

    VCI 100SE (from DJTT with arcade buttons and 1.4FW)

    Audio4DJ NI soundcard

    Laptop is a 2006/7 HP Pavillion DV6000Z, AMD Turion 64 X2 CPU at 1.8ghz upgraded to 4GB RAM (but machine probably only recognising 3GB) on Vista 32bit and I run it super lean and keep it clear of crap, no viruses, registry rubbish or known conflicts. Traktor is the latest version 1 update.

    Express card is an ST Labs (Sunrich Technology) C-470 with 2 ports compatible with USB 3.0 devices
    See here: http://www.maplin.co.uk/2-x-usb-3.0-...esscard-385356
    Last edited by DirtyDeluxe; 05-26-2011 at 08:15 AM.

  2. #2
    Tech Guru TommyQuiet's Avatar
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    always use powered usb hubs i would not run the risk of using a un-powered one
    (i have tried) if your running alot of stuff i have a top spec macbook and still use a powered hub if i am plugging lots of stuff in

  3. #3
    Tech Wizard DirtyDeluxe's Avatar
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    Thanks man

    I was hoping that the expresscard slot would provide as much power as a standard usb port on the laptop, seems this isnt the case. I've not had much success with unpowered usb hubs either. If only my laptop had one more usb port, I only use 3 devices. In fact there is a blanking plate on the laptop for an optional port that HP offered but sods law I didnt end up with one of those!

    Time for me to stop buying more controllers and keep saving for a mac!

  4. #4
    DJTT Tankard fullenglishpint's Avatar
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    in terms of data transfer it should be fine, with my old vaio I used an external powered express card hub that handled my external monitor, audio (in the days before I had the NI cards) and various USB devices.

    I wouldn't trust it for power though.
    TSP 2 | Serato DJ | Live 8 | MBP (SSD + HDD) | AIAIA TMA-1 Fool's Gold Edition | 1200 Mk2s | MidiFighter | KRK RP5
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    DJTT FAQ | Read my guide to AUDIO CABLES

  5. #5
    Tech Wizard DirtyDeluxe's Avatar
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    I'm resigned to the fact that I'm always going to need that power for the juicy gear. I've been back to the shop today and swapped it for the equivalent USB 2.0 only version (but with 4 ports this time), don't know if that might work slightly better with my particular lappy. Still, it's better than a chunky external hub, the card is slim and the power socket allows the power lead to run down the side of the laptop and can ziptie it along my laptop charger for slightly less messy cabling.

    While the expresscard powered the VCI and soundcard without the additional power, they both had problems. Will try with the power. At the end of the day it solves my problem of needing one more usb at least.


    Ta

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