Universal Serial Bus (USB) is one of the few interfaces on computers that is certainly a big success story. You plug in your Camera, Memory stick etc, and in most cases it loads up the drivers and in a few seconds you are away, who can remember the hours spent messing around configuring RS232? However, on smaller devices, Tablets and Mobile devices, the USB socket and plug are scaled down in size (micro or mini USB), my Chuwi Vi8 is no exception with only "One" micro USB socket and one mini HDMI:
The One and only micro USB socket is not only used for data, but also for charging the device. A lot of excess daily wear and tear, plugging in and out, switching between USB devices. Of course the idea of cutting down to one socket is to help keep costs down in production, but how long can the socket possibly last before something gives?
The best way is to expand by using a cheap USB Hub, and there are quite a few different types available for a couple of Pounds. These also allow conversion back to standard USB for other devices, and a seperate power feed via another micro USB socket which can be used to charge the device while the hub is connected in theory anyway, read on:
Although this solves the problem of USB connection. There is another problem with this arrangement, the weight of the hub and devices hanging on the end of the Tablet, putting unwanted stress on the USB micro socket on the side of the Tablet, there has got to be a be a better way of fixing this and tidying it all up.
I was lucky, I had a case that came with a USB Keyboard, could I work out some sort of method of attaching the hub to the case? I had an idea!
A visit to a discount stationary shop while I was in town, I came across a packet of medium sized binder clips. The sort you use for holding files of paper together and hanging up on a hook for reference. The clips came in a pack of twelve for 69p making the fix less than 6 pence!
The clip provides an excellent amount of force suitable for the job of trapping the hub to the rear of the case. There is no movement and it is quite secure:
Once happy that it is square and fixed to the rear of the case, the two leverage arms, hooks or whatever you wish to call them can be detached from the main body of binder clip and discarded.
This provides the solution, and as you can see all the weight and stress is removed off the main cable and the micro USB socket on the tablet. With the sockets happy and tidy on the back of the case ready for use:
All seemed ok? I could then use the hub with various USB devices, but when I came to charge the tablet via the micro USB charging socket on the hub, this was found not to work? I came to the conclusion it was not wired into the hub or faulty in someway, I contacted the ebay dealer for a replacement he offered me $1, so I had to use the ebay tools to force his little Chinese hand to give me my full refund.
Shortly after, I found what looked to be a better USB hub from another "reliable" ebay dealer. This type has a switch to change between charge, or data, plus an extra USB Port:
This was a tighter fit under the binder clip due to the hub casing being slightly thicker, but all is now well, I can now charge the tablet without removing the micro USB from the side of the tablet, plus I have three USB sockets at hand, one which is taken up with the USB keyboard in the case:
Problem sorted and all put to good daily use using keypad and mouse, all fed by the USB hub attached to the rear of the case: