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Review: Belkin Hub for Mac mini
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2005 2:08 am    Post subject: Review: Belkin Hub for Mac mini Reply with quote

Review: Belkin Hub for Mac mini
Monday August 8, 2005

The Belkin Hi-Speed USB 2.0 and FireWire 6-Port Hub for Mac mini is an excellent choice for anyone looking to add more USB and FireWire ports to their Mac mini. This Hub does everything advertised and really complements the Mac mini's small footprint. The Belkin Hub comes packaged in a snazzy looking white, silver, and light blue colored box. In the box, you will find the Hi-Speed USB 2.and FireWire 6-Port Hub, 6.75" USB Cable, 6.75" FireWire Cable, and User Manual. The 6-page User Manual provides ample information for the Hub's specifications and setup.

The low-profile Hub stands 3/4" tall and is made out of white ABS plastic. On the bottom of the Hub you will find two large non-skid pads. They do a good job of holding the Hub in place when the Mac mini is stacked on top of it. Plugging cables into the front ports didn't cause the Hub to slide around on our desktop. Connecting the Hub to the Mac mini is really simple. Plug the two included 6.75" cables into the downstream ports on your Mac mini, then plug the cables into the "to computer" upstream ports on the back of the Hub.

Once connected, the Hub provides four downstream USB ports compatible with both Hi-Speed USB 2.0 and USB 1.1 devices. It also features two FireWire ports to connect up to two of your FireWire devices. The single USB and FireWire ports located on the front of the Hub make it convenient to connect temporary devices such as digital cameras, DV camcorders, flash drives, iPods, and portable hard drives to the Hub.

The front Main Power LED is white when the Hub is operational. The LED will stay on 24/7 if a FireWire connection is present, even if the Mac mini is turned off. You will have to disconnect the FireWire cable to the Mac mini if you want the LED to turn off. The LED light will turn off with a USB connection when the Mac mini is shutdown.

Overall, we can recommend the Belkin Hi-Speed USB 2.0 and FireWire 6-Port Hub for Mac mini and give it a score of 4 out of 4 stars. If you only buy one accessory for your Mac mini, this is the one to get. The Belkin Hi-Speed USB 2.0 and FireWire 6-Port Hub for the Mac mini is shipping now and retails for $58.99.

Pros:
- Design and finish
- Adds 4 USB and 2 FireWire ports to Mac mini
- Front USB and FireWire ports for easy access
- Non-skid base
- Included cables are perfect length and don't add clutter
- White cables

Cons:
- No switch to turn off LED
- Hub is Bus-powered

Technical Specifications:
- Complaint with Universal Serial Bus specification 2.0
- Data rate 1.5/12/480 Mbps
- Advance Quad TT architecture low- and full-speed devices
- Backward compatible with Universal Serial Bus specification 1.1
- Approved by USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF)
- Support for Plug-and-Play specifications
- Support for "hot swapping" of USB devices
- Over-current detection and protection
- Bus-powered
- DC +5V voltage per port
- Four 480Mbps downstream ports
- OHCI 1.0 compliant
- PCI 2.1 and 2.2 compliant
- IEEE 1394a rev.5 compliant



http://www.123macmini.com/accessories/reviews/110.html
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vertigo25
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2005 5:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Awesome review. Great pictures and everything.

So, I'm wondering... if you were to put this on top of one of the new drives, and under the Mini, would it alleviate some of the heat issues?
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devo
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2005 6:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great pictures! I'd imagine if you stacked this between the Mac mini and one of the drives it would stop some of the heat from being transfered. But it might look a little like a Mac mini Oreo cookie with a creamy hub center Laughing
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2005 2:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It appears that amazon will have them soon for $35.14 w/ free shipping (which, for me, is less than 29.99 and +7 shipping at macmall.

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/B0009VU7BW/

Needless to say, I've just ordered one from MacMall. I really dig the front ports and the thin size, which is why I've purchased it as opposed to the MiniStack.
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2005 5:36 pm    Post subject: Completely unacceptable. Reply with quote

Not only is it bus-powered but it's got no place to even plug in a power supply. I was hoping that I could buy it and add my own wall-wart... I've done that before on other bus-powered devices... but this relies on the Mac mini completely for its power supply, and I've already found how completely inadequate that is.
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2005 5:42 pm    Post subject: Re: Completely unacceptable. Reply with quote

resuna wrote:
Not only is it bus-powered but it's got no place to even plug in a power supply. I was hoping that I could buy it and add my own wall-wart... I've done that before on other bus-powered devices... but this relies on the Mac mini completely for its power supply, and I've already found how completely inadequate that is.


It's weird because the all USB Hub has a power supply. You can buy that one for around $25

http://catalog.belkin.com/IWCatProductPage.process?&Product_Id=199956#
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2005 7:35 pm    Post subject: I think you have it: it really doesn't need a power supply. Reply with quote

That's really weird.

It must be getting power from the Firewire port. Firewire is supposed to supply 1.5A on a 6 pin port, but USB only requires 500mA per device... hmm...

OK, in the Mac mini developer notes:

The Mac mini provides 5 volt power to the USB ports. The maximum current available is 500 mA on each port.

But I suspect it's unregulated, and probably doesn't actually support the 2.5W this implies...

[The Firewire 400 port] When the computer is on, the power pin provides a maximum voltage of 18.5 V (no load) and up to 8 W total power.

That would be it then. I wouldn't try to drive a high power firewire device and use the USB hub at the same time, and you damn well better not use it without the firewire port connected.
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2005 7:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The advantage is that you'll have one less wall-wart to deal with if you get the Firewire version. That might be a good deal in exchange for the less-beefy power capability.
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2005 9:36 pm    Post subject: Re: I think you have it: it really doesn't need a power supp Reply with quote

resuna wrote:
That's really weird.

It must be getting power from the Firewire port. Firewire is supposed to supply 1.5A on a 6 pin port, but USB only requires 500mA per device... hmm...

OK, in the Mac mini developer notes:

The Mac mini provides 5 volt power to the USB ports. The maximum current available is 500 mA on each port.

But I suspect it's unregulated, and probably doesn't actually support the 2.5W this implies...

[The Firewire 400 port] When the computer is on, the power pin provides a maximum voltage of 18.5 V (no load) and up to 8 W total power.

That would be it then. I wouldn't try to drive a high power firewire device and use the USB hub at the same time, and you damn well better not use it without the firewire port connected.


I'm not an electrical wiz. Do you think the "DC +5V voltage per port " in the specs is enough to drive everything?
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2005 10:04 pm    Post subject: Re: I think you have it: it really doesn't need a power supp Reply with quote

curt wrote:
I'm not an electrical wiz. Do you think the "DC +5V voltage per port " in the specs enough to drive everything?


That's just a description of the voltage. You need to include the amps (or watts - DC watts = volts x amps) to see how much power that means.
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2005 12:49 am    Post subject: Re: I think you have it: it really doesn't need a power supp Reply with quote

resuna wrote:
curt wrote:
I'm not an electrical wiz. Do you think the "DC +5V voltage per port " in the specs enough to drive everything?


That's just a description of the voltage. You need to include the amps (or watts - DC watts = volts x amps) to see how much power that means.


Still confused! Confused Are you saying the firewire connection is powering the hub?
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2005 7:02 am    Post subject: Re: I think you have it: it really doesn't need a power supp Reply with quote

curt wrote:
Still confused! Confused Are you saying the firewire connection is powering the hub?


That's exactly what I'm saying. It's the only reason the USB version would have a power supply and the combo version doesn't.

I'm sufficiently certain of this that I just ordered one from Amazon.

[...]

And it's shipped. Smile
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2005 10:56 am    Post subject: amazon Reply with quote

AMAZON does not sell this item yet
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2005 11:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

They listed one in stock. I got it.

Code:
Items shipped on August 9, 2005:
Delivery estimate: August 24, 2005
1 package via UPS Ground (Track your package) with tracking number 1Z21WAxxxxxxxxxxxx

    * 1 of: Mac Mini USB/frwr 2.0 Hub 4PORT USB/3PORT Firewire
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2005 11:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good lord, a 15 day delivery window?!?! Smile
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