USB 3.0 hub won't show up on USB 3.0 ExpressCard on Z1..

Discussion in 'VAIO / Sony' started by XTACTIC, Nov 9, 2011.

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  1. XTACTIC

    XTACTIC Notebook Consultant

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    Well, why?

    Tried two usb hubs now and it won't work, but the minute i plug it into one of the native usb 2.0 ports on the z1 the hub works. The hub is self powered, and I also have gotten a USB 3.0 Y-cable with it, which also doesn't work.


    ExpressCard in question here is AKE 5Gbps USB 3.0 ExpressCard (without the dc-in power hole).... using some Fresco Logic xHCI FL1000 driver..

    Items in question --

    http://www.amazon.com/J-Tech-Digital-SuperSpeed-Backward-Compatible/dp/B004WM36WG

    Amazon.com: AKE 5Gbps BC618 34mm 54mm 1 Port Express USB 3.0 Card: Everything Else

    Amazon.com: Seagate Freeagent Goflex USB 2.0 Ultra-portable External Hard Drive Kit and USB 3.0 Adapter: Electronics
     
  2. lovelaptops

    lovelaptops MY FRIENDS CALL ME JEFF!

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    I'm pretty sure the AKE does not have enough power to play through a hub. Pyro is the Z1 expert on EC USB3 and eSATA cards. There is a pretty long running thread on the subject, but I can't seem to find it. Either Google it or go back a few pages. Seems to me the last entry was about a month ago. Let us know if you get it working - with the AKE or another card.

    Oh, one more thing, I got an IOGEAR card that itself is a two-USB3 hub. Sticks way out the side and requires an included power supply, but that might add enough power to get your hub working. At a minimum, it will add a second port for you, though I found it needs the DC power supply and that's a hassle too.
     
  3. XTACTIC

    XTACTIC Notebook Consultant

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    Hmm, why is it that even though the hub is powered, that it won't work through the expresscard slot, but only a native usb 2.0 slot?

    am i not supplying power to devices through the external power on the hub? not even a micro 8gb chewing gum stick is showing up :(

    i've already ordered a startech.com powered usb 3.0 expresscard. i will update on if that one solves the problem... should get that in a day or two.



    does anyone have a USB 3.0 ExpressCard that can see a usb3.0 hub? Putting a single device directly into it (EC slot) works though (with use of the y-cable to supply power).
    for some reason i think this AKE can't see usb3.0 hubs or something, but usb 2.0 hubs work. ?
     
  4. lovelaptops

    lovelaptops MY FRIENDS CALL ME JEFF!

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    This is something of series of educated guess, but I think your issue is explained by one or more of thiese:

    1) The power running to the EC slot may be less than the native usb2 ports
    2) the AKE card may itself act as a resistor to reduce the output voltage or wattage vs. what the EC sends to it. Powering the EC card may make up for the loss, and then some.
    3) Too lazy to look it up, but USB3 ports themselves may require more power than USB2 and since the EC interface is a USB2 bus, it barely supplies enough power to run one USB3 portable drive, much less a hub with multiple drives. Don't know why it would not even recognize the USB3 hub, but power seems to be the driver in short supply here
    4) USB3 hubs may require more power than USB2 hubs, hence the need for the power supply to the EC card to supply enough power to reach/recognize/drive the USB3 hub

    The above comes from a combination of my knowledge (limited) common sense (not sure I have much of that either!) and the experience I have had with a 2-port USB3 hub EC card, which could not power my portable drive without connecting the DC power supply to the card or a y-connected USB2 port helper (documentation says you "may or may not" need DC power to drive one or two USB3 devices). Unless this 2-port hub is a bad product (uses NEC controller, which I think is considered ok), this tells me that even to drive one port in use and one open port, extra power is needed.

    Did you have a look at the rather large existing thread on this? May well have clues.

    http://forum.notebookreview.com/sony/513653-esata-vpc-z-s-y-series-esata-expresscard-review.html

    Secondary thread, not as much info, but worth a look

    http://forum.notebookreview.com/sony/615590-vaio-vpcz12ahx-xq-usb-3-0-a.html
     
  5. XTACTIC

    XTACTIC Notebook Consultant

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    Hey. I looked at the threads already, that's how i ended up buying a USB 3.0 expresscard. I am getting the startech one so hopefully that fixes the problem.

    I think something is acting up strangely with this expresscard card, driver, or interface... i just noticed when i came back to unlock my computer my mouse was skipping positions, and every single thing was acting like a pentium One 100 mhz processor. basically like running windows vista inside dosbox on a nokia n95. but the minute i eject the expresscard, every thing went back to full speed. i kept doing this to confirm that once the expresscard is in there it's slowing down my computer to a crawl. i then launched task manager to see if a program is executing but nothing is showing up as taking cpu cycles.. but the system itself gets very choppy. i am just going to ditch this card right out the window right about now =(

    ever had a similar situation? it will not stop doing that till i reboot..

    is this card yours?
    IOGEAR - GEU302 - SuperSpeed USB 3.0 ExpressCard that's real hefty..

    thats why i stuck to the smaller 'flush-fit' ones but i'm not sure if these are inferior to the bigger ones as a result.. the one i am getting is here;
    USB 3.0 ExpressCard - Flush Mount | StarTech.com Global

    it's flush-mount single port but also has a dc in port to supply up to 850mA of current. the spec sheet says that it can also go up to 5 Gbps if used with an ExpressCard 2.0 host.
    but the threads on this forum seems to indicate that the Z1 is internally connected to a PCIe x1 bus ... so i guess i'm loosing some of it's abilities right off the bat as well
     
  6. XTACTIC

    XTACTIC Notebook Consultant

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    Hey. scrap everything i just said.. I took the card out and bent it in all directions and now it works. i think this ake card isn't very sturdy. It even detected the hub! The only problem I am having is my Seagate Freeagent 1tb external drive never ever shows up when i's on a usb 3.0 hub connected over the expresscard.
    but will show up when connected on a usb 2.0 hub over the same situation. usb3.0 hub couldnt possibly be needing that much power that it saps all out of the hub.. the drive is spinnng up just fine, i could hear it .so i don't think it has anything to do with power, according to the specs is shows it only needs 500 mA or power, and my hubs are self powered i really raeally doubt it has anything to do with power, i might have to question seagate about this
     
  7. lovelaptops

    lovelaptops MY FRIENDS CALL ME JEFF!

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    Sorry I'm too lazy to paste the questions you asked but:

    1) Yes, that is the honkin huge 2-usb3 port EC hub I have (but rarely use!). I normally keep the AKE that you have in the slot. Works like a charm on one USB3 drive, but never tried it with a hub connected to a USB3 drive (have used it with a USB2 hub connected to several USB2 drives and had same result as you. If power requirements/supply is not the reason you can't power a drive connected to a USB3 hub, but can power that same drive connected directly to the AKE card...I dunno what else it can be. Just basic electronics says that whenever you introduce a splitter of any kind (which is what a "hub" is in this case), there is a loss of power, signal, gain, etc, and you need an amp or repeater (which is a kind of amp) to power things on the other end of the splitter, or else their performance is degraded.

    Glad at least you took care of the EC card from hell that ate your computer's performance!
     
  8. XTACTIC

    XTACTIC Notebook Consultant

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    thanks mate.. will update when i get the new one to see how this pans out..
    cheers
     
  9. XTACTIC

    XTACTIC Notebook Consultant

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    Alright I got the StarTech ExpressCard ... this one is working quite fine. It detected the usb 3.0 hub and worked through it quite well.
    It's using the NEC chipset, using Renasas drivers or something like that.

    It's alot more sturdy than the AKE because it has the little power port, but it's a tiny dc-plug-in connector, but to my suprise it doesn't come with a power adapter, as the other end of that dc-in plug goes into another usb port.. first time i'm seeing such a conector.

    I also did not have to crimp anything like I did with the AKE in order to fit, this one worked just flawlessly. Also came in a much bigger box the ake came in like a cheap toy cardboard excuse of a box =\

    Will update this thread with pictures.
     
  10. XTACTIC

    XTACTIC Notebook Consultant

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    [​IMG]

    Comparison to the this AKE, the Startech is sturdier in the face because it has more metal to support it.

    [​IMG]

    Full package, Driver CD, Express Card, 54mm EC Adapter, DC plug to USB power, manual.

    [​IMG]

    Device manager

    [​IMG]

    Speeds obtained on Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex 1TB USB 3.0 External HDD.

    [​IMG]

    That's as fast as i've ever seen this drive go anyway.

    [​IMG]

    This little tool/program is installed with the drivers.

    Uploaded with ImageShack.us
     
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