I have been developing a 4 PORT USB Hub specifically designed for the “quirks” of the BBB.
It takes a regular BBB, extends it by only 16mm and increases the number of HISH SPEED (480mbps) USB host ports to 4.
And this is what it looks like stand alone:
It works great, and lines up with the mounting holes on the end of the board near the existing USB Host port. When screwed to those mounting holes it is as structurally rigid as if the PCB was just longer. It also has hardware which is NON STANDARD for a normal USB HUB but which has been added to the HUB to correct for deficiencies in the BBB Host Port Power design. Which means that the problems of hubs appearing and disappearing and just generally misbehaving with the BBB do not occur with this hub.
The reason for this post is to let people know this thing exists.
I am currently working on the logistics of producing a batch of these boards, part of the unknown is if there is anyone who would be interested in buying it, and if so how many people that is. Volume has a direct impact on my ability to produce these at any reasonable price. So please dont ask me how much i will sell it for, my aim is to sell it as cheaply as reasonably possible.
Prototypes of this board are currently being used by a few Replicape developers with no reported faults.
It can be run either SELF Powered, or BUS Powered from the BBB.
A special non USB Compliant but useful mode is BUS Powered, but reporting to the BBB as SELF Powered. This is very handy for the use case where there are multiple devices and the sum total of their reported power consumption exceeds 500ma, but in use only one device is active at a time, so the average draw is only 500ma. Obviously, this mode is only intended for experienced people who really understand what the implications are.
If you have any questions I am happy to expand, if this device is of interest to you please let me know so I can try and work out what sort of volume i should produce, or if i should produce it at all.