B&B Electronics UHR304 Isolated USB Hub teardown

After killing two of my desktop PC’s USB ports during development I wanted to be more careful with the remaining few. I considered rolling my own hub with 4 isolated downstream ports. But after a quick search for the parts I’d need, such as a few USB isolator IC’s, a few 3W dc/dc converters and a USB hub ic with all the mechanical parts required to make it robust, it was going to be an expensive project.

I went looking for USB hubs, and the only one to be for sale in Europe without “call-us” price was the B&B Electronics UHR304. I couldn’t find any info regarding what was inside, and I was afraid I’d buy an cheap USB hub in a fancy metal enclosure. But I wanted to save my precious USB ports on my pc, so I bought one.

Since there are no teardown images to be found online to estimate the quality, here they are! (highres link below)

USB Hub B&B Electronics UHR304

I was surprised by the amount of components inside, sure looks high quality. Some of the features are:

  • Significant TVS diodes on the power supply inputs.
  • Common mode filter on power input and USB downstream data.
  • The screws connect to earth via 0 ohm resistors.
  • Reverse polarity protection for the DC barrel.
  • Analog Devices ADUM4160 USB 1.1 Isolator for the upstream port (no power).
  • Texas Instruments LM22676 buck converter.
  • National Semiconductor LM2937 LDO for the logic, I guess.
  • Micrel MIC2026 power switchers with overload protection.
  • ST USBLC6-2SC6 ESD protection on all USB ports.
  • And last but not least, an SMSC (microchip) USB2514Bi USB Hub Controller protection on all USB ports.

I paid €130 on eBay for a new one, which is a lot for “just a USB Hub”. But considering that if I made my own, which would cost over 300 and would have almost identical parts in it with a less fancy enclosure, I sure am happy to know that my USB ports now remain safe from all the accidents that happen downstream on my bench, that would normally fry a USB port.

I know the ADUM4160 is available in small USB Isolated sticks for €50, but these do not offer the full 2.5W of power delivery, which limits development to self-powered devices, unless I make a power insertion cable/board. They also don’t mount on the desk as fancy as this does.

High Res teardown photos

New webhost

For years my webpage was hosted at VlexoFree. For free, as it was only a personal website and project on the side, it did not get much attention.

In march 2019 VlexoFree announced to retire, after 10 years of flawless service.

I decided to take this opportunity and upgrade my web presence to more modern times. The old one used a CMS (CMS Made Simple) from 2011. Which is stoneage in the world of the internet.

Today, this website is now hosted at Versio, with WordPress, which should hopefully lower the threshold of placing something online.