I want to use a Raspberry Pi with 2 USB connections. One connecting it to a computer and one connecting it to another device. This is possible, right? I just need to use a USB hub. But can I power up the device through that USB hub? The idea is that the computer would provide energy.

I can power up the RPI zero using the actual USB connector, not the power one, and it works fine.

  • The answer to your question is yes (unless the hub has some additional limit on the current), but it may not work the way you seem to expect. I know I bought an add-on board to get a second usb port, but cannot remember the technicalities.
    – Tomas By
    Aug 18 '20 at 20:49
  • Technically USB 2.0 is limited to 500 mA, which might or might not be okay. However, many (probably most) hubs don't enforce this per port and will supply up to the hub's indicated maximum (which could be several amps). So: YMMV
    – goldilocks
    Aug 18 '20 at 21:14
  • IIRC the PiZ needs about 200.
    – Tomas By
    Aug 18 '20 at 21:26

The Pi Zero has very simple power circuitry - the USB and 5V rails are all directly connected, so it makes absolutely no difference if you power it through the power port, USB or 5V pins.

NOTE this is NOT true for other Pi models.

The other part of your question, whether the hub would work is it depends - each hub is different.

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