I have bought a cheap USB hub and I thought that by replacing the standard USB with a micro USB will make it work with the zero. I've seen a same solution here, but it is not working.

I know that same question have been asked over and over again, but I'm curious to know if this is caused by the Amperage?

Is there any solution for this cheap Hub to work?


The cheap solution is to get a USB OTG adapter. You can find them in multiples on eBay and Amazon, and I have found them cheap at Microcenter.

As an alternative, to continue to modify the hub, you'll need to ground the 5th pin to let the Pi know the device can operate in slave mode. Here are a few guides that explain the phenomenon/background and how to do the process for the cable. You'll need to add them to the cable portion of your hub mod to get it all working together.

  • I've done the Short between pin 4 and the GND, but no luck. – godolomn May 22 '16 at 18:40
  • It's pin 5 you need to ground. That's probably why it's not working for you. Pin 5 is only available on the OTG side, and not in a regular (non OTG) USB cable. – YetAnotherRandomUser May 29 '16 at 16:57

Compatibility between Raspberry-Pi Zero and USB hubs does NOT seem to have anything to do with them being powered and amperage at all so far based on many user reports! It seems indeed instead depending on USB hub chipset compatibility: you need to have a hub that is "intelligent enough".. i.e. has a chip, able to manage downstream devices and not backfire power in case they are powered ones. Basically what is meant with "intelligent enough" is how the chipset is enumerating and forwarding to the OS and Drivers this information, is how good the chipset is checking the basic validity of bus transactions, etc.

Good chipsets so far seem to be F5U234 from Belkin and various from Terminus Technology

Refer to this compatibility list: RPi_Powered_USB_Hubs

  • 1
    USB hubs are always "intelligent" and have an "active" chip. There is no such thing is a passive electronics that wires multiple downstream ports to one upstream port. That's simply not possible. – Ghanima Jun 23 '16 at 14:47
  • yes what was meant is to be "intelligent enough" to handle well the devices behind it (in terms of enumeration, negotiation, speed, etc.) and it appears that some too simple hub chipsets fail on this aspect compared with others. Then of course also OS and Drivers have a big role on this because you can fix a lot of enumeration issues with Drivers and so far it seems like Debian has not so good Drivers if compared with other Linux distros (I even have a hub that works on my android phone but not on my raspberry because of this, even windows sometimes handles those hubs better). – tent Jun 30 '16 at 11:48
  • So far I had good experiences with this cheap but effective chinese el cheapo hub: aliexpress.com/item/… – tent Jun 30 '16 at 11:48

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