Thinking to run a Rpi Zero USB hub without power for a Huawei internet stick and a USB to ethernet adaptor for SSH connection to laptop. Will the RPi zero be able to support these two devices at the same time? No other device will be connected at any point to the hub. Can i avoid using a powered USB hub? Cheers!

  • Note you can power the zero via either microUSB jack, so if you use a powered hub, you don't need to connect the normal power jack. Just in case that adds some options for you.
    – goldilocks
    Commented Aug 26, 2016 at 13:52
  • Setup is actually powered from a battery (charged through PV). So the battery controller outputs 5V for Rpi. All powered hubs i see online need a AC wall socket. So cant really connect battery to USB hub without getting messy. Commented Aug 26, 2016 at 15:09
  • @goldilocks Hence the idea is to use a non powered USB hub and see if it works. Or find an USB-powered USB hub which can be carried around by a field technician and plugged into his laptop for power. Commented Aug 26, 2016 at 15:13
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    I've never seen a USB hub that ran off AC. They may include AC/DC adapters, but the actual input is DC. USB requires 5V, so that's generally what those adapters are. Put another way: They are powered from 5V DC. I have an OTG hub I use with the zero with a barrel jack connector for power. Anything that supplies 5V DC can be used with it, and it supplies power back to the master (that's a feature you would want to confirm).
    – goldilocks
    Commented Aug 26, 2016 at 15:14
  • "plugged into his laptop for power" -> That is dependent on the laptop having a USB port that will provide enough current. The zero itself only needs 100-200 mA. Why don't you just use an ammeter to check the current draw of the other devices? I am sure one of your technicians should have one lying around...
    – goldilocks
    Commented Aug 26, 2016 at 15:18

1 Answer 1


Not sure if this answer's your question, I have been able to run raspi-zero with usb-3g-internet without any hub. In my case, i dont see the need for second usb. I am able to communicate with my raspi using xmpp/jabber protocol. After linux boot, my raspi runs umtskeeper script to connect to the internet, after that it runs a gloox-C++ library based xmpp chat client daemon. I see it on my android phone's xabbere app when my raspi-chat-client becomes online. I send chat messages to my raspi for controlling gpio's and other remote control commands. The details of this setup are given in my blog. http://albert-david.blogspot.de/2016/09/rbox-raspberry-pi-zero-usb-3g-internet.html

  • Hi albert, I just pass through your setup on your blog and I was wondering if you have more photos/plan describing how the dongle, the pi and battery are soldered. I can guess from your pictures that power is brought to the pi through PP1 and PP6, but it's not clear how the rest of the connections are done (power to the dongle and data from dongle to pi) . Any help would be more than welcome!
    – Simon C.
    Commented May 31, 2019 at 15:08

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