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USB hub + Monitors
Old 24th January 2013
Gear Maniac
🎧 10 years
USB hub + Monitors

I have a powered USB hub. Whenever I plug it into the computer via usb, assuming I already have my monitors turned on and connected to my usb interface, I get a brief, crackling sound. This is regardless of how loud my speakers are, so long as they're not on standby.

This only happens when the USB hub is plugged in. When it just draws power from my laptop, no noise. I've heard this may have to do with the usb hub's power cord being two pronged, instead of three. Everything is plugged into a (working) surge protector.

Two questions:

1.) What exactly is happening? I see most people on gearslutz, as well as other recording sites, exclusively recommending powered hubs.

2.) Can this be damaging to my monitors? I assume it's some sort of electrical surge...(Clearly, I'm no electrician.)

Old 24th January 2013
Gear Head
jeebustrain's Avatar
🎧 10 years
I had this exact same problem on a PC with my old USB Fast Track Pro interface. It was a Dell Optiplex and I believe what was happening was that the AC power from the hub was making it's way back into the USB port and flooding all the other devices on that bus. It eventually turned into a problem when the computer got shut off, the hub was still pushing power back into the USB port and was making my interface produce some crazy loud noise through the monitors. I could temporarily relieve it by disconnecting the power from the hub.

Try to play with different USB ports for the devices to see if it makes a difference. Also, try a different USB hub. It was only a single hub that was having that problem for me. Others did not produce the noise. The one that had the problem was a cheap piece of junk I got for like $5 on Newegg.
Old 25th January 2013
Gear Maniac
🎧 10 years
Got it. Yeah, luckily I just get a very brief and not very loud "crackle" only when I connect/disconnect the usb hub. No other symptoms/issues.

I'm look at a powered Satechi hub w/ usb 3.0, so hopefully something a little nicer than my current little Belkin thing will get rid of the problem.

I remain paranoid, however: is it possible this has caused any damage to either my interface or monitors?
Old 25th January 2013
Gear Maniac
🎧 10 years
Old 26th January 2013
Gear Maniac
🎧 10 years
one last bump
Old 28th January 2013
Gear Maniac
🎧 10 years
Any possible damage? I promise, this is the last bump...
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