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 Forum index » Advanced Topics » Hardware
Lights on USB sticks and hubs/ switches are so useful
Moderators: Flash, Ian, JohnMurga
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sickgut


Joined: 23 Mar 2010
Posts: 1157
Location: Tasmania, Australia in the mountains.

PostPosted: Mon 06 Aug 2012, 08:43    Post subject:  Lights on USB sticks and hubs/ switches are so useful  

Hi people

I find using usb sticks that have a light on them that flashes much better to use for techy type stuff, especially imaging USB sticks with another OS etc using the linux dd command.
When the light is there flashing away you know its working because otherwise it feels like your firing blanks into space, and with using dd to image things it takes a long time, and when you need to image say a 8gb image, you can find yourself wasting hours and hours if there is something wrong (or filling up your HDD and or running out of RAM).

Recently i have been working with sd cards because i am working on Pussy linux for the Rasp Pi and the Pi can only boot from an sd card. I generally use a usb to sd adaptor when i image the sd card on my laptop, but there is no light. Does anyone here know of any usb to micro sd adaptor that has a light on it? The light flashing away is more reassuring that you are actually imaging the card and not anything else.

The other useful flashing light is that on network hubs and swithes/ routers.
In 2004 i setup an internet cafe/ gaming center for someone that had 17 computers and i was completely shocked when he hid the 16 port hub under a desk and built a wooden box kind of thing for it, so its totally out of the way..... thus hiding the most useful of network diagnostic tools, the lights on the hub!!! arrrrgh, this made my life so much harder and there seemed no way that i could convince the guy that i needed to see the lights on the hub, to him that sounded stupid, and it was much better to have a more asthetic look to the networking equipment by hiding it than function.

Lights rule, we need a flashing led for everything to do with computers, and maybe police. When a police is within 100m, i need a bioimplant that flashes in my mind. This would be useful. Also invisibility. That too...
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Flash
Official Dog Handler


Joined: 04 May 2005
Posts: 11024
Location: Arizona USA

PostPosted: Mon 06 Aug 2012, 10:27    Post subject:  

My Sony "12 in 1 Multi-Card Reader / Writer" USB adapter that reads SD cards (and some proprietary Sony card I've never seen. Laughing ) has a green LED that flickers when the adapter is doing something. I agree, it's nice to know.

The Sony part number is MRW62E-T1. I don't remember exactly how much it cost, but it wasn't much.
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RSH


Joined: 05 Sep 2011
Posts: 2409
Location: Germany

PostPosted: Mon 06 Aug 2012, 11:20    Post subject:  

I do use a "hama USB 2.0 Card Reader 9 in 1". It has one power led (red) and one access led (green). I do use it mostly to transfer photos from my digital camera to the pc.

It has cost about 10,- € and i did buy it in 2004. It has only one number on its back: 00047100

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cthisbear

Joined: 29 Jan 2006
Posts: 3402
Location: Sydney Australia

PostPosted: Tue 07 Aug 2012, 07:55    Post subject:  

None here in OZ.

But RSH knows I'm a bit backward.
Or so he's drummed into me...ha!...ha!

Might be something close at a local cheapie computer shop.

http://www.dooyoo.co.uk/card-reader/hama-usb-2-0-9-in-1-card-reader/

35 card readers
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Hama-USB-2-0-Card-Reader/dp/B000IH1W20

Chris.
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Dave_G


Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 459

PostPosted: Tue 07 Aug 2012, 12:47    Post subject:  

@sickgut

I agree with you that an activity LED is very useful.
I had a few inline units which were basically just a USB to USB adaptor
but had two LEDs on it, one to show there was power and the other DATA.
Unfortunately, a quick Google around returned no results and I can't remember
where I bought them.

However if you are handy with a soldering iron, you could make one up
provided you keep lead lengths (of your D.I.Y.) adaptor short and you
buffer the data lines (D+ and D-) properly you should have no problems
with data loss/corruption.

Since USB data lines are in effect differential lines, you could use a series
resistor from each one feeding a gate of a 74ALS04 and their outputs
again via resistors driving an LED.

Perhaps something like this:



EDIT:

Finally found some but seem out of stock:
http://www.cablesonline.com/usbdainusb.html
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