Old 01-06-2015, 05:29 AM   #1
teleute
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Default A dire warning / small anecdote

I have a Motu Ultralite, it makes me very happy, but from day one the thing would glitch occasionally, it got worse over time and would need resetting before it would play again, recently it got so bad I couldn’t go a day without needing to do this several times. It drove me nuts and after many many hours of reinstalling, bug hunting and the general frustration that computers can be so good at creating I had resigned to myself that it was screwed and money was going to need to be spent.

Then one day I turn on my pc and the motherboard complains of power surges, this happens a few times, so hip hip who cocking’ray I now need to get a new power supply too.

So I did and by a shocking coincidence the Motu has been rock solid ever since. I guess my USB power had been a bit dodgy all the time, not enough to bother most things, but just enough to bother the Motu.

So there’s no real moral to this story, and I don’t really know how to test that usb power is working well, I know motherboards have power monitors but mine had failed to show anything useful. Just keep in mind the next time you have no idea why something won’t work properly it could be the PSU, probably wont be, but just maybe it is.
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Old 01-11-2015, 07:57 AM   #2
tspring
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Our USB powered Mackie MCU would periodically go bonkers until we got a powered USB hub. This was rather difficult to track down as it was very intermittent,and the apparent USB power fluctuations did not affect other devices on the hub.

Moral of the story: Do not assume that USB power is 100% dependable.
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Old 01-11-2015, 10:28 AM   #3
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Another thing to bear in mind is that you CAN cook one or more of your USB socket on a laptop by trying to draw too much current and unfortunately neither Windoze or the device you are powering will tell you.
I have a laptop with 2 out of 3 USB sockets not working reliably due to hanging not-very-good external hard drives off them.
Good news is that the 3rd one is still OK - figured out the problem in time to save it - and I now have a neat little four way powered USB hub that takes care of everything very nicely. And happily one of the other two will still read a mouse!
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Old 01-11-2015, 10:33 AM   #4
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Anytime you have a USB device that will also accept a wall wart, use it. USB power can be be hit and miss in mission critical stuff like audio.
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Old 01-11-2015, 01:24 PM   #5
teleute
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The strange thing is the Motu Ultralite is not USB powered, the USB is for data only and still wasn't happy. But I guess compared to any other USB thing I'm running it puts out the most data and is also the most obvious when the data is corrupted, not really going to notice my mouse having a split second glitch in the same way.
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Old 01-11-2015, 01:32 PM   #6
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Quote:
not really going to notice my mouse having a split second glitch in the same way.
Exactly.
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