F1 Steering Wheel Project (need advise for USB Hub)

Hi Guys! I need some help regarding the USB hub for my DIY steering wheel. Let me explain briefly. Last month I built (with the help of a friend) a F1 Steering Wheel from a kit.
01.jpg


The steering wheel works Ok, but I don’t like that it uses 3 USB cables, 1 for the screen, 1 for the LED lights and 1 for the buttons & shifters!
SteeringWheel_setup.png


So I decided to integrate a USB hub ( Manhattan Hub No. 160599) inside the steering wheel case to “solve” the 3 cable issue!

SteeringWheel_setupHub.png


The problem is that the USB hub only works when 2 USB’s are connected to it (doesn’t matter which), but when the third USB is connected to the HUB, all three elements start to fail.

Does anyone has any clue why this could be happening? Or has any tips on other USB hub/layout, that works better?

Thanks in advance, cheers!
 

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Plug it in to a mains powered usb hub, not directly into the pc, and not an unpowered hub. it’s probably not getting enough power


Thanks James for the reply! The problem (I believe) is that if I use a powered USB hub, there will still be 2 cables out of the steering wheel (1 usb power and 1 usb connection) right? The Goal is just 1 cable out of the steering wheel. But maybe I will give a shot, is not a bad idea after all! I know there’s got to be a solution, I’d seen some similar homemade steering wheels with the 1 cable setup! Just can’t find the solution.

Thanks again for the tip James, cheers!!
 
It might be worth having a look at USB-C hubs. A single USB-C cable can carry significantly more power than USB-A so might be able to support the 3 devices un-powered. If you mobo doesn't have USB-C, use a PCI-E expansion card.

Thanks so much!!!, I’ll take a look into that!!!
 

Jens Roos

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I'm using a button controller board and a USBD480 display with this hub inside my wheel:
https://thepihut.com/products/zero4u-4-port-usb-hub-for-raspberry-pi-zero
(I have de-solder the golden connector pins)

According to the manual it can supply 500mA when powered from the mini USB connector.
If you can arrange a seperate 5V supply (using a custom cable maybe), it has a 2A limit

Calculate how much power you need for your devices, maybe you can get the mA supply level of your current hub.
 
I'm using a button controller board and a USBD480 display with this hub inside my wheel:
https://thepihut.com/products/zero4u-4-port-usb-hub-for-raspberry-pi-zero
(I have de-solder the golden connector pins)

According to the manual it can supply 500mA when powered from the mini USB connector.
If you can arrange a seperate 5V supply (using a custom cable maybe), it has a 2A limit

Calculate how much power you need for your devices, maybe you can get the mA supply level of your current hub.

Thanks Jens!!!! I have a question.....

Jens....so you removed the input connections and soldered the wires directly to the board?

The same as James!!!
 

Jens Roos

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see this post (#10) :) https://www.racedepartment.com/thre...-need-advise-for-usb-hub.171481/#post-3015930

but you should calculate your total current so you know what you need.

For example a LED is no more than 20mA (could be different but should be noticed somewhere), but 16 LED:s are then 320mA, a button board I assume less than 100mA and the display no idea. So there is a point of checking your total current draw.
 

Thanks LeecarL!! I think that’s a really nice solution, but I have some questions. So I checked Thingiverse, and this is how I believe your setup is wired (oversimplified):
leecarl_setup.png

So my questions are:
Is it possible to use the Leo Bodnar BBI-32 with connectors ? I believe it will be easier for me. Why you choose the no connectors version?

I believe, more or less, that I get the basic idea of the wiring, but what is unclear to me is the “last” part. It seems to me (comparing your photos to Yoctopuce) that you removed the USB Micro B female from the Hub? If so, why you opted for removing it? Ain’t easier to plug the USB directly to the hub?

Sorry for the noob questions, Cheers!
 
see this post (#10) :) https://www.racedepartment.com/thre...-need-advise-for-usb-hub.171481/#post-3015930

but you should calculate your total current so you know what you need.

For example a LED is no more than 20mA (could be different but should be noticed somewhere), but 16 LED:s are then 320mA, a button board I assume less than 100mA and the display no idea. So there is a point of checking your total current draw.

Thanks Jens!!! So LEDS and button board together are around 420mA, So the screen needs to be under 80mA?
 
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Thanks LeecarL!! I think that’s a really nice solution, but I have some questions. So I checked Thingiverse, and this is how I believe your setup is wired (oversimplified):
View attachment 317285
So my questions are:
Is it possible to use the Leo Bodnar BBI-32 with connectors ? I believe it will be easier for me. Why you choose the no connectors version?

I believe, more or less, that I get the basic idea of the wiring, but what is unclear to me is the “last” part. It seems to me (comparing your photos to Yoctopuce) that you removed the USB Micro B female from the Hub? If so, why you opted for removing it? Ain’t easier to plug the USB directly to the hub?

Sorry for the noob questions, Cheers!
You certainly can plug it directly into the Hub, it's your choice! I just wanted an external connector on the wheel. Also removing it helps keep the wiring clean uses less space inside the build. Also yes, you can keep the connectors on the BBI-32
 

Jens Roos

Premium
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Sweden
Thanks Jens!!! So LEDS and button board together are around 420mA, So the screen needs to be under 80mA?

It was more an example, but I think that is a bit more than in reality. Maybe the doc of the led display contains this information, the same with the current of the button board and inputs.

As you seems to be on a limit, finding out that information will take away the guess work.
 
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