[Review] MiSTer USB Hub – MiSTer Add-ons via Direct Shipments – Building a Mystery – Part 2

The MiSTer USB Hub was purchased for the my MiSTer FPGA, that I already presented in the first part of this series. The purchase was made in MiSTer Add-ons, and redirected to Brazil by Direct Shipments, this is the eleventh time I use the company's services. Package arrived tax free.

Motivation

I started my MiSTer with just the basics: a placa DE10-Nano and the I / O board. As it still didn't have the USB Hub card, used a Hub USB 2.0 I bought at DX in 2010 and was standing here, along with an OTG cable that came with my Minix Neo U1 and it was also not being used.

But this solution is not ideal, increasing the space occupied by the set. Furthermore, to microUSB port from DE10-Nano appears a certain fragility. It looks like it could be pulled out accidentally if the hub cable was pulled hard for some reason. Maybe it's just impression, but you better be careful.

I considered buying one BlisSTer, to have practically zero latency with original controls and everything. But I noticed that I'm using the 8BitDo m30 Bluetooth most of the time and I don't notice latency. I’ll hardly give up the convenience of wireless controllers for a reduction in latency that I don’t even realize. The BlisSTer would be underused.

8BitDo M30 Bluetooth, my favorite controller for MiSTer.

8BitDo M30 Bluetooth, my favorite controller for MiSTer.

The exception is the controller of the Atari 2600, o CX40, that doesn't have a good wireless equivalent. In this case I use the Retrobit USB adapter to connect it to MiSTer. With polling setting to 1ms, I don't see much advantage in using the BlisSTer, except perhaps for possible support for paddles in the future.

Although the BlisSTer cost little more than the USB Hub card, cables must be purchased separately, and cables are not necessarily cheap. Add to that the need to work with forks official distribution, since LLAPI is not officially supported. And it will probably never be. Add also the constant lack of availability and… I gave up BlisSTer.

A better alternative would be to LLCoolJoy which already has DB9 inputs natively, where I could connect the CX40, but LLCoolJoy only vaporware until proven otherwise. A certain store in Portugal even announced that it would be available soon. But I tried to contact this store both on the website and on Facebook and they never answered me, so I don't risk buying anything from them, although it was available.

So I decided to stick with the traditional USB Hub. His card is currently in the version 2.1 (at the time of writing this article). Note that the board design is by Alexey Melnikov (Sad), the chief MiSTer developer, and it's totally open. Theoretically anyone can implement it.

It is possible to buy only the PCB and solder the components, but I opted for a ready-made model, in the case of MiSTer Add-ons, where I had already purchased on the IO board. I waited for it to be available for purchase, because it was broken. As soon as he appeared available I guaranteed my.

Purchase of MiSTer USB Hub

The USB Hub for my MiSTer was purchased at MiSTer Add-ons. It cost $ 47,50, including the bridge to connect the DE10-Nano on the Hub without needing a bulky cable. I also paid US $ 5,00 freight via USPS First Class for shipping to my California address, provided by Direct Shipments.

The purchase was made on the day 23/03/2020, and shipped the same day from the state of Maryland, and arrived in California two days later, in 25/03.

Redirect to Direct Shipments

MiSTer Add-ons ships directly to Brazil, but declares the real value on the customs form, which maximizes the chances of taxation, so I prefer to redirect with Direct Shipments, where I choose how the customs form will be filled and I can consolidate packages when this is the case, as I did with the DE10-Nano and the IO Board.

A Direct Shipments He sent me two photos, one from the package on the scale and another from the product in the packaging. Check out:

The MiSTer Addons package weighed only 4 oz. The cost to send it to Brazil by ePacket was $ 17,65, already counting on the service value Direct Shipments.

The package was sent on 26/03/2020 and got my hands on 13/04, no taxes. Were 18 calendar days in total, quite reasonable considering the pandemic.

Unboxing

A Direct Shipments placed the MiSTer Add-ons box in an envelope. Check out the photos unboxing and Video unboxing and MiSTer already assembled with the USB Hub:

The MiSTer USB Hub from MiSTer Add-ons comes with 4 brackets that allow it to fit into the DE10-nano, with the exact distance so that the bridge with the microUSB connectors can be used.

Another very useful item is the energy divider. It has a power input, where the source that comes with the DE10-Nano should be connected, and two exits: one for the DE10-nano and one for the USB Hub. This is necessary because the micro10B output of the DE10-Nano does not provide enough current for a large number of devices.

Note that there are manufacturers that use other power alternatives, one of them is to put a small plate on some solders protruding from the DE10-nano and thus obtain additional current, dispensing the divider. I particularly prefer the divider, because it seems to me a less gambiarrenta solution.

The USB Hub card itself has 7 USB slides, one on the front and three on each side. At the rear there is an additional USB port, but it is only energy, no data connection. Each port has an LED to indicate the operation.

The USB Hub card has no connection to the DE10-Nano internally, the connection needs to be made by the microUSB jacks on each one. That's where the bridge I asked for comes in, that costs $ 7,50 more in the price of the USB Hub (that costs $ 40,00). It is very discreet and does the job without cables.

Mounting the MiSTer USB Hub

Assembling the MiSTer USB Hub is relatively easy. Just remove the four female-female supports that stand as the foot of the DE10-Nano. In their place are placed the four male-female supports that come with the USB Hub. The tag is then inserted into the thread of the four supports. Por fim, in this same thread the four female-female supports are put back, to stand as foot.

Check out the photos of the MiSTer USB Hub assembly on my MiSTer:

At the moment I only have two USB devices that are always connected: the dongle of wireless keyboard from 2,4 GHz, which is a little big, and the dongle Bluetooth. I still have a wireless control with dongle 2,4 GHz that's on its way. There will still be four free ports, so I shouldn't need external hubs anytime soon.

traces

This is the tracking information for the MiSTer Add-ons package for Direct Shipments, According to the USPS:

March 25, 2020, 10:18 am
Delivered, To Agent
RANCHO SANTA MARGARITA, SUCH AS 92688 
Your item has been delivered to an agent at 10:18 am on March 25, 2020 in RANCHO SANTA MARGARITA, SUCH AS 92688.
March 25, 2020, 7:10 am
Out for Delivery
RANCHO SANTA MARGARITA, SUCH AS 92688 
March 25, 2020, 6:57 am
Arrived at Post Office
RANCHO SANTA MARGARITA, SUCH AS 92688 
March 25, 2020, 5:51 am
Arrived at USPS Facility
RANCHO SANTA MARGARITA, SUCH AS 92688 
March 25, 2020, 5:11 am
Departed USPS Regional Facility
ANAHEIM CA DISTRIBUTION CENTER 
March 25, 2020, 4:11 am
Arrived at USPS Regional Destination Facility
ANAHEIM CA DISTRIBUTION CENTER 
March 24, 2020
In Transit to Next Facility
March 23, 2020, 10:38 pm
Departed USPS Regional Origin Facility
WASHINGTON DC NETWORK DISTRIBUTION CENTER 
March 23, 2020, 10:36 pm
Arrived at USPS Regional Origin Facility
WASHINGTON DC NETWORK DISTRIBUTION CENTER 
March 23, 2020, 5:04 pm
Departed Post Office
LEONARDTOWN, MD 20650 
March 23, 2020, 5:01 pm
USPS in possession of item
LEONARDTOWN, MD 20650 

This is the tracking information for the consolidated package, from the USA to Brazil, According to the USPS:

April 13, 2020, 2:03 pm
Delivered
BRAZIL
Your item was delivered in BRAZIL at 2:03 pm on April 13, 2020.
April 8, 2020, 8:22 am
Processed Through Facility
BRAZIL
April 7, 2020, 12:48 pm
Departed
SAO PAULO, BRAZIL
April 7, 2020, 1:16 am
Departed
HOUSTON, UNITED STATES
April 6, 2020, 8:21 am
Departed
LOS ANGELES, UNITED STATES
April 6, 2020, 1:35 am
Arrived
LOS ANGELES, UNITED STATES
April 1, 2020, 1:39 am
Processed Through Regional Facility
LOS ANGELES CA INTERNATIONAL DISTRIBUTION CENTER 
April 1, 2020, 1:39 am
Arrived at Regional Facility
LOS ANGELES CA INTERNATIONAL DISTRIBUTION CENTER 
March 31, 2020, 5:32 pm
Departed Shipping Partner Facility, USPS Awaiting Item
BELL GARDENS, SUCH AS 90201 
Shipping Partner:  ASENDIA USA
March 31, 2020, 1:51 pm
Shipping Label Created, USPS Awaiting Item
BELL GARDENS, SUCH AS 90201 
March 26, 2020, 10:23 am
Arrived Shipping Partner Facility, USPS Awaiting Item
BELL GARDENS, SUCH AS 90201 
Shipping Partner:  ASENDIA USES

And this is the consolidated package tracking information, from the USA to Brazil, According to the post office:

13/04/2020
14:02
[REMOVED] / SP Object delivered to the recipient
13/04/2020
10:26
[REMOVED] / SP object out for delivery to the recipient
09/04/2020
08:08
INDAIATUBA / SP
Objeto encaminhado
de Unidade de Tratamento em INDAIATUBA / SP for distribution Unit in [REMOVED] / SP
08/04/2020
09:55
CURITIBA / PR
Objeto encaminhado
de Unidade de Distribuição em CURITIBA / PR for Treatment Unit in INDAIATUBA / SP
08/04/2020
09:53
CURITIBA / PR finalized Customs supervision
08/04/2020
08:50
CURITIBA / PR	Objeto recebido pelos Correios do Brasil

Informar nº do documento para a fiscalização e entrega do seu objeto. Click here My Imports
01/04/2020
01:39
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA /
Objeto encaminhado
de País em ESTADOS UNIDOS DA AMÉRICA / countries in International treatment unit / BR

Informar nº do documento para a fiscalização e entrega do seu objeto. Click here My Imports
31/03/2020
16:55
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA / 	Objeto postado

Informar nº do documento para a fiscalização e entrega do seu objeto. Click here My Imports

Table-Summary

Por fim, This is the table-summary of purchase:

Product Name: USB Hub – USB Hub + USB Bridge × 1
Name Original: USB Hub – USB Hub + USB Bridge × 1
Store: MiSTer Add-ons
Value: US$ 47,50 (R$ 269,39)
Current value: US$ 47,50
Payment Method: Credit Card Mastercard Inter
Shipping Type:
  1. USPS First Class (First-Class Package Service – USPS Tracking®) (MiSTer Add-Ons para Direct Shipments)
  2. ePacket (First-Class Package International Service – Small Packet) (Direct Shipments To Brazil)
Shipping Fee:
  1. US$ 5,00 (MiSTer Add-Ons para Direct Shipments)
  2. US$ 17,65 (Direct Shipments To Brazil)
Package Home Country: USA (USA)
Purchase Data: 23/03/2020
Submission Date:
  1. 23/03/2020 (MiSTer Add-Ons para Direct Shipments)
  2. 26/03/2020 (Direct Shipments To Brazil)
Data Delivery:
  1. 25/03/2020 (MiSTer Add-Ons para Direct Shipments)
  2. 13/04/2020 (Direct Shipments To Brazil)
Time in Transit:
  1. 2 days (MiSTer Add-Ons para Direct Shipments)
  2. 18 days (Direct Shipments To Brazil)
Declared content: electronic parts
Type Marked Content: None
Declared Value: US$ 26.25
Taxed: Not
Taxable Value: -
Tax Value: -

Final Considerations

My MiSTer is still an ongoing project, with the USB Hub he took another step to stay the way I want, taking up little space in my rack, without an extra hanging accessory, and thus facilitating cleaning.

My Placa SDRAM de 128MB unfortunately it is still tangled somewhere between China and Brazil, probably waiting for some flight, since they are scarce. So there are still a limited number of cores that I can use.

I also recently purchased a case at MiSTer Add-ons, o qual também vou redirecionar com a Direct Shipments. Com ele a Placa de SDRAM meu MiSTer finalmente estará completo, pelo menos até que apareça algum novo add-on imperdível.

Por enquanto vou jogando os núcleos que funcionam sem a SDRAM, o que inclui alguns arcades, or Atari 2600, o PC Engine, o Mega Drive, e o GameBoy Advance, como você pode conferir na playlist do MiSTer no meu canal do Youtube:

Note 10 novamente para a MiSTer Add-ons, cujas placas são muito bem feitas, and also for the Direct Shipments, que mais uma vez me permitiu comprar nos EUA e receber no Brasil.

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.skooterblog.com/2020/04/16/review-mister-usb-hub-mister-add-ons-via-envios-diretos-construindo-um-mister-parte-2/

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