Cheap USB Hub Teardown

hub packaging
Continuing on from the Link-Depot sucks + USB debugging post, we know:

  1. The Link-Depot 4 Port LD-USH-4POW hub sucks. But how bad and why?
  2. The hub is reporting itself as USB 2.0 capable (Hi-Speed = 480 Mbps)
  3. In reality, the hub can only ever achieve USB 1.x speeds (Full-Speed = 12 Mbps)
  4. The hub reports a vendor ID of 1A40 which is reserved for Terminus Technology Inc.
  5. Suspect that the USB IC is actually High-Speed capable, but the overall circuit isn't

It's got a brand (Link-Depot) so surely it has to be better than an eBay sweatshop special. Oh wait... the Link-Depot brand only shows up on the packaging and no where on the actual hub.

Let's start pulling things apart!

Yuck! I feel dirty just looking at it. Right away you notice that the USB connectors have a shell pin that isn't soldered and the ones that are soldered aren't done very well. And what is that white crap all over the board? Some kind of flux residue? The random drops of solder are a nice touch, but my favorite is below!