• This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn more.
  • The forum software that supports hummy.tv has been upgraded to XenForo 2.0!

    This is a major upgrade which changes the look and feel of the forum somewhat but brings a host of improvements too. Please bear with us as we continue to tweak things and report any issues or suggestions in Site/Forum Issues.

New style 'seagate desktop hard drive' - With USB HUB!

Eric

New Member
#1
Hi all.

I have two Humax box's (hdr-fox t2) in my living room, and one 'external usb-hdd' that i share between them (for archiving). It's frustrating having to keep swapping the usb-lead from the hdd, to each hummy every day, to copy recordings to it - i'm looking for a clean solution, you know?

I like the portability of an external hdd so i can also watch saved recordings elsewhere such as upstairs, or at my son's house etc.

I've seen in Curry's a new type of external hdd that has two usb connections on the front: (here)

As well as the increased capacity of 6TB (which i could really do with), I was wondering if anyone knew if i could connect both my hummy's to this single 'twin-usb' hdd at the same time? I don't want to keep swapping the usb-lead every day, nor have two separate hdd's.

Even if i don't buy this 'twin-usb' drive (above), is there a way of achieving the same result, so i don't have to touch the back of the hummy's daily?

kind regards
 

MartinLiddle

Super Moderator
Staff member
#3
As well as the increased capacity of 6TB (which i could really do with), I was wondering if anyone knew if i could connect both my hummy's to this single 'twin-usb' hdd at the same time? I don't want to keep swapping the usb-lead every day, nor have two separate hdd's.
Reading the answers on Amazon about this device the answer seems to be that you can only connect to one PC at a time. Perhaps someone else can say if the custom firmware supports GPT style partition tables on USB drives.
Even if i don't buy this 'twin-usb' drive (above), is there a way of achieving the same result, so i don't have to touch the back of the hummy's daily?
I take it you know there is a second USB port on the front of the Humax under a flap on the right?
 

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
#4
I was wondering if anyone knew if i could connect both my hummy's to this single 'twin-usb' hdd at the same time?
Why is this posted in the Custom Firmware section?

What you are looking for is a dual-ported USB HDD, and this isn't it. The device you reference is simply a USB HDD plus a hub that extends the bus to more slave devices, you can't connect to more than one USB master port. I have never come across a dual-port USB device.

It's frustrating having to keep swapping the usb-lead from the hdd, to each hummy every day, to copy recordings to it - i'm looking for a clean solution, you know... Even if i don't buy this 'twin-usb' drive (above), is there a way of achieving the same result, so i don't have to touch the back of the hummy's daily?
That's easy. By configuring a network share, you can access a USB drive connected to one HDR-FOX on the other. See network-shares-automount (click) - yes, OK, I know it's a CF solution.

Perhaps someone else can say if the custom firmware supports GPT style partition tables on USB drives.
AFAIK, GPT is only supported as an internal HDD, and only under the CF (not standard firmware). GPT is, of course, necessary to support a drive over 2TB as one partition, and there are problems over 4TB (at present) with the Humax code getting confused - it was never designed for that. However, a 4TB+ external drive could be partitioned into two 2TB volumes within the MBR specifications.

For more info see Things Every... (click) section 12.

I take it you know there is a second USB port on the front of the Humax under a flap on the right?
Not sure what that has to do with anything.
 

aw1

Forum Supporter
#5
What you are looking for is a dual-ported USB HDD, and this isn't it. The device you reference is simply a USB HDD plus a hub that extends the bus to more slave devices, you can't connect to more than one USB master port. I have never come across a dual-port USB device.
I doubt that you ever will come across a dual ported USB disk. Just think of the mess that two computers independently and simultaneously directly writing to the same disk would make, especially if they have any form of lazy writing and read caching. As you say, attaching the disk to one with the other connected via the network to the first would be a good way to go. Or perhaps a NAS.
 

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
#7
Just think of the mess that two computers independently and simultaneously directly writing to the same disk would make, especially if they have any form of lazy writing and read caching.
It's perfectly possible to do that on a NAS, there's no reason it couldn't be done on USB - the management unit would have to arbitrate between accesses. We do it in RAM, especially for message passing between hardware systems.
 
OP
OP
Eric

Eric

New Member
#8
Try THIS. Any use to you?

Hello all. I was looking for a non-techie solution to be honest as my knowledge in this area, as well as most things with technology, is extremely limited, mainly due to not having an IT background, and my old age!

The product referenced on ebay (above) - 'a splitter' - seems like a very logical one (at least to me). For example, i can split my tv aerial from the wall socket into two separate signals (one for each hummy box) with no issues, so the logic is why can't a usb-splitter perform the same task...? After all, there's only a cheap usb lead connecting the hummy to the external usb-hdd anyway, so why can't it simply interface with this usb-splitter thing and still "copy" the data...?


....Just think of the mess that two computers independently and simultaneously directly writing to the same disk would make, especially if they have any form of lazy writing and read caching...

I assume that any usb lead is only a carrier for data, so passing via a splitter (in the same way as an aerial version) should work also (?). So long as i only transfer data (ie. copy recordings) from one hummy box at a time, i can't see how the other hummy connected to it would be involved. I suppose this is where i should just buy the usb-splitter on ebay and test it. If only Maplin were still around for me to purchase from! ;)

Thanks guys - i'll update you once i've got it.
 
OP
OP
Eric

Eric

New Member
#9
Reading the answers on Amazon about this device the answer seems to be that you can only connect to one PC at a time. Perhaps someone else can say if the custom firmware supports GPT style partition tables on USB drives.

I take it you know there is a second USB port on the front of the Humax under a flap on the right?

Many thanks for making the effort and actually reading some of the answers on Amazon - great team work! lol

And yes i did know about the front usb port - my argument was, why should i have to keep removing and then attaching the usb leads every day (from either port) from one hummy to another, when a quick, non-techie, permanent solution was needed.

I'm hoping the cheap and cheerful usb-splitter would work in practice - if not, i'll just return it! :)

Kind regards
 

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
#10
The product referenced on ebay (above) - 'a splitter' - seems like a very logical one (at least to me). For example, i can split my tv aerial from the wall socket into two separate signals (one for each hummy box) with no issues, so the logic is why can't a usb-splitter perform the same task...? After all, there's only a cheap usb lead connecting the hummy to the external usb-hdd anyway, so why can't it simply interface with this usb-splitter thing and still "copy" the data...?

I assume that any usb lead is only a carrier for data, so passing via a splitter (in the same way as an aerial version) should work also (?). So long as i only transfer data (ie. copy recordings) from one hummy box at a time, i can't see how the other hummy connected to it would be involved.
Er, no! A normal (ie practically every) USB interface is a bi-directional data transfer mechanism between a master device and one of several slave devices. You can have several slave devices because the transfer protocols include slave addressing. What you can't have is more than one master on the interface.

The "splitter" (as you put it) is not a box to share resources between two masters simultaneously - all it is is a switch so that you effectively disconnect the slave from one master and connect it to the other by throwing the switch. An aerial splitter (for example) shares the aerial between two receivers simultaneously.

Yes, it's a low-tech solution to your problem, but it is equivalent to plugging the drive into one Hummy at a time. Using CF and networking you can have it "plugged" into both units simultaneously.
 

aw1

Forum Supporter
#11
It's perfectly possible to do that on a NAS, there's no reason it couldn't be done on USB - the management unit would have to arbitrate between accesses. We do it in RAM, especially for message passing between hardware systems.
Indeed. But rather than a cheap USB to SATA converter, you would have a management unit that was well on the way to being a NAS and rather more expensive. Indeed, the QNAP TS-251A appears to "access files over the network & direct-attached via USB QuickAccess" - but only has one slave USB port.
I'll butt out now, as I will soon be off the net for the better part of a fortnight and ought to be packing.
 

Trev

The Dumb One
#13
Question
I have two Humax box's (hdr-fox t2) in my living room, and one 'external usb-hdd' that i share between them (for archiving). It's frustrating having to keep swapping the usb-lead from the hdd, to each hummy every day, to copy recordings to it - i'm looking for a clean solution, you know?
Answer
Try THIS. Any use to you?
Low tech. Satisfies the OP's stated requirements.
Yes, there probably are better ways of doing it if he has a NAS (for archiving) and everything is networked and a media server(s) is/are somewhere in the system and his remote TV is capable of playing from a media server. But simple? No.
 

Ezra Pound

Well-Known Member
#16
You may have a problem with the switch listed in #2, if you don't have USB cables fitted with both type A and type B connectors
2018-03-29_14.31.35.jpg 2018-03-29_14.32.17.jpg
Like this :-
2018-03-29_14.43.37.jpg
 
Last edited:

MartinLiddle

Super Moderator
Staff member
#17
You may have a problem with the switch listed in #2, if you don't have USB cables fitted with both type A and type B connectors
I think there may also be a problem with the power consumption of the external drive if connecting to a single USB2 port; USB3 would be fine but the Humax has USB2. I have seen talk of needing to use a Y cable with USB2 and this drive.
 
#18
Hello all. I was looking for a non-techie solution to be honest as my knowledge in this area, as well as most things with technology, is extremely limited, mainly due to not having an IT background, and my old age!

The product referenced on ebay (above) - 'a splitter' - seems like a very logical one (at least to me). For example, i can split my tv aerial from the wall socket into two separate signals (one for each hummy box) with no issues, so the logic is why can't a usb-splitter perform the same task...? After all, there's only a cheap usb lead connecting the hummy to the external usb-hdd anyway, so why can't it simply interface with this usb-splitter thing and still "copy" the data...?

I assume that any usb lead is only a carrier for data, so passing via a splitter (in the same way as an aerial version) should work also (?). So long as i only transfer data (ie. copy recordings) from one hummy box at a time, i can't see how the other hummy connected to it would be involved. I suppose this is where i should just buy the usb-splitter on ebay and test it. If only Maplin were still around for me to purchase from! ;)

Thanks guys - i'll update you once i've got it.
Just to be clear, this is not a 'splitter', despite being stated as such in the description. It is a simple switch - only one of of the ports labelled '1' and '2' is ever connected to the port on the other end at once - the other is completely electrically disconnected, so the 'other hummy connected' cannot interfere with data transfers happening via the other connected port as it isn't actually connected! Two USB master devices (the hummys in this case) simply cannot be connected to the same slave device (the hard drive) at the same time. If this were a true 'splitter' (i.e. every port connected together permanently) and with the right cables/connectors etc. you could wire it up to 'look' like that, but it wouldn't actually work.
 

Ezra Pound

Well-Known Member
#19
I think there may also be a problem with the power consumption . . .
As far as I can see this is a mechanical switch that comsumes no power, so it would be no different to unplugging and re connecting from a single USB outlet to a single HDD, there may be a brief loss of power on switch over that may upset the HDD though
 

MartinLiddle

Super Moderator
Staff member
#20
As far as I can see this is a mechanical switch that comsumes no power, so it would be no different to unplugging and re connecting from a single USB outlet to a single HDD, there may be a brief loss of power on switch over that may upset the HDD though
Your quote doesn't go far enough; what I actually said was "I think there may also be a problem with the power consumption of the external drive"; it is the power consumption of the drive (not the switch) that is another factor that makes this drive unsuitable for the intended application.