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Discussion Starter #1
I have bought a new Toyota van and opted out of the factory nav system lieu of a better functioning and cheaper after marketsystem. I'd like to run USB ports to all the seats for charging phones and such as well. The head I've got on the way touts a 1 amp output on the usb power wise but is also used for mp3 input etc. The $1000 question is as follows:

If I plug this usb cable from the head into a multiway port (like a belkin or D-link usb hub) will each seat be able to source to the head if there's only one input at a time? So if the person in the very back seat wants to hear the tunes on his ipod would it work through the hub?

Mostly it seems this is the cheapest way to get 5V power to outlets around the van. I have found a 3A DCDC converter that would provide "dumb" power ports but the hub (if self powered) would provide enough juice plus transmit info to boot for cheaper.

Any tried that with success?
 

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The documentation for your aftermarket nav system should say if it supports a USB hub for multiple USB devices. I know that some do. My Kenwood media receiver for example, is intended for a USB hub and up to three usb devices (flash or ipod) that it can identify and access one at a time. If your aftermarket unit isn't specifically capable of that, I would guess that connecting multiple USB devices at once would confuse the thing so nothing works. In that case, you could probably still use a USB hub to split out your multiple "dumb" USB jacks for power only, and keep the main port separate.
 

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This is not my area of expertise, but I would guess that it would depend on the hub and head. As stated above, most hubs are "dumb," and I doubt that it would allow "plug-and play" access from all-over the car. Given the correct interface, it is conceivable that the driver could select any source connected from the hub, but the hub should only allow a connection.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
BTW the head is a JVC NT800HDT. Says it supports USB 2.0 with a 1A output. I would think if it meets the usb standard it would operate the same as those on a computer. however the amazon reviews of most of the hubs I'v looked at seem to indicate its spotty even in the intended application (computer hardware like external drives and such).

I'm looking to:
A) Distribute power and 1A should be plenty, it's not like there's going to be 7 mp3 player charging at one time.
B)Extend the usb input as a source. If I could have it at all seat positions that would be great, if just up front that's ok and all I need.
 

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I'm thinking 1A would be low. I believe that usb standard is 500mA, so more than one or two devices being plugged in at the same time and wanting to charge themselves could be an issue. Just something to consider.
 

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I think the 1A might be okay. At most there would only be two phones plugged in at a time really so I htink it would prbabably be ok, just not a superb solution.

The DCDC converter I found was from "proxicast" and it was about $50. It provides 3A with a 12V input so that would be plenty, but it would be dumb power. I'm thinking I might go with it and just have one the "smart" socket up front. IT seems feasible to me that the kids might want to run other devices like fans, or whatever stuff that is USB powered, seems they make about everything for it anymore.

I am tempted to get a hub and try it though. If it didn't work I could take it back. We'll see in a few weeks once I've had a chance to get everything installed.
 
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