USB - the Elephant in our Room


 
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by abishur » Thu Aug 09, 2012 2:48 pm
Sulge, I'm not as nice as James is. I understand that you had some application that you *really* wanted 5 legacy interfaces for, but you're frustration has blinded you to every person who has patiently been saying "we're trying to fix it you git!". You've been banned, but I've made it only a week long ban. Cool your head and come back in a week at which point I hope that you can calmly participate in the conversation rather than just repeating the same phrase over and over like a broken record.

As for what to do with your Pi, you can either wait patiently for the issue to fix (The price to pay for being an early technology adopter is working through the bugs), sell it to someone who can work with the usb packet loss issue (like the majority of the pi owners), return it to the place you bought it from for a refund, or you can take it out back and shoot it with a [insert your weapon of choice here]!
Dear forum: Play nice ;-)
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by jamesh » Thu Aug 09, 2012 2:59 pm
abishur wrote:Sulge, I'm not as nice as James is. I understand that you had some application that you *really* wanted 5 legacy interfaces for, but you're frustration has blinded you to every person who has patiently been saying "we're trying to fix it you git!". You've been banned, but I've made it only a week long ban. Cool your head and come back in a week at which point I hope that you can calmly participate in the conversation rather than just repeating the same phrase over and over like a broken record.

As for what to do with your Pi, you can either wait patiently for the issue to fix (The price to pay for being an early technology adopter is working through the bugs), sell it to someone who can work with the usb packet loss issue (like the majority of the pi owners), return it to the place you bought it from for a refund, or you can take it out back and shoot it with a [insert your weapon of choice here]!


Weapon of choice....Frikkin' Laser. Attached to a shark.
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by spitecho » Thu Aug 09, 2012 3:04 pm
Aw, I wanted to find out what he needed such a goofy setup for. Maybe four of his USB-to-serial cables worked, but that fifth one was the deal-breaker!

Anyhoo, I have the USB problem, but I found a way to work around it. Which is pretty much how Linux has always been: Aut viam inveniam aut faciam—I'll either find a way or make one.
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by juggle » Thu Aug 09, 2012 3:38 pm
jamesh wrote:It's not a piece of junk. You are exaggerating. It most certainly does work in many/most circumstances as shown by the many thousands of people who are more than happy with them.

Many USB keyboards and mice work. I suggest scrounging some, perhaps your desktop PC uses a USB mouse and keyboard you can try?

I am not exaggerating.
My point is that a device equipped with a USB interface is expected by customers to work with USB devices. It doesn't work for me with my "standard" USB interface devices, so my perception as a customer is that it doesn't work: for me it is no use at all - just a piece of junk that I paid thirty quid for.

The whole reason I bought the adapter was to avoid having to buy / scrounge / steal a USB keyboard & mouse. I have spare PS/2 items which work fine with the adapter on a "normal" USB port.

I appreciate that people are working for free trying to resolve this issue, but that the Pi was released before these issues were identified is extremely unfortunate.
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by obcd » Thu Aug 09, 2012 3:43 pm
Glad you posted the translation. I couldn't find the Latin to Dutch on google translation.
I am willing to take over his Pi for a fair price. I know about the usb issue, so it's not like I will feel bad about the deal. Maybie the answer for him is getting a dog. Beagles seem to be friendly animals, and I noticed they breed so well that they start to lower in price. (I hope I don't get banned for this.)
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by RaTTuS » Thu Aug 09, 2012 3:45 pm
juggle wrote:The whole reason I bought the adapter was to avoid having to buy / scrounge / steal a USB keyboard & mouse. I have spare PS/2 items which work fine with the adapter on a "normal" USB port.

you are probably seeing a different issue as a PS/2 keyboard is not a USB device and an adapter to make a PS/2 Keyboard [and mouse] act like a usb device is going to cause some problems somewhere down the line.
what you need to do is post a new thread with the issue and have the info from
/var/log/syslog there. as a start
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by Joe Schmoe » Thu Aug 09, 2012 3:47 pm
Remember - he did say that he wouldn't sell it, because he thinks it's a piece of junk and he doesn't feel right about selling junk. That's admirable.

So, if he is giving it away for free, I want to be first in line. (No, I won't pay any shipping fees, though...)
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by jamesh » Thu Aug 09, 2012 3:49 pm
RaTTuS wrote:
juggle wrote:The whole reason I bought the adapter was to avoid having to buy / scrounge / steal a USB keyboard & mouse. I have spare PS/2 items which work fine with the adapter on a "normal" USB port.

you are probably seeing a different issue as a PS/2 keyboard is not a USB device and an adapter to make a PS/2 Keyboard [and mouse] act like a usb device is going to cause some problems somewhere down the line.
what you need to do is post a new thread with the issue and have the info from
/var/log/syslog there. as a start


Hmm, I'd forgotten about that - isn't there an issue with voltages? PS2 and USB are different. Worth searching the forum for that - there was definitely a thread about it a while back.
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by Joe Schmoe » Thu Aug 09, 2012 3:50 pm
RaTTuS wrote:
juggle wrote:The whole reason I bought the adapter was to avoid having to buy / scrounge / steal a USB keyboard & mouse. I have spare PS/2 items which work fine with the adapter on a "normal" USB port.

you are probably seeing a different issue as a PS/2 keyboard is not a USB device and an adapter to make a PS/2 Keyboard [and mouse] act like a usb device is going to cause some problems somewhere down the line.
what you need to do is post a new thread with the issue and have the info from
/var/log/syslog there. as a start


How is an end-user (like juggle) supposed to know that? How can he be expected to know that it won't "just work", like it does on his PC? (Even though it probably shouldn't work on the PC, the fact is that it does...)
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by khulat » Thu Aug 09, 2012 3:56 pm
Does it? I am pretty sure these things are very spotty on normal PCs.
See this link for examples: http://www.amazon.com/PS-Female-USB-Mal ... ewpoints=0
Note that i picked the 1 Star Reviews because those are the ones that describe problems. :)
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by PaulCheffus » Thu Aug 09, 2012 3:57 pm
Joe Schmoe wrote:
RaTTuS wrote:
juggle wrote:The whole reason I bought the adapter was to avoid having to buy / scrounge / steal a USB keyboard & mouse. I have spare PS/2 items which work fine with the adapter on a "normal" USB port.

you are probably seeing a different issue as a PS/2 keyboard is not a USB device and an adapter to make a PS/2 Keyboard [and mouse] act like a usb device is going to cause some problems somewhere down the line.
what you need to do is post a new thread with the issue and have the info from
/var/log/syslog there. as a start


How is an end-user (like juggle) supposed to know that? How can he be expected to know that it won't "just work", like it does on his PC? (Even though it probably shouldn't work on the PC, the fact is that it does...)


Hi

However it doesn't just work on the PC. I tried this with a Microsoft keyboard which had a PS/2 plug and a PS/2 to USB converter and it didn't work. It could have been the Microsoft keyboard it could have been the converter I don't know but it didn't work with on the PC.

Cheers

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by jamesh » Thu Aug 09, 2012 4:01 pm
The problem is, to answer that question, and to answer all similar ones on 'will this device work' is that you would need to test EVERY SINGLE USB DEVICE. Which I am sure you will agree is impossible. I've got USB devices at home that don't work on my Ubuntu desktop. I didn't know they wouldn't work when I started using Ubuntu. Canonical haven't tested every USB device on their software either, there was nothing on their site saying my Film scanner wouldn't work.

What interesting is that this driver was supplied by Synopsis, and not by the Foundation or Broadcom. The Synopsis Verilog is used quite a lot in the field, as is this driver. And yet, the problem is only really coming to light now. And yet, looks who's getting all the grief....
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by Dilligaf » Thu Aug 09, 2012 4:03 pm
Simple workaround, use the ps2 to usb adapter on your PC and the usb keyboard/mouse from your PC on the Pi
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by obcd » Thu Aug 09, 2012 4:03 pm
I noticed farnell places those adapters in the list of Pi compatible equipment...?
Perhaps they are just trying to ditch them, as ps2 legacy is becoming old technology.
They normally should work when they are connected to a self powered usb hub.
I have no idea what the power specifications are for a ps/2 keyboard.
I assume most motherboards just add the 5V to the ps/2 connector, perhaps with a 1 Amp fuse or polyfuse in the line. So, power consumption of a ps/2 keyboard never was much of an issue.
I just noticed on the back of mine it says it consumes 75mA at 5V. The older ones probably need more?

It was known that the Pi usb ports can only deliver 100mA. This is the same as the downstream ports of a bus powered hub. Not all usb devices follow the rules as most hosts can live with them violating the standards. The Pi can't when it comes into power consumption.

Don't get me wrong on this, I am not denying the other usb issue.
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by obcd » Thu Aug 09, 2012 4:08 pm
I hope nobody is trying it's keyboard with one of those green mouse ps/2 to usb adapters. Those are simple passive devices that just work because the mouse electronics is capable of figuring out if it needs to act as an usb client or as a ps/2 device. I have never seen a keyboard delivered with one of those...
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by jamesh » Thu Aug 09, 2012 4:23 pm
juggle wrote:
jamesh wrote:It's not a piece of junk. You are exaggerating. It most certainly does work in many/most circumstances as shown by the many thousands of people who are more than happy with them.

Many USB keyboards and mice work. I suggest scrounging some, perhaps your desktop PC uses a USB mouse and keyboard you can try?

I am not exaggerating.
My point is that a device equipped with a USB interface is expected by customers to work with USB devices. It doesn't work for me with my "standard" USB interface devices, so my perception as a customer is that it doesn't work: for me it is no use at all - just a piece of junk that I paid thirty quid for.

The whole reason I bought the adapter was to avoid having to buy / scrounge / steal a USB keyboard & mouse. I have spare PS/2 items which work fine with the adapter on a "normal" USB port.

I appreciate that people are working for free trying to resolve this issue, but that the Pi was released before these issues were identified is extremely unfortunate.


Can you supply information on the particular PS2 adapter you are using, might make it easier to see what the problem is. Also, do USB keyboards/mice work ok? Which should prove whether it's the adapter or not.
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by RaTTuS » Thu Aug 09, 2012 4:29 pm
juggle wrote:I am not exaggerating.

where in the world are you?
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by drgeoff » Thu Aug 09, 2012 5:46 pm
obcd wrote:I hope nobody is trying it's keyboard with one of those green mouse ps/2 to usb adapters. Those are simple passive devices that just work because the mouse electronics is capable of figuring out if it needs to act as an usb client or as a ps/2 device. I have never seen a keyboard delivered with one of those...

Just after delivery of my two RPis towards the end of May, Pl*y.com were offering 2 sets of keyboard and optical mouse for £10 delivered. I bought a pair. Keyboard and mouse are fitted with USB plugs but each was accompanied by a (passive) USB to PS/2 adaptor. Such keyboards do exist.

(And I wasn't very pleased when the keyboards didn't work with the RPis - kernel panics. Several wasted hours trying different PSUs, different USB to micro-USB leads, writing SD cards with different OSs all to no avail before finding a thread on the forum with posings from others who had been there done that and got the T-shirt. Needless to say the keyboards work fine in USB mode with every other Windows and Linux machine I've connected them to.)
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by Jim JKla » Thu Aug 09, 2012 6:30 pm
Those little passive adaptors come with equipment fitted with USB and allow you to plug them into a PS2 port.

As they have the USB as the primary you would not be using the adaptor for a RPi.

I have a few that alow you to plug a PS2 into a serial port (that would be the old 9 pin D Serial) ;)
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by mahjongg » Thu Aug 09, 2012 6:37 pm
The wiki warns that PS/2 keyboards won't work! (directly on the PI, that is).

The problem isn't with the adapters, (in principle they probably work great with the PI) the problem is that PS/2 keyboards themselves may not work with voltages lower than 4.75V (they are not designed for that), while real USB keyboards (that use less than 100mA) do.
If you would be able to find a PS/2 keyboard designed to work with 4,4V, I bet it would work with an adapter on the PI, (unless obviously if the adapter would not follow USB specifications).

Due to the "power design" of the PI, lower than 4.75V voltages on its own USB ports are to be expected, but not normally lower than 4.4Volt, because that is what a real USB keyboard, one that follows the USB spec, (which specifies 4.4 Volt) is designed for.

The combination of a PS/2 keyboard with a USB adapter doesn't follow the USB spec!, but it will work when connected to a powered hub!
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by Kernel » Thu Aug 09, 2012 7:04 pm
The recent discussion has prompted me to reply to this thread.

1, To those saying the problem is rare:
I have two Pis - one from Farnell, one from RS made of different components in different weeks, powered by good power supplies (not chargers, one of them being the official RS's supply)

I have intended to run them headless and have an usb stick connected to them to provide some storage space. This USB stick can't be used on neither of them, as in each case it appears as if it was disconnect and then appears as a new usb device later (sda..sdb..). The time it takes for this to happen depends on the usage. Simple test to make this always happen - I've not been able to successfully complete mkfs on it - ever.
Interestingly if instead of the USB stick, the sd card is used for writing, the Pis run flawlessly even with heavy ethernet usage.

I don't consider USB mass storage a nonstandard USB device and writing/reading/even formatting unconcievable usage scenario.

2,
To those saying it's power causing the issues

Wasn't the USB power connector presented as something to make it easy for people to reuse what they already have - with those in 3rd world countries that are worse off in mind as well?
Turns out it's the exact opposite, causing problems, making people (who can afford to) buy and try all sorts of PSUs, hubs..

3, To those saying the Pi was not intended to do this, people are not being paid, etc...

I have a cheap chinese nasbox from dx flashed with http://code.google.com/p/snake-os/

This setup has been running for more than 1/2 year writing data to an usb stick. It has never failed. It's got much less power and ram, but even if it gets put under heavy load, it's able to get the job done, albeit slowly.

It's chinese.
The new firmware making it possible to run a variant of linux on it was put together by few people for free.
It's stable.

I was hoping for Pi to do its work and much more since it's much more powerful...

Frankly even though the Foundation people are not making profit on Raspi, I think it doesn't make them any less responsible for the quality of the device they designed and have been (indirectly) selling.

Regardless of the cause (software, power, design) of Pi's problems, they are frustrating to deal with and are likely to cause many to lose interest at some point (even children, or perhaps especially them).
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by Mortimer » Thu Aug 09, 2012 7:18 pm
obcd wrote:I hope nobody is trying it's keyboard with one of those green mouse ps/2 to usb adapters. Those are simple passive devices that just work because the mouse electronics is capable of figuring out if it needs to act as an usb client or as a ps/2 device. I have never seen a keyboard delivered with one of those...


I've got a whole bunch of keyboards with PS/2 to USB adapters that they came with. They are Labtec Ultra Flat keyboards and each one came with one of these:
Image
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by Jim JKla » Thu Aug 09, 2012 7:50 pm
Could be that keyboard has been built as a USB it would be interesting if that adaptor will work with a wide range of keyboards.
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by Mortimer » Thu Aug 09, 2012 8:02 pm
The Labtec keyboards behave in the same way as most wired USB mice. Plug them via the little adapter and the internal logic of the keyboard behaves as a PS/2 keyboard instead.
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by obcd » Thu Aug 09, 2012 8:03 pm
If the keyboards come with a ps/2-usb adapter, they should be usb compliant. The lower voltage shouldn't be an issue in that case.
Honestly, I have never seen a keyboard with such an adapter. They are very common on mice. It proves again that the Pi is a good learning device...
An usb memory stick need more than the 100mA provided by the Pi to operate. Connect it to a bus powered hub and to your pc, and it will complain about using 2 power as well. It's like that by design, and I don't think someone ever told that such a device could be connected directly without issues. If there really is a need for such a setup, you can bridge the polyfuses and solder a wire from the 5V to the supply pin's of the usb connectors. If your supply adapter is up to the job, the usb stick will work happily ever after. Be aware that this will void your warranty. lsusb -vv shows a lot of information about your connected usb devices, including the current they need to operate. Manufactures sometimes lie about this, but the device will never consume less than indicated there.
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