I’ve come across a few interesting tiny USB boards and hubs in the last few days, so instead of writing a post for each, I’ve gathered all info into a single article.
A couple of weeks ago, CNLohr released his first ESPUSB virtual USB implementation for ESP8266 allowing to use USB with external hardware, barring a resistor, and only two GPIOs. He has now made a tiny board based on ESP8285 with a USB interface leveraging ESPUSB.
Hardware files can be found on github. So what can you do with it? CNLohr leveraged the work of the community in order to emulate a keyboard and mouse using a smartphone.
The only bit of bad news in the video is that finally USB full speed (12 Mbps) can’t be supported.
Mux wanted to add more USB devices to its tablets, but there was none free, so he decided to create a USB hub board small enough to fit inside tablets and called it NanoUSB measuring just 12x12x1.5mm, and provides two USB ports from one USB host port in the target hardware.
Smartphones usually only have one micro USB OTG port or USB-C port, but for example if you want re-purpose your smartphone for other tasks, or want to use a USB device while charging your phone, you’d need a hub connected via a USB OTG adapter. Another solution is to directly use a micro USB hub with 3 USB ports and one micro USB port which I found on DealExtreme for $4.71 including shipping.
It could also be useful for Raspberry Pi Zero board for example. If you have a more recent device with a USB-C connector you might consider a USB-C to USB hub instead. DX sells one for $5.12.