Fixing the Worst USB Hub in the World

February 3, 2021 | Mike Buss

Hewlett Packard makes the world’s worst USB hub. No, really. It’s truly awful.

The hub looks simple enough: on one side, there’s a USB-C cable that connects to your computer. On the other, there’s an assortment of ports.

So, why is this the worst hub in the world? Well, because the top is one giant button. A button that, if a hair fell on it, would trigger as if you smashed it with a wrench. One reviewer compared plugging in a new USB cable to disarming a bomb. And, what does this button do? It puts your computer to sleep.

If a cat walks over the hub, it will put your computer to sleep.

If you accidentally place something on the hub, it will put your computer to sleep.

If you look at it in a way that it doesn’t appreciate, it will put your computer to sleep.

And, if that wasn’t bad enough, the USB-C cable on the front will, when lightly moved, instantly disconnect from your computer.

My cat doesn't understand how computers work. Thanks to this hub that doesn't stop him from shutting down my computer.

In general, this hub needs to be kept perfectly still and untouched at all times.

After finding these quirks, my first instinct was to hurl this hub into the trash. But, thinking about it more, I decided to create a little enclosure for it.

I whipped up a no-frills, so-easy-a-monkey-could-do-it design with Shapr3D and beamed it over to my 3D printer, an Ultimaker S3. Seven hours of printing later, I had an enclosure for my awful hub!

With this addition, accidentally pressing the button is far less likely. And, the front of the box provides some protection for accidentally jostling the USB-C cable out of position.

Since creating this enclosure, I’ve shipped three to people with the same hub. If you’re interested, you can download the STL here.

I’ve also started working on a more compact, refined model. If you’d like to try that, shoot me an email and I’ll let you know when it’s finished.

If you’re considering buying a Thunderbolt 3 hub and this one comes to your attention, I would point you towards a comment made by another reviewer:

“Would I recommend this product to a friend? I wouldn’t even recommend it to an enemy.” – Anonymous

Previous Post

Building an Air Filtration System for a 3D Printer

How I used a microcontroller, a fan, and a bunch of sensors to create a smart filtration system.

Next Post

Saying Farewell to Cleveland Clinic

After eight years, today was my last day working for Cleveland Clinic.

About the Author

Mike Buss is a software engineer from Ohio who works primarily in the healthcare space. His work has been featured on and helped hundreds of thousands of patients. In his spare time, he writes about software development and more.

Follow @michaeltbuss on Twitter as he continues to document his software development journey.