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Topic: USB FIle Tool (Read 2227 times) previous topic - next topic

USB FIle Tool

In these days of ubiquitous high density storage everyone is carrying around 10's of gigabytes of storage space with a standard USB interface (flash drives, USB mass storage cell phones, external harddrives, etc.) However there is no easy way to access and share this data with out having a PC on hand.
I would like to see a small device with a pair of USB ports, capable of hosting a flash drive and a external hard drive for instance, with a small display screen and a few buttons that was capable of browsing the filesystem and moving/copying files back and forth. It should be quick and small, and could be reprogrammed and powered through a UBS mini or micro port.
A FTDI chip should be able to provide the USB host capability, and a small ARM micro processor could provide the brains.
This should be pretty easy right? It would be a lot more convenient than getting out a laptop to copy some files from a flash drive to and external harddrive. Anyway, just an idea.

Re: USB FIle Tool

Reply #1
Devices like this definitely already exist, though I can't point to any off the top of my head. Most often they're designed for transferring photos from an SD card to an external hard drive.

It's more difficult than you might think because you want high data rates for something like this, which means USB High Speed support, which means 4 layer boards and carefully controlled impedance.

Re: USB FIle Tool

Reply #2
[quote author="nickjohnson"]Devices like this definitely already exist, though I can't point to any off the top of my head. Most often they're designed for transferring photos from an SD card to an external hard drive.[/quote]

Imagetanks are they called. MOstly designed (last time I looked into that) to dump all the files of the sd/cf card to their storage.

Re: USB FIle Tool

Reply #3
I am definitely interested in your idea here--please let us know of any further updates on your end.  :)

 

Re: USB FIle Tool

Reply #4
[quote author="nickjohnson"]Devices like this definitely already exist, though I can't point to any off the top of my head. Most often they're designed for transferring photos from an SD card to an external hard drive.

It's more difficult than you might think because you want high data rates for something like this, which means USB High Speed support, which means 4 layer boards and carefully controlled impedance.[/quote]

If you wanna run some long USB high-speed traces they better be carefully routed over a substrate as thin as possible and with controlled impedance, but the rise times involved in USB2.0 high-speed signals are long enough so that the short-trace model is still valid for traces up to some centimeters long (I don't know, but maybe 4 or 5). As long as you route the signals as a differential pair with the target trace width for the target impedance given by some transmission line calculator software and you keep traces short the thing should work without issues over a crappy substrate two layers board. The thinner the board the better. In fact many consumer products such as USB hubs are built that way, and they don't even equalize the lengths of the differential pair traces.