USB Powered Hub Hack for Raspberry Pi External Harddrive

Introduction: USB Powered Hub Hack for Raspberry Pi External Harddrive

Step 1: Intro


I recently got a Raspberry Pi to use as a HTPC running Raspmc.
But came into problems where the Rpi does not provide enough bus power on its USB ports to power a 2.5" external harddrive.
So I decided to add a external 5v power supply to provide power to a hub with its own switch.

I am using the USB port on the TV to power the Rpi and a 5v 1000mA to supply the hub with the harddrive attached..

This is what i did..

Step 2: Requirements

For this Instructable I have use bits and pieces that I had floating around the house..

All that is needed is a:
Powered hub
Toggle switch
Some heat shrink tube
A few pieces of wire
Soldering iron
Some DC male/female connectors
And a 5v power supply (1000mA is enough)

Step 3: Take Apart

I removed the cover for the hub and removed the DC jack connected to the circuit board.

Just to be safe check the polarity with a multimeter by taking a Male DC jack and testing for continuity on the +5v line and negative rails on the board its self. 
With the hub I am using there are 2 Negative (Far left and far right pins) and the center pin is +5v.

Step 4: Add the Switch

Then solder the toggle switch in between the +5v line and the board.

Connect the negative straight to the board. ( The board had 2 negative pins so I made a small Y-split)
I have used a male usb cable to power hub so it can still be used on a computer. (I cut the green and white data lines off so it's just the 5v+ and negative )

Step 5: Test

After I tested to make sure nothing was shorting and the switch works I put it all back together..
(There are now 2 switches on the hub. The original is to turn the actual ports off and the added toggle switch turns on the main power)

Raspberry Pi Contest

Participated in the
Raspberry Pi Contest

Be the First to Share


    • For the Home Contest

      For the Home Contest
    • Make It Bridge

      Make It Bridge
    • Game Design: Student Design Challenge

      Game Design: Student Design Challenge



    2 years ago on Step 2

    What was the point of this again? To add power to the hub?


    Reply 1 year ago

    To help power any hard drives on the pi. I found when adding 2x 2,5" drives, The Pi does not supply enough power.


    9 years ago on Introduction

    i'm also soldering topless all the time!! ;)


    Reply 6 years ago

    me too MD

    Rocking Arduinos
    Rocking Arduinos

    9 years ago

    I never had problems with using a USB hub to power my raspberry pi and it's running for almost a year now. Nice tut btw.