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Peripherals If a USB device shorts out will it damage the computer?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Cthippo, 13 Apr 2017.

  1. Cthippo

    Cthippo Can't mod my way out of a paper bag

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    I've been doing a lot of messing around with underwater photography recently and am starting to run into issues with the closed architecture of the camera system I'm using. One option would be to put a camera in a waterproof housing and use that instead of the purpose built underwater camera I have now. Problem is, my amusing will be homemade and may not be as waterproof as I might like.

    I'm going to get one or more cheap webcams at the thrift store to experiment with and I totally don't care if they get destroyed. However, if, in the process of their destruction they short out the computer they are attached to, that could be problematic.

    So, the question is, can a USB device shorting out damage the computer it's attached to, and if so, will putting a USB hub in between protect the computer?
     
  2. Xlog

    Xlog Minimodder

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    Get an USB isolator, they go ~10£ on ebay.
    USB hub might work, might not. Same goes for PCs.
     
  3. TheMadDutchDude

    TheMadDutchDude The Flying Dutchman

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    As above, putting it into a hub may or may not work. The worst that should happen is that you fry the USB port or stack of ports. It shouldn't cause the PC to go into meltdown mode. It would suck to lose USB ports, though...
     
  4. Cthippo

    Cthippo Can't mod my way out of a paper bag

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    OK, I'll look for an isolator. Thanks :thumb:
     
  5. Nealieboyee

    Nealieboyee Packaging Master!

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    There should be protection against shorts on the motherboard side. I think the problem starts when there is a surge instead of a short.
     
  6. Vault-Tec

    Vault-Tec Green Plastic Watering Can

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    There is supposed to be protection for both.

    However, having seen this a couple of weeks ago...



    https://www.usbkill.com/

    I'm a little concerned. Thankfully I never let dbags near my PC but yeah, not cool.

    I've lost a controller before. I bought a memory card reader (an Akasa too !) and it shorted one day and killed an entire internal header.
     
  7. wolfticket

    wolfticket Downwind from the bloodhounds

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    This bus powered USB hub (according to the specs) includes:
    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Hama-USB-2-0-Hub-Bus-powered/dp/B0017X0R20

    There are a few available that claim similar if you search something like " usb hub "short circuit" ".

    I'd still be wary about dunking a cable connected to an expensive motherboard/PC into water though.
     

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