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Mini Ethernet Hub

mini 2-port ethernet hub
  [vote for,

Most offices assume that every desk needs a single ethernet connection. For most day-to-day use this assumption is correct, and if you need two computers on your desk to be on the network you can get an additional network drop. But, often there is a need to temporarily hook up another device to the network (e.g. a guest's laptop, a new machine, a PDA.). The only way to give a new device connectivity is to physically share the ethernet connection so that only one device is on the network at a time.

A solution to the problem of temporarily needing a extra network connection is a 2-port ethernet hub. This would be extremely small keychain sized, battery operated hub. The hub would have two RJ-45 female connectors, and one RJ-45 male connector. The network cable is plugged into the hub, and the hub is plugged into the original device's ethernet card. This leaves an RJ-45 port free which can be used to hook up a second network device.

The mini ethernet hub would be simple repeater hub (as opposed to the more complex and expensive ethernet switch). The hub would simply repeat every packet it received from the network to its two ports. Add some status LEDs and it would be an extremely easy to use, affodable and essential addition to any office networker.

ufreq, Sep 24 2000

(?) linksys autosensing palmsize 5 port hub http://www.linksys....jpg&prid=148&grid=2
linksys palmsize hub [peeker, Sep 24 2000, last modified Oct 04 2004]

3Com Network Jack http://www.3com.com...ase&sku=3CNJ100-BLK
why not build one right into the wall plate? [krelnik, Oct 04 2004]


       Baked. We use these all the time here at work. Kind of like a phone splitter, and the computers work fine at the same time.
StarChaser, Sep 24 2000

       wh7y not just buy a 4 port hub? I recently bought a Netgear 8 port hub for $29... I'm sure you can get a 4 port for cheap.
pixel, Sep 24 2000

       Most 4 port hubs are still too big to fit in a pocket and I haven't seen any battery operated ones.   

       I think the price needs to be under $10.   

       I'm curious about what StarChaser uses -- is it just a splitter? A little piece of plastic with 3 female RJ-45 jacks?
ufreq, Sep 26 2000

       Why battery power? So, don't have to haul around a big AC adapter that takes up two outlet spots. You don't have to worry about 120/220 voltage issue when travelling in europe/NA. So, you don't have to worry about all the outlets being used.   

       I realize that batteries suck for long term use because they are expensive, but i this is a temporary solution. If you need two network drops on your desk, then you can run another cable from your existing hub. You don't need this 2 port hub.   

       Why pocket sized? just so it fits in a laptop bag, so you'll always have it when you want to hook up.   

       Besides, small is the trend these days. If i'm going to connect my handheld, cellphone, palm to the network, it seems a little ridiculous to carry around a hub that is larger than the handheld.
ufreq, Sep 27 2000

       The one I was talking about is for a token-ring network...IBM still uses it, having invented it. The LAN Before Time...
StarChaser, Mar 08 2001

       Just use wireless ethernet. When I bring my laptop into the office, it connects itself via its Lucent PCMCIA wireless ethernet card to the network. When I take my laptop home it connects itself to my (Apple) Airport which gives me ftp connectivity between my laptop PC and my iMac.
Running a wireless network from an Airport or similar box is no longer a very expensive solution.
hippo, Mar 08 2001

       check out the palm size linksys comes with the network in a box. model EFAH05W. really fits in your palm. and has 5 dual speed + uplink possibility. I used it to create a repreater from my cable modem on 1st floor to an upstairs room where my home office is see link [URL removed -jutta] there is a picture on the site to show the size
peeker, Apr 01 2001, last modified Aug 09 2001

       Or add a ‘network out’ plug to the back of computers.   

       Some phones and computers have a both a line in & a line out sockets. So you connect the line ‘in’ to the phone line in the wall socket and still have the ‘out’ still available for another phone.
last_minute_fan, Sep 09 2001

       Station2 on my network has 1 2-port ethernet card. Photo to follow (give me a few mins)...   

       [Edit]: On closer inspection, that one seems to be the modem. And the other one. And the one above is the ethernet card. 2 modems? Never knew that - wow.
NickTheGreat, Aug 02 2002

       Sanity check: What would happen if you just spliced an ethernet cable and tried to run two computers off one cable (assume that cable run is short and that that there is little traffic)?
st3f, Nov 23 2002

       You would paralyze all network traffic worldwide . . . I *think*.
bristolz, Nov 23 2002

       Ooh. Glad I checked.
st3f, Nov 25 2002

       3Com attacked this problem by building a little 4-port switch right into the form factor of a standard wall plate. You just replace the single ethernet wall plate with this thing, and boom you have 4 ports at that desk. See link.
krelnik, Nov 25 2002

       Cable splitter! Just like the phone line ones, only more contacts. One in socket, two out sockets. Pocket sized, and you wouldn't need batteries. There would be some signal loss, but for this applacation is hardly mission critical.
bbot, Feb 23 2003

       Most portable devices support bluetooth or 802.11b these days. Why not use that?
ironfroggy, Feb 23 2003

       I came to this website looking for just such a device, due to doing a google search.   

       I can think of one valuable service a device like this would be used for.......   

       It would allow me to sniff ports on a switch, even if the switch did not support port spanning......... best of all it would allow me to sniff trunked ports (depending on the trunk protocol), wich you can't do with port spanning
wrenc, Nov 06 2003


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