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Product Tour

The GUWH104KIT consists of a Host USB wireless "dongle" (shown in the opening picture on the previous page) and a four port wireless hub (shown in Figure 2).

Hub front

Figure 2: IOGEAR Wireless USB Hub

The hub is the size of a typical USB hub. On the right side, (facing the front), there’s a reverse SMA connector that connects to the monopole antenna as well as a Mini-USB host port. The Mini-USB port is used for initial association with the wireless device, and thereafter isn’t used. The front has a single "Host Select" button. The Hub can associate with up to three hosts, but we were only able to test a single host, with the single supplied dongle. There are also individual port indicators to show devices attached to the four ports. 

On the left side, there are two switches. One switch selects Wireless or Wired connection. The hub can also act as a wired hub, but if you’re going to spend close to $200 for a wireless USB device, I doubt that you’d use it as a wired hub when dedicated four-port wired hubs only cost around $40. The second switch is for either automatic or manual association. The Quick Start Guide recommends that you not change the factory settings, i.e. wireless and automatic association.

Hub rear

Figure 3: Rear view of the IOGEAR four port wireless hub.

There’s really nothing too exciting about the rear panel of the USB hub (Figure 3); four "Type A" (rectangular) USB connectors and a power jack. Power is supplied by an external "wall wart" transformer rated at 5 VDC @ 3 amps.

Not that you’d ever need access to the interior of the hub, but it’s quite simple to disassemble (Figure 4). Two Phillips screws on the bottom hold the case halves together. Though the press release says the hub is powered by an Intel device, the heart of the IOGEAR CWUSB Hub is an NEC D720180 Wireless USB Host controller. 

Interior view
Click to enlarge image

Figure 4: IOGEAR Wireless USB Hub Interior

It supports eight data rates, (53.3, 80.0, 106.7, 160, 200, 320, 400, and 480 Mbps) four downstream ports and one upstream port. The wireless transceiver and baseband processor are from Alereon. In fact, if you look up the photos for the FCC ID of the IOGEAR Hub, you’ll find photos of the Alereon AL4504 reference design. A close inspection of the two circuit boards yielded almost no differences. The Alereon AL4504 is also based on the NEC D720180 controller. Figure 5 shows the interior of the "dongle."

Dongle interior
Click to enlarge image

Figure 5: IOGEAR "dongle" PCB showing Alereon module

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