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PTU1 - USB Host Adapter Cable for Toshiba e330/335/740/750/755

Opens up to endless possibilities
+ mouse+ keyboard+ 2-port hub + mouse + keyboard+ USB2S + phone data cable + phone+ USB2S + GPS serial cable + GPS+ USB2S + modem

Overview
Unlike most other Pocket PC, Toshiba e740 (and the coming e330/335) does not seem to have any provision of RS-232 serial connection possibility in its hardware. That makes the use of external GPS impossible (of course you can use CF, SD, IR or Bluetooth options, but we are talking about direct cable connection to external GPS, which many prefer for various reasons). However, it has USB host capability and Toshiba produce an expansion pack incorporating a USB host port as well as a VGA port. But that costs around US$100. In our survey, most people who bought the expansion pack use it for the USB port only (and the majority are for use of connecting to a GPS) and do not have any use for the VGA port. Therefore we have come up with a low cost solution for users who need just a USB port for connecting to a GPS or other serial devices.

FAQ:

Is PTU1 compatible with original Toshiba expansion pack?
We do not guarantee that it is 100% compatible. Which means that some USB device may work with Toshiba expansion pack but not with PTU1, or vice versa ! Our primary goal with PTU1 was to connect to a USB>Serial Converter for connecting a GPS so it was designed as such. Therefore this combination is guaranteed.
However, there are really not many USB devices (with necessary drivers) available for use with e740 so we cannot test the compatibility. The only devices we have tested other than the USB>Serial Converter are USB keyboard and USB mouse (for PC), which work with PTU1 and Toshiba expansion pack without the need of any driver.

What USB devices can be used with PTU1?
As stated above, USB>Serial Converter (with necessary driver), USB keyboard and USB mouse all work.
In theory, any USB devices with necessary drivers for use with such PPC should work. USB devices designed for PC could also be used if there is necessary drivers.
But there is a big WARNING: All USB devices require power to work. Almost all USB devices take power from the USB port. PC USB port delivers current around 500mA typically. But e740 can only deliver a fraction of that (around 100mA depending on the device attached) through the USB host port. If the USB device draws current more than e740 can deliver, it can drain the battery very quickly and even damage the PPC. Therefore, it is not advisable even to try, as by just attaching the device, the USB device may start to draw current from the port even if the device does not work. Even some USB keyboards draw more current than e740 can handle..
Bottom line : only devices designed for the PPC should be used.
USB>Serial Converter generally needs very little current (relatively) so it works happily through e740 USB host port. Even so, it still drains e740 battery and you should be ready to connect external power to the PPC any time.

Is driver needed to use USB mouse?
No. But you need an application such as MPointer (please search the internet for it)  Be prepared to soft reset your PDA often though , after you run such application. (frequent crashes, but this may be due to e740 itself)

Can both mouse and keyboard be connected and used TOGETHER?
The answer is YES, but only SOMETIMES, or most of the time, depending on the hub you use and the way you connect them. Is it time you bin your laptop?
Adding a hub into the host port sometimes plays havoc to the PDA. Most hubs we tested do not work most times. Ones that work do not work consistently.
Tip: Do not use a 4-port hub, it will not work because there is not enough power from the PDA. Use only a very tiny 2-port hub (without too many LEDs), which is very difficult to find but it has better chance of working than  4-port hub. We would advise against using a powered hub until the uncertainty of power issue is cleared. See below.
With a suitable 2-port hub, do this and it works most of the time:
1. Reboot (soft reset) with or without PTU1 connected
2. Connect PTU1 to e740
3. Connect the hub to PTU1
4. Connect mouse to hub, run MPointer, once you have run MPointer, you should not use stylus again or something might crash.
5. Connect USB keyboard.

I have a USB mouse GPS, can I use it with PTU1?
If you have the necessary driver, yes. So ask your GPS supplier for such driver. If your GPS supplier can come up with a driver, it should work.
Once again, there is the question of power supply. USB mouse GPS is designed for PC use and takes power from USB port. Your USB mouse GPS is likely to need more power (more than 100mA) than e740 can deliver and there is no possibility of powering USB GPS externally.

If I connect external power to e740 and use USB Mouse GPS, is power still the issue?
It helps but not much. PTU1 has external power input so that you can connect external power to use it continuously. But this only supplies power to the PDA. External power does not (and should not) supply the USB port directly. The USB port is always powered from the PDA and the current is always the same whether it is connected to external power or not.
Some may be tempted to modify/make cable so that USB device can be externally powered. We strongly advise against it if you are to use PTU1 or Toshiba expansion pack as it quite likely will damage the PDA. (see below)

If I use a powered hub, is power supply to the device still the issue?
We may be over cautious, this is what we are afraid of (this is an issue of difference between PPC and PC). Because the current from the powered hub (designed for PC) will be much higher than the one coming out of the PDA, so there is a possibility that current flows back to the PDA thus damaging it. Normally, the PDA should have such safety mechanism built in to prevent such current back flow. But we do not know for sure whether this is the case in e740 until Toshiba can confirm it. PTU1 and Toshiba Expansion pack, as far as we can see, do not have circuit to prevent such back flow.
Therefore, until there is enough report over a period that using powered hub is OK, we would advise against using it.
May be you could enquire from Toshiba to see whether a powered hub can be used with the Expansion Pack and see what their answer is.
Of course if Toshiba can confirm that current (power) cannot flow back into the PDA through the USB power line, then it makes things a lot easier and a lot more USB devices can be used. (this answer was last edited on October 18)
October 19  update - We have tested a no-brand powered 4-port hub and found that it does not provide power to the host power line so the chance of power back flow may be excluded. We connected the mouse and keyboard to the hub for 2 hours and the PDA seemed to run normally with its own power meter decreasing. But there are hundreds of brands of hubs on the market and everyone is designed differently so this may not apply to other makes. Based on our own assumption (or caution - as above mentioned theory) we would still advise against using a powered hub until it is proved that all powered hubs are designed this way.
Anyway the powered 4-port hub does not work most of the time (with mouse and keyboard together), while a non-powered 4-port hub does not work all the time. We recommend using a no-frill (no light) 2-port hub for this purpose.

We try to publish all possible problems/solutions here. If you hve question/problem relating to a specific hardware other than those mentioned we probably cannot anwser you because we do not have one to test. So you may have better idea testing/trying yourself or let us have your findings/solutions so that we can publish here.

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If you have questions about the above products please write to: info-pcm @ pc-mobile.net
HomePocket PC  Cables Palm OS -Audio AdaptersSony PSPold GPS cablenew cables   Other GPSNikon Camera Information
 -Acer n30/n50HP IpaqPalm V / H.S.PDA>SerialKyocera 7135SE 750/800PSP 1000Garmin E-GEGarmin E-GUEG / Foretrex-Order Tracking
-Asus  A730HP JornadaPalm M/T/Z71USB>serial-PDASPV /TanagerTreo 600 PSP SLIMGarmin R-GRGarmin R-GURDelorme USBNikon GPSPaypal order
Latest NewsAsus  A620Fujitsu LooxPalm T5/T650USB>serial- PCMio 8380MPx200G. Rino - GOG. Rino - GUORS DigitravelerNikon CablesCCNOW order
-Axim X5/x3/30FujitsuLoox TSony ClieBT AdapterSony P800NEC616Iphone / IpodMagellan M/SMagellanM/SMeXplorist 456-Terms/conditions
 -Axim X50/50VToshibaiQue 3600DC AdaptersHitachi G1000Samsung i700-eXplorist  123eXplorist 123--Delivery/cost
GenericCasio PPCViewsonic/Mio--Siemens SX1Sharp GX32Zen Vision: WL iFinder GOL iFinderGOUSB>GPSGenericContacts
Cable/adapterEten M500T-Mobile/XDAHTC_HermesConnectorsEten M500T-Mobile/XDAZen Vision: ML iFinder H2OL iFinderH2OGPS AntennaCable/adapterSupport