(One More) Raspberry Pi Zero USB Hub

It seems as if everyone is making their own hubs for their Pi Zero these days.

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After securing a Pi Zero, I quickly realized I needed more USB Ports to use my Wifi dongle with keyboard and mouse. Below is the resulting solution, I am aware that there are boards being sold with the same functionality and others have designed very similar boards and I've recently come across a very elegant Pi hub using the same chip which was featured several weeks ago. Although it has no influence on this project, I wish I had seen that project earlier to build off it's design.

This design has the advantage of ESD protection on all USB data lines as well as PTC fuse protection on the input and 5V line on each downstream port. I haven't seen such protection on many other hubs.

Ordering a few through OSH Park tonight to work out kinks before ordering from my preferred fab house.
Once this design is verified, I'll post gerbers below.

Feedback appreciated!

Hub is based around the FE1.1S USB 2.0 Hub controller which is a very easy to use and was perfect for my application. The hub is able to support high speed unlike several other options for hub controllers.

Protection Features:

  • 5.1V Zener across main power rail to protect from over voltage events
  • 2A PTC fuse on main power rail input
  • 500mA PTC fuse on each downstream port
  • 2kV ESD Protection on downsteam and upstream ports

Additional Features:

  • Port enabled LED for each downstream port
  • Global hub active LED
  • Solder Pad/Micro USB input options
  • Stackable above or below Pi for minimal footprint

Have also had fun with some CAD modeling and was able to verify that the design would fit together before being manufactured.

List of improvements for next revision:

  • Incorporate active power monitoring utilizing built in features on FE1.1S
  • Main Power LED

NOTE: VBUS must be pulled high, files below indicate it is pulled to GND. Hub will be in shutdown if not pulled high.


Adobe Portable Document Format - 1.04 MB - 02/26/2016 at 01:48



RAR Archive - 43.09 kB - 02/26/2016 at 01:26



Revision 2 Schematic

Adobe Portable Document Format - 232.15 kB - 01/25/2016 at 02:11


  • 1 × FE1.1S USB Hub Controller USB 2.0 4 Port Hub
  • 4 × PRTR5V0U2X ESD Protection 2kV ESD Protection
  • 3 × FCI USB A Female 87583-2010BLF
  • 1 × 12Mhz Crystal ABM8G-12.000MHZ-4Y-T3
  • 1 × FCI Micro USB Female 10118194-0001LF

View all 20 components

  • Success!

    embeddedn802/26/2016 at 01:06 1 comment

    Revision 2 of the Pi Zero USB hub is alive! Today I completed the initial bench test of the hub and all features worked as I expected. There were a couple minor issues discovered by users in the comments which are not implemented on V2.0 but are implemented in the posted gerbers.

    As mentioned in the last project log, this revision sacrifices a USB port for a SMD WiFi module which gives the Pi the same networking capability as an external USB WiFi adapter and uses the same chip set as such adapters. If you'd like to order the hub, I've posted zipped gerbers in the file storage below and have updated the BOM.

    The next step is to finish testing the design as well as work on the next revision. I'm aware some people would prefer four ports over the WiFi module so I plan to do some space management and have the option for either a port or WiFi module. External power input is also being considered. Please let me know if you'd like to see any other features. Feedback is always appreciated and thanks again for following this project!

  • "That's what the next revision is for"

    embeddedn801/23/2016 at 04:30 0 comments

    The PCBs have arrived as have the parts from Digikey! Unfortunately, revision one has some major issues. Due to my negligence, the ground plane was not on the PCB I ordered from OSH Park :( This is a frustrating setback but will certainly be fixed shortly. In addition to sending the entire design this time, the new board will have several new features noted in the proposed changelog below.

    -0603 footprint adjusted

    -Micro-USB changed to part easier to hand solder

    -One downstream port removed and replaced with Wifi module

    -Ceramic antenna for Wifi added

    -Oscillator footprint updated

    -Global power LED added

    Suggestions are certainly welcome!

    Thanks to everyone for their advice and support. Revision two should be quite exciting.... Be sure to check back regularly!

View all 2 project logs

Enjoy this project?



davedarko wrote 01/01/2018 at 10:10 point

How does this work for you when VBUSM is pulled low in your schematics? I had to pull that VCC to make it work on my #WiFi and USB for pocketbeagle 

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embeddedn8 wrote 01/02/2018 at 19:42 point

dave you are correct, that was a modification I made and neglected to remember to note in the project. You can also see a brief discussion about it in a separate comment thread here. Cheers!

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linuxlurak wrote 07/01/2016 at 19:54 point

Realy nice project! Any plans for external power input? Is there a lot to consider?

Edit: I found some schematics. perhaps they help;)

and a description for the fe1.1 (not fe1.1s).i think useful anyway concerning infos about the pins.

  Are you sure? yes | no

warhawk-avg wrote 06/25/2016 at 17:43 point

FYI, a ready supply of the wifi modules can be found here (and they are getting cheaper)

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linuxlurak wrote 07/01/2016 at 20:48 point

Check them at aliexpress... 2.56$ per piece... including shipping. unbelievable.

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jcwren wrote 06/16/2016 at 18:16 point

Nate, what's the story with C2, and the optional 3V3 supply? C2 isn't in the BOM, and U1/VD33_O is going to be driving 3V3 in parallel with the optional regulator, if it's installed. If the optional regulator is used, are you suggesting the VD33_O pin be cut loose?

You may want to add a picture of the bottom side of the board to the gallery. Also, the 3D PDF file is blank.

  Are you sure? yes | no

embeddedn8 wrote 06/19/2016 at 17:49 point

Looks like I missed C2 on the BOM, now added. C2 is simply a .1 uF bypass cap for the integrated 3.3Vout of the FE1.1S. 

Correct, the schematic lists the external regulator as optional. It was included because there are (to my knowledge) no specs on the current limit on the integrated 3.3 regulator in the FE1.1S. It was included in case the integrated supply couldn't handle the WiFi module. On the one board I did populate the external regulator I cut the trace to the FE1.1S 3.3 supply. However I've had no issue using only the integrated supply. 

Regarding the 3D PDF, most viewers automatically block 3D content due to security concerns, in my reader, Adobe Acrobat DC, right clicking on the blank page gives the option to enable 3D content.

  Are you sure? yes | no

jcwren wrote 06/26/2016 at 14:59 point

I was pretty sure it was going to be a 10uf or .1uf cap, based on the datasheet. So parts are now ordered, PCBs are already in hand, hopefully soon I'll have 3 up and running.

You are correct about the 3D. I run across 3D PDFs so infrequently that I didn't remember you have to enable 3D content. Not sure why that is, but Adobe is a PITA regardless.

Thanks for the info :)

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warhawk-avg wrote 03/23/2016 at 22:08 point

AWESOME!!!!  This is V2 w/ wifi correct, from the pictures of the completed board?
I love how it retains the pi zero's small footprint!  Incredible build...great job!

  Are you sure? yes | no

Daniel wrote 03/11/2016 at 23:51 point

Is it indeed working with High Speed or only Full Speed? In my tests (with little different design) I only got Full Speed. Then what's the secret to get High Speed out of the FE1.1s?

  Are you sure? yes | no

embeddedn8 wrote 03/12/2016 at 00:20 point

How exactly are you testing this? I've been able to transfer files at 35 MB/s across it which is faster than Full Speed, so I have no reason to believe it's not working at High Speed. As far as secrets go, the schematic is posted above.

  Are you sure? yes | no

Daniel wrote 03/12/2016 at 07:19 point

I connected a USB-Ethernet-Connector and downloaded a large file via wget. I only got download speeds around 1 MB/s.

I'll try your design, but first I have to order some components

  Are you sure? yes | no

embeddedn8 wrote 03/12/2016 at 15:48 point

I'd suspect your FE1.1S chips, I'd try a different supplier of those if I were you. Gerber files for mine are posted above so for $15 you could get a few copies from OSH Park. 

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Daniel wrote 03/13/2016 at 18:32 point

Where did you order your chips? 

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Luan wrote 02/29/2016 at 00:13 point

how likely is incorporate an ethernet module instead of a wifi module?

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warhawk-avg wrote 03/23/2016 at 22:53 point

Ethernet port would take up almost 2/5 the board bet would be to get a USB to Ethernet dongle or board...

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gdxuanyun wrote 02/05/2016 at 14:45 point

I have a data sheet for this chip in revision B1.15, which is provided by the vender of this chip. I can't find a link for it on the internet, but I can send you the file if you want.

Just wonder if your USB hub still works after pulling the VBUSM to ground?

  Are you sure? yes | no

embeddedn8 wrote 02/05/2016 at 23:31 point

I'm actually waiting on a couple critical components which will arrive on the 6th so it hasn't been powered yet. I suspect you're right, should be a simple fix though by not populating the pullup and bridging two pins.

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gdxuanyun wrote 02/05/2016 at 10:11 point

Is VBUSM pulled to ground? According to the data sheet, isn't that forcing the hub to power-down state?

Below is what the data sheet said:

"Upstream Port Power (VBUS) Monitor

This pin monitors the power state of VBUS from upstream facing port. High level indicates that the host is powered up and the hub should function normally. Low level indicates that the host is powered down, and the hub should be in power-down state."

  Are you sure? yes | no

embeddedn8 wrote 02/05/2016 at 13:13 point

Can you point me to the datasheet you're referencing? The datasheet I have simply lists this pin as a bus monitor.

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Clarion30 wrote 02/03/2016 at 21:20 point

Hello Nathan,

I look interressiert on your side , unfortunately I can not find files Eagle brd and sch or would like Rev 1 rebuild if it is allowed ?????

Rev2 I'll find at OShPArk to not only order Rev1

Best regards 


  Are you sure? yes | no

donaldharrisonstevens wrote 01/29/2016 at 19:07 point

Can you post correction details for the Rev 1 board? I have three none working I would like to correct. Thanks.

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embeddedn8 wrote 02/03/2016 at 03:16 point

The only known issues with that revision are that the ground polygon was missing so you'll need ground jumpers from your ground input, to the FE1.1S, and to each USB port you use. Additionally, I violated OSH Parks slots rule so they were not able to correctly fabricate the micro-USB port so you'll be restricted to the test pads unless you cleverly solder in the port without it's legs.

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donaldharrisonstevens wrote 02/04/2016 at 00:09 point

I am seeing the PRTR5V0U2X pin numbering as 1 - GND, 2 I/O 1, 3 I/O 2 and 4 VCC in a counter clock wise rotation. This places VCC and ground opposite each other and I/O 1 and I/O 2 opposite each other. Both rev 1 and 2 (on OSH) boards appear yo have Gnd and Vcc in opposing corners and I/O 1 and 2 in opposing corners?

  Are you sure? yes | no

embeddedn8 wrote 02/04/2016 at 00:33 point

Donald, I just checked and it would seem you are correct. Good catch. The gerbers I post will have a corrected footprint.

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jotez wrote 01/13/2016 at 22:37 point

I am really interested in all the new projects coming out with the Raspberry Pi zero. I am looking to get some myself.

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ACROBOTIC Industries wrote 01/13/2016 at 21:30 point

Let me know when you've tested it, I get a bit of weird behavior with the port LEDs.

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warhawk-avg wrote 01/01/2016 at 07:23 point

I posted this on another RPi-Zero USB hub on OSHPark's github linkback

Question…what would it take to push all the USB hub components off to
one side (maybe even losing one of the USB ports, opening up space to
include wifi components this way with the more or less permanent
connection daughter board make it instantly wifi capable/compatible for
USBWIFI module RTL8188CUS from aliexpress is 12.2×13.0mm…is USB 2.0
capable and all is needed is the space to put the pads to solder this
board to

Here is my preliminary “tweak” of the original board (shared on my dropbox)
I brute forced “group moved” the entire block…then spent a long time
fixing all the traces…but you get the jist of what I was going for…free
up all that room to put the module footprint in…viola wifi+module
expansion and almost no extra components because the module is just that
a module

Just a thought...perhaps your board could benefit from this type of addon (of course by finding a non bulk order of those modules of course

Another one with a built in antenna I believe

ah here ya go (the full search)


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embeddedn8 wrote 01/01/2016 at 17:23 point

Very interesting, thanks for the tip. I would always have one of the ports filled with an adapter so it does make sense to rid the board of one port and add one of those instead. I've bought a couple of the ones you linked above with integrated antenna and will be revising my board at some point to include that. 

Thanks again

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Squonk42 wrote 01/25/2016 at 09:38 point

I don't know if integrating such a Wi-Fi module is a good idea: those modules are rather expensive compared to the Pi Zero price: $7.88, when I can find an USB 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi dongle for $1.85 (tested working out of the box on my Pi Zero):

IMHO, a solution with a recessed USB-A so that the dongle  fits within the Zero small PCB size would be a better economic choice!

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Fred wrote 12/31/2015 at 20:37 point

Hi, do you plan to make a few?


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embeddedn8 wrote 01/01/2016 at 00:35 point

Plan for now is to get 3 copies of rev 1 through OSH Park and then 10 copies of rev 2 through my favorite board house unless there's much more interest. 

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fhlipZero wrote 12/31/2015 at 16:48 point

very cool and very clean, would be cool to see it rigged up in a way that didnt require a micro usb to microusb cable, maybe some pogo pins that would make contact with the pads on the 

PP1 PP6 - PP22 PP23

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embeddedn8 wrote 12/31/2015 at 18:25 point

I did consider pogo pins, but I hadn't received my Pi at that time to measure the location of the pads by hand and I haven't been able to find any information on where they're at online. So that wasn't really an option at that point. Maybe Rev 2.  

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snowluck2345 wrote 12/31/2015 at 04:57 point

Could you upload your altium design files?

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AVR wrote 12/31/2015 at 02:49 point

nice Altium man

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embeddedn8 wrote 12/31/2015 at 03:29 point


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