Adventures in USB OTG; what are you using it for?General

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  1. binary visions

    binary visions Well-Known Member

    What are you guys using USB OTG for?

    As an offshoot of another thread, I thought I'd post some of my thoughts and ask for other ideas. So, post up!


    Edit: I thought I'd keep track of what we're using USB OTG for, so this could be a one-stop-shop for what works and what doesn't.

    Updated 08/10/12:

    Mass Storage: (ROOT ONLY) This post. The one you're reading. Further down. That's everything you need to attach a mass storage device to your tablet.

    Serial Communications: This post. Use your tablet to control devices using a serial cable and terminal emulation! Very handy for IT guys out there, or even a lot of gadget geeks.

    Keyboards/Mice: This post says that a Logitech K400 wireless keyboard/trackpad combo works nicely. A number of other wired keyboards and mice have been tested, too.

    Game controllers: This post says he uses it with an Xbox controller for games. Also, this post indicates that the PS3's Six-axis controllers work.

    Importing photos from a camera: This post proves that PTP picture mode works on cameras, and the N7 can import photos. Of course, mass storage mode on cameras works too!

    Camera controller: This post points out that you can use the DSLR Controller app to control your Canon camera via USB. Cool.

    Ethernet connectivity: This post has some details about using USB powered Ethernet network adapters to connect your OTG device to wired Ethernet. Handy when wifi isn't available, or for network troubleshooting.


    There is, of course, the obvious use. Storage. I've purchased this USB OTG cable. It was higher priced, but I liked the 90 degree bend could use Prime shipping.

    Along with that, I bought this 32gb HP USB drive which was dirt cheap and tiny.

    I've installed this kernel, which supports NTFS so that I don't have to re-encode my movies into smaller file sizes. You don't need this if you can stick to the FAT file system.

    Lastly, I installed Stickmount to mount and unmount the drives when they are plugged in.

    All of this works great. Stickmount is very nice for mounting and unmounting the drives, my 8gb test movie played easily, and I even tried plugging in my 500gb USB drive to see if the tablet would deliver enough power - it's perfect.

  2. binary visions

    binary visions Well-Known Member

    What got me more excited today, though, was the thought that I could use this USB OTG cable along with my USB-to-serial converter.

    I'm an IT guy and frequently need to connect to devices via serial communication. It's silly to have a big laptop for this - often all I need to do is issue a couple commands or check configuration.

    I have a Trendnet SU-S9 USB-to-serial adapter. I did some digging and found out this uses the widely supported Prolific chipset. The posts I was reading in the forums mostly indicated manual building and installation of drivers, though.

    After a little digging, I discovered Slick USB 2 Serial. They also have a Pro Version.

    I installed it to give it a shot... and amazingly, it worked perfectly. Connect the serial converter to the OTG cable, and fire up the app. Select your settings, hit connect, and boom, you've got a serial session.

    Purchased the pro version immediately - this is going to save me a huge amount of time and will be a tremendous convenience.
    breadnatty08 and am_beagle like this.
  3. umataro42

    umataro42 Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the tip on that HP USB drive. I have a portable HDD but this is much more convenient for carrying around, and won't be heavier than my Nexus 7 (or Galaxy Nexus).
  4. DanielM426

    DanielM426 Well-Known Member

    I use otg with a wireless logitech controller. Works about 90% correctly
  5. Claghorn

    Claghorn Well-Known Member

    I haven't got an OTG cable yet, but I have what has to be the smallest sdcard reader around, along with a 32GB sdcard: SanDisk 32GB microSDHC Memory Card (Bulk Package): Computers & Accessories

    You need to be careful not to sneeze or you can blow away the sdcard reader :).
  6. binary visions

    binary visions Well-Known Member

    Incidentally, I did some testing today with my Logitech K400. It works nicely - plug the nano USB receiver into the OTG cable, and you immediately get a cursor on the screen, plus a keyboard options notification.

    Very slick!
  7. wibbly

    wibbly Well-Known Member

    Anyone tried it directly with a camera? I think I read somewhere that the N7 natively supports PTP. This may mean I can directly connect and upload photos from my camera. Not got the OTG cable yet so unable to try.
  8. TonyHoyle

    TonyHoyle Active Member

    I plug my USB xbox controller into it and play games that need a joystick. Great for stuff like sonic.
  9. binary visions

    binary visions Well-Known Member

    I think all of my cameras mount as Mass Storage Mode but I'll check when I get home.
  10. wibbly

    wibbly Well-Known Member

    There's def an option on the N7 to select PTP (Settings, Storage, Menu, USB Computer Connection)...
  11. binary visions

    binary visions Well-Known Member

    That's the opposite of what you want to do, though. That would allow the Nexus 7 to be mounted to the computer as a PTP device; it doesn't allow a PTP device to mount to the Nexus 7.
  12. binary visions

    binary visions Well-Known Member

    So, PTP works great with the OTG cable.

    When you plug in a PTP device, it immediately pops up the Gallery app, with a new folder there containing all of your PTP pictures.

    When you open the folder, you have an Import option for the photos. Or you can just browse them if you want.


    edit: I've now tried this with two point-and-shoot cameras, two DSLRs, and putting my Galaxy Nexus into PTP mode; it has worked with all of them.
    NOOBY likes this.
  13. 4ubest

    4ubest Well-Known Member

    I have the Logitech wireless keyboard/mouse.. will one or both of these work with the org
  14. binary visions

    binary visions Well-Known Member

    Yes, they will work.

    I don't know if the "unifying" aspect of the receiver will work without driver software. I just don't know how that part of it functions. They will definitely work individually, but I haven't tried connecting two devices to the same Logitech receiver.

    My K400 keyboard has both a trackpad and keyboard - but it's only one wireless device. Both the keyboard and the trackpad work when it's plugged into the OTG cable.
  15. Daz71

    Daz71 Active Member

    I've not got the OTG cable yet but I'm interested to find out if my Plantronics USB headset works. I was disappointed to find that the headphone socket is just that headphones only and does not support microphones. If OTG supports USB sound recording devices this could be a help.
  16. MikeP0001

    MikeP0001 Member

    On my Galaxy S2, using a microUSB to USB cable, I can plug in and read USB drives and card readers. However, I can't get this to work on my Nexus 7. Has the microUSB capability been neutered?
  17. binary visions

    binary visions Well-Known Member

    Hmm, I don't have anything I can test recording with unfortunately. Let us know if you try it!
  18. binary visions

    binary visions Well-Known Member

    Check out this thread:

    You need to use Stickmount (and be rooted). It works, it just seems that there's no built-in way to mount the device without being rooted.

    Note that other devices, like mice/keyboards/peripherals, do not require rooting or mounting.
    MikeP0001 likes this.
  19. MikeP0001

    MikeP0001 Member

    Many thanks for that quick reply! I will try that.
  20. Unforgiven

    Unforgiven -.. --- - / -.. .- ... .... Moderator

  21. 4ubest

    4ubest Well-Known Member

    Great , thanks for the recommendation and the k400 should be here tomorrow so I can try with my otg cable.
  22. Crafty

    Crafty Well-Known Member

    I'm going to tether to my DSLR and use an app called DSLR Controller to control the camera form the Nexus.
  23. trankster

    trankster Well-Known Member

    I prefer not to root. Question is does the mini USB OTG have any use in a stock N7? What functions besides charging and file transfer are available with the USB connection? Thanks.
  24. binary visions

    binary visions Well-Known Member

    I edited the OP so we can keep track of all the things people are using the OTG cables for and what works.

    Cool, does the game have to specifically support a controller? Or does it work for all games?
  25. binary visions

    binary visions Well-Known Member

    Check the original post in this thread (your thread was merged into this one). Lots of uses - the only thing you can't do without rooting is mass storage. All other peripherals work when you aren't rooted.

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