Nexus 7 Question - Any way to utilize external media through its Micro USB port?


  1. JaSauders

    JaSauders Well-Known Member

    SO... I'm going to be going on a trip later in the year... I don't own a fully functional laptop right now besides my work issued laptop, which I don't exactly want to take with me since, well, it's a personal trip, not a work trip. I have the Nexus 7 coming, but of course it's got 16GB of storage. I'm quickly learning with the amount of media I'd like to take with me to burn up the hours I'll be on a plane over the course of a few days, even a 64GB variant wouldn't help me.

    So what I'm curious about looking into is a way to utilize the Nexus 7's micro USB port to somehow mount external media, since after all the Nexus 7 has no micro SD card slot. While this is a bit of a bummer, considering the price of the device and what else it can do, it's hardly worth crying over. With my phone (which has FAR, FAR less space) I utilize AndSMB frequently to push/pull data from my Samba server on my LAN. Thing is, I won't have a Samba server with me on an airplane. :p

    I'm sure the first thing you'll ask is, hey wait, things like USB flash drives and external hard drives require a ton more power than what those tablet ports normally give off. Yep, got it. I'd likely be utilizing a battery powered USB hub or else an AC powered USB hub. That way with the battery powered one I could switch media on the plane (or even actively watch it off the external media) or when I have an AC port availabe, just swap the media then and there.

    I've done some reading on the subject, and it leaves a lot of loopholes uncovered... most of which feels quite foreign to me. Supposedly the micro USB ports built into tablets aren't typically designed to utilize USB OTG (on the go), or host mode, which essentially allows the system to mount the media accordingly. Some users I spoke to said it's typically due to the hardware used with the USB port itself, and that a specific chip is required to do anything more than tablet-to-computer data transfers or, of course, simply charging it. Others also suggest that I would need to have a custom ROM that specifically enables certain kernel features which could pass data in the context that I'm after.

    My train of thought was to utilize something like this to get started:
    [​IMG]

    Then I'd be down to a regular, full size USB cable, at which point I could tack in an SD card reader (if it's low powered enough) or a powered USB hub to use with flash drives or external hard drives. Sure, this may be a little cumbersome, but it could basically allow me to utilize a 1TB external hard drive and, literally, have ALL of the media from my desktop right there available on the tablet.

    Problem is... I don't know if all of this is possible. So I figured I'd post here to brew up some ideas on it. Am I asking for a miracle? Or is this actually somehow possible?

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  2. Harry2

    Harry2 Well-Known Member

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