Review: Bullet Train USB3.1 Hub & Extender
Bullet Train comes to the rescue of meeting room USB cable-length constraints.
Review:/ Christopher Holder
The Bullet Train USB3.1 hub and extender plugs a hole in modern meeting spaces. It allows BYOM laptops to connect to in-room USB webcams, soundbars and interactive touch panels — devices that would otherwise be further than the recommended 5m maximum cable run of USB.
Extenders are nothing new. KVMs have historically fulfilled the reverse role of a product like this, allowing connection to a remote PC. Today’s AV pinch points are different. The data and power requirements of today’s in-room peripherals are pretty extreme. A 4K PTZ camera, for example, is power- and bandwidth-hungry. The Bullet Train USB3.1 hub and extender allows you to hang four webcams off the hub, if you so desire, each sending a 4K UVC stream to the host laptop without any further compression.
CLEER LINES OF COMMS
The product uses Cleerline fibreoptic cable for the data transfer, a brand well known and regarded in AV circles. Cable runs of up to 40m are possible. The cable is reinforced with Kevlar — so yank on it all you like — and has a 5mm bend radius for negotiating tight installation twists and turns.
The solid, steel-fabricated hub can simultaneously manage USB 3.1, 3.0 and 2.0 connections. The hub would normally sit hidden behind the in-room display and ships with a 15W power supply. The external power ensures full USB3.1 performance, including 5Gpbs data transfer and improved bus power output. That said, without the power you’ve still got a perfectly functional USB2 hub. The hub itself features four female USB-A ports, while at the other end it terminates in a super-speed USB-A connector.
If performance is paramount, then a fibre-based uncompressed extender solution such as this one from Bullet Train, may have advantages over similar cat 6-based systems. If you hadn’t got the memo, USB4 is bearing down on us, but there’s already enough to worry about incorporating USB3 gear into a legacy USB 2 world. The Bullet Train USB3.1 hub and extender helps bridge the gap.
Bullet Train USB3.1 Extension Cable with Hub
- Four active USB-A female ports
- Up to 40m extension
- USB 3.1 Gen 1 support
- UVC devices support for video
- UAC device support for audio
- CL2/CL3 in-wall rating
- Built with Cleerline SSF fibre optics
- Bend radius is 5mm
- Extremely strong pull capacity with Kevlar