5 Replies Latest reply: Mar 17, 2014 11:31 AM by rccharles
areoh Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

We're looking for a solution for mass deployment of iPad units using Apple configurator.  However, we're finding the "proper" charging/sync/cart solutions out-of-budget.  Has anyone had success using the cheaper solutions out there such as the Manhattan MondoHub Hub or simply daisy chaining 7 to 10 port USB hubs?

 

Thanks.


iPad, iOS 6.0.1
  • KillerBot Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Hi areoh,

     

    Were you ever able to sort something out?  I'm looking for the same kind of things but the lack of information out there is astonishing.

     

    I just want to use a bog standard 10 or 20 port powered USB Hub but can't find any advice on whether this will actually work or not.  I may just have to buy it and see but figured I'd check in with you first.

  • Simon Slavin Level 4 Level 4 (1,400 points)

    There's no reason why a powered USB hub shouldn't work with that setup.

     

    However, if you have that many iPads to set up, had you considered using Profile Manager instead ?  That way configuration changes can be pushed to them across the internet, however, they connect to the internet, rather than needing them to be physically connected to a particular Macintosh.

  • The Next Wave Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    I tried the mondohub with configurator 1.5 for 2 days- total fail.

    First advice from Apple- was to ignore the USB 3.0 ports. I was configuring 50 iPad Mini version 1 (non-retina) wifi only.

    The hub numbers mean nothing- and the idea of manually connecting them in order is horse-hockey- doesn't work.

    Payload wouldn't deliver on most of the iPads- made a bigger mess than starting from scratch- and plugging them in one by one into the MacBook Air's USB ports.

    Found a bug in configurator post 7.1 update- it won't include webclips in the backup file.

    So it turned into a two step process in naming and updating all 50 ipads. First to prepare with the backup-  then supervise with the profile. Apple says they are working on it.

    I'm starting to like Simon's idea of using profile manager better- but- I'm not sure it can do the initial preparation (in my case the update to 7.1 as quickly).
    Also- I'm not sure if it allows the same security restrictions to be put in place and administered.
    As a note- leaving the iPads connected to the Manhatten mondo hub- even though the hub was plugged in- seemed to drain the batteries- just fyi.

    There is no way it has the power to charge more than 1 or 2 at a time.

    When I have to mass- deploy my licenses for Keynote, Pages, Numbers etc- I may try this hub again- now that the ipads are all supervised and numbered correctly- I'll be able to tell which ports work etc- but I won't leave the iPads plugged in long.

    There seem to be a few different expensive charging hubs out there from Cambrionix, OneFruit, LockNCharge and bretford mobility.
    Apple sells at the last 2- and it sounds like the Bretford is the one they engineer with- since there software isn't really fully ready for prime time- with anything else.

  • Simon Slavin Level 4 Level 4 (1,400 points)

    You can't talk to more than one USB Master node (the computer) and 7 slave nodes (iPads, keyboards, whatever else) on the same bus.  USB is only designed to cope with 8 devices on each bus.  Your computer can only talk to 8 devices down one USB cable.  You can charge the devices like that but not have traffic to and from them.

     

    For changing the configuration of the iPads I'd use the Profile Manager part of OS X Server:

     

    http://www.apple.com/uk/osx/server/features/#profile-manager

     

    http://www.apple.com/uk/support/osxserver/profilemanager/

     

    it does roughly the same as Configurator but pushes changes across the Internet rather than down a white wire.

  • rccharles Level 5 Level 5 (5,885 points)

    USB is only designed to cope with 8 devices on each bus.

    I'm not sure of your reference here.  The USB architecture supports 127. 

     

    Don't know about other implementation limits or about what the limit is in this situation.

     

    "Up to 127 devices, including hub devices if present, may be connected to a single host controller."

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USB

     

    I'd try multiple power usb hubs.  Start with two hubs and add one more hub at a time.  Add the ipads one at a time too. I have not tried this.