Warning regarding use of USB2ISO (USB 2.0 Isolator) - diyAudio
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Old 12th March 2012, 09:30 PM   #1
lucas is offline lucas  Netherlands
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Default Warning regarding use of USB2ISO (USB 2.0 Isolator)

Hi to you all, just a warning to all of you who use the USB2ISO (USB 2.0 Isolator - Isolated USB) or intend to use or buy one. The device is perhaps not safe to use.

A bit of history.
After sk1 as a manufacturer made us aware here at diyaudio of his USB Isolator, I ordered two of these to connect between my Musiland Monitor 02 and the pc. This was supposed to work I read here.
After receival, the first Isolator came out damaged of the small plastic bag, just as if a screwdrawer was used to force it open, but also the metal frame was buckled.
So I informed them immediatly and send it back.
After a week I emailed them if they still had not received the Isolator. Immediatly after they mailed me and blamed me for the damage, even though I haven't done anything to the unit whatsoever. Nonetheless, they said to charge me for handling and shipping. Although weeks ago, I haven't heard anything concrete yet.

Regarding the second Isolator that I connected to my Musiland, only after a restart of my pc it functioned. I made Electronicsshop.dk aware that I missed this in their manual.
Some days later however, a crackled sound suddenly started. Then some later I wasn't able to hear anything anymore.
So I removed the Isolator and noticed that the Usb Isolator smelled burned penetrantly. Fortunately my pc, as well as my Musiland functioned at the same usb port when reconnected.

Because of the risk of fire or pc damage, I guess I was lucky I was behind my pc while this happened and thus was able to unplug the USB Isolator in time.

Immediatly after the incident I informed the company about it.
Eleven (!) days after the incident and just because I asked them, they replied the following, which might be important for you to note:

"You do not need to restart PC to work with USB 2.0 Full speed devices. You have a configuration error - The Musiland is a high speed USB device 480mbit and you have something wrong in the settings, drivers etc. that does the error for you.
Most likely too high sample and/or bit rate for a full speed USB 2.0 Connection - sounds right with the missing sound and sound crackup as the symptom - the 12mbit simple does not have enough bandwidth for the chosen rates.
You should contact Musiland for help with configuration for 12mbit USB connection."

Well, I have installed my Musiland with the normal drivers and I didn't do anything to the configuration, it is all standard.
But whether this is the case or not, when the result (worst case) may be a burned down house or even a shorted motherboard, how can such product be sold?

Even though I sent that second Isolator already 14 days ago, the company says it hasn't arrived yet (not that I believe so).
I told Electronicsshop.dk that in my opinion they should stop selling their USB Isolators until its safety is proven. But since they don't act, I decided to inform you here.
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Old 13th March 2012, 06:10 PM   #2
qusp is offline qusp  Australia
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so it is not a USB AUDIO codec 2.0 device at all (UAC2), but simply a usb 1.1 audio codec device that happens to what? use a USB 2 connector? what? their reply makes not much sense. a USB 2.0 device (480mbit is the usb 2 spec) if promoted for isolating USB 2 audio should be UAC2 (hirez capable) otherwise why bother with it? since updates in the UAC 1.1 or maybe UAC 1.2 spec it is possible to have 24bit/96kHz audio, so their device will not go faster than what is already possible with old connections and new drivers?

Last edited by qusp; 13th March 2012 at 06:15 PM.
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Old 13th March 2012, 06:17 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by lucas View Post
Most likely too high sample and/or bit rate for a full speed USB 2.0 Connection - sounds right with the missing sound and sound crackup as the symptom - the 12mbit simple does not have enough bandwidth for the chosen rates.
You should contact Musiland for help with configuration for 12mbit USB connection."
In the case of the USB 2.0 standard, only Hi-Speed USB 2.0 devices run at 480 Mbps. USB Full Speed devices are actually 12 Mbps USB 1.1 products.

I am using a USB 2.0 Hi-Speed 480 Mbps isolator that are down wards compatible with all lower speeds.

Last edited by RayCtech; 13th March 2012 at 06:20 PM.
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Old 13th March 2012, 07:03 PM   #4
jcx is offline jcx  United States
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480 Mbps usb iso part #, cost ??

transaction translating Hub?
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Old 13th March 2012, 07:15 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by jcx View Post
480 Mbps usb iso part #, cost ??

transaction translating Hub?
Only my own proprietary implementation...
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Old 14th March 2012, 03:02 AM   #6
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I've read that the Musiland drivers interfere with other isolators using other IC's. But the device frying itself? Not good!
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Old 15th March 2012, 12:25 AM   #7
lucas is offline lucas  Netherlands
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Indeed, not good at all.
In fact it was electronics-shop.dk that advertised this USB Isolator here at diyaudio, and made me buy two of these.
But I guess they don’t like it very much informing them of the risk of fire or a ruined motherboard. Still they keep selling them, even though they must know about the problem, as I sent the Isolator to them for over more then 2 weeks ago.
To my expectation they will also not respond here, even though I did send them the direct link.
I’ve noticed too that they didn’t like it when I mentioned diyaudio to them. Once I did this, the deal of sending me a replace Isolator was off the same day.
Hmm, strange. Have to hide something?

You make up your mind yourself about what the company is really after; let me explain in short.
As written in the first post here, one of the Isolators arrived just damaged. So after having informed them immediately after, I offered to send them a picture, which they indeed wanted. This I sent them together with the description that it looked as if someone tried to open the plastic housing. Then they had me sent the item to them.
When I reminded them after a week if already received, they told me they just had, and accused me that I had tried to open the box, together with some exclamation marks here and there. Then they said they would charge me for handling costs or something.

So I asked them why they had me sent the item anyway, after all they knew in detail about the damage in advance. No answer received however.
Yesterday I saw what they charged me for 'unjustified defect claims'. Guess what? €69,44 for handling; (also note that this Isolator new costs €34,03).
Funny, isn’t it?
Well it gets worse. They say that when I will have paid, they will send me back the (same) damaged Isolator.
Oh well, that's a fine solution, isn't it?

This burned Isolator was meanwhile also sent to them, but I should have waited for an email first they said later.
Now it has gone so far that I first need to pay the bill for the damaged Isolator before I can get back the defect (burned) Isolator. Also defect as it is.

I would say the game is either bullying or to make them pay money for nothing in return.

When you buy something from them be sure to read the small letters. Very much visible they advertise: “14 days money back guarantee”.
That’s nice.
But what do the notes somewhere under your sales conditions say?
“Return Policy: 14 days - from receiving the goods - returns are accepted granted the products has not been taken into use or damaged and a written agreement exists in the form of an email.”
Hmm, so without a written agreement from their side, there is not at all a money back. Well what guarantee do we have then? Certainly not the guarantee suggested on the site, I would say.
Or put differently: it is not just a guarantee, but a guarantee under conditions. Why not used these words then?
Now imagine they didn’t sleep well, do you think you ever get that ‘written agreement’? Oops, now I'm the one bullying.
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Old 15th March 2012, 07:33 AM   #8
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From a legal point, in Denmark, you always have 14 days after you have received the item where you are allowed to return it, no question asked and of course you don't need a written acceptance of this first. The internet shop is obligated to handle all expenses for this.

Iff the god's dosen't work it's the same history.
Iff on the other hand, the shop claims that the send material was fine, and you claim it was broken when you received it, its a matter between the post company and you.

On their homepage I can see they both have low speed USB isolator and high speed, I assume we here are talking about a high speed fellow .

Best regards
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Old 15th March 2012, 11:00 AM   #9
lucas is offline lucas  Netherlands
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Indeed we are talking about that high speed version.

No, the post company has nothing to do with it. Both USB2ISO's were packed in a small sealed plastic bag.
Blaming the post would perhaps make sense regarding the fact that the metal frame of the Isolator was buckled; but the marks on the plastic housing cannot have anything to do with how the post handled it.

It is not easy to claim an item that is damaged, whether you damaged it, or it was sent like that. How will you proof you received it in that condition?

And about that other burned Isolator, how can you proof if post arrived when you didn't track and trace it (for an item of just €34 this doesn't make much sense)?
Okay, the lady of the post office remembers I brought her that envelope to stamp it for Denmark; that's nice but doesn't proof receipt on their side, does it?

Now suppose I did send it by registered mail, okay there would have been no denial about the receipt.
But what reaction would you expect from them?
Why not something like that it didn't burn at all or that it was just all fine and so they will charge me for unjustified defect claims?
Well, you know the way they act meanwhile.

Nevertheless, I found they made some mistakes here and there and there are inconsistencies in their replies as well.
Meanwhile I sent them a notice of default and gave them a term to return my money.
After that I will inform the police. Not that this all is so exciting.
I have some fine lawyer relatives and perhaps I will show them this case. If it is strong enough there will be a follow up.
It is not about that 70 or 80 euros they tricked out of me, it is a matter of principle.
If it will come that far, they have to consider the risk of high costs, as what these guys charge per hour only, you can buy at least 5 of these Isolators.
Nevertheless I gave the company a possibility to settle. In it they have to make a promise not to treat others like they did in my case.
We'll just see.
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Old 19th March 2012, 04:38 AM   #10
kevinkr is offline kevinkr  United States
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Lucas did you pay with a credit card or some other means?
If you paid by credit card you have recourse with them - just dispute the bill, otherwise I am not too sure what you can do.. In any event good luck!
"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead." - Thomas Paine
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