Will Verduzco · Apr 10, 2012 at 12:30 pm

USB Host on the Samsung Epic 4G

We all try to gain a little extra functionality from our mobile devices from time to time. In fact, as I touched upon in our April Fools joke, that’s largely why our site exists in the first place. Luckily in our universe, this doesn’t involve selling a kidney, our first born, and possibly even our soul to an unnamed fruit company. Thankfully, much of the added functionality that we are looking for can be easily achieved through software wizardry—such as enabling USB Host on devices that do not natively support it.

XDA Senior Member earthbound[iap] thankfully has us covered with plenty of extra functionality on the Samsung Epic 4G by means of the aforementioned USB host support. In a nutshell, USB host support allows us to connect standard USB peripherals to our mobile devices. This can range from simple additions such as connecting and mounting USB Mass Storage devices to more complicated additions such as input devices.

What is USB Host Mode: well usb host mode was SzTupy’s continuation of others work on implementing access to usb media & hid devices from our phone. He succeeded in porting it to many different devices but had not done it for the epic. With a little help from him, I was able to port it and get it working properly.

.:Materials:.
~OTG connector (do your self a favor & save on the headaches, Amazon $3)
~A jig (made of 2 male & a female USB connectors with a power supply)
~hid device/hdd/or some type of flash media (USB device)
~A 5v 0.7amp power supply (your stock epic charger…)

Notes: even though the kernel has ntfs support you will need a program like drive mount in order to mount these devices.

What works:
~ fat32 support (usb host controller)
~ hid support (usb host controller) (love the mouse pointer… lol)
~ wireless HID support now working (a bit finicky but it works)
~ ntfs support (drive mount) (watched a full video on my epic today)

What doesn’t work yet:
~ Plugging a usb 1.0 device into a 2.0 usb hub

In addition to creating (or purchasing) the OTG connector you need to create a jig to deliver 5V power to the USB device. However, assuming that you are capable with a soldering iron, this mod can add some seriously impressive functionality to an already epic phone.

Anyone looking to get in on USB Host goodness on his or her CM9-powered Epic 4G should head over to the kernel thread.


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Will Verduzco

willverduzco is an editor on XDA-Developers, the largest community for Android users. Will Verduzco is the Portal Administrator for the XDA-Developers Portal. He has been addicted to mobile technology since the HTC Wizard. But starting with the Nexus One, his gadget love affair shifted to Google's little green robot. He is also a Johns Hopkins University graduate in neuroscience and is now currently studying to become a physician. View willverduzco's posts and articles here.
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