Queso III – active USB hub

Rated 4.75 out of 5 based on 4 customer ratings
(4 customer reviews)


  • Add 4 USB ports
  • Add DCDC convert to power CHIP and QUESO from 7-28V
  • Provides up to 3A to the connected USB devices and CHIP
  • Connects power via header
  • Connects data via USB cable
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This is the QUESO DIP for the C.H.I.P. (a $9 computer developed by NTC). The C.H.I.P. is a great board, a tiny linux computer that fits on your palm. It has one USB outlet and requires a pretty stable 5V supply that can deliver up to 1.1A. The QUESO attacks theses two drawbacks: It is a hyper active 4-port-USB-HUB. Instead of a passive hub (that sucks current from the CHIP) or an active hub (that has his own, second power supply) the Queso will be hyper-active(TM) and provide power TO the C.H.I.P.


    • Sits on top of your C.H.I.P. with the same footprint, but keeps all your C.H.I.P. pins untouched
    • Has an optional on-board DCDC regulator that allows me to power the QUESO from 7-28V DC and provides stable 5V with up to 3A current to the QUESO and the C.H.I.P.. (e.g. run your C.H.I.P. on the 12V from your car)Power is a big issue on the C.H.I.P. most likely the #1 problem on the forum. The reason is that C.H.I.P. draws quite a lot current from the powersuppply (I’ve measured 350mA at idle, and ~500mA under load with spikes up to 650mA). If your powersupply can’t handle those spikes with stable 5V but instead reduce the voltage C.H.I.P. crashes. I’ve measured the stability on a few of my phone chargers, which claim to be 1A stable. The first provided 4.65V at 350mA, the next 4.7V@350mA and went down to 4.2V when I started a CPU intense task. That when I’ve decided to add my own DCDC regulator.
    • r-DSC_0639
      At the moment I’m feeding it with an old laptop charger, 80W at 20V give me a lot of backup and the worst I’ve seen was 4.75V at 1.5A load.
    QUESO feeding a USB harddisk witout own power supply 🙂


    There is also a dual dc/dc version available for high current applications, serving up to 6A, 3A to the CHIP and 3A to the USB devices.

Important: You have to provide your own power supply, follow this link to see how you can modify pretty much every power supply that outputs 7-28V to power the queso (and the C.H.I.P.) and you’ll most likely have a suiteable one.

You’ll need a USB to micro USB cable. I’ve added some short ones here in the shop.

Click here for the installation guide.

Additional information

Weight 0.068 kg
DCDC converter

3A converter +3$, Extra micro USB power jack

4 reviews for Queso III – active USB hub

  1. Rated 5 out of 5

    Say goodby to sudden CHIP shutdowns! Stop using those low-quality off-brand USB chargers! No more dual power supplies (one for CHIP, one or powered hub). Queso DIP does it all with power to spare, and can be driven by almost any supply you have. Maybe you have a 9V supply, or maybe a 12V supply, or perhaps a 20V laptop charger. Queso accepts them all. The only supply you *can’t* use with Queso is a 5V — if you’ve got a good one of those (and I mean a *good* one), then route it directly to CHG-IN … but if you have more than one USB device, you may still need a powered hub, so we’re back to two supplies.

  2. Rated 5 out of 5

    (verified owner)

    Even with the NTC 5v power supply, or the fairly powerful USB out of the back of my mac mini as power source, my chip crashes with only a usb thumb drive plugged in. Queso is a wonderful solution (and I’ve ordered one), but i’m a little sad with NTC about this. Oh well, whadaya want for 9 bucks?

  3. Rated 5 out of 5

    Just wanted to reply to say how rock-solid this thing is!

    Had a huge SPARK from where my CHIP is last night, and the CHIP went dark. Thought it had zapped itself. First thing was to unplug everything (CHIP, Queso, HDMI DIP, battery, and USB flash drive.). Visual inspection, I didn’t see anything wrong. Powered it back on, it powered up fine. Yay!

    Woke up this morning to find the CHIP off, wouldn’t turn back on. BOO!

    Took everything apart again, tried CHIP direct to USB. Powered up. Plugged in HDMI DIP, it works fine. Plugged in Queso – no power. Plugged USB power back in, powered on (even with Queso still connected.) Plugged in battery, battery.sh showed it charging, with low voltage. Aha – so it had been running from battery when I turned it back on.

    I figured the Queso had destroyed itself, and was going to see about getting a new one.

    Then it dawned on me to check the power supply I had been using. Yup – that was what was at fault. No power at all across its connections. Swapped on a different one (temporary, I had to hack together a couple “patch” power wires, something I don’t want to leave permanent, since it’s actually a lead-acid battery charger!). Works fine!

    Thanks for the great device! Took a serious zap and keeps on going!

  4. Rated 4 out of 5

    (verified owner)

    Just got mine. Was a little disappointed that the HDMI adapter doesn’t stack on top. Good thing I don’t need the video anymore once I finished setting it up.

    Is there a 2 USB port option instead with the middle 2 USB ports missing (from the 4 port version)? That would allow me to stack again.

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