01-08-2012 06:06 AM
I purchased my K1 in December from amazon UK for Christmas and it came with the USB host cable. It appears that this only comes with units in UK and some countries in Europe. It seems that various items for the Idaepad K1 are very hard to find including a simple AC adapter which I would like for us at work but are simply ot available. Not much forward thinking on Lenovos part.
01-08-2012 07:57 AM
Can you tell us what the p/n of that usb host cable that came with your UK tablet is? Better yet any way you could include a picture of it.
Thanks & Cheers
01-09-2012 11:06 PM
Seems like even Blackberry Playbook users are able to get USB host working with this hack: http://www.bbin.in/en/2012/01/howto-guide-for-blackberry-playbook-usb-hosting-connecting-external-hd...
The exact same hack won't work on a Lenova Ideapad K1 since it doesn't have a micro USB port and same operating system but what we could take from this is that a USB Host supplies power (5V) which the Lenovo Ideapad does not when using the USB gender changer (explains why simple gender changer won't work). Has anyone tried modfiying the gender changer so that pin 1 supplies 5V (middle two USB pins are for data, D- & D+, outer two pins are power and ground) to the USB storage device?
01-11-2012 04:30 AM
01-18-2012 06:20 AM - edited 01-18-2012 06:21 AM
So I've been doing a little research on USB host mode (OTG - On The Go) and unfortunately since we do not have a micro-USB port it make things a little difficult to DIY...
The OTG spec calls for pin 4 (normally unused) to be tied to ground (pin5) to enable host mode (assuming a mini/micro connector). Since we only have the proprietary connector with a USB-A male plug with 4 pins instead of 5, that needed signal is not carried out of the cable past the proprietary plug, so no hacking of female-female adapters will do anything here...
If we knew the pinout of the proprietary plug we might be able to hack a regular USB cable that comes with the tablet into a host cable and then attach a F-F gender changer. Perhaps someone with both cables could take a look and DMM measurments to see what the difference is and find out what pin should be tied to ground to enable host mode. Depending on how the cable is made, you might even be able to visually see what the difference is - if the cable doesn't populate all pins on the connector and the host cable has one extra pin, then that is very likely the winner.
Or if you are really adventurous you could take apart your tablet, find the USB controller chip, look up it's pinout and trace the lines back to the proprietary connector to find the appropriate pin to tie to ground... I'm out of the country for work and the tablet is with my wife, otherwise I might attempt this.
Here's a link to hack a micro-USB cable into host mode for a Nokia phone for those that want a little more info.
01-18-2012 06:36 AM
I've been poking around as well, using the non-host (male USB) cable and hunting for pinouts. It appears that the usb pin 1, (+5volt) line is not connected to the lenovo connector. So that would be an additional problem.
01-19-2012 11:23 AM
Yes, one is USB male, one is USB female, and there is also a power charger.
capt340 in San Jose (California?) and shredzone in Germany. There's your answer. I got into a chat session with a lenovo rep yesterday and asked about this. I got pointed to the page where Lenovo sells accessories. I don't understand why a company like Lenovo would sell the same tablet but include different "accessories" in different markets, but apparently they do. I've got a gender mender and some microHDMI to femaleHDMI adapters on their way from China. Found them on Amazon for a few pennies. I hope the gender mender will make my USB male cable work with other USB devices.
01-19-2012 12:09 PM