What if you need an extra Ethernet port? There is another way!

The addition of the Blackmagic Design ATEM Mini Pro to my desktop armoury of gadgets caused a wee bit o’ a problem.

In a sort of good way.

You see, although our internal network is based around a DLINK Python DSL-2888 and is mostly wireless based, where my office and studio is located at the other end of the house is in a minor black spot. I do get a signal, but it is not the fastest by any stretch of the imagination.

Consequently I run a long ethernet cable through strategic holes and over doors to make a wired connection and all as they say, is then tickety-boo.

But.

To take full advantage of the Blackmagic Design ATEM Mini Pro, you should connect it to your PC, via , you guessed it, Ethernet. And there ain’t no Wi-fi option (yet).

Because the Dell desktop I use (an XPS 8920) only has one Ethernet port, this caused, whilst not a major issue, a bit of an inconvenience. And I hate being inconvenienced!

The solution was obvious. Add another Ethernet port to the PC via an el cheapo card. But I explored a bit of lateral thinking here and came up with an idea.

What if in the future I wanted to add the Blackmagic Design ATEM Mini Pro to a laptop for an on-the-road job? Or a million other possible scenarios that sprung to mind?

So I did a bit of digging via my circle of expert contacts (I am not strong on networking) and was advised by those that Know These Things a USB 3.0 -> Ethernet adaptor was a Real Thing.

A quick Google search around the possible Bunbury stores to sell one showed the usual suspects (Officeworks, JayCar, Harvey Norman) were all out of stock – no doubt attributed to the current work-at-home thing and a rapid uptake on such devices accordingly (have you tried to buy a decent printer lately?),

That left JB Hi-Fi who I ordinarily do not like dealing with as I personally find their service in-store service  – or lack thereof – and product knowledge, bloody appalling.

And proven right when at the front door 20 minutes later and asking for my new toy (made my DLINK incidentally – a DUB 1312), the staff member directed me to the row of monster TV sets on display and said “if we have any of them they would be over there among the TVs”.

Sigh.

Anyway, in the miniscule networking section was a single small box labelled “USB 3.0 to Gigabit Ethernet Adaptor”, so I had my solution. For $58. More expensive than a cheapie card sure, but infinitely more flexible.

It did require a couple of goes of installing the drivers off the supplied CD and a subsequent couple of reboots of the PC, but this is not totally unexpected from my long experience of these things,ac and eventually the LEDs coughed into life and we had contact.

And my inconvenience has gone. Hurray!

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