Strange problem with RTL stick on USB3 card

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Strange problem with RTL stick on USB3 card

Rob Janssen
Because we need extra USB ports on the server, we added a cheap USB3 controller available from our Chinese friends.

It comes in a no-name box marked "The Best Buy of PC Perpherals" :-)
Type number is YB00300 and it basically has only a VIA VL805 USB3 controller and some passives.
URL: http://nl.aliexpress.com/item/4-Port-5Gbps-Superspeed-USB-3-0-PCI-E-PCI-Card-Adapter-for-XP-Vista/32575539037.html?spm=2114.48010308.4.104.4cEdyc

When the system is booted it flawlessly detects this card and also the RTL sticks plugged into it:
Bus 009 Device 003: ID 0bda:2832 Realtek Semiconductor Corp. RTL2832U DVB-T

However, when starting rtl_sdr it reports errors. Sometimes the first try at firing up rtl_sdr proceeds OK
but then the errors appear when a program (svxlink,WebSDR) tries to connect to it. The second time it fails before
the connection:

First attempt:

rtl_tcp
Found 1 device(s):
  0:  Generic, RTL2832U, SN: 77771111153705700

Using device 0: Generic RTL2832U
Found Rafael Micro R820T tuner
Tuned to 100000000 Hz.
listening...
Use the device argument 'rtl_tcp=127.0.0.1:1234' in OsmoSDR (gr-osmosdr) source
to receive samples in GRC and control rtl_tcp parameters (frequency, gain, ...).

^CSignal caught, exiting!
bye!


Second attempt:

rtl_tcp
Found 1 device(s):
  0:  Generic, RTL2832U, SN: 77771111153705700

Using device 0: Generic RTL2832U
rtlsdr_read_reg failed with -7
rtlsdr_write_reg failed with -7
rtlsdr_read_reg failed with -7
rtlsdr_write_reg failed with -7
rtlsdr_read_reg failed with -7
rtlsdr_write_reg failed with -7
rtlsdr_read_reg failed with -7
rtlsdr_write_reg failed with -7
No supported tuner found
rtlsdr_demod_write_reg failed with -7
^C


Third and further attempts:

rtl_tcp
Found 1 device(s):
  0:  , , SN:

Using device 0: Generic RTL2832U
rtlsdr_write_reg failed with -7
Resetting device...
Found Rafael Micro R820T tuner
Tuned to 100000000 Hz.
listening...
Use the device argument 'rtl_tcp=127.0.0.1:1234' in OsmoSDR (gr-osmosdr) source
to receive samples in GRC and control rtl_tcp parameters (frequency, gain, ...).
^CSignal caught, exiting!
bye!


After unplugging and replugging the RTL stick the results are like first attempt again, etc.

I have tried to google for this error -7 but have not found any reference to the same problem found by others.
When I plug a USB3 memory stick into the same USB3 card it works fine.

I have tried 3 different Linux systems:
- Debian Wheezy (kernel 3.2)
- Knoppix latest version (kernel 4)
- OpenSUSE 13.1 (kernel 3.11)

I am now trying to narrow the problem down to one of the plausible causes.
- Hardware problem with the USB3 card
- Hardware problem with the combination of USB3 card and RTL stick
- Bug in the kernel driver for the USB card (xhci_hcd)
- Bug in libusb
- Bug in rtl_tcp

Did anyone experience this problem before and what was the resolution?
Any recommended USB3 cards or chipset?

Rob

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