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I know that the maximum distance USB 2.0 cable can be is 5mtrs.

I'm not sure of the implementation using hubs and the length it can reach.

Are there alternate methods of increasing the signal to reach longer distances, to defy the 5mtrs limit of data transfer?

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5 Answers

up vote 5 down vote accepted

USB 2.0 cables are not limited by signal degradation, but rather by a maximum response time of 1500ns before the host will consider the command lost. Using longer cables is possible with extremely low resistance cables, but I don't know how one could obtain such a cable; it would likely have to be custom-manufactured.

USB-over-Cat5 adapters can run cables for longer distances, up to 50m in some cases.

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could you point out any of such adapters availability at any stores? –  rzlines Oct 7 '10 at 18:37
    
don't bother I think I could locate some thanks for the replies –  rzlines Oct 7 '10 at 18:40
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You could use a USB Extender (with cat5 network cable) to extend the distance to 150 feet.

Another option might be to use a wireless USB hub.

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could you please quote the source of this information, there has been much debate about daisy chaining and data transmission drops. Sorry for the inconvinience –  rzlines Oct 7 '10 at 18:36
    
@rzlines - No inconvenience. I reviewed my documentation and found an error. I confused daisy chain with straight line connection and have corrected my answer. –  RSMoser Oct 8 '10 at 4:05
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I use an unpowered (ie powered by the USB), USB over cat5 extender at work. The only problem I have found is a drop in volts which meant I had to add a powered hub at the other end.

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thanks for the practical inputs, I really value these. –  rzlines Oct 7 '10 at 20:01
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For me the easiest and cost-effective would be to run a 5 m cable to where-ever, and only hook up the data pins with a 5 V adapter then run it again. All this in theory and not tested. I guess you can run up to 10, maybe 15 m whithout data loss or delay.

My plan is to buy 5 cheap USB webcams an modify the enclosures to make CCTV cameras with IR lights. Cost-effective and handy. Then run them from a PC with the method I described above. I won't push video signals more than 10 m.

I read up on 6-core alarm cables. It works nicely. I always buy a roll or two. Nice and thin, but not too thin, about the same as USB.

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If you only ever want to connect file storage devices to it there are any number of cheap cable routers that will share a FAT/FAT32/NTFS formatted usb drive over Ethernet. Some of them work OK with printers too. Webcams etc - you're probably out of luck :/

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