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#1 moeburn

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Posted 05 September 2013 - 22:40

I found this video: 

 

Hack #3 [3:53] seems pretty interesting...  So apparently the reason why I can't use more than 2 USB extension cables on my USB webcam is because USB cable standards are crap, and the signal is pretty much guaranteed to be degraded after 3 meters.  However, Cat5e cable standards are strict, and signals can be reliable up to 100 meters.

 

So if I wanted to use the half a dozen USB webcams I have lying around as security cameras, without having to have a small laptop/RaspPi connected to each one, theoretically all I'd have to do is solder a couple usb-to-ethernet connectors, which literally just solders the 4 usb wires to 4 of the Cat5e wires, and then back to USB on the other end, and in theory, I should be able to use my webcam up to 100m away from my PC (all I really need is 20m though).  

 

Has anyone ever tried this?  I know that you can buy usb-over-ethernet repeaters that also have signal filtering chips on them, and some are even active repeaters that also amplify the signal, but is any of that really necessary to transmit the USB signal 20 meters over Cat5e?




#2 n_K

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Posted 05 September 2013 - 22:47

HAHA no using cat cable won't increase the range.

You can get USB repeaters, from a review someone did on youtube of one (photonvids I think) it basically just supplied +5v at one end so he set it on fire because it was so useless. I think the more expensive ones will work.

 

Unfortunately I had the same idea, to use the RPi and transmit USB video over ethernet using USB/IP but unfortunately the RPi is such a overrated pile of complete ###### it doesn't even send a single frame and crashes.



#3 +Nik L

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Posted 05 September 2013 - 23:00

There is a LOT wrong with that video.



#4 Shadrack

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Posted 05 September 2013 - 23:15

I've used these before:

 

http://www.amazon.co...ender with Cat5

 

They worked reasonably well, but RJ45 connections are not the best for something that moves around such as these adapters.  In applications where I was able to secure the adapter so that a user couldn't move it I've had a lot of success.  Where they were not secure I've had complaints about losing the connection to my hardware and messing up other USB devices.  Its just...not the best connection apparently.  Gotta get a little creative with the strain relief.



#5 farmeunit

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Posted 05 September 2013 - 23:18

HAHA no using cat cable won't increase the range.

CAT5 will increase the range.  I've used several USB to CAT5 adapters to run SMARTboards about 50' and they work fine.



#6 Shadrack

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Posted 05 September 2013 - 23:21

I'm sure in some instances it will work just fine.  But the reason 100' USB cables aren't sold (or maybe not common is the better word), is because most USB devices would not work properly with that length of cable.

 

If you try and it works fine for your application, I say go with it.  But if your goal was to start manufacturing 100' USB cables and selling them, get ready for a lot of returned cables.



#7 OP moeburn

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Posted 05 September 2013 - 23:35

HAHA no using cat cable won't increase the range.

You can get USB repeaters, from a review someone did on youtube of one (photonvids I think) it basically just supplied +5v at one end so he set it on fire because it was so useless. I think the more expensive ones will work.

 

Unfortunately I had the same idea, to use the RPi and transmit USB video over ethernet using USB/IP but unfortunately the RPi is such a overrated pile of complete **** it doesn't even send a single frame and crashes.

 

Why you laugh?  It's already been well established that using cat cable will increase the range.  The question is whether or not you also need an amplifier and noise filter, which is what most usb-ethernet repeaters include.

 

There is a LOT wrong with that video.

...such as?  I did notice they keep calling an 8P8C connector an "RJ45" connector, when the connector has absolutely nothing to do with RJ45.  But I didn't see anything else wrong with the video...

 

I've used these before:

 

http://www.amazon.co...ender with Cat5

 

They worked reasonably well, but RJ45 connections are not the best for something that moves around such as these adapters.  In applications where I was able to secure the adapter so that a user couldn't move it I've had a lot of success.  Where they were not secure I've had complaints about losing the connection to my hardware and messing up other USB devices.  Its just...not the best connection apparently.  Gotta get a little creative with the strain relief.

Right, those are the things I've seen, they usually have a noise filter in them, and the ones that also require an external power adapter to work also have a signal amplifier in them.  I'm wondering if you need either of those, if you don't want the full 100m range, but you want more than 3m range.
 

...and its not an RJ45 connector.

 

 

I'm sure in some instances it will work just fine.  But the reason 100' USB cables aren't sold (or maybe not common is the better word), is because most USB devices would not work properly with that length of cable.

 

If you try and it works fine for your application, I say go with it.  But if your goal was to start manufacturing 100' USB cables and selling them, get ready for a lot of returned cables.

The reason 100' USB cables are not sold is because the USB cable standards do not allow for the signal to last more than 3 meters or so.  Cat5e cable standards do.  My goal is not to manufacture these, I just... wait, I already said what my goal is.  I'm not typing all that out again! :p



#8 n_K

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 09:23

Using CAT cable does not increase the range by any margin you can measure.

If you somehow do happen to find conclusive proof of a theory that completely defies physics, please feel free to paste a link to it here.

 

(And submerging a cable in liquid nitrogen to make it superconductive doesn't count)

 

 

The reason 100' USB cables are not sold is because the USB cable standards do not allow for the signal to last more than 3 meters or so.  Cat5e cable standards do.  My goal is not to manufacture these, I just... wait, I already said what my goal is.  I'm not typing all that out again! :p

 

Shaking my head. It's got nothing to do with the cable itself, it's to do with how the system works. Do you not think that if you could increase USB range to 100m using CAT cable that intel wouldn't have just dropped the USB cable specs and use a CAT cable? No, because it's a load of crap.



#9 Shadrack

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 14:13

Why you laugh?  It's already been well established that using cat cable will increase the range.  The question is whether or not you also need an amplifier and noise filter, which is what most usb-ethernet repeaters include.

 

...such as?  I did notice they keep calling an 8P8C connector an "RJ45" connector, when the connector has absolutely nothing to do with RJ45.  But I didn't see anything else wrong with the video...

 

Right, those are the things I've seen, they usually have a noise filter in them, and the ones that also require an external power adapter to work also have a signal amplifier in them.  I'm wondering if you need either of those, if you don't want the full 100m range, but you want more than 3m range.
 

...and its not an RJ45 connector.

 

 

The reason 100' USB cables are not sold is because the USB cable standards do not allow for the signal to last more than 3 meters or so.  Cat5e cable standards do.  My goal is not to manufacture these, I just... wait, I already said what my goal is.  I'm not typing all that out again! :p

 

The ones I have use RJ45 connectors.  RJ45 is the most common connector used with cat5 to make a standard ethernet cable.  Thats what these USB extenders user.  Standard ethernet cables.  My connection problems are with the poor female RJ45 port on these.

 

I keep my shop stocked with RJ45 connectors.  I know what an RJ45 connector is.



#10 sc302

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 14:18

Or just buy this, which will extend your usb up to 298 feet.

http://www.amazon.co...k/dp/B000O2X2OA

 

Could always buy ip based or wireless cameras instead for about 50-100...it would cost about the same as doing this with a usb camera.



#11 Aergan

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 15:43

I've tried USB over Ethernet solutions in the past without too much success. I used to know someone who's company used CAT5E with purpose built webcams & equipment for security & they worked very well (Over 60M and on steel floodlight poles).

Your mileage will vary greatly depending on the how many milliamps the USB device requires, length of cable, solid copper core (non-CCA) and latency tolerance of the device. I had an IrDA USB dongle that worked over 20M but for a USB HDD, I couldn't get it to work >6M. Cable grade was solid core CAT5 at the time.

 

I do run HDMI @1080p / 60Hz over 2x29M of outdoor grade CAT5E via 5v extender with great success though.



#12 sc302

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 15:57

powered usb extenders are much better, but they are much more expensive, some going into the $500 range.  Again, cheaper to buy the right equipment instead of making the wrong equipment work.



#13 OP moeburn

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 16:07

The ones I have use RJ45 connectors.  RJ45 is the most common connector used with cat5 to make a standard ethernet cable.  Thats what these USB extenders user.  Standard ethernet cables.  My connection problems are with the poor female RJ45 port on these.

 

I keep my shop stocked with RJ45 connectors.  I know what an RJ45 connector is.

 

Let me quote from the wiki:

 

 "8P8C modular connector type is often called RJ45 because the Registered Jack standard of that name was an early user of 8P8C modular connectors. A very popular use of 8P8C today is Ethernet over twisted pair, and that may be the most well known context in which the name RJ45 is known, even though it has nothing to do with the RJ45 standard." - teh wikease.

 

So in the official, documented context, RJ45 is a user of the 8P8C connector.  But there is no such thing as an RJ45 connector.

 

In the real world, however, you're right, so many people started to call an 8P8C connector an "RJ45 connector", that following the rules of how words are defined by the most commonly used definition, "8P8C" connectors have become to be known as "RJ45 connectors".

 

But in the nit-picky, official sense, it isn't, and never has been.



#14 Circaflex

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 16:11

you are using cheap low quality cables then because i have a webcam that has 3 extension cables and it runs fine



#15 OP moeburn

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 16:15

you are using cheap low quality cables then because i have a webcam that has 3 extension cables and it runs fine

 

I said 3 meters of extension cables, not 3 extension cables.  And yes, you're right, I've found the quality of cables you can get to vary hugely.  I've bought all my current USB Extension cables from dollar stores (because I was a firm believer in getting the cheapest cable possible, because I had no idea that "quality cables" wasn't just snake oil); some of them were properly shielded, with the shielding properly connected to the ground wire and the metal casing of the plug, and the data lines in a twisted pair... and some of them had absolutely no shielding, and didn't even bother to twist the data pair.