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Problem USB over Ethernet

Discussion in 'PC hardware help' started by Andrew Snowball, Nov 4, 2014.

  1. Andrew Snowball

    Andrew Snowball Newbie

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    Anyone had any experience with this concept ?
    The idea is you can extend the distance of your USB peripherals by piggy-backing it through an exiting ethernet cable. There's a male and female adaptor, and you simply connect one to your PC and a small patch cable to the wall port, and the reverse at the other end. And voila - you can leave your USB printer or camera or whatever in another part of the building, as if its connected by USB all the way.
    I've bought 3 different sets of adaptors to achieve this so far. From DealXtreme. One didn't work at all, the other 2 worked for a while then seriously overheated and gave up. And I mean - molten plastic dripping onto the carpet.

    I have no theories, other than they drew too much power and overheated. I didn't even get to do much with them. Just attached a tiny web-cam and left it for a while. One was too hot to touch after about 5 minutes, the other worked for a good half hour before self destructing. I can't even return them now.

    PS. Also, they only seemed to work on selected ports in the building, even though many ports are active and can take PCs, laptops, printers, TV, etc.
     
  2. xboxdvl2

    xboxdvl2 Regular member

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    i think the issues you had was usb ports have a voltage of 4.45-5.25volts and 100mA in usb 2.0 or 150mA in usb 3.0 (i got that from a google search as i dont know the exact voltage).
    if the ethernet cable can handle that you should be ok.usb cables are made to power devices, ethernet cables are made to transfer data (not voltage) that's where your problem is.
    ps. if you had the correct wiring it could work, if you don't have the right wiring the wires or socket will overheat and die.
     
  3. ddp

    ddp Moderator Staff Member

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  4. xboxdvl2

    xboxdvl2 Regular member

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    this is what i saw
    i probably should of read the next line or 2 as it does mention it can use more.
     
  5. Andrew Snowball

    Andrew Snowball Newbie

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    Hey thanks for your ideas. In some cases we're talking less than 12m. And - its the unit/adaptor that overheated and destroyed itself - cabling is fine (I think... <scratches chin, looking worried>)

    I realize Cat5/5e/6 isn't designed to carry much current, but surely (feeling naive, I know), if they sell such a gadget, it must expect those current differences you mention. Otherwise, they'd never work and always fry themselves.

    Interestingly, I tried to find the actual products I tried from my Dx order history - but they don't seem to exist anymore. This one is similar, however: http://www.dx.com/p/utp601usb-m-utp...ender-adapter-black-2-pcs-184004#.VGnTf2e5_Qk (and now costs a lot more than I paid).

    ~AS.
     
  6. Ketola

    Ketola Fighting ninjas Staff Member

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    There are quite a few USB over CAT5 extenders available on Amazon ranging from $10 to hundreds of dollars. This one seems to be rather solid: USB Over CAT-5E/CAT-6 Extender with Power Adapter. For a more HD solution, you could go with StarTech.com 4 Port USB 2.0 Extender over Cat5 or Cat6 - Up to 330-Feet (100m) (USB2004EXT2). But that's probably overkill. =)

    So it should be doable safely without burning your house down. Especially with a product designed for the purpose (both devices above provide a separate power adapter so the USB power doesn't need to be fed through the CAT5 cable).

    Do remember that you need to have direct CAT5 cabling between point A and B (you cannot route the cables through an Ethernet switch, for example) – these are not "USB over Ethernet adapters", but "USB over CAT5 extenders".
     
  7. Richard C.

    Richard C. Newbie

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    I've attempted to 'lengthen' USB device cables via extender devices like Ketola identified and by simply sticking an RJ-45 jack on a cut-in-half device cable and placing a patch cable in the middle. I've had more success going this route than using the extender devices (my personal longest run is about 45 ft.). The best success I've experienced using one of the sets of devices is using a 12' commercially constructed patch cable.

    I rate my successes without the devices due to the circuitry inside the adapters "vampiring" power from the miniscule USB power available provided by the jack. Ketola is again correct, most important of all is not to pass this mess through a switch...especially one which injects POE or even a hub.

    I would like to break out my test bench and try to extend my functioning rig using a managed (for VLAN creation) to over 100 ft.
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2014

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