Extending USB devices

Discussion in 'Computing and Networks' started by microelectronix, Nov 24, 2010.

  1. microelectronix

    Thread Starter Member

    Jan 21, 2008
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    Hi all,

    I have to connect about 3 usb devices to a computer, each over a distance of about 150 feet. How would I go about doing this? I've seen active USB repeaters, or USB to ethernet and back to USB adapters, what exactly do they do? If neccessary I would whip up a simple buffer or something. It's for the workplace so maybe I could impress my boss? haha!

    I'm just looking on basic advice on how to extend USB cables over long distances.

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. shteii01

    AAC Fanatic!

    Feb 19, 2010
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    http://www.usb.org/about/faq/ans5
    ^according to this, you are screwed. You will be lucky if you get 30 meters. 150 feet is 45.7 meters. I am not sure about USB repeaters.

    If this is indoors. USB to ethernet adapter looks good, but I am not sure how you will power the USB device.

    The other option is connect USB device to a computer and then connect computers using LAN to master computer. Something like this:
    Master PC------->hub-------->PC1------->USB1
    aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa-------->PC2------->USB2
    aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa-------->PC3------->USB3
    Then put usb devices on the network, you know, like network printer, same idea. Use used thin client computers for PC1, PC2, PC3 or use used Eee PC, they are about same price.

    USB to ethernet is probably the cheapest solution, maybe try it on one device and see if that works.
     
  3. thatoneguy

    AAC Fanatic!

    Feb 19, 2009
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    I'd suggest bridging them through a single ethernet cable. I'd go so far as having a full host on the remote side, then using OS device sharing.

    What is the application? I know USB Everything is the big thing, we've gone from 2 USB ports on a motherboard to 8 hubs on the motherboard in 3 years, but this is getting ridiculous. Some items performed better and at a lower cost through RS-232 or a parallel port (which was removed from motherboards to make room for the extra dozen USB jacks).
     
  4. microelectronix

    Thread Starter Member

    Jan 21, 2008
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    0
    The application is for barcode scanners, we want to have a bunch of scanners in our shop, which then connect to a host machine running the associated software. Turns out there are ethernet barcode scanners, however USB ones are much cheaper.

    If I did use the USB-to-Ethernet extender, would I be able to connect them all to the switch? So, barcode scanner's USB connection -> Transmitter -> Ethernet cable -> Network switch (along with all other scanners) -> Single cable running a great distance -> Somehow have another switch which splits it back into a lot of cables? -> Main network switch which then gets forwarded to host machine?

    Thanks for any tips. We don't want to spend too much to track our work, and since handheld computer based scanners are a few grand a piece...
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2010
  5. thatoneguy

    AAC Fanatic!

    Feb 19, 2009
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    Before anything is started, what is the price difference between the USB and Ethernet scanners. You will still be using 3?
     
  6. shteii01

    AAC Fanatic!

    Feb 19, 2010
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    Barcode scanner-->USB to Ethernet adapter--->Router--->Host machine.

    If you know somebody with old cable/dsl modem, their modem is probably also hub and router, so you can get that part for cheap or even free.
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2010
  7. tech5563

    New Member

    Sep 30, 2010
    19
    0
    if you know someone who is good a wiring then you could get an 8 port powered usb hub and use a 15m ethernet cable cut of the ends and place the usb adapters on it ,
    NB you must use a cat6 shielded cable or you will lose degragation of signal.
    power at that length can only be achieved with a powered usb hub.
    i have something similar set up at home but with hdd's in my loft.
    hope this helps
     
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