USB3/SATA through Centronics connector

Discussion in 'The Projects Forum' started by Skyborne, Apr 28, 2014.

  1. Skyborne

    Thread Starter New Member

    Apr 28, 2014
    3
    0
    Hello all!

    Is it possible to use a Centronics connector (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Micro_ribbon) to pass data/power between 2 devices that are using a USB3 or SATA3 interface? I am creating a dock for a project of mine and I was looking for a rugged connector that can handle repeated connection/disconnection. The external device will be have either a USB3 or SATA interface originally.

    1: SATA: Would be the easiest and, I think, most compatible

    2: USB3 uses a 20pin(technically 19 pin) header on my mobo that supports 2 USB A type ports. That is supposed to be 9 pins per port and an ID pin. I've looked for information on what the ID pin does but I have not found anything conclusive information.

    Theoretically as long as I make sure the right wires go to the right pins and they match on both sides it should all work, I am just unsure if the connector is compatible enough to provide power and data.

    Please let me know what you think and any suggestions are much appreciated.

    Terrence

    Edited to make correction
     
  2. ErnieHorning

    Member

    Apr 17, 2014
    67
    17
    Just looking at the specs for the two, USB 3.0 may be faster than SATA, depending on which version cable you’re using.Out of spec operation often times works without any problems but random unexplained errors sometime occur too.

    The Centronics connector of course was never designed with this high of speed in mind; so might work and it might not. Mostly, the limiting factor of serial speed is cross and stray capacitance.

    I’ve never try 3.0 but I know that RJ45 connectors and CAT5 cables will work fine with full speed USB 2.0 at more than 100 feet.The design spec of the typical RJ45 I believe is less than 100 connects though but it has been use on test equipment for years and I’ve never heard failures.
     
  3. Skyborne

    Thread Starter New Member

    Apr 28, 2014
    3
    0
    Thank you for the fast response. I probably should preface that I'm limited in the gritty knowledge of electrical/electronic engineering.

    I should probably give more details of my project to help with understanding what I'm going for.

    I am making a external bluray drive for my NES PC using the expansion port on the bottom. I guess I would use a breakout board or something of the like to get the pins accessible so I can wire the "docking" connectors.

    Do you have any suggestions of connectors or anything that may mitigate capacitance?
     
  4. ErnieHorning

    Member

    Apr 17, 2014
    67
    17
    So far my only experience has been with USB 2.0. Connecting to a USB port on an Atmel ARM processor through pogo pins and going to a USB-B connector about 9 inches away. The original wiring was just standard .1 inch ribbon cable which didn’t work at all.

    I replaced this with 30 gauge wire wrap wire that had the plus, minus and ground tightly twisted. The ground wire was only connected to the USB side. No power wire was used because we didn’t need it. This worked well but occasionally it had problems the initial enumeration process (i.e. didn’t recognize the device or claimed that it was something else). I hacked a cable and used actual USB wire and all issues went away. I know that CAT5 cable would have worked also but it was too stiff for this application.

    USB 2.0 maxes out at 480 Mbit/s but USB 3.0 can go up to 5 Gbit/s, so capacitance and noise are going to be a much bigger issue. I don’t have any suggestions on alternatives to the approved connectors other that is has an encapsulating ground shield and use wire that is wrapped with ground.

    Be sure to post your progress here (good and bad) so that others can save a bit of time, should they choose a similar quest.

    Question – Why don’t you use an actual docking station that’s already been designed and tested?
     
  5. Skyborne

    Thread Starter New Member

    Apr 28, 2014
    3
    0
    Its been a busy couple of days sorry for the delay and thank you for the thorough response. I will be testing when I have the components purchased and keep you up to date

    I wanted to go for an OEM type of look for my bluray expansion as though Nintendo themselves made it. As far as a google search has showed, there is no heavy duty USB dock. Also a USB port, even a USB 3.0 type B connector, seemed too frail to support the ability to basically just drop the NESPC on it (which, if you think about it, is what would happen more often than not) and connect repeatedly without the port breaking.
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2014
Loading...