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Author Topic: Long USB cable vs Wireless USB  (Read 8065 times)
Acejam
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February 04, 2013, 02:40:30 AM
 #1

Hey all,

Once my BFL SC Single's arrive, I will need to connect them to a computer. (Please leave all BFL details and jokes out of this thread!) My primary use machine is a MacBook Pro, which I don't leave on 24/7. However I have a Windows 7 based HTPC that runs 24/7, and I also use it for other varios tasks. I'd like to use this machine for controlling my SC Single's, but it will be about 15-20 feet away from where my single's will be located. My HTPC sits under my TV on a stand next to my other components. Therefore, I need to come up with some type of wiring solution.

My plan is to run a USB hub where the singles are located, and then somehow connect that hub to my HTPC. As I see it now, I can either run a long USB cable, or I can go with one of the various "wireless USB" kits out there. Does anyone have any experience with these wireless solutions?

A long cable would obviously deliver the best performance, but I've read that USB speeds can suffer after a certain length too.

Thoughts?

- Ace
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February 04, 2013, 03:08:14 AM
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I've had a 50 foot USB cable for an open external hard disk before (worst setup ever). Transfer speeds seemed to be about standard for USB 2.0, so I doubt a 20 foot cable for ASICs will be an issue.

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February 04, 2013, 03:12:44 AM
 #3

USB speeds won't affect the hashing performance of the ASIC's.

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February 04, 2013, 03:13:01 AM
 #4

Quote
USB 2.0 provides for a maximum cable length of 5 meters for devices running at Hi Speed (480 Mbit/s).
Quote
The USB 3.0 standard does not directly specify a maximum cable length, requiring only that all cables meet an electrical specification: for copper cabling with AWG 26 wires the maximum practical length is 3 meters (9.8 ft).
5 meters = 16.4042 feet.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Universal_Serial_Bus
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February 04, 2013, 07:19:20 PM
 #5

active USB cable is essentially a USB hub, with 5m cable. You can extend the cable with those multiple times, but not all devices support that kind of setup.

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February 04, 2013, 11:34:39 PM
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You should be fine with a 15ft/25ft cable.
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February 04, 2013, 11:37:15 PM
 #7

Quote
USB 2.0 provides for a maximum cable length of 5 meters for devices running at Hi Speed (480 Mbit/s).
Quote
The USB 3.0 standard does not directly specify a maximum cable length, requiring only that all cables meet an electrical specification: for copper cabling with AWG 26 wires the maximum practical length is 3 meters (9.8 ft).
5 meters = 16.4042 feet.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Universal_Serial_Bus
Interesting... I always KNEW the limit was 24 feet?

Regardless, I have a little USB webcam I use as a "security camera", and it's on two 10-foot USB extensions without trouble.  I'd say 15-20 feet of USB will be just fine.
Acejam
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February 04, 2013, 11:45:12 PM
 #8

Excellent, thanks all for the great replies! Any suggestions on where to buy a longer USB cable? (Online)
SgtSpike
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February 05, 2013, 12:24:05 AM
 #9

Excellent, thanks all for the great replies! Any suggestions on where to buy a longer USB cable? (Online)
monoprice.com

Or, heck, check out bitcoinstore.com and see what they've got?
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February 07, 2013, 04:11:40 PM
 #10

Sounds like the long cable will work for you but if not, there's a few wired solutions you could check out too. My reading on wireless solutions indicated that they were often less-than-satisfactory.

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firefop
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February 07, 2013, 06:04:03 PM
 #11

Honestly - anything over 10 or 12 feet isn't going to be ideal.

I don't know if the amount of data being sent between the pc and asic is large enough or time dependent enough to make it "not work"... but I'd go with a wired solution like this:

http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?seq=1&format=2&p_id=6042&CAWELAID=1329452178&cagpspn=pla&gclid=COmvktrjpLUCFc9_QgodLFEAcQ

usb over cat5.

Now you just need a long network cable and you're done.


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February 07, 2013, 06:06:26 PM
 #12

Honestly - anything over 10 or 12 feet isn't going to be ideal.

I don't know if the amount of data being sent between the pc and asic is large enough or time dependent enough to make it "not work"... but I'd go with a wired solution like this:

http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?seq=1&format=2&p_id=6042&CAWELAID=1329452178&cagpspn=pla&gclid=COmvktrjpLUCFc9_QgodLFEAcQ

usb over cat5.

Now you just need a long network cable and you're done.


"Does not support USB 2.0 high speed connections."

Nonetheless, probably a good call.  I'd buy both a long USB cable AND USB over CAT5 adapters.  It's a pittance compared to the money lost if the miner is down for a few days while you wait for a new cable to come in.
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February 07, 2013, 06:14:49 PM
 #13

I was kinda thinking something like this:

http://www.amazon.com/SIIG-ID-DS0512-S1-USB-Over-1PORT/dp/B002C6J9ZW/ref=pd_sim_sbs_e_3

But maybe not that actual one. It seems like a reasonable price though.

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February 07, 2013, 07:30:40 PM
 #14

I'd go with an active USB repeater cable, and then add a powered hub on the end.

I'm using a setup like that now for my HTPC with a 50ft cable, along with 50ft HDMI, and it's been working great for months now.

I got both the repeater cable and the hub from Newegg.  Rosewill brand, both.

My friend tried the USB-over-cat5 solution and did not have good results.

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February 07, 2013, 08:08:12 PM
 #15


My friend tried the USB-over-cat5 solution and did not have good results.

Agreed. I'm not sure why changing the cable type would increase the range (unless USB is designed to use spectacularly craptacular cables). Though it does knock things down to USB1 levels presumably because of that. The USB over IP avoids that issue but is a little more expensive and requires drivers etc. However, it might mean that you can run the control from anywhere in the world (though you could do the same with VNC or RDP in any case). I don't recall if Mac drivers were available either...

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firefop
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February 07, 2013, 08:28:19 PM
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My friend tried the USB-over-cat5 solution and did not have good results.

Agreed. I'm not sure why changing the cable type would increase the range (unless USB is designed to use spectacularly craptacular cables). Though it does knock things down to USB1 levels presumably because of that. The USB over IP avoids that issue but is a little more expensive and requires drivers etc. However, it might mean that you can run the control from anywhere in the world (though you could do the same with VNC or RDP in any case). I don't recall if Mac drivers were available either...

There are some usb 2 solutions that run over cat5/6 - but those run in the $200 range and I'd wonder if it's really needed for this application. I was unable to find any usb3 extenders - as far as future proofing, I'm thinking that the over-ip might be the way to go... at least from a 'reduce the points of failure' perspective.

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February 08, 2013, 03:30:20 PM
 #17

I'm not sure what the details of the controlling software are but one of those Android mini-pcs can be had for $50. Built in wifi. If the control software could be ported to that, you'd be laughing since it could be powered from the USB hub.

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February 08, 2013, 05:47:56 PM
 #18

I'm not sure what the details of the controlling software are but one of those Android mini-pcs can be had for $50. Built in wifi. If the control software could be ported to that, you'd be laughing since it could be powered from the USB hub.

At that point you may as well use a WR703N for $25.  I believe you can run cgminer right on it, and connect back to the internets via wifi (or ethernet).  With a USB hub you can connect multiple mining devices.

You can also power the WR703N itself with the USB hub, assuming it's a powered hub.

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February 09, 2013, 03:53:16 PM
 #19

I'm not sure what the details of the controlling software are but one of those Android mini-pcs can be had for $50. Built in wifi. If the control software could be ported to that, you'd be laughing since it could be powered from the USB hub.

At that point you may as well use a WR703N for $25.  I believe you can run cgminer right on it, and connect back to the internets via wifi (or ethernet).  With a USB hub you can connect multiple mining devices.

You can also power the WR703N itself with the USB hub, assuming it's a powered hub.

That's pretty sweet. And following a few links...

http://www.madox.net/blog/2013/01/04/tl-wr703n-example-project-3-wireless-3d-printing-or-2d-printing-or-just-simply-wireless-usb/

I have been searching for things that are similar (but a bit different from this) recently so don't know why I didn't run across it. I guess sometimes, Google-fu can be a little bit too sharp. Smiley

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