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USB Signal booster


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Has anyone successfully used USB signal boosters to get beyond the 5m limit?

I currently have 3 x 3m USB 2 cables connected together via a powered hub PC side. They run from my house to my scope.

Cable 1 connects to EQDIR and works great.

Cable 2 connects PHD to my guide camera and again works great.

Cable 3 connects Nebulosity to my DSLR and recently has started loosing it's connection.

It was working fine for quite some time but for some reason has become unstable. I know that the USB 2 recommend max length is around 5m and that I'm way beyond that. So assume that I just got lucky when I first set it up.

I was wondering if anyone has used the booster cables to extend that 5m range. I'd like to get stability at 9m for these cold winter months that my notebook simply doesn't like.

I guess I can live without Nebulosity but its framing and focusing functions would be sorely missed as Id have to locate and centre using an EP, then hook up the camera & re-focus before starting an an imaging each time.

Lastly, I'd also like to buy a BIG BAG of patience :-)

Fingers crossed someone has the answer.

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Hi Ivan,

I recently had this problem as well.

I wanted to run all my imaging gear from the garden to the house, 20metres idealy. So after a few issues (like you are having) and combo's I managed to get it all working perfectly using this config:

All short cables from cameras, eqmod etc to a 4 port cheap un-powered usb hub at the scope. Then one 20m active usb repeater cable from the hub to the PC.

Worked for me! :D



Edited by msinclairinork
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I can control all my gear from the house, 40m, but there is a catch, another laptop. I have a dedicated laptop, with a monitor attached, in the observatory, this controls telescope, cameras both web and DSLR and anything elese out there. It is attached to the network and to control it I use TightVNC, a remote desktop control. Through TightVNC I can see both the laptop screen and monitor so have a wide screen to see all items. I also have a cam looking at the pier in case of a problem and can cut the power off immediately. Has worked well and no time lag, pretty happy with it but I don't use it much as I like to be there in the cold :D. This is just one option, everyone has their own way of doing things.


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Well the cable arrived yesterday along with the four-port splitter. I'm using Win7, when I plug the cable in it installs as a Generic Hub but nothing I plug into the other end of it gets recognised. I'm suspicious that the notebook (HP less than a yr old) has sufficient bus power to provide the juice the cable needs. I'm going to try it on my desktop tonight but was just wondering if any of you guys had experienced problems with these cables when first plugged in?

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I haven't had any issues with the Lindy USB cables talking to a powered 7 port hub. WinXpsp3 on an ol' Dell laptop.

The splitter you show is not an idea solution! A powered hub is the way to go. You can run the hub from a 12V battery using the Maplin 12V -6V transformer.

Edited by Merlin66
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The splitter you show is not an idea solution! A powered hub is the way to go.

I have a four port powered hub, maybe I'll try extender cable to the powered hub (at the scope) but I'm not hopeful as plugging a single device into the extender cable isn't being picked up by the notebook.

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i use USB over ethernet.

these connections can go up to 50 meters and works perfect !

also i have been using USB repeaters cables, these cables are ''active'' cables and start at 5 meters of length.

both ways have made me a happy guy, and never lost an image of the qhy 5 or lodestar autoguider or from the ccd camera ( qsi 583 ws )

regards, Erwin


Edited by Erwin Kats
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Its good to hear that people are getting it to work.

I gave up on extending USB as it was causing me nothing but issues and instabilitys.

A small ITX PC at the scope on my home Lan with Tight VNC has been my final sollution.

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