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Old 11-08-2010, 14:38   #511
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Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
Mark-
I'll stand by my statement, since I don't consider running five meters five times with five active repeaters to be the design intent (or goal) of USB. That just shows how far you can push a spec--not what it is intended for.
I guess this is where I disagree as following the spec, is not the same as pushing the spec as you imply. The spec is the spec and it states explicitly what can be done (certainly the manufacturer is responsible for assuring things work to spec before selling it). And using active extension cables is certainly to spec in order to lengthen a USB cable run. There are 100's of USB WiFi and 3G devices on the market, all performing to the specs their manufacturer has produced them to.

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By analogy...you need five "hops" to get USB out to 80 meters? In five "hops", my internet connection has gone a thousand miles.
I am not 100% sure what you are getting at. The number of hops a piece of data does on the internet, is far more that 5, thats for sure. The five "hops" of the USB cable as you put it, are nothing compared to the rest of the transmission, thats also for sure. The bottleneck in WiFi is the transmission rate between the wireless devices, and the connection that the access point owner is willing to pay for, certainly not the time it takes the data to travel down either a USB cable or an Ethernet cable.

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Old 12-08-2010, 11:07   #512
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Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
" Ethernet is designed to do that job, USB is expressly not.
With USB are a few limitations, when you overcome these minor bumps there is almost no limitation.
The length limmit is a problem when you use your USB connection up to 480MB/s, with a WiFi device you never reach this kinds of speed, even not 1/10th at you USB cable. When the length is not limmited by dataspeed, like the wifi boaters, you can reach up to the blue sky with USB.

The 2nd problem can be the voltage drop over the USB cable, the voltage at the end can become too low for your wifi device. If you eliminate this problem there is no limitation with USB length.

I expirimented with a cat-6 ethernet cable and used is for USB. Soldered the USB connectors to both ends. Used one twisted pair for the USB data transport and all the other wires for 5 volt power positive and negative. I did make it 30+ meter and it worked flawless in every condition.

The active extenders are "micky mouse " tricks with lots of trouble sometimes. In all cases a active extender try to amplify the USB data signal, but no extra power is added to the power wires. Just the power loss in the cabel is the real problem, but is almost not recognized by anyone.

Try to make a extention cable by yourself as i discribed, seal it with heatshrink sleeve with glue lining. I just simple cut a existing cable and solder the wires from the 2 pigtales to the cat-6 cable. Note the collor combination before. Be absolutly shure that you take 1 twisted pair of wires for the USB data! Connect the screen to the negative 5 volt.

The proper USB pinout can be found on the internet.

Jugo
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Old 12-08-2010, 11:38   #513
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Originally Posted by wad'nwind View Post
The active extenders are "micky mouse " tricks with lots of trouble sometimes. In all cases a active extender try to amplify the USB data signal, but no extra power is added to the power wires. Just the power loss in the cabel is the real problem, but is almost not recognized by anyone.
This is not correct.

USB extension cables have nothing, absolutely nothing, to do with "amplifying" power. The extension cable (and hubs, unless powered) is used as a data buffer. The USB spec limits the amount of time the data can travel round trip from a hub (including your computer itself), and a device. That time limit is the amount of time it takes the data to travel 5 meters over copper wire.

All a non-powered hub, or active extension cable does, is buffer the data so the sending device knows the data arrived successfully. It purely has to do with avoiding timing errors during transmission on the USB cable, not amplifying anything. If the cable is produced to spec, it will work just fine (of course like everything in this world, there are better, and worse, cables).

The other little known fact is that USB cables come with varying wire gauge for the power pair of wires. As in, some USB (and active extension cables), will use 28AWG, some will use as big as 20AWG. As we all know, the bigger the wire, the less the voltage drop, and the longer the run. The data wires are almost always 28AWG. If you have power issues, use a USB cable with bigger wires inside, pretty simple.

Soldering on Ethernet cable seems pretty silly to me. At that point, you may as well use 2 twisted pair conductors of any size wire you want, which also seems pretty silly to me. Good active extension cables work just fine.


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Old 12-08-2010, 11:55   #514
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Originally Posted by kiltym View Post
This is not correct.



Soldering on Ethernet cable seems pretty silly to me. At that point, you may as well use 2 twisted pair conductors of any size wire you want, which also seems pretty silly to me. Good active extension cables work just fine.


Mark
The industrial grade ethernet cable was at the workbench at that time, so i used it. The other wire pairs where only used parallel creating a thicker conductor for powern supply. From that point of view its not so silly all the way. It's an extreemly easy cable to become anywere on route.

I become a small light taste from this forum that the members are more of less lounge chair sailors and not so practical as required for the real bluewater cruisers? But I could possibly see it wrong?
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Old 12-08-2010, 12:04   #515
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wad'nwind View Post
I become a small light taste from this forum that the members are more of less lounge chair sailors and not so practical as required for the real bluewater cruisers? But I could possibly see it wrong?
If this is your non-english way of saying becuase we don't like your USB adapter in a LEGO box..and we have talked about other methods that MAY be better..that someone could build themselves (BTW, your "device"..and I use that term LOOSELY) appears to had been MADE in your basement.
If sor, you do not like this open talk, then you may cease to speak in here!

BTW, what does some people, sailors or not, talking about USB, WiFi and antenna theory have to do with them NOT being a sailor??

Doug
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Old 12-08-2010, 14:04   #516
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about to buy .....

I am about to buy Hugo's 6 mile wifi ... had ex-navy and RF engineers come back to me, they seem to say his thing should work

they also recommended §Wave Magnum || - USB WiFi Adapter

and I have seen other solutions. Now you folks all tell me what is wisdom.

Hugo - I sent you an email to your firm - did you get it ?

cheers J
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Old 12-08-2010, 15:48   #517
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I am about to buy Hugo's 6 mile wifi ... had ex-navy and RF engineers come back to me, they seem to say his thing should work

they also recommended §Wave Magnum || - USB WiFi Adapter

and I have seen other solutions. Now you folks all tell me what is wisdom.

Hugo - I sent you an email to your firm - did you get it ?

cheers J
That magnum unit looks visual very good and compact, same philosphy. But how watertight and corrosive resistant is that RP-SMA external antenna connector and the aluminium housing?
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Old 12-08-2010, 16:05   #518
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This is not correct.

USB extension cables have nothing, absolutely nothing, to do with "amplifying" power. The extension cable (and hubs, unless powered) is used as a data buffer. The USB spec limits the amount of time the data can travel round trip from a hub (including your computer itself), and a device. That time limit is the amount of time it takes the data to travel 5 meters over copper wire.

All a non-powered hub, or active extension cable does, is buffer the data so the sending device knows the data arrived successfully. It purely has to do with avoiding timing errors during transmission on the USB cable, not amplifying anything. If the cable is produced to spec, it will work just fine (of course like everything in this world, there are better, and worse, cables).

The other little known fact is that USB cables come with varying wire gauge for the power pair of wires. As in, some USB (and active extension cables), will use 28AWG, some will use as big as 20AWG. As we all know, the bigger the wire, the less the voltage drop, and the longer the run. The data wires are almost always 28AWG. If you have power issues, use a USB cable with bigger wires inside, pretty simple.

Mark
Okť Mark,

You should be right about the active extention cables, but keep still the problem from the thin power wires in the USB cable with the voltage drop.
Finding a cable from industrial grade costs almost the most time if someone don't want soldering one himself.
I am certain that lots of cheap Chinese cables are not complying with the highest electrical standards for USB, every possibly copper wire is cut down from the process.

Other issues with active USB extention cables, possibly manufacturer dependent, is that after booting or connecting not every cable is recognized at the USB port. This is very uncomfortable. To be honest, I tested this only under XP, not under W-7.
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Old 23-08-2010, 11:21   #519
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USB vs ethernet

Here's a quick summary of USB vs ethernet:

Both are digital and both can supply power via the cable. Both are similar in system costs.

USB cables are fine for devices that are close at hand. They are not intended for permanent outdoor installation. Their max length is limited but extensions can be used. Extension have connectors that are usually not weather resistant. USB is limited to a max of 500mA of power (unless multiple ports and cables are used) and a single laptop USB port may not supply enough power for a high power 1000mW USB Wi-Fi device.

Ethernet cables allow installation up to 300' away, thus making masthead installation a reality for greatly improved reception. Ethernet cables are available for outdoor installation.

USB devices are limited to a single connected computer. To connect more, a computer must be set up to create a shared connection and must remain on at all tmes. This adds to power consumption. Some computing devices do not have a USB port (i.e. iPad, iPhone) and cannot connect to a USB based device.

Ethernet based devices are by their very nature networkable and there are numerous inexpensive networking options available including hubs, routers, etc to extend a system. This makes them easily expandable and allows multiple simultaneous computer connections. For example, using a cheap network switch to an ethernet based Wi-Fi receiver (such as a Bullet) creates a system where multiple computers can connect at the same time. Change the switch to a wireless router, and iPads and iPhones can then easily connect without the need of a computer being powered up all the time or with a cable dragging along behind.

Cheers,
Mike
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Old 23-08-2010, 11:56   #520
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"Ethernet cables allow installation up to 300' away,"
Actually, that's for the popular 10BaseT cabling, but there are other media types, including other non-coax 4-pair runs, that are good for 200 meters.
Ethernet 100BaseTX and 10BaseT Cables: Guidelines and Specifications - Cisco Systems

In case you need to wire up a tall ship.<G>
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Old 23-08-2010, 12:02   #521
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i bot a 45dbi directional antennae off ebay for $45. It is a simple USB connect and came with a 12' USB extension. it recognizes any free wifi up to a 1/2 mile away or more. no need to attach to the mast, change wiring, pay service fees....
i live on my boat in the caribbean and anytime im near a harbor or bay with lodging or restaurants, i can wifi all night long!
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Old 23-08-2010, 12:06   #522
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Is this thread drifting?...Technically I guess not..but how far of a run does the typical boater/yachter need? yes, if you want to set up a "hot-spot" on your Yacht..I'm sure there are better methods. of course if your Yachts THAT big...you've got the $$$ to pay a firm to come in and install all the greatest stuff. For a typical cruiser/enthusiast....with a laptop and just trying to check internet and update a blog...what is best and cheapest is up to them I guess..based off there needs and what they want to spend.

I think it is great that we have talked about the reasoning for ethernet and USB and active usb's...also using just coax from your PC to an antenna(least efficient).
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Old 23-08-2010, 12:08   #523
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Originally Posted by captainmark55 View Post
i bot a 45dbi directional antennae off ebay for $45. It is a simple USB connect and came with a 12' USB extension. it recognizes any free wifi up to a 1/2 mile away or more. no need to attach to the mast, change wiring, pay service fees....
i live on my boat in the caribbean and anytime im near a harbor or bay with lodging or restaurants, i can wifi all night long!
Really!!!..$45.00
How do you know it's 45 dbi?...Did you test it against a verified or commercial antenna that has established specs?
45 dbi is a huge amount of gain...I doubt for $45 you truely have a 45dbi antenna sir
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Old 23-08-2010, 12:18   #524
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USB Biquad wifi Antenna 35+ dB gain free int long Range - eBay (item 180543405561 end time Sep-05-10 11:54:44 PDT)
that is a link to the antennae i bot, he boosted it from 35 to 45, he said. all i know is that it works great, i dont know about the technical details, for the money it was worth a try and it suits me fine! you have to download the drivers, disconnect from your internal wifi and point and shoot! cheers.
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Old 23-08-2010, 12:27   #525
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Power over Ethernet

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Originally Posted by mlahrkamp View Post
Here's a quick summary of USB vs ethernet:

Both are digital and both can supply power via the cable. Both are similar in system costs.

USB cables are fine for devices that are close at hand. They are not intended for permanent outdoor installation. Their max length is limited but extensions can be used. Extension have connectors that are usually not weather resistant. USB is limited to a max of 500mA of power (unless multiple ports and cables are used) and a single laptop USB port may not supply enough power for a high power 1000mW USB Wi-Fi device.

Ethernet cables allow installation up to 300' away, thus making masthead installation a reality for greatly improved reception. Ethernet cables are available for outdoor installation.

USB devices are limited to a single connected computer. To connect more, a computer must be set up to create a shared connection and must remain on at all tmes. This adds to power consumption. Some computing devices do not have a USB port (i.e. iPad, iPhone) and cannot connect to a USB based device.

Ethernet based devices are by their very nature networkable and there are numerous inexpensive networking options available including hubs, routers, etc to extend a system. This makes them easily expandable and allows multiple simultaneous computer connections. For example, using a cheap network switch to an ethernet based Wi-Fi receiver (such as a Bullet) creates a system where multiple computers can connect at the same time. Change the switch to a wireless router, and iPads and iPhones can then easily connect without the need of a computer being powered up all the time or with a cable dragging along behind.

Cheers,
Mike
Mike,

While the ethernet standard length is 300', for power over ethernet (PoE), I believe that this is at 48VDC. As most boats run on 12VDC or 24VDC, many PoE injectors are at 12V or sometimes 24V unless they run on 110VAC where they lose efficiency twice, once at the inverter and then at the power supply.

According to Ubiquity information, they have not implemented the PoE standard and 48V will certainly damage their hardware. So The BitStorm website showing feeding 12-20VDC into a splice (Ugh) or a 110VAC adapter surely indicates that 48VDC is not being used.

So doing some elementary calculations and looking at other postings by knowledgeable folks like Bob, I don't see how you can say
"Ethernet cables allow installation up to 300' away, thus making masthead installation a reality for greatly improved reception."

Unless of course you are going to put the PoE injector along the way.

So whereas I definitely prefer PoE to USB and agree with your overall argument, I don't believe that you are accurate in your claim.

Also while you tout the networking capabilities of ethernet, you ignore repeater solutions which don't require additional routers or hardware to have true wireless for PDA's etc on your boat.

So if you want to argue the benefits of PoE over USB, lets have all the facts, especially if you are associated with a vendor.
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