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Old 24-03-2009, 16:07   #91
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Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
In theory an active USB cable, meaning a cable with power supply, should have the cable size and the power supply matched so that 5V 500mA will be available at the business end of the cable. I'm sure there's junk that doesn't perform properly, but that's what the mass market has made of itself.
Yes, but the problem is that the "repeater" in the cable, which is actually a hub, also uses the same power feed and the USB port in the computer might not be able to provide all that. I think that the best solution is to connect a small USB hub to the computer and connect a 5V power supply to it. Now, you can use a 5 meter regular (passive) USB cable to the wifi device and all power will be provided by the separate 5V PSU. Select a hub that comes with a PSU or use a DC-DC converter.

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Old 24-03-2009, 16:41   #92
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Nik, its so nice to be confused as usual here.

I'm not familiar with an "active cable" being any kind of repeater. Are you suggesting an "active cable" means it boosts the signal level--without injecting any extra power for devices?? As opposed to a powered extension cable, which would plug into something for power (a wall wart) instead of just the computer's USB port?
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Old 24-03-2009, 16:49   #93
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You could run 15' to a powered hub then another 15' to the antenna but you have to run power to the hub and what have you really gained? The difference in range between the cabin top and the masthead can be significant but the difference between hanging from the lazy jacks and almost to the lower spreader will not give you a whole lot more range. Try to balance the hassle factor against what you gain.

I have a sneaky feeling not many of us are going to carefully coil and tie each cable and stow it all away carefully every time. And we are not going to like untangling a pile of wire every time we want to get on the net. If you can keep the total component count to a minimum you will use it more.
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Old 24-03-2009, 19:07   #94
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
Nik, its so nice to be confused as usual here.

I'm not familiar with an "active cable" being any kind of repeater. Are you suggesting an "active cable" means it boosts the signal level--without injecting any extra power for devices?? As opposed to a powered extension cable, which would plug into something for power (a wall wart) instead of just the computer's USB port?
Now you have me confused too ;-)

Okay, example of active cable: Amazon.com: Tripp Lite U026-016 USB2.0 16-Feet Certified Active Extension Cable: Electronics

as you can see, there's a small device integrated into one of the connectors that regenerates the signals (I prefer calling that a repeater). On that page linked above they claim you can go to 80 feet but each cable consumes power (for the repeater) and this has to come from somewhere; in this case it's bus-powered so it takes power from the bus and the wifi device has to compete with that. If your wifi device is low-power, it will (probably) work.

However, if you have a high-power wifi device, it's better to inject power into the bus. You can do that with an USB hub with PSU (a wall wart). When you connect that to your computer USB port, it will not use power from the port on the laptop. Same for any device connected to the hub. An example: Amazon.com: D-Link DUB-H4 High Speed USB 2.0 4-Port Hub: Electronics

Only in the description you read that it comes with an AC power supply. Most hubs have a 5V DC input connector, even if they don't come with the PSU. I always use a powered USB hub because it protects the ports on the computer from burning out (like with USB powered hard drives etc.)

Instead of an AC wall wart, you can also use a DC-DC converter to make the 5V feed from 12V or 24V house batteries. See this page: Robust 5V DC/DC converter, wide input range 5 volts output, 15 watts continuous
I use the 8-28V input, 5V 3A output version and power all USB hubs/switches from that single converter.

Hope this helps,
Nick.
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Old 24-03-2009, 20:05   #95
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Thanks, Nick. Mystery solved by the Tripplite info:
"Active extension cable regenerates USB signal for extra-long distances: daisy-chain multiple cables up to 80 feet "

This is not a USB cable per se, it is a USB SIGNAL cable, designed to consume part of the USB power and use it to actively boost the SIGNAL only. So it is the wrong part to use for USB-powered devices, unless they are sipping power. (Like, a USB GPS puck which typically only need 3.3V at maybe 50-100mA internally.)

With fond memories of George Carlin, "TOO MUCH STUFF!" (G)
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Old 24-03-2009, 22:50   #96
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Well, there's more to it. You can extend that active cable with a regular (passive) 15' cable for a total length of 31'. So, it's about bridging distances between computer and USB device. If the active cable uses 50 mA you could still have 450 mA left for the device.

Also, not all computer USB ports are equal. They are supposed to be able to deliver 500mA each but many won't or burn up, especially with laptops. When that happens, the port is shot. So, this is why I advise a powered hub: it provides plenty power to the USB bus plus it protects the computer.

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Old 25-03-2009, 17:50   #97
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Nick-
"If the active cable uses 50 mA you could still have 450 mA left for the device." Maybe in theory. But there will be voltage drop in the wires, more so in the long wires, and some devices will need to draw more amps to compensate for lower voltage. I agree with you that using a powered hub is the only safe (likely to work properly) way to push a long USB connection.
The USB spec is 500mA, if a computer does not provide that they cannot use the logo and trademark "USB" for the port, legally. I know some older laptops were fused at 400mA, but today, I think 500mA can be reliably expected. There are still funkier things going on in the hardware, i.e. the computer I'm using shows two USB controllers, each with 8 ports, but only one is connected to one controller, and two to the other, physically. Ghost ports?(G)
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Old 25-03-2009, 21:59   #98
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Not ghost ports, many are used internally like for the audio section, card reader etc. They might also have pin-headers for the rest on the motherboard. It might also be that they only have the power available for 2 ports so they don't use the other 6.

Voltage drop over longer cable: yes, but the spec takes that in consideration. Also, the longer cables (should) have bigger diameter cores to counter that.

USB ports should be able to supply 500mA and should survive if you try to draw more. But I also saw many burned out ports (not just the fuse blown). You may well be right that newer laptops don't have the problem.

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Old 26-03-2009, 21:14   #99
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Help Today I recieved my engenius 362 ext I loaded the disk and It said it was loaded but I can find no incon for it. Please understand I am a computer idoit. My computer has vista operating system. I remember read somewhere Vista requires some special installation Can someone please talk me through this ?
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Old 27-03-2009, 10:03   #100
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Vista requires Vista DRIVERS, and it also treats wireless devices and networking a bit differently from the older OSes. Your best bet is probably to contact Engenius for free tech support on that, they claim to provide it.
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Old 27-03-2009, 11:29   #101
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Motion30,

Here's a link to Engenius's FAQ on installing the EUB362 driver on VISTA The first item is the one you want.

Bob
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Old 28-03-2009, 19:53   #102
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W32pamela your link was the key. Still had some problems I would like to thank everybody. I have my engenues up and running Still there is a problem, either the usb cord is bad or the connection port on the 362 is bad,if I move the unit it disconects. I will try a new cord tomorrow. This thing was a real pain and I am less then impressed thus far. I hope it in the end
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Old 29-03-2009, 06:35   #103
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Motion30, Here's a Link to a passive 15' USB cable with a mini b plug on one end. These have worked well with my EUB362 for one extension. If you go more than 15' you'll need an active cable.

Bob
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Old 29-03-2009, 09:40   #104
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Adding onboard wi-fi?

We'll have two PC's on board - can anyone suggest a simple/inexpensive way to pick up long-distance wi-fi and create an onboard wi-fi solution for multiple PC's?

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Old 29-03-2009, 11:08   #105
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Islander I have the same desire for my boat, hope somebody comes up with a simple/inexpensive way to pick wi-fi and then create an internal local wi-fi
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