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A. Viegas
scholastic sledgehammer
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Reged: 03/05/12

Loc: New York City/ CT
Long-run USB alternative idea - router
      #5607987 - 01/06/13 09:57 AM

I am currently running about 45 feet of USB 2.0 repeater cables for my outdoor setup. This coming spring I plan to reinstall my gear approximately 100ft from my study. I am thinking of a few different ideas, such as leaving a laptop there and VNC'ing into it from the desktop, or potentially purchasing true USB 2.0 over cat-5 dongles ($300)... but this morning I had another thought. What if I purchased a cheap router with a USB port? I could run a 100ft cat-5 cable from my router in the study out to the router in the field and then plug a USB hub into that field-router's USB port? Check out this cheap $25 router with USB -> Belkin Router

Has anyone experimented with this idea?

Thanks
Al


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Midnight Dan
Postmaster
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Reged: 01/23/08

Loc: Hilton, NY, Yellow Zone (Bortl...
Re: Long-run USB alternative idea - router new [Re: A. Viegas]
      #5608023 - 01/06/13 10:28 AM

Unfortunately, the USB port supplied on routers like this is not a general purpose USB port. The USB spec has different protocols for different device types, and this one only supports printers and storage devices.

-Dan


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fmhill
sage


Reged: 07/17/12

Loc: Cape Cod, Massachusetts, USA
Re: Long-run USB alternative idea - router new [Re: A. Viegas]
      #5608085 - 01/06/13 11:07 AM

Yes, I am currently experimenting with a USB over IP 4 port USB hub with built in Ethernet link port.

Due to weather, as I received the USB/IP hub in mid December, I have not had a chance to test it in full dynamic use, at this point it passes initial tests over a 100 ft Cat-5E cable coiled on the floor. Tests are with a Canon 60Da imaging camera, a Orion SSAG guiding camera and a USB/serial adapter all plugged in, the 60Da in live view mode aimed at me as I operate at the computer and wave the SSAG at a LED light. So far the unit works flawlessly once I figured out how to change the default IP address to a static address that is in the VPN domain of my inhouse network.

The device I am using is the USBgear 4 port over IP hub:http://www.usbgear.com/USBG-4NET.html

My reason for choosing this device was a combination of reasonable price of $95 and that the Ethernet port is 10-100-1000 Gigabit network compatible which is the format of my inhouse network...

I should comment, I have also experimented with USB/WiFi hubs and routers rated for USB 2.0 protocal, and frankly the USB/IP over a Cat-5E cable blows the sox off the WiFi link. I have not measured the data rate of each, I base my comparison on display of live view display of a canon 60Da and over the USB/IP link with 100 ft cable, Live view has a slight delay but appears nearly in real time. Over the USB/WiFi link, the Live View has considerable delay and drops probably 3 out of 4 frames...

The USB/IP link is obviously capable of much greater data flow, I would estimate the USB/IP link to be at least ten fold faster than the WiFi link...


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neotesla
Pooh-Bah
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Reged: 11/18/10

Loc: Canada
Re: Long-run USB alternative idea - router new [Re: fmhill]
      #5608095 - 01/06/13 11:12 AM

Other sources as well... just an example. (look for USB repeater)

http://www.usbfirewire.com/urepeaters.html


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A. Viegas
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 03/05/12

Loc: New York City/ CT
Re: Long-run USB alternative idea - router new [Re: Midnight Dan]
      #5608164 - 01/06/13 11:45 AM

Quote:

Unfortunately, the USB port supplied on routers like this is not a general purpose USB port. The USB spec has different protocols for different device types, and this one only supports printers and storage devices.

-Dan




I am not sure, but I think if you install an alternative firmware such as this one -> TomatoUSB then the USB port on the router can become fully functional... but i have not yet tried, so wanted to see if anyone had...

Al


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Andy Taylor
Twisted, but in a Good Way
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Reged: 09/24/08

Loc: Epsom - UK
Re: Long-run USB alternative idea - router new [Re: A. Viegas]
      #5608289 - 01/06/13 12:47 PM

I use USB/CAT5 network cable adapters (10 pounds UK on the 'bay)

Good for up to 150ft.

You'll need a powered USB hub at the remote end.


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ccs_hello
Postmaster
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Reged: 07/03/04

Re: Long-run USB alternative idea - router new [Re: fmhill]
      #5608326 - 01/06/13 01:01 PM

Quote:

...The device I am using is the USBgear 4 port over IP hub:http://www.usbgear.com/USBG-4NET.html
...




That device only supports isochronous mode at USB 1.1 full speed (12 Mbps).
If your device requires USB2 high speed (480Mbps) in isochronous transfer mode, you are out of luck.

RE: Belkin router with USB port...
It is not designed for USB protocol translation nor able to sustain high-speed transfer (independent of any firmware). Do not waste time on that, unless only want to use it for very basic/trivial functions.


The U (Universal) in USB is a difficult term to qualify and has trapped many. Put a low-end/less-demanding device, in many cases, cheapie implementation could work. Put a high-end, most-demanding device on a work-around (with corner cut as a partial implementation) system, it fails miserably.
Follow the spec. is the only assured way to get it to work 100% of the time.

Clear Skies!

ccs_hello


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fmhill
sage


Reged: 07/17/12

Loc: Cape Cod, Massachusetts, USA
Re: Long-run USB alternative idea - router new [Re: ccs_hello]
      #5608408 - 01/06/13 01:41 PM

I believe you are confusing devices... According to the manufactures Specification page, the USBgear 4 port over IP hub does support High Speed isochronous USB 2.0 mode...

Quote:

Quote:

...The device I am using is the USBgear 4 port over IP hub:http://www.usbgear.com/USBG-4NET.html
...




That device only supports isochronous mode at USB 1.1 full speed (12 Mbps).
If your device requires USB2 high speed (480Mbps) in isochronous transfer mode, you are out of luck.

RE: Belkin router with USB port...
It is not designed for USB protocol translation nor able to sustain high-speed transfer (independent of any firmware). Do not waste time on that, unless only want to use it for very basic/trivial functions.


The U (Universal) in USB is a difficult term to qualify and has trapped many. Put a low-end/less-demanding device, in many cases, cheapie implementation could work. Put a high-end, most-demanding device on a work-around (with corner cut as a partial implementation) system, it fails miserably.
Follow the spec. is the only assured way to get it to work 100% of the time.

Clear Skies!

ccs_hello




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ccs_hello
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 07/03/04

Re: Long-run USB alternative idea - router new [Re: fmhill]
      #5608637 - 01/06/13 03:29 PM Attachment (17 downloads)

Mitch,

Please read the fine print...

Clear Skies!

ccs_hello


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fmhill
sage


Reged: 07/17/12

Loc: Cape Cod, Massachusetts, USA
Re: Long-run USB alternative idea - router new [Re: ccs_hello]
      #5608756 - 01/06/13 04:25 PM

ccs_hello

You are reading/quoting an outdated data sheet apparently from an earlier unit/model. What I have is a new unit/model purchased mid December, 2012.

This is copied verbatim from the manufacturers specification sheet:

Provides 4 USB2.0 Host Ports over Ethernet or IP
Allows Working With Remote USB Devices as with
Local Ones

Multiple USB Devices Can Be Shared on Server

Supports USB Devices Safe Removal Function

Auto Sharing of New USB Devices

Works in USB Hub Mode or Ethernet Mode, USB
Devices Can Be Switched to USB or Ethernet Host

Metal Case and USB Screw Lock Mechanism
Enhances the Reliability

IEEE 802.3 10/100/1000Mbps, Auto Cross-over Ethernet Port
Compatible with Bulk, Interrupt and Isochronous
Type USB Devices

Supports High Speed/Full Speed USB2.0 Peripherals

DC Jack for DC 7~24V Power Input

User-Friendly Web and PC GUI Interface

Supports WinXP,2003,Vista and Win 7

End of copy...

Testing here confirms that the transfer speed of 20 Meg RAW image files using this USB/IP hub device over 100 ft. Cat-5E cable is many times faster than than any other method tested including Active USB2.0 extension cables 15 meters in length...

Edited by fmhill (01/06/13 04:27 PM)


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ccs_hello
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 07/03/04

Re: Long-run USB alternative idea - router new [Re: fmhill]
      #5608795 - 01/06/13 04:45 PM

Mitch,

I am quoting what the vendor's website says. Spec sheet obviously is referring to a different device.
If the device can fully support USB 2.0 isochronuous mode at high-speed (480Mbps), "both terms used together", it should say so too. I did not find it.

BTW, there is no way that a 100Mbps PHY Ethernet type of interface, with USB packets encapsulated in IP packets, be able to deliver (USB 2.0 High-speed) 480Mbps.

Clear Skies!

ccs_hello


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fmhill
sage


Reged: 07/17/12

Loc: Cape Cod, Massachusetts, USA
Re: Long-run USB alternative idea - router new [Re: ccs_hello]
      #5608809 - 01/06/13 04:55 PM

I still maintain you are getting bad information.

This is from the vendor's website:
http://www.coolgear.com/images/USBG-4NET.pdf


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A. Viegas
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 03/05/12

Loc: New York City/ CT
Re: Long-run USB alternative idea - router new [Re: fmhill]
      #5608868 - 01/06/13 05:17 PM

Mitch,

Can you run a benchmark speed test on your device? If you stick a USB flash drive on one of the USB ports and roll out 100ft of cat5 cable then try this little program and run the speed test.

--> http://www.steelbytes.com/?mid=20

I have used this to test the speed of my 5m repeater cables and my USB 1.1 dongle over 100ft of cat5. For my purposes, to get video from my capture device back to the computer, e USB 1.1 fails. Then again, measuring the speed of my USB ports on the computer and out on 45 ft of repeater cable plus a powered hub was almost the same. I think if you test the speed of your device over the 100ft distance and then compare it to what speed you achieve on the flash drive plugged directly into the PC USB port it would be very helpful.

Al


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fmhill
sage


Reged: 07/17/12

Loc: Cape Cod, Massachusetts, USA
Re: Long-run USB alternative idea - router new [Re: A. Viegas]
      #5608935 - 01/06/13 05:45 PM

That is a good idea for a test, I'd be very interested in seeing the results howevere being in New England in January, and not having a flash drive, that is not a test I'm going to run out and do for probably two or three months...

Also, I see no worthwhile comparisons to USB 1.1, I have upgraded all my gear to USb2.0 AND USB 3.0, up until now, I have used Tether Pro USB2.0 15 Meter active extension cables for remote control of the astro-imaging gear. I have been for about three years with 100% reliability and satisfactory data transfer performance, and, lfor the coming season, I am presently researching and setting up TCPIP linking for mount control including autoguiding and imaging camera control including rawe image data transfer to a i7 computer via a 10-100-1000 Gigabit Ethernet network. The mount I use is a G11 with a Gemini II control system which has a TCPIP Ethernet interface built in. The need for the USB/IP hub is for the autoguider and the imaging camera USB connection and elimination of expensive length limited active USB cables.

As to ccs_hello comment about 100Mbit limit, here is what the documentation that comes with the USBgear USB/IP hub/router states:

This product supports NO MORE THAN 2 USB web cam. Many web cams on the
market today are what we called USB 2.0 device. USB 2.0 devices, by specification,
could be transmitting data at 480 Mbps during operation. The bandwidth provided by
this USB Server product is at most 320 Mbps. Though in reality a single webcam may
not require 480 Mbps bandwidth, the required bandwidth of two or more web cam
definitely exceeds the 320 Mbps this product could provide.

End of copy...

Edited by fmhill (01/06/13 05:50 PM)


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A. Viegas
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 03/05/12

Loc: New York City/ CT
Re: Long-run USB alternative idea - router new [Re: fmhill]
      #5608948 - 01/06/13 05:51 PM

No worries. How long a string of USB 2.0 repeater cables did you use? I am using 3 currently without a problem... But for my new site I would probably need 6 or 7 of the 5m USB2.0 repeater cables... I am not sure that would work, although it would be a cheap solution...

Al


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ccs_hello
Postmaster
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Reged: 07/03/04

Re: Long-run USB alternative idea - router new [Re: A. Viegas]
      #5608998 - 01/06/13 06:27 PM Attachment (5 downloads)

website info and spec sheet do not match.
I can agree that the Ethernet port can support gigE (per other part of the web page).
But I doubt it supports isochronous transfer mode at high-speed (480 Mbps).


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fmhill
sage


Reged: 07/17/12

Loc: Cape Cod, Massachusetts, USA
Re: Long-run USB alternative idea - router new [Re: A. Viegas]
      #5609010 - 01/06/13 06:43 PM

Quote:

No worries. How long a string of USB 2.0 repeater cables did you use? I am using 3 currently without a problem... But for my new site I would probably need 6 or 7 of the 5m USB2.0 repeater cables... I am not sure that would work, although it would be a cheap solution...

Al




I am using Tether Pro USB extension cables from www.shop.tethertools.com. I have three cables presently, two are 7.75 meter long, each has a USB repeater IC molded into the female end. The third cable is a 15 meter cable which has a second repeater module molded in the middle between the ends, the female end having a repeater IC molded in for a total of two repeaters.

As to daisy chaining, I normally run the two 7.75 meter cables in series to match the length of the longer cable.

I originally started using Tether Pro active USB extension cables with Nikon D300s DSLR cameras for remote wildlife imaging, and now that I'm retired, I'm finding them just as handy for remote imaging. My method is to use the one 15 meter cable for the imaging camera alone, the second daisy chained pair of cables to a 5 port USB hub for mount and guiding control as well as a DSUSB shutter trigger if I'm using the Nikon D300s camera for imaging.

My understanding from the Tether Tools documentation, they can be used to 25 Meters (84 feet)without problems. What this means I'm not sure, I would think they could be used longer with some degradation in performance...

I have a couple sets of the USB to Cat-5 dongle adapters and have used these on 100 feet of cat-5e cable with the Canon EOS 60Da camera with success however there is a 30% reduction in speed as compared to the Active USB extension cables... And two sets of Tether Tools USB to Cat-5 adapters costs as much, actually slightly more than the 4 port USB/IP hub. With the USB/IP hub, you get greater distance with little loss in speed or capacity as far as I can tell so far... That is still in the R&D stage of the game until weather improves...

As a side note, I have a WiFi network with Verizon 4G network access an a internal 10 port router and use it with an HP wireless printer. So, my first plan for improving my remote imaging control was to use WiFi. I have tried a remote WiFi to 4 port Ethernet router and a wireless USB dongle device on a 10 foot USB extension cable to try to increase the wireless range. I have more recently tried a USB/WiFi 4 port hub based on another user's recommendation that he gets 100 ft range. Its supposed to be a USB 2.0 device and it works however the throughput of image data with only the Canon 60Da running in live view mode is about 1/10th the speed of the USB/IP hub over Cat-5e or the active USB extension cables... I came to the conclusion WiFi simply can not handle the volume of data and I have moved on to Ethernet TCPIP which, in comparison, shows great promise...

Time and good weather will tell...

Edited by fmhill (01/06/13 06:50 PM)


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ccs_hello
Postmaster
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Reged: 07/03/04

Re: Long-run USB alternative idea - router [Re: ccs_hello]
      #5609069 - 01/06/13 07:15 PM

Quote:

website info and spec sheet do not match.
I can agree that the Ethernet port can support gigE (per other part of the web page).
But I doubt it supports isochronous transfer mode at high-speed (480 Mbps).




I think these USB2 over (gigE) IP devices, including the one mentioned are using the same IC (Mfg: Elite Silicon): E3868M4 (for 4-port). Per its datasheet, it can support max. of 320 Mbps, about equivalent of 2 CCIR656 streams. That is a great accomplishment. Of course, it is assuming the gigE network is congestion free.
When I checked with its FAQ, it did mention when the pipe is congested, abnormal events will happen.

Clear Skies!

ccs_hello


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ccs_hello
Postmaster
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Reged: 07/03/04

Re: Long-run USB alternative idea - router [Re: ccs_hello]
      #5609092 - 01/06/13 07:28 PM

http://dx.com/p/network-gigabit-usb-2-0-server-with-hub-support-for-printer-u... is another source (cheaper). With that, it's worthwhile to experiment with.
Note: the gigabit Ethernet network must be almost congestion free, if pumping a lot of traffic (esp. isochronous) through. Also note that PC side has to use gigabit Ethernet as well.

P.S. just need one on the device side. PC side is running software emulating the USB devices.

P.P.S. I think the "double boot" type of devices (Meade DSI, QHY8, etc. using EZUSB-FX2) will have a hard time to work, since the PC side USB device emulation will fail.

Clear Skies!

ccs_hello


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tjugo
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 11/06/07

Re: Long-run USB alternative idea - router [Re: ccs_hello]
      #5610065 - 01/07/13 11:56 AM

Hi,

VNC or any other remote desktop setup is the way to go. I have run my observatory with VNC forever and it works perfectly, it is the cheapest alternative (if you get a cheap netbook) and is ver reliable, if your connection gets disrupted your equipment continue to operate until the connection is restored.

My observatory netbook has a broken display so when I need to access the netbook 'onsite' I use a tablet running VNC to do it.

Any netbook will do the job, my *BLEEP* netbook can control telescope, cameras (via Maxim or PHD + Neculosity) and focuser easily.

In my observatory I also run an IP camera to check monitor the equipment before closing the rood, both the camera and the laptop (and the tablet when needed) talk to a wireless router set as a bridge in the observatory.

Cheers,

Jose


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