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USB A to USB Cables for Skywatcher AZ/EQ6 mounts

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#1 bluesilver

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Posted 28 October 2020 - 03:34 AM

Hi,  just a simple question i am hoping.

It is in regards to the USB A to USB Cable that you can use that goes from the AZ/EQ6 mount to the your pc

The newer mounts have a USB B plug on their mounts.

 

So basically i was interested to know if i could use a USB3 series cable?

I think the standard cables you can get are USB2 cables.

Startech make such a cable,  but is extremely expensive 

https://www.startech...ables/usb3sab5m

 

Can i use a USB3 cable on these mounts,  or will the USB3 cable not fit?

I am not sure is there is any difference dimension wise between a stand USB and USB3 B cables.

 

Any advise would be appreciated.

Thanks.

 



#2 Dynan

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Posted 28 October 2020 - 06:44 AM

USB 2 and USB 3 cables are interchangeable in regards to configuration. Data transfer speed is the only difference, with USB 3 being the faster transfer.

 

There are inexpensive alternatives in any length you want. Only for example:

 

https://www.amazon.c...03885408&sr=8-3



#3 jdupton

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Posted 28 October 2020 - 09:30 AM

bluesilver,

 

   No, not strictly speaking; you cannot use a USB-3 Type A to USB-3 Type B cable. The reason is a USB-3 Type B cable will not fit into a USB-2 Type B socket. The Type A connectors are backwards compatible between USB-3 and USB-2 but the Type B connectors are not. The Type B connectors have an extra "lump" on the top of them that will prevent you from plugging into the mount. (Note the extra size of the B end of the cables you and Dynan linked above. It will not fit your mount's USB socket. Also note that you linked to an active cable. That is why it is so expensive. Those are only needed if you must have a cable that is more than 5 meters long.) 

 

   See the following list / guide to USB connector types. Scroll down the list to the USB-3 Type B and you will what I mean.

 

https://www.newnex.com/usb-connector-type-guide.php

 

   I do not know of any cables that would have USB-3 Type A on one end and USB-2 Type B on the other end. There would be no point to making such a cable as several wired inside the cable would have nowhere to go on the Type B end.

 

   USB-2 Type A to USB-2 Type B are very common cables. They are commonly called "USB Printer Cables". That is all you need for your mount. Most any will work for this application -- even the cheapest quality ones. There is nothing about the SkyWatcher mount communications that needs USB-3 transfer speeds. Even USB-2 is overkill for the speed of data transfer. (In fact, a USB-1.1 Type A to Type B cable could have been specified but was outdated by the time the new mounts added the USB connection.)

 

 

John


Edited by jdupton, 28 October 2020 - 09:36 AM.


#4 Dynan

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Posted 28 October 2020 - 10:01 AM

I linked to an inexpensive alternative to the cable he linked to in the original post. The configurations are the same.



#5 SonnyE

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Posted 28 October 2020 - 03:30 PM

If you have the socket for the USB3 type, then that would give you whatever advantages your equipment can offer.

 

Not long ago, I changed my  Type 2 USB-B to USB-A cable for a true Type 3 USB-B to USB-A from my Star Tech powered hub on my telescope to my computer.

I am happy to report I did notice an improvement in performance. Which makes sense.

I did not however use something expensive like the Star Tech cable you linked. I think I used a Cable Matters cable like Dynan linked. In my opinion, a cable is a cable, and what you actually get in price difference appears to be the warranty.

 

My cameras and focuser and even my mount are basic USB 2 types, not USB 3 type devices.

But my Star Tech hub is USB 3. The upper cables that are USB 2 are short, 18", for neatness. My mount cable is a USB 2 that is 5' (60").

So basically, the data gets to the telescope mounted hub, then it can fly down a big fast pipe to my mount computer.

Point being, the USB type 3 cable did show me a faster data transfer rate.

 

With the hub mounted at the telescope, I have a single USB 3 cable between my mount and my computer.

Much neater!

I see mounts with a gillian wires and cables, and I see disaster waiting to entangle the equipment.

 

Looks like dis:

 

 
Telescope Imaging 1w
 
 
(Basically. Things have changed a bit now.)

Edited by SonnyE, 28 October 2020 - 03:35 PM.

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#6 jdupton

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Posted 28 October 2020 - 04:17 PM

All,

 

   I must be missing something in the big picture here. All of this talk of using a USB-3 cable to the SkyWatcher mount just doesn't add up.

 

   Below are figures showing USB-2 Type B and USB-3 Type B connectors. (USB-2 Type B plug and jack on the left, USB-3 Type B plug and jack on the right.) Note that the SkyWatcher mounts and Hand Control boxes use a USB-2 Type B jack / socket. They do not employ a USB-3 connector. All USB-3 Type B cables use the plug and jack as shown on the right. How are you managing to plug a USB-3 Type B cable into a USB-2 Type B jack? They are not going to physically fit.

 

Image1.jpg

 

   Commands send back and forth to the SkyWatcher mount USB connection use 115,200 bits per second and commands are sent once every second or so in normal operation. Each command is only a couple dozen bytes long at most. The USB connection on the Hand Control operates at only 9,600 bits per second. USB-2 runs at up to 480,000,000 bits per second while USB-3 runs at up to 5,000,000,000 bits per second. It is hard to conceive of any practical measurable difference in mount performance even if it did support USB-3. As I mentioned before, the USB on the mount running at 115,200 bits per second could be run using USB-1.1 at only 1,500,000 bits per second with not performance impact. (Software support for USB-1.1 protocol may prevent us from actually doing that but the speed is still 10x what is required for the mount.)

 

   All that aside, the USB connector on the mount is a USB-2 Type B connector. You cannot plug a USB-3 Type B connector into it without physically replacing the connector on the mount control board inside the mount.

 

 

John


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#7 bluesilver

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Posted 28 October 2020 - 11:41 PM

Thanks for the replies,

All makes perfect sense now that i read through them.

The photos helped a lot also.

Definitely a USB 2 B Plug.

Although i do like the look of a USB hub,  will look into those a bit latter.

Appreciated.



#8 Wow!

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Posted 05 November 2020 - 12:58 AM

I use a USB-C to USB-B (Type 2) and it works fine.

This one, in fact.

 

https://www.jaycar.c...e-1-8m/p/WC7906

 

I use it on my Surface Book 2, plugged directly into the SkyWatcher EQ6-R Pro.

Works fine.




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