usb 2.0 extension cable length

  1. Posts : 585
    win7 and ubuntu

    usb 2.0 extension cable length

    I need to extend my usb cable and I can get 15 foot extension cables.
    What will happen when I plug my usb device that has its own 5 foot cable into the 15 foot cable?
    Will it fail? USB is limited to 5 meters?

    I have 3 usb devices. GPS, Keyboard, Mouse to plug in. Each would have its own usb extension 15 foot cable.

    If that wont work, what about using a powered hub?
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  2. swarfega's Avatar
    Posts : 6,403
    Windows 10 Pro 64-bit

    A very quick google search came up with this statement:

    If you are using a regular cable (max length of 5 meters for 2.0 and max length of 3 meters for 3.0/3.1) with an active cable, then the maximum length for USB 2.0 is 25 meters(about 82 feet) and the maximum recommended length for USB 3.0/3.1 is 15 meters (about 49 feet).
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  3. Posts : 585
    win7 and ubuntu
    Thread Starter

    For a passive cable, does this mean you add in the length of the device cable?
    So then 15 feet plus 5 feet = 20 feet and it will fail?

    I have read powered hubs are active repeaters, so I could have a 15 foot line to a powered hub and plug in all 3 usb devices into that hub and it will work fine?

    I saw some active cables, however people report problems with using them. I figure if they have trouble so will I.
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  4. Posts : 585
    win7 and ubuntu
    Thread Starter

    Maximum length for usb 2.0 is 5 meters. = 16.4 feet

    If I get a usb 2.0 extension cable of 15 feet and plug in this 3.0 powered hub with a 1.5 foot cable, will it fail to work?
    Scheme is PC to 15 foot extension cable to hub.

    Black 7 Port USB 3 0 Hub on Off Switches AC Power Adapter Cable for PC Laptop | eBay

    This hub comes with a 1.5 foot cable. so then 15 plus 1.5 = 16.5 feet which is 1/10 foot too long.
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  5. Posts : 585
    win7 and ubuntu
    Thread Starter
       #5 developers says dont bother with cable repeaters, just use a powered hub - USB FAQ
    3. What about using USB signal repeaters to make a cable longer than 5 meters?
    A: Don't bother. The best solution is self-powered hub with a fixed 10m cable that had a one-port bus powered hub in the middle. The maximum range will still have to deal with the timeout, so any out of spec tweaking of the terminations between the two hubs and the timing budget still won't yield more than 5cm of extra distance. A better solution is described in the following question.
    I did a test, strung together 19 feet of USB extenders. This worked fine, just perfect with my mouse and keyboard, so go figure... reading all the techno jargon it seems should have failed....

    I went ahead and ordered that hub and a monoprice 15 foot usb extension cable.
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  6. CountMike's Avatar
    Posts : 16,740
    W10 Insider + Linux

    Those maximum lengths are just for devices that have maximum power draw, lesser devices may work.
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  7. Posts : 2,735
    Windows 10 Pro X64


    Those maximum lengths are just for devices that have maximum power draw, lesser devices may work.
    Exactly. Mice, keyboards often work over longer lengths. HDD that have their own external PSU as well and so on.
    If a device is no longer found then you know the cable length is exceeded.

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  8. Posts : 585
    win7 and ubuntu
    Thread Starter

    Just updating. I plugged in an external hard drive with a 5 foot cable into the 15 foot cable and it works fine.

    I bought that hub, and it works fine sort of. The hub however has an issue. Not all the ports work all the time even with just a short cable to the PC. I found out the USB micro B port into the hub has defects. It has an odd scratchy feel, does not feel right. Inserting it over and over, various ports work and others do not. My guess is the little contacts going into the hub are not lining up properly all the time so electrically it is hit or miss randomly.
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