Ultimate PowerBox V2 and USB extender

Ultimate Powerbox v1 and v2
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morgan
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Ultimate PowerBox V2 and USB extender

Post by morgan »

My equipment (ZWO, ZWO mini, Hobym mount, Optec Focus Lynx, falcon rotator) has been accessed using a StarTech USB 2.0 extender (4 port). ZWO mini
and Falcon went through ZWO ASI071MC on-camera USB hub to StarTech; Mount and focuser went directly to StarTech. This had worked fine, but decided to add the
PowerBox V2 for power control, USB port control, etc. The power source is a regulated 12V 20Amp (13.8 V max).

With the equipment now going to the Powerbox (Powerbox USB out to StarTech) , the USB ports on the Powerbox drop connection and are not reliable, so I cannot use the
Powerbox USB ports. Is there someway to use the Powerbox V2 Ports with an exender that will work? I have an equipment boot-up sequence that has worked with the StarTech
hub, but doesn't help with the Powerbox USB. Thanks, Morgan Wilson
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Evans
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Re: Ultimate PowerBox V2 and USB extender

Post by Evans »

This is a USB 2.0 extender connected to a USB3.1 Hub.
THe USB3 functionality will never work with this extender. Either the USB3 pinout is absent or the maximum length of USB3 is violated.
Moreover we are not aware how a USB2 extender will work with a USB3 device (for the USB2 signalling)
wyshyvanuk
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Re: Ultimate PowerBox V2 and USB extender

Post by wyshyvanuk »

Is there a USB 3.1-Ethernet-USB 3.1 cable or hardware arrangement available to allow me to move my rig with an Ultimate Powerbox v2 about 30 meters away from my Mac? I've read numerous posts on other boards that this arrangement is possible, but I'm clueless about what pieces are required and how to connect them. I'm grateful for any help or even a push in the right direction.
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rpineau
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Re: Ultimate PowerBox V2 and USB extender

Post by rpineau »

To extend USB beyond the standard length you need specialized equipment like the Icron Ranger. This one can do more than 15m as it uses fiber links :
https://www.icron.com/products/icron-br ... ctra-3022/
Also note that this one is pure usb 3.0 (not usb 2 or 1 backward compatible).

If you need one that does usb1,2 and 3 , you would need something like this :
https://www.icron.com/products/icron-br ... aven-3124/

Also this requires power at both end.
And ... these are very expensive !
wyshyvanuk
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Re: Ultimate PowerBox V2 and USB extender

Post by wyshyvanuk »

Is there not a way to use an ethernet cable, in between two USB cables, to extend the distance? I've seen references to this solution, but no recommendations for connectors, cables, or anything else that's necessary. Thanks very much!!
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rpineau
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Re: Ultimate PowerBox V2 and USB extender

Post by rpineau »

The device I referenced above exists with ethernet cable (and fiber as seen). You can't just do passive wiring of USB to Ethernet as these are using totally different technology. So you need a pair of devices that convert the USB signaling (packets) to Ethernet (either pure Ethernet or TCP/IP in some cases) then convert this back on the other end. AS you need usb 3.0 (and potentially 3.1), this means the converter need to support at least 5Gbps of bandwidth.. which mean the Ethernet side is going to use 10Gbps Ethernet (Ethernet 5Gbps exist and can be used on these device to extend the range)... which increase the cost and limit the range (which is why devices that use a fiber connection will allow for a longer range and higher speed for USB 3.1).

Any other low cost USB extender using Ethernet will be limited to 10m on average and usb 2.0 (like this cheap 10m active extender : https://www.amazon.com/Cable-Matters-Ac ... B00DMFFL2W .. and no you can't chain them, it will fail).

So for your required distance (30 meters), there is no cheap solution with USB 3.0 support.
That's why a lot of people put a small computer at the mount and remote desktop into it (NUC, Beelink mini PC, Raspberry-Pi 4, Odroidn N2+, ...) and run Linux or Windows there with a ethernet or wifi connection and then this small computer has direct short usb cables to all the devices... a lot cheaper than the Icron extender (A small Beelink PC range from $150 to $300 for something that will run everything at the mount, if you're in Europe, prices are similar, Mini PC with a N4020 CPU and 4GB or RAM can be found for around €200).

Rodolphe
wyshyvanuk
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Re: Ultimate PowerBox V2 and USB extender

Post by wyshyvanuk »

Rodolphe, thank you so much. That's exactly the level of detail I needed. I've just ordered a Raspberry Pi 4B from GB and will try again to establish a working connection. I'm sure that I'll have some additional questions after it arrives. Best regards, Ted.
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