How long a usb cable is practicable ?

  greybeard 19:56 13 Feb 2006

I want to set up a web cam in the garden to monitor a bird nest. What are the limits for a long usb cable ?
If I provide a power supply at the cam end will this greatly improve matters, or do I also need some signal amplification as well ? I'm thinking of about 10 -20 metres.
If so, how, and what sort of kit do I need to do it on a limited budget ?


  woodchip 20:00 13 Feb 2006

I would think it will work at that, But only in one length no joints

  Totally-braindead 20:02 13 Feb 2006

There is a limit but I'm not sure how long it is, someone else will I'm sure answer this, have you considered a stand alone camera, I've seen them being sold by the likes of Woolworths for as little as £30 for a black and white one, I did see a colour one as well which I think was £50 and some of them are wireless as well.

  Totally-braindead 20:04 13 Feb 2006

Found this on the web " Note:the maximum length for USB cables is 5 meters (16.4 feet), Unless you use an "active" repeater cable. "

  greybeard 20:17 13 Feb 2006

woodchip - thanks, most encouraging.
T-b - I've already got a cheap (sacrificial ?)webcam of ebay for £6. Can you post a link to that cable info ?
Many thanks.

  Totally-braindead 20:21 13 Feb 2006

If you just go to and search for usb cable + maximum length you will find lots. Such as these click here=

  greybeard 20:30 13 Feb 2006

Not so braindead,after all (;)
Many thanks.

  €dstowe 20:33 13 Feb 2006

A busybody neighbour has a webcam type camera directed on the village pond to keep his eye on what he thinks of as undesirables - the youngsters of the village. He has a 25 metre cable connecting it to his computer at his home. It works OK. He lashed up the cable himself by cutting an ordinary USB cable into two, soldering a length of multi-way screened cable between the cut ends and wrapping the joints in insulation tape.

  Totally-braindead 20:41 13 Feb 2006

Sorry, it seems you have 2 choices, either set it up with your webcam and the repeater thing they mention, you would have to price it obviously, or the other suggestion I posted earlier of a outside camera available from the likes of Woolys and I've seen them at B&Q and the like as well.
click here

  Totally-braindead 20:43 13 Feb 2006

Well perhaps I'm wrong after all, I'm only going by what I found on the net. You could always try it greybeard presumming you have the cables lying about.

  greybeard 21:01 13 Feb 2006

edstowe - thanks - worth bearing in mind to try as I do have some similar cable somewhere.
T-b - thanks again.

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