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FairyChatMom
03-31-2004, 06:07 PM
We've got wireless internet service aboard our boat. Because of the limited storage space, the computer is in a locker under a seat and the receiver is mounted on a fiberglass bulkhead over where the computer sits. We were told that because the receiver attaches to a USB port, the cable can't be longer than 5 feet.

Question the first - is this accurate?

At home, we have a router for our cable internet so that both of our computers can be on line at once. However, since I'm about to leave the house, the router will not be needed. So

Question the second - can we run from the receiver into the router and then to the computer without losing signal strength?

The problem we're having is with the receiver in the cabin, our signal strength is usually low or very low, but if we get the receiver outside, our strength shoots up to very high. If we could run it thru the router, we would have enough cable length to get it outside, if the 5 foot figure is true.

Does that make sense?

Padeye
03-31-2004, 06:46 PM
A little terminology needs to be clarified. The network adapter is both a transmitter and reciever. If the antenna is removable you may be able to get one that has better signal strength.

As for wireless adapter to router to PC(s) it may not be that simple. I haven't seen a router where the donlink connection is USB, just the connections for each computer. I'd need to know more specifics of what router and adapter you have to say for certain what can be done.

TimeWinder
03-31-2004, 10:03 PM
Answer the zeroth (I'm a computer person, we counteth from zero): The USB spec allows cables up to five METERS, not five feet, for USB2, and about 10 feet for USB1. I've successfully used ones over fifteen feet for USB1, but I probably just got lucky. You CAN cheat and use multiple hubs to "hop" longer distances, since powered hubs are cheap, this might work for you if you've got the outlets.

More info here: http://www.usb.org/faq/ans5

Answer the first: Routers act as a computer for all intents and purposes network-wise, so yeah, once you're at the router, you're golden. (I'm assuming that the router-computer connection is Ethernet or something else without a short distance limitation on it.) However, the critical question is....does your router have a WAN (outside net) USB connection on it? I've never seen one that does, which doesn't mean they don't exist. You can get ethernet - USB adaptors, but that seems...clumsy and error prone. I'd use the hub hop instead.

Also, I'd take a look at the receiver antenna and make sure it doesn't have an Ethernet port hiding there somewhere -- seems an odd omission on such an expensive device. Ethernet has several hundred feet of range, so if it's there, use it instead.

(Send me e-mail if I'm not making sense.)

caphis
03-31-2004, 10:28 PM
Answer the zeroth (I'm a computer person, we counteth from zero): The USB spec allows cables up to five METERS, not five feet, for USB2, and about 10 feet for USB1. I've successfully used ones over fifteen feet for USB1, but I probably just got lucky. You CAN cheat and use multiple hubs to "hop" longer distances, since powered hubs are cheap, this might work for you if you've got the outlets.

Wait-wait, so, USB isn't supposed to work beyond 5 meters?

So my webcam, with a 3 ft cord, which is attached to a 10 ft USB extension cord, won't work further than that?

FairyChatMom
04-01-2004, 04:36 AM
Yeah, the router doesn't accommodate a USB cable - that was a brain fart on my part. But 5 meters is definitely doable, so perhaps there's no problem after all.

I'll give it a try, and if it's still wonky, I'll get in touch, TimeWinder - thanks!