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Hanna
03-10-2006, 11:10 AM
Are USB cables any different from each other? I must have 5 or so of them, and have lost track of which cable came with which electronic gadget I have. The only one I know for sure is my digital camera, because that one is grey and I have kept it in the camera case. I'm not talking about speciality cables like iPod dock connection -->USB; I can figure out for myself how that one is different. I mean ones with the USB connection at one end and the small 'b' end ant the other end.

I am helping a friend with is digital camera today and he has lost his cable. Will any of mine work?

mks57
03-10-2006, 11:17 AM
USB 1.1 cables (12 Mbps) may not work properly in USB 2.0 hi-speed mode (480 Mbps). Other than that, they should be OK.

Hanna
03-10-2006, 11:19 AM
USB 1.1 cables (12 Mbps) may not work properly in USB 2.0 hi-speed mode (480 Mbps). Other than that, they should be OK.

Thanks. Is there any way to tell by looking which is which?

mks57
03-10-2006, 12:04 PM
Thanks. Is there any way to tell by looking which is which?

Not that I know of. There is no difference in the markings. A fully compliant USB 1.1 cable will work at USB 2.0 hi-speed, but not all USB 1.1 cables met that standard. Some were just "good enough" to work at full-speed (12 Mbps).

ZipperJJ
03-10-2006, 02:23 PM
I just had to pull a USB cable out of my box-o-cables and the brand and "speed" was printed on the cable (not the connectors). Do any of yours have printing on the cable?

panache45
03-10-2006, 05:49 PM
I may be wrong, but don't the different types have different-shaped plugs and receptacles?

chrisk
03-10-2006, 07:14 PM
I may be wrong, but don't the different types have different-shaped plugs and receptacles?

No... there are several different-shaped plugs, but I don't think that has anything to do with the speed rating of the cable, it's just a question of picking the best one out of a few standard (or non-standard) USB ends makes sense for what the host device being plugged into is. At least, that's what I'm assuming... I have a bunch of cables that came with USB 1.0/1.1 devices that have exactly the same plug shapes as devices that definitely take advantage of USB 2.0 , particularly mini B and full B shaped plugs. A plugs (the ones that go into the computer end) are all a standard shape, of course.

There are cables that go directly into custom cradles, or cables that are firmly attached to the device like my card reader, of course. Probably the most unusual cable I have is the one that goes into my otis audiobook player... the plug on that one is considerably smaller than a mini B, though sort of the same general shape. a micro B maybe??

Arjuna34
03-10-2006, 07:53 PM
I just had to pull a USB cable out of my box-o-cables and the brand and "speed" was printed on the cable (not the connectors). Do any of yours have printing on the cable?

Hi-speed USB cables (480 Mbps) are supposed to be marked "Hi-speed" - see the logo here: http://www.usb.org/home/ on the left side of the page.

The USB 2.0 spec is very specific about cable marking. Of course, that doesn't mean that a non-high speed cable won't work, but the error rate might be higher (which may not matter unless you're streaming real-time video, etc.) I think the difference is mandatory shielding, and tighter specs on capacitance, etc. for the cable.