Why does my USB cable vibrate!?

For the sake of putting something in the body of the message I’ll ask again - Why does my USB cable vibrate!?

p.s. It makes my digital camera vibrate too when I plug it in.

Good question. Without seeing your whole setup, I dunno. Do you have an unusually strong fan in your computer or something?

None of my other wires vibrate, My fans are loud and crap.

I don’t think it’s transfered vibration (from the comp) because it vibrates at the other end of the wire (away from the comp) and as I say none of the other wires vibrate.

I’ll describe my setup in detail if you want. I thought it would be some USB thing. I have never used USB things before.
P.S. It’s not an obvious vibration, it’s not as if the wire is jumping about, It’s just something I can detect when I hold the wire.

Vibrating cables… Errr. Hmmm. rummages through brain, comes up with alternative theory

I am assuming that your USB devices draw power from the computer when they are plugged in? Maybe your power supply is flaky, and when it’s trying to supply that little bit extra, it causes a noticable vibration? Do you notice the vibration anywhere else on the computer when this happens? If so, is the whole case vibrating or just a localized area? Where is the USB port located?

(This is a question that I’m interesting in seeing what the heck it turns out to be… but I get the feeling that most of us will be pulling answers out of our arse.) :wink:

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Ahh, didn’t see your post lobley before I posted my response.

Huh. Well, then I’m stumped. No other wires are doing it, only USB devices are affected… I’ll poke my techie friends, and see if any of them know what may be up.

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I think we need more detail. You say you feel the vibration when you hold the end of the cable. Is one end plugged into the computer and the other not plugged into anything? How long is the cable? Is it lying on a desk/bench for part of its length, and/or touching anything else? Or just suspended between the computer and your hand?

I think you may have a severe case of Zitterbewegung. Please contact your nearest university physicist.

One end is plugged into the computer, the other end is in my hand, the ‘middle’ is suspended between the two, there is nothing plugged into the end in my hand.

The instructions of the device it’s supposed to plug into say the device needs to be powered by batteries or power supply so the USB cable is not supplying the power.

Coincidentally, I had the very same thing a few days ago (tho with a firewire cable)! Turned out I had installed my new firewire card in the only available PCI slot on my machine, whihc was right beside the AGP slot. My AGP card is some whizz bang thing that has a bloody great heatsink and fan on it.

When nothing was plugged into the firewire card, all was good, but when I plugged the firewire cable intot it, and sat the slack on top of the PC, there was a very pronounced vibration (and a small buzzing sound).

Turns out the cable was moving the edge of the firewire card into the fan blades - so they were JUST clipping the firewire card. With no cable plugged in, there’s a tiny gap between the two, less than one millimetre, so I guess i’t not surprising.

I shuffled around some cards, and now it’s all good.

Soooo, maybe that’s what you got?

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Nice try, but my USB ports are part of the motherboard (not attached to it via wires or another card). Although, there is a cpu fan, a motherboard fan, and a graphics card fan (not to mention the power supply fan) so they could explain it, but that would not explain why the other wires don’t vibrate.

I guess it’s just one of those X-file twighlight zone outer limits things where the truth is out there (but not here), Mulder & Scully could not explain it, and I guess I will never know either.

It’s not the end of the world, a vibrating cable is hardly worth worrying about. I do worry that it’s doing something to my pride and joy (digital camera) when it’s plugged into that and that vibrates too.

Case closed I guess. X-files are bizare unsolved cases so I guess this is an X-file.

Do any other cables of the same length do this mystery thing? Harmonics on high power cables can cause some physical movement.
I’d be surprised, though, if it were enough to vibrate your camera.
I don’t think I’d ignore it, esp since the camera also vibrates. Must be pretty strong, whatever the cause.