USB cable connection ideas

Hi all,

After reading some threads about potential issues with long USB cables, I’d like your advice please.

My workspace is such that the S3 needs to be several feet away from my Mac. I can see it clearly from where I sit but the cable can’t run directly from my computer to the cnc. It would need to follow the wall around the room and then to the S3 making it super long.

Any suggestions on how to overcome this?

I have a Mac book Air that I could use right next to the machine but I’m not clear how to incorporate it as my design work etc. is done on the main Mac. Also, I would much rather just use one computer, if possible.

Thanks in advance :slight_smile:

Never tried it, but maybe an active USB repeater/extender cable ? e.g.

Thanks Julien, I looked at this as an option but have no clue whether it will work. Was hoping to get some tried and tested option. Thank you!

I have my iMac setup somewhat close to my XXL in my shop, but I wanted a much longer USB cord in order to route things “hidden” under my work bench over to my XXL table. Thus, I got this 25ft cable off Amazon and have not had any problems with it so far. Works great!

25ft Tripp Lite USB cable

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Plug the MacBook Air into the machine using a less than 6 ft. USB cable — copy files over to it using Google Drive, Dropbox, or sneakernet on a USB flash drive.

Thanks Will… Is there any advantage to using a 3ft cable vs the standard 6ft that comes with the S3?

Possibly less susceptibility to EMI — we’ve had some folks have problems with 6ft. cables which were solved by 3ft. Use the shortest you can seems a good guideline.

Understood. I’ll get myself a 3ft Cable.
Thank you!

I use a powered USB hub to connect my Mac to the Shapeoko

Luc, how would a powered USB hub work ?

The PC/Mac and Shapeoko are connected to a USB hub using a USB cable. There is an AC power plug that connects to the hub. The signal from the computer is amplified by the hub. There are non powered hub but those don’t amplify the signal. Since you connect the computer to the Shapeoko using two cables with the hub in the middle, the effective distance is doubled without losing power. You also have to know that USB cables are of varying quality and may not have the same shielding. A different cable, even longer may also work fine.

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Great, thanks for the explanation Luc :slight_smile:

I use my PC for almost all of my design work, much faster and multiple monitors, that being said, its across the room from my shapeoko. I use one drive to save all my work, mainly because it also works with my phone so i can save stuff when i find it and pull it up when i get home. I keep a Microsoft surface beside my machine with a short usb cord, I just open the .nc files on the surface from onedrive and use the surface to run the machine. Works perfect.

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