View Full Version : USB Connector Broke

Keith Winter
04-18-2016, 6:41 PM
So the usb connector broke on the back of our Trotec Speedy 400. It's what the usb cable connects to on the back. Basically a cheap plastic connector with 4 pins in it, the plastic part came off in the usb cable when we unpluged it to get behind and clean the machine.

Support has suggested we buy a Serial to USB cable and skip fixing it, the tech said the only way that port breaks is by user error and it's not covered under warranty. The machine is only a year old and under warranty. I went ahead and ordered the serial to USB connection to try it, but I wanted to get your thoughts. Should they be replacing that port under warranty, what do you guys think?

Ross Moshinsky
04-18-2016, 8:00 PM
I would agree with them that it's not their responsibility to repair something you broke. As for fixing the USB, it's probably not that tricky. Worst case scenario you're talking about desoldering the USB connector and soldering a new one on. A local electronics repair shop should be able to take care of something like this for you for not a lot of money.

Finding a USB to serial cable is tricky just so you know. They are notorious for being finicky and having compatibility issues.

Dan Hintz
04-19-2016, 6:52 AM
From your description, it sounds like the plastic part of the USB connector you're talking about is the spacer key... this prevents the USB plug from being inserted upside down, as well as provides a solid surface for the 4 connections to sit on. If this piece broke, there was abuse of some form or another at some point in time. It's an integral part of the port and I've yet to encounter a port made cheaply enough that this piece simply breaks off.

The connector can be replaced, but it should be done by someone with the proper equipment (no, even a good soldering iron is not the proper equipment). If the person has a hot air table/gun, they should be able to replace it without issue.

Keith Winter
04-19-2016, 10:38 AM
Thank you both.

The laser has been moved around a lot jumping through hoops tech support has been having us do last year when we were having issues, replacing components and checking things for them. My staff and I have had to pull it away from the wall a couple dozen times if not more while on the phone with Trotec. It's possible a cable was pulled while it was being moved around and now the little plastic piece finally gave way. I've never experienced this issue on any other machine, and I used to be a computer technician in an earlier life, so I was quite shocked by how fragile it must be. To me it seems like a design flaw or cut corner by their component manufacturer to save a couple bucks but I see your point.

Thank you for the info on how to fix it. This is good info to know. "Hot air table/gun". If the serial doesn't work out I'll see about this.

Bert Kemp
04-19-2016, 5:13 PM
I actually had this happen to me way back when I had that you know what laser from you know who, but it was my fault that the connector broke as I tripped on the wire while cleaning behind the laser. A local guy just soldered in a new one cheap.

Clark Pace
04-19-2016, 6:25 PM
On my machine the usb is just a female to female. And there is a usb on the board so i can just replace the cable un plugging it from the board. Maybe yours is the same way

Kev Williams
04-19-2016, 10:45 PM
Twice I've used USB-to-serial cables. Twice I ruined customer's parts when the cable failed, causing the machine to engrave a straight line to infinity half way thru the job...

Fix the USB plug!

Keith Winter
04-20-2016, 10:53 AM
Twice I've used USB-to-serial cables. Twice I ruined customer's parts when the cable failed, causing the machine to engrave a straight line to infinity half way thru the job...

Fix the USB plug!

Like failed cable went dead or failed cable hiccup? Are we talking one error per 10,000 or one error per 100? Can you elaborate Kev?

Kev Williams
04-20-2016, 4:47 PM
I've heard stories of people never having issues with these--

Me, I had a Win7 computer that had no LPT or serial ports, which I need to run my 3400 cylinder machine. So I bought 3 USB/serial cables and their drivers.

First cable worked fine for a couple of weeks, we're talking maybe 8 hours use. About 5 parts in (of 25) the machine straightlines. I run a few tests, and it would fail about 30% of the time. So I changed USB cables, and ports, same results. So I tried a second USB/serial converter, and had almost the same exact results, 2 weeks then poof. I eventually installed some combo com/LPT ports in the computer since it had PCI slots, no problems again. I still have the 3rd converter ;)

Now, I've had the same exact thing happen with direct connected serial and LPT cables on other machines, changing out the cable works.

Maybe I just got bad ones. I just recently bought 3 memory stick readers, specifically to read my old Sony Camera's stick because IT'S USB port is dead, and I only have one computer in this place with a reader... and all three will read every type of stick EXCEPT my Sony sticks. There's a slot for it, but none work, on any computers...

I'm lucky that way... ;)

Jeff Body
04-21-2016, 1:14 AM
I don't know about Lasers but in the vinyl plotter world the brand TRIPLITE USB to serial adapter is KING. It has proven time and time again that it's chipset is the best.

I personally have used several other brands in the hospital that I work at because they were cheap for the IT department to get. We were constantly having problems interfacing with the equipment. Finally I ended up buying the more expensive tripplite based on my experiences with my vinyl business and we haven't had a problem since.