View Full Version : Anyone tried USB-to-Ethernet boxes?

Dan Hintz
12-09-2008, 2:19 PM
I would like to have the controlling computer on the other side of the workshop from the actual laser, but USB cable length limits prevent that without using hubs along the way. Has anyone successfully used a USB-to-Ethernet converter at each end? They can be had for $15-$20 each, and this would be a significantly more pleasant way to do it than trying to rearrange my workshop.

Dave Johnson29
12-09-2008, 6:56 PM
Has anyone successfully used a USB-to-Ethernet converter at each end?

Hi Dan,

What about wifi-G? You would need an Access Point router and a usb-card for the laser. Probably not as cheap but Ethernet is limited to a max of about 75 feet without using interim repeaters or routers.

I have a router in the house then 75 feet away I have another one in the garage. Before putting the one in the garage, at 100 feet the Ethernet was very slow due to packet re-tries.

I know Ethernet is rated for more distance but this is the real world. :)

Stephen Beckham
12-09-2008, 8:46 PM

I'm not sure if you can use them the way I believe you stated it. If you plan to put a USB to Ethernet cable on one end and then go from Ethernet cable back to USB on the other, it will not work.

I had a USB to Ethernet cable I used on my daughter's laptop. It looks for a USB on one end and then a 10-Based on the other end. So the far end would have to hook to a Hub or something - not another USB device.

Blackbox.com sells USB extenders, but I'm not sure they'll work either for what you're explaining - good luck...

Dan Hintz
12-09-2008, 9:46 PM
Dave, I'm running Cat6e cable... my signal integrity is pretty darn good ;) Besides, I'm talking a run of <50'.

Steve, I also wondered about their ability for translation... that confirms my fear. I'd be okay with a hub at one end... I have a 4-port and an 8-port sitting on the shelf unused.

Long story short, I'm looking at a new engraver, but I haven't decided yet which one. If I go with ULS, it's USB only, hence my situation.

Dave Johnson29
12-10-2008, 9:58 AM
I'm not sure if you can use them the way I believe you stated it.

Hi Stephen,

You are correct you would need a crossover cable. The straight through cable is called a "Patch" cable, the crossover is called "crossover" wow, there's a surprise. :)

Normally the router or switch takes care of that when using Patch cables but you can connect directly using the crossover. I have actually cut a cable and soldered the cross over pairs when I need a cable and could not wait for delivery. It is not difficult.

Good thing you mentioned the issue though. It could have been very frustrating for Dan. :)

Dan Hintz
12-10-2008, 12:23 PM
I suppose this is all for naught at this point... I just spec'd the lowest-end Dell I could find and came up with a price of $266 shipped. It's a 2Gig, 2.2GHz Celeron w/320GB HD running Vista Home Basic. I don't plan on doing any real development work on it (maybe touch-up), just hosting the main graphics programs to have access to the laser's print drivers.

Bob Tate
12-10-2008, 1:14 PM
I am using USB to Ethernet converters (yes, on both ends of a cat 5 cable) with a standard cat 5 cable, not a crossover, at the present time. It works flawlessly. It was a good solution for me. Another good method is the converters that turn your house wiring into a network. I have run my laser on that system and it worked just fine. I just like to play with the hardware. Who knows what shows up next.