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Remote USB switch

Discussion in 'Electronic Basics' started by Grey, Feb 6, 2005.

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  1. Grey

    Grey Guest

    I have a high speed USB v2 widget which is a distance from my PC. I also run
    different O/S (i.e. Linux) which don't like to see my widget and can cause
    crashes. So I have to constantly plug/unplug my widget depending on what I'm
    doing. I am concerned about the constant plugging/unplugging and the
    mechanical wear/stresses on the connection - I have had a few memory sticks
    fail as a result of this.

    What I would like is a little circuit which sits in line with the USB widget
    and I can turn it on and off via a simple switch. My first thought is
    something like a tri-state bi-directional buffer with an enable facility -
    or rough it and use a four-pole relay. Whatever, it must not interfere with
    the data speed of the widget, so we are talking about something with a high

    Any ideas?

  2. Ian Stirling

    Ian Stirling Guest

    Buy a 1m extender cable.
    Job done.
  3. CWatters

    CWatters Guest

    This looks like it will do it. It's a hub with a switch that allows ay one
    of 4 PC to be connected to the peripherals. Just select a upstream channel
    with no PC connected to disconnect several USB devices at once.

    "Share multiple peripherals with up to four USB computers"

    "Share a printer, scanner, or hard drive by pushing the Selector Button on
    the front of the switch"
  4. Guest

    [Followups to]

    Two of the wires in USB are power (5 V and ground) and two are data. If
    your widget draws power from USB, you could just leave the data wires
    connected and disconnect the +5 V wire, effectively shutting the widget
    down. I think USB devices can draw up to 500 mA, so your switch has to
    be able to handle that much current.

    The best option is probably to make Linux understand your widget - have
    you checked for Linux drivers for it? Another option would be to get
    Linux to stop probing the USB when it boots up. If you don't have any
    other USB devices, you could unload the USB module or build a kernel
    without USB support. Or, hack the USB drivers to give up when they see
    your particular device type on the wire.

    Matt Roberds
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