Interstellar Star Gazer
November 8, 2020
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An Insight Into USB (Universal Serial Bus)

Author: Administrator
Universal Serial Bus or (USB) is an Industry standard for connecting devices to a computer. Introduced in 1994, USB revolutionised the way devices such as printers and scanners could be connected to computers.
There are currently 4 versions of USB: USB1 which transfers data at (1.5 Mbs), USB1.1 (12 Mbs), USB2 (480 Mbs) and launched in late 2008 was USB3 with speeds up to 5000 Mbs.

Cable length:
USB cables come in many lengths, 1m, 2m 3m, or 5m. The maximum length a USB cable can successfully transmit the data is 5m, this can be increased by using amplified repeater cables. As the name suggests, these cables amplify the data signal. They usually come in 5m lengths and can be joined together to give an maximum length of 25m (by using 5 cables)

Plug types:
Cables have various plug types but the most common are type A male (which will plug directly into a computer) type B male (type B male plugs are used on the vast majority of devices such as printers and scanners) and type A female (A female plugs are used on extension cables, they allow A male cables to be joined together). There are also Mini plugs such as Mini B and Micro B these are used mainly on cameras, mp3 players and other portable devices, (Mini B plugs can be either 4 pin or 5 pin).

With so many devices now using USB, a common problem is lack of USB ports. This can easily be overcome by using a USB hub. A USB hub will allow you to increase the number of USB ports on your computer. The hub plugs directly into your computer using a USB lead and increases the number of available ports. The most commonly available USB hubs will give an additional 4 or 7 ports. Hubs can be bus powered (this uses power from your computer to drive the device) or mains powered. Mains powered hubs are more stable as they use their own power supply.

Many manufacturers produce USB converters to convert older or less common connection types such as Serial or Parallel, into USB. These converters plug into a USB socket and have a Serial or Parallel socket on the other side. A popular converter is the USB to Ethernet adaptor, this adaptor allows you to connect an RJ45 Ethernet cable into a USB socket. This can be very useful if your computer does not have a network port.


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