When you’re charging a phone or tablet you typically don’t need to go too far. Cables ranging from 3ft to 6ft get the job done at a comfortable length. But when the printer is on one side of the room and your desktop is on the other…you may run into some problems finding a reliable cable to go the distance.

Run of the mill “passive” USB cables have a distance limitation of 16.4 feet, or 5 meters, which poses a problem if you don’t have the flexibility to move your devices and peripheral equipment closer to your central workstation. This distance is a specific length, so most passive USB cables you’ll find will top out at 15ft, and there is no way to daisy chain multiple passive USB cables to surpass this limitation.

Fortunately, there are a variety of “active” cables and USB extenders to help overcome this distance limitation and prevent a total overhaul of your workspace to stay connected.

Active USB Extensions

These cables are built with an internal “booster” to transmit USB signal beyond the 15ft limitation. Most active USB extension cables fall in the range of 16ft-80ft. At this range they can be BUS powered, so there is no need for an additional power cable, which is great for plug-and-play applications or in areas where you don’t have plug-in access for an external power cable.

Active USB extensions also come in a plenum jacket rating for more permanent installations that may need to run within walls and through plenum air spaces without the need for conduit.

USB Extenders

When an 80ft run with an active USB extension cable still won’t go the distance, USB extender baluns utilize the much further distance capacities of ethernet cables (specifically Cat5e and Cat6) to extend USB signals 150ft-200ft. These extender baluns are also plug and play and BUS powered, so it’s a quick and cost-effective way to surpass even the 80ft distance limitation of most active USB cables.

 

When a 15ft USB just wont cut it, and the thought of reorganizing your workspace is just too stressful, or even impossible, shop our active USB extension cables and USB extender baluns to help go the distance and stay connected.