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Cable lengths

Hi all,

I am not far off adding a message with my trials and tribulations with regards to USB. In my research I came across a beaut website that summarised the maximum lengths allowed for all types of cabling. Well worth a look and bookmarking.

The reason it is relevant is because once you build your cockpit you will need to have your computers in close proximity. In my case I have four and the average distance from the computers to the front of the shell is about 5-6 metres ( 15-18ft). I can tell you in my case whilst flying I need to swivel my head outside the cockpit to glance at the screens for various reasons. One might be to change the weather on the fly. In that case the computer screens need to be behind the shell and to the right assuming you'll use the Captain seat the most. Therefore that is the reason for the distance required for the cabling.


Food for thought for most of you.


Hope the link works and you find it helpful.


Mark Speechley



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Thanks Mark!

Good information and a great guide to cable lengths.  At a quick glance, this guide confirms what I already knew:  The weak link in cable lengths is our USB cables.  It's tolerance for loosing signal and creating issues is much less than the other types of cables we use.

I once read that the maximum USB cable length can not exceed 12' 4" without a powered USB hub or signal loss will occur and bad things will happen.  The funny thing is in my case, I tried to do the right thing and use a powered USB hub to boost the signal and used a 10' long cable from the computer to the hub and a 5' cable from the powered hub to the interface device.  It did not work!  But when I tried a 15' USB cable it did work with no further issues.  (15' is about 5 meters)

Unless you are setting up your sim in a remote garage and setting up your computers in your house,  in other words, a really long distance away from one another, the weakest link in the cable length question is always going to be our USB cables.  The guide you have point to Mark is a great tool that helps illustrate this and trouble shoot any potential problems.

Great looking photo of you hangar bay by the way!  Looks awesome and I bet a joy to fly!

Funny you should mention that even with the powered hub and the 10' cable you were still having problems.

I kid you not. I must have been hit with the windows update stick about 6 weeks ago as I have just had a cascade of USB problems from the four computers. It might have been a self fulfilled prophecy with problems with one computer, then mix and matching different hubs and cables to fix computer one and you end up 'spreading the love around' to the others !

Fortunately I have hit on one fix that you should all store away for a rainy day. Apart from the aforementioned cabling advice from Ron and I, it is a simple windows based fix that may help.

1/ Open up your power plan. Depending on which Windows you have,( which determines where to find it ) go to Power Options and then Edit Plan Settings. Look for Change Advanced Power Settings.

2/ Scroll down to USB Settings and click on the + sign in the little box

3/ Click on USB Selective Suspend Setting. Change setting to Disabled.

4/ Click Apply or OK to save.

The USB selective suspend feature allows the hub driver to suspend an individual port without affecting the operation of the other ports on the hub. Selective suspension of USB devices is especially useful in portable computers, since it helps conserve battery power. In reality what seems to be happening is it can be suspending usb ports and not re-enabling them giving you less usb ports to choose when re-plugging in usb cables.

Worth a try if you haven't had success changing cables/hubs and have uninstalled the usb controller drivers in device manager, with no success.

Mark S.

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