USB Cable Information for Beginners
The USB (universal serial bus) cables are used to transfer data, sound, video and power to
devices designed to use the universal serial bus (USB). Any device
that has a serial input or output may have a corresponding serial
input or output usb-cable.
There has to be tens or hundreds of these types of cables available for the many various
devices. There are DVD players, digital video recorders, digital
cameras, cellphones, computers, laptops, and the list continues.
Each of the USB cables have a length limitation of 16ft for a passive line. A passive line is one that uses just the signal presented by the device for which it is connected. Once you breach the 16 ft limitation the signal will degrade or even drop off, nothing can be considered reliable so it is best not to exceed this limitation.
I have found that every manufacturer that has these devices are willing to offer information about their USB cables. Hopefully, you have the correct USB cable for your device, but if not the diagram to the right will give you the details of the male and female connectors so as to help you determine which USB cable works best for your device.
Every USB cable has a specific transfer rate. If the device specification standard is USB 1.0 the transfer rate will be 1.5 megabits per second. If the device specification standard is USB 2.0 the rate of transfer will be 480 megabits per second
Currently the fastest rate is the USB 3.0. The rate is 5 Gigabit per seconds. That is ten times the rate of USB 2.0 and fifty times as fast as USB 1.0.
The device specification standard was developed by a group of major players in the computer industry. These companies are Compaq, DEC, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, NEC and Nortel. Some of the reasons for the USB standard was to increase the rate of transfer of data on computers. It also replaced a multitude of connections on the back of the computer as well as increasing the number of devices that can be connected to the computer. This helped to increase the number of external devices with access to the computer so that data could be transferred from any input device to the digital format.
The consortium of 7 developed this standard in 1994. In the years to follow the speeds and number of connections types increased making the USB cables as a familiar form of connection for more electronic devices every day.
There are USB to mini-USB cables, USB to micro-USB cables, USB to USB-cables, USB to RCA and USB to 9 pin serial cables. These are just a few of the possible connections available. There are even USB extension cables allowing for transfers up to 16ft as earlier stated. If you have a greater distance to travel there have been cables created with the active standard that are manufactured to be up to 150 ft. long. The shorter lengths are available in 1 foot, 3 foot, 6 foot , 9 foot, and 12 foot lengths.