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Old 06-05-2006, 11:57 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default High-quality USB cables

Does anyone know how to determine what makes a "high-quality" USB cable? I assume this means they are shielded, have gold-plated connectors, that sort of thing. All comments and insights greatly appreciated!

Also, where to buy such things?


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Old 06-05-2006, 12:15 PM   #2 (permalink)
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With higher quality cables you get less interferance which means you can transmit data a) quicker and b) over longer distances

Personally i think the only time you would realistically be able to detect the difference between a poor and a good cable would be transferring files to or from an external hard disk or something similar that requires lots of data transfer.

Also may i add that we should all bow down to usb = everything uses it and it works quickly and reliably

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Old 06-05-2006, 02:12 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks. What I'm experiencing is devices (drives) disappearing, and I've read many posts in various places expressing similar experiences. So I'm upgrading my humbs and drive enclosures (hopefully) to improve power distribution.

And at the same time, I remember when the Comcast installer changed one cable, from the wall to the decoder box, and we experienced a 2dB signal improvement instantly. So it occurs to me that buying better-shielded USB cables, at least for the external drives, might bring some noticeable benefit in reliability and performance. Hence my inquiry.

I phoned Belkin, their GOLD USB cable products have, as the name implies, gold-plated connectors but no added shielding. So I'm not sure that's the ticket.

I also phoned Cables-To-Go about their Ultima USB cable line. These have gold-plated connectors AND they claim:

"The USB 2.0 cable is double-shielded with a dual foil and braid. A metal shield surrounds the connector, while a solder-to-connector shell and cable braid create an end-to-end shielding solution for a noise-free connection."

This sounds wonderful, of course, except that I really lack the knowledge to discern whether it means much or not. They use 22 AWG wire, I've seen from San
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Old 06-05-2006, 02:16 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I've seen from SanMax a cable that uses 20 AWG wire, a bit heavier gauge. But again, I lack the knowledge to discern what may actually make a difference in practice.

Perhaps the difference in gauges is insignificant over such a short distance ?? (5m max for USB)

Perhaps the end-to-end shielding mentioned for the Ultima cables from Cables-To-Go is just hype and nothing different from what others are doing??

So ... if anyone has insights on any of these matters, thanks!
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Old 06-06-2006, 10:20 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Belkin's GOLD line of USB cables also use 20AWG wire, so they should draw power well.
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Old 06-06-2006, 03:54 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Ive never noticed performance differences in different cable qualities.

But I never run cables for more than a few feet, and I have little or no sources of EMI in my electroniuc area.

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