Installing a video conferencing system in an existing room is always interesting, especially if the site has weird issues around WiFi and Bluetooth causing unreliable connections. Normally I will connect the conferencing phone to the PC using Bluetooth to avoid having to run additional cables but in this case it proved unreliable so the option was to use a USB connection. Of course, this room is upstairs and there was no existing cabling from the table to the front of the room.
Fortunately, because of the design of the building it was relatively easy to get a Cat 6 cable into a conduit that was run previously to provide a phone connection to the room sometime previous then up in the wall cavity and run a parallel length of ducting up behind the screen. The run was approximately 10 metres. To run a straight USB cable was not possible due to the size of the conduit and it would also have required large holes in the floor and into the wall cavity to get the plug through so a Lindy USB extender would be required.
Using the Lindy USB extender, it was extremely easy to get the conference phone reliably connected to the PC. This is a plug and play device with no switches to set and simply requires power at the transmitter end. The device is for extending USB 1.1 or USB2.0 at up to 480Mbps for distances up to 50 metres on Cat 5 or better cable. Both transmitter and receiver are in tiny metal cases with mounting ears so they can be mounted almost anywhere – screwed or double sided tape. There is very little difference in price between Cat5e and Cat 6 cable and sockets. Terminations should be first class on quality cable with quality sockets and patch leads.
If you need to extend a USB 1.1 or USB 2 connection up to 50 metres then its well worthwhile using a length of Cat 6 cable and one of these transmitter/receiver pairs.
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