Need to splice a web cam onto cat6 cable

March 30, 2012 at 20:22:51
Specs: Windows 7
I need to run a cheap USB web cam (640x480 30fps) over a 15m cable and plug it into my laptop. I'm using it as a sewer inspection cam and the bulky usb-usb connectors mid span won't allow me to house the cable inside of the protective 1/4" plastic hose and make it water proof. Ideally I would like to splice a single cable from the camera's PC board to a USB connector 15m away (at the laptop). Currently it has a 10m usb cable and a 5m usb cable from the cam that are plugged into each other and the laptop. Any ideas on how to keep the entire 15m length thin enough to fit inside of a protective conduit hose?

See More: Need to splice a web cam onto cat6 cable

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#1
March 30, 2012 at 20:38:34
Take a look at this adapter/extender for USB through Cat5/6 cable up to 150ft:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...
As long as it is not too bulky at the camera end.
There may be others that are smaller, but this appears to be among the smaller ones.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.


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#2
March 30, 2012 at 21:28:54
Unfortunately the fat connector ends would make it impossible to fish it down a pipe. The only way would be to have all the electronics (cable amplifier in the ends) on the laptop side of the cable above ground. The simplest way is still to hack off the usb cord at the camera and solder a single 'new' cable (cat5,6 or usb?) straight back to the usb end at the laptop. But how to make it work...?

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#3
March 30, 2012 at 22:56:51
You should try a test with a length of cat 5/6 cable may be 20 meters. Cut the usb cable of the camera midway strip the ends of both cables. Slip heat shrink fit tubing about 1/2 in, then carefully solder the ends using lap of about 1/8 in, slid the tubing over the joint and shrink. Do the same for the other end. Now test for proper operation. If it works you will redo with the waterproofing tubing jacket. Instead of the full length plastic tubing you might try with direct burial cable. I assume you will be using a snake to push the camera in the pipe.

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#4
March 31, 2012 at 01:14:58
I suspect the OP will be proverbially ( & maybe literally ) pushing s#!t uphill here.
Maximum length for USB is more like 15 feet rather than 15 metres.
Trying to patch in CAT5/6 cable instead isn't going to make the maximum length any better. USB carries the 5V power needed to run the camera. CAT5/6 cable is not designed to carry that voltage. I'm not sure how the device on Newegg is supposed to accomplish that but the $123 price tag indicates at least to me that it requires more than just a cut/shut of the cable ends.
Just how much does a commercial quality pipe camera cost? $700+
If it were as simple as splicing a CAT5/6 cable to USB ends then the makers of commercial grade pipe cameras could all close up shop.

Goin' Fishin' (Some day)


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#5
March 31, 2012 at 02:17:29
CAT Cable can carry the voltage and current to the camera. POE (power over ethernet) can supply 14-25 watts of power at 12 to 48 volts.

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#6
March 31, 2012 at 03:31:31
OK. But USB operates at only 5 volts/500MA and I suspect over a cable longer than 10 metres the voltage drop would impede successful operation. All the commercial pipe cameras I've seen operate at 12V or higher and use CCTV cameras rather than webcams.
I may be wrong about POE but from limited reading on the subject it appears the recommended minimum voltage is 44V with 48V the common usage standard. 5V usb just won't cut it. But go ahead. If you can get it working then you can sell them at a huge discount to the commercial units and give up looking down other peoples' drains for a living.

Goin' Fishin' (Some day)


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#7
March 31, 2012 at 06:01:02
It seems to me that if you took the device made to do this that I linked, but took it apart and eliminated the connector and case altogether and made the connection at the camera hard wired, you would loose the bulk of the device and you should be able to enclose it in a heat shrink tubing section and then it probably would be able to fit within the waterproof tubing. This would work much better than trying to push the length of USB unaided beyond it's design/tested length with a proven technology.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.


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