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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    I live in Massachusettes; Observatory in New Mexico
    Posts
    448

    Default USB connectors ARRRGH!

    Every couple of weeks one or another of the USB cables in my observatory come loose. I wake up in the morning to find I've lost the night These connectors were never made for devices that move. So the mount, camera focuser, etc cables are always coming loose. Has anyone found a way to secure these connectors?

    ..george

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Milton, ON, Canada
    Posts
    865

    Default

    I've mounted the computer on the scope, and so the USBs never move. There's just a power cord that goes up to it, and a cord to the mount to control it. That eliminated the problem.
    Some folks have suggested these guys: http://www.l-com.com/usb-usb-cable-a...e-a-connectors
    Also, I use zip ties or twist ties, Velcro straps, and secure everything.
    Hot melt glue is a final desparate option ;-)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Virgil, NY
    Posts
    4,552

    Default

    George,

    Not the connectors themselves, but if you are able to bundle the USB cables together, and use a cable tie to fasten the bundle to a specific point somewhere in the vicinity of the end of the polar axis and/or declination axis, then the stress will be completely taken off the connectors even as the telescope is moved around the sky. (Assumes your USB devices are on the tailpiece of the telescope.)
    Dick
    www.VirgilObservatory.us
    Pier-mounted Meade 12-inch SCT "classic"
    w. focal reducer to f/5.3 ~ FL 1630mm
    Optec TCF-S focuser
    SBIG CFW-8A and ST7-XME
    FOV ~ 15' x 10'
    H-alpha, BVRI, RGB & Clear filters
    MaxIm and, of course, ACP!
    AAVSO Code: BRIC

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Albuquerque(me) / Rincona(scope), NM
    Posts
    595

    Default

    The rule I use is "strictly separate the electrical connection from the mechanical connection." This was the intent behind screw binders on serial ports and many video ports. But USB was designed for connection convenience not security. So for USB on and around scopes, I lash or tape or velcro or tie down every single cable at a few inches from each end--without exception--to something that moves strictly with the USB socket. Yes this makes from some weird-looking kit, but my USB disconnect failures have gone to zero.

    By the way, be careful about binding cables *to each other*. Even cables that are quite flexible separately can become overly rigid when bundled together. If bundling for neatness, double-check the flexibility of the bundle together through its entire range of motion.
    --Eric
    New Mexico Mira Project, Albuquerque NM

 

 

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