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  1. #1


    Member Since
    Feb 19, 2010
    Posts
    5
    (Active) USB extension cables not working on mac?
    Hi everybody!
    Being a proud owner of a new imac (yep, switching from windows, first time to have a mac) I must admit I really love this stylish piece of hard and software.
    No big trouble yet except one really annoying problem:
    I bought a 5 m active USB extension cable to connect a printer but I can't get it working! The cable works fine when connecting a printer/ext. hdd/mouse, etc with my windows laptop but the mac does not detect any devices connected via the cable at all. Connecting devices directly to the mac's USB ports works fine, connecting the same devices via the USB extension does not work.
    Any ideas? Thanks for the replies!

  2. #2


    Member Since
    Feb 19, 2010
    Posts
    5
    Does anybody have any experiences with regular (non-active) extension cables? Up to which length do they work?

  3. #3


    Member Since
    Feb 25, 2009
    Posts
    2,112
    Specs:
    Late 2013 rMBP, i7, 750m gpu, OSX versions 10.9.3, 10.10
    My Macs: Late 2013 rMBP w/ 750m, 16Gig ram; 2013 Mac Pro 6 core w/ D700, 16Gig Ram; Mac mini G4, 1.25 GHz, 512m ram (server); Late 2011 11" MBA, 1.8GHz i7, 4Gig Ram, 256Gig SSD, HD3000; Powerbook 12" G4 1.33GHz running Linux; Apple TV (1080p version)

  4. #4

    chscag's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 23, 2008
    Location
    Fort Worth, Texas
    Posts
    49,078
    Specs:
    Late 2013 27" iMac, iPad 3, iPhone 6s+, iPhone 6+, 3 iPods, El Capitan
    To the OP:

    It all depends on the device being connected and what the load is. I've used USB extension cables (non active) for printers and they work fine. However, the same extension cable attached to an amplified WiFi antenna does not work because of the load.

    Also, the plug and play capability of Windows seems to be better at detecting devices than OS X. At least that's been my experience.

    Regards.

  5. #5


    Member Since
    Feb 19, 2010
    Posts
    5
    hmmm... I think it is not a load problem as even a USB stick is not recognized, a mouse or any other device neither...

  6. #6

    chscag's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 23, 2008
    Location
    Fort Worth, Texas
    Posts
    49,078
    Specs:
    Late 2013 27" iMac, iPad 3, iPhone 6s+, iPhone 6+, 3 iPods, El Capitan
    Then it's likely the cable itself. Is it possible to try another cable?

    Regards.

  7. #7


    Member Since
    Feb 19, 2010
    Posts
    5
    yep! Did this already. Same result. Windows: cables work with all devices. Mac: none of the devices is detected.

  8. #8


    Member Since
    Jan 22, 2010
    Location
    Victoria, BC
    Posts
    20,911
    Specs:
    Mid-2012 MBP (16GB, 1TB HD), Monoprice 24-inch second monitor, iPhone 5s 32GB, iPad Air 2 64GB
    5M = 16.4 feet, so you're over the limit.

    Try an "inactive" extension cord, and/or a shorter one.

  9. #9

    Mac SK's Avatar
    Member Since
    Oct 20, 2006
    Posts
    1,513
    Did you try a powered USB hud.

  10. #10


    Member Since
    Feb 19, 2010
    Posts
    5
    Yes, I tried. Devices connected via the powered hub to the mac are detected. connecting the hub with the active cable does not work. (Neither mac->short cable->hub->5m cable->device nor the connection mac->5m cable->hub->short cable->device)
    I just ordered some non-active USB cables (1,8m, 3m, 5m) on ebay. They are only about 2 EUR, so I can experiment what works and what does not.

    Concerning the 5m "over-the-limit" issue: All manufacturers of active 5m cables claim that they should work. This is true for Win as I tested earlier. They work well on any Windows PC/Laptop. Just the mac ignores the devices connected with an active 5m cable.

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