Author Topic: USB Cable with Jack connector  (Read 1040 times)

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Offline soer9459

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USB Cable with Jack connector
« on: Tue, 01 September 2020, 12:25:34 »
Hi there

I had the (maybe) crazy idea of making a custom USB cable. Now, just for aesthetics, I thought it would be cool to build a 2 port USB hub for my desk.
Now, instead of connecting to the USB hub with regular USB connectors (boring ... ), I would like it to be 1/4" Jack connectors instead.

So, the connector to my KB and Mouse would be regular USB, but the other end of those two cables would be 1/4" Jack connectors. Those would plug into the USB hub, which will run behind the desk and into the computer with, of course, a regular USB connector.

Is that at all possible or is it a completely mental idea? The cable from the keeb to the hub would look like the drawing

Offline suicidal_orange

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Re: USB Cable with Jack connector
« Reply #1 on: Tue, 01 September 2020, 12:29:05 »
You couldn't hotplug (plug or unplug devices while the hub is powered on) as the rings on the jack connector will short and even if you could order them so the shorting didn't do any damage USB needs power to be connected first so the device is ready to respond when the data lines are connected.

If you just want the look and don't want to hotplug - no problem.
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Offline nevin

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Re: USB Cable with Jack connector
« Reply #2 on: Tue, 01 September 2020, 12:31:40 »
usb is 6 pins, your 1/4" mono is only two conductors
so you would need
- 3 monos (2 conductor)
or
- 2 stereo (3 conductor)

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...lemo/aviator... eat your heart out!

good point orange!
« Last Edit: Tue, 01 September 2020, 12:34:46 by nevin »
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Offline soer9459

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Re: USB Cable with Jack connector
« Reply #3 on: Tue, 01 September 2020, 12:35:21 »
Hmmm, okay, seems not possible then  :)) :))

Is my only option for an alternate connector then the typical aviator connector? I basically want someting a little more "industrial" than a regular USB connector (if that makes any sense) :)

Offline suicidal_orange

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Re: USB Cable with Jack connector
« Reply #4 on: Tue, 01 September 2020, 12:41:19 »
usb is 6 pins, your 1/4" mono is only two conductors

USB2 is only 4 pins - GND, data+, data- and 5v so a 3.5mm TRRS jack (as seen on mobile phone headsets) would be enough.  Not as big and distinct looking as the big one pictured but maybe someone makes a 1/4" version.
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Offline nevin

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Re: USB Cable with Jack connector
« Reply #5 on: Tue, 01 September 2020, 12:46:36 »
scisi, db, din....
you could do a massive scisi or db 50-60 pins (which would be totally overkill on pin count, but hey)
there were some chonky 15 pin round din connectors
...anything in the audio world? any XLRs with 6 pins? (LK?)

usb is 6 pins, your 1/4" mono is only two conductors

USB2 is only 4 pins - GND, data+, data- and 5v so a 3.5mm TRRS jack (as seen on mobile phone headsets) would be enough.  Not as big and distinct looking as the big one pictured but maybe someone makes a 1/4" version.

you're right, my bad.

lightning and usb-c have more (whether they are all used or not is another story)
« Last Edit: Tue, 01 September 2020, 12:50:43 by nevin »
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Offline Leslieann

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Re: USB Cable with Jack connector
« Reply #6 on: Tue, 01 September 2020, 22:22:04 »
USB spec says the power should come first but it's rarely an issue, magnetics rarely connect power first.
Proper ordering will avoid any shorts.

Something to keep in mind though is how much power can that jack flow? What frequencies can it handle, while it handles audio frequencies, not everything will pass through every connector the same, there's also a question of shielding. Remember this wasn't designed to pass power and data it was designed for an analog connection. While I doubt it's an issue, it can be, most of the time you see an adapter like this (old digital cameras) it's only passing data or power, not both and not at high speed. Connectors get tricky, a great example is cat5 cable, it's 8 pin and looks rather unshielded and yet how it's wound plays a massive role, audio connectors aren't that way. That same issue applies to many older, larger connectors.
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Offline nevin

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Re: USB Cable with Jack connector
« Reply #7 on: Tue, 01 September 2020, 22:25:04 »
yep all good, valid suggestions leslie
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Online yui

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Re: USB Cable with Jack connector
« Reply #8 on: Wed, 02 September 2020, 01:18:25 »
if you use trrs(4 poles jacks) and do not expect high speed it actually could work, no on a mac though, but the usb spec if i remember correctly says that the host should be able to handle a short on the connector, the problem may, as leslie said, be the frequency response of the connector but if you only need it for keyboard and mouse, usb1 speed should not be a problem.
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