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WH1080

For discussion of DIY weather equipment - sensors, accessories, improvements to existing kit etc
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bar2d2
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WH1080

Post by bar2d2 » Sun 17 Mar 2013 7:28 pm

I just acquired a used Fine Offset WH1080. The USB port on it is a flat type. How am I ever going to connect it to my PC? PCs only have flat type ports and the only USB cables I know are flat to square. I have never seen an USB cable with male flat types on both sides... :cry:
Anybody have the same problem? :roll:

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steve
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Re: WH1080

Post by steve » Sun 17 Mar 2013 7:55 pm

USB male A to A cables are very common. E.g. http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/270564008791
Steve

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Super-T
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Re: WH1080

Post by Super-T » Sun 17 Mar 2013 8:37 pm

These units normally come with the correct cable. Ask whoever sold it to you for the cable.

Nykita
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Re: WH1080

Post by Nykita » Sun 17 Mar 2013 9:27 pm

Look for USB 2.0 Cables - A Male to A Male about 1/3 of the way down....
http://www.monoprice.com/products/subde ... p_id=10303
No matter how carefully you choose your words, they'll always end up being twisted by others!

bar2d2
Posts: 5
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Weather Station: WH1080
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Re: WH1080

Post by bar2d2 » Tue 02 Apr 2013 3:35 pm

Oops, I wondered why I didn't get responses, but I was not automatically subscribed to my own post. Changed that setting now :)

Yes, the previous owner still had the cable :clap:
Funny I have been in IT since 1995 and never seen this type :roll:

Thanks for your responses :!:

AllyCat
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Weather Station: Fine Offset 1080/1 & 3080
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Re: WH1080

Post by AllyCat » Tue 02 Apr 2013 8:37 pm

bar2d2 wrote:Funny I have been in IT since 1995 and never seen this type :roll: :
Hi,

Not entirely surprising, because it's an "illegal" cable type (or at least not legitimate as far as the official USB specification is concerned).

A fundamental concept of USB is that there are separate "Host" and "Client" (or slave) devices and to prevent "inappropriate" (non-functional, Host-Host or Client-Client) attempts to make a connection, the cables (should have) different connectors at their two ends.

The "Type A" is reserved for "Host" devices (usually a computer), but the FO Console is only a "Client" so it should not have a "Type A" host connector, but instead one of the three available versions of "Type B", i.e. either the "square" type B (often found on printers) or the "Mini" or "Micro" types found on Phones, Cameras, MP3 players, etc....

Cheers, Alan.

bar2d2
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Re: WH1080

Post by bar2d2 » Wed 03 Apr 2013 7:47 am

Thanks Alan AllyCat, that is useful information. I was starting to doubt myself as an IT Pro LOL! ;)

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steve
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Re: WH1080

Post by steve » Wed 03 Apr 2013 7:52 am

Given how commonly available A-A cables are, there must be lots of devices with the 'wrong' port; I've seen portable hard drives with them. Why would manufacturers like FO have done this? Cost/size/shape of the socket? These days many/most upstream ports seem to be using micro/mini connectors.
Steve

Charlie
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Re: WH1080

Post by Charlie » Wed 03 Apr 2013 11:34 am

It's always cost, in one form or another.

While the male A to male A is not allowed by the original specification, many manufacturers are pushing for it or have just gone ahead and ignored the spec. There are obvious advantages to a symmetrical cable, including the ability to splice multiple sections together with simple connectors, like is done with network cables, and not needing a box of different types of cables to do a simple task of interconnecting similar devices. Also, since the latest revision of the spec allows devices to be master or slave depending on the state of the 5th pin in the micro and mini versions of the connector, the USB purists have essentially lost the battle. (At least I think it's in the spec - it's certainly built into the latest Android devices)

But then, the internet generation doesn't believe in specs anyway - the IETF method is to publish recommendations and hope people follow them. When I'm feeling cynical, I add "and complain when they don't" to that statement. :lol:

AllyCat
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Re: WH1080

Post by AllyCat » Wed 03 Apr 2013 3:11 pm

steve wrote:Why would manufacturers like FO have done this? Cost/size/shape of the socket?
Hi,

Yes, probably all of those. Certainly the "standard" USB Type B connector is rather "chunky", but I believe that the USB connectors were designed for the specific purpose, unlike RS232, PS2 (keyboard/mouse), etc. which just adopted existing connectors. And IMHO the B was designed rather well (compared for example with SCART) for plugging a cable into the back of a piece of equipment where you couldn't see (only feel) the socket. ;)

Since USB is fundamentally a Host-Client structure (unlike network cables, etc), and considering the confusion which reigns over RS232 Transmit/Receive (or rather Teletype/Modem) nomenclature, the different connectors did seem like a "good idea". I first "discovered" the A-A type cable used for a NiMH battery charger, which perhaps was legitimate as the charger was just stealing power from a computer so there was no real data transfer. Then the dam was breached when various types of (back-back) adapter began to appear........

I suspect that FO could/should have used a standard type B socket but perhaps didn't/couldn't read the USB specification (bearing in mind that some specifications have to be bought/licensed at quite high cost). However, the mini/micro connectors may well be available only in "Surface Mount" versions (not "through hole") and would probably "fall off" very soon with the quality of copper adhesion (and of course lack of plated-through holes) that I've found on a few FO Printed Circuit Boards. :(

Cheers, Alan.

water01
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Re: WH1080

Post by water01 » Wed 03 Apr 2013 9:11 pm

Another factor is the increasingly thinner and thinner architecture of laptops etc., the flatter USB A plug saving space as with the smaller mini A and B plugs.

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