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722 posts

Ultimate Geek
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Topic # 59748 11-Apr-2010 17:20
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Hi guys.  Recently bought a Western Digital Media Player (TV Live) which I guess many of you will be familiar with by now.  For those that haven't seen one, it's a small box that will play many types of media files through your TV.  An excellent gadget, actually, highly recommended.

My question: The box has two USB ports for connecting memory sticks, USB hard drives etc.  Rather than use a small memory stick to feed the player, I bought a USB enclosure to hold a spare 80GB 2.5" laptop drive and this works well; the drive holds many movies, and is recognised by the media player within a few seconds of startup.

The hard drive enclosure connects to the media player via a USB Male to Male (A to A) cable.  This type of cable has the typical USB flat spade-shape connector on BOTH ends.  But here's the rub; I've found that the A to A cable won't work if I try and extend it with a regular USB extension cable.  In other words, if I try to insert the extension cable anywhere in the loop between the the hard drive enclosure and the Media Player, it doesn't work, there's no signal.

Which leads me to believe that perhaps all USB cables are NOT wired the same way.  Any able to comment on this?   

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92 posts

Master Geek
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  Reply # 317048 11-Apr-2010 17:24
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Some devices just seem to hate extension cables. My iPod will not charge at all through any usb extension cable >0.50m, but other devices, such as my external hard drive works with strings of usb extensions up to about 5m

21121 posts

Uber Geek
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  Reply # 317056 11-Apr-2010 17:53
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Too much voltage drop will be the issue.

The fact that it came with one of those non standard cables also means you have bought a pretty junk enclosure as none of the legit ones violate standards in that way, and will have a mini or micro USB on the enclosure.

If you have a DC jack on the enclosure get a power adapter for it, if not then get one that does as most drives are more than 500mA, so you are already violating USB spec connecting them to a single outlet. The voltage sag of the outlet being overloaded and the drop of the cable will make it too low by the time it gets to the drive.


722 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 263

  Reply # 317175 12-Apr-2010 01:01
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richms, I'm not sure what you're on about.  The enclosure works perfectly well when connected to the media player, as well as to any one of the 6 pcs I use.  What I'm saying is that adding a USB extension to the loop gets no signal, no activity light, nil, de nada.  Which looks to me as thought there's a mismatch in the cable terminals.  I can appreciate what you're saying about voltage drop but I can't see it happening when all I'm doing is adding 70cm of cable to the total length.  If voltage drop was the issue the enclosure activity light should still illuminate, even if very faintly.  But there's nothing at all.

154 posts

Master Geek
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  Reply # 317534 12-Apr-2010 21:50
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Anyone know what USB wireless adaptors work with the media player?

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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 317538 12-Apr-2010 21:59
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Re the power issue, is your hard drive enclosue powered to a wall outlet? If not it draws power from USB. More cable lenghth = more resistance. I have an Adata 320Gb external hard drive, that is not powered but works fine on my WDTV, but its USB cable has 2 connectors in case the PC or source is not providing enough power

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