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Techno-geek question about USB routers.

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by Benjamin Strange, Feb 21, 2008.


  1. Benjamin Strange

    Benjamin Strange Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    New Orleans, LA
    Owner / Tech: Strange Guitarworks
    In an effort to keep computer fan noise out of my recordings, I bought a few routers and long cables and moved my computer into a different room. Most of the time everything works ok, but I've run into some problems with my USB devices.

    Every once in a while, my keyboard or mouse decided to just quit working. I have to unplug them from the router and then plug them back in, and then the start working again. Also, my printer refuses to print anything properly anymore - it tries to spread a single page document over 5 pages or so. The printer isn't even plugged into the router - it's in the other room, plugged directly into the comp. I don't get it.

    Could this be caused by too long of a USB cable run? Does quality of the router have anything to do with it (I'm using a Gold X router). Any ideas from the nerd faction here on TB?
     
  2. I was under the impression that one starts to have electrical and timing issues with USB cable runs longer than 5 meters (~16 1/2 ft.). Cascading multiple hubs (up to 5) can increase this distance to 30 m.
     
  3. Benjamin Strange

    Benjamin Strange Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    New Orleans, LA
    Owner / Tech: Strange Guitarworks
    I'm only running one hub, so my total footage is about 20.
     
  4. As far as the printer goes, the software printer port and/or print driver might need to be reinstalled. Does printing a test page work? Do you have the proper printer model set to default? (dumb question, I know)
     
  5. To solve the fan problem, just hook the fan up to a switch and turn it off while you are recording and turn it back on when you are done with the take.

    lowsound
     
  6. DigMe

    DigMe

    Aug 10, 2002
    Waco, TX
    That does not sound like a good solution IMO.

    Ben,

    I don't know what is causing your problems but one option that I might suggest is replacing the fans in your PC with quieter fans. If you look at the fans sold on various PC parts sites they typically have a db rating. Anything in the 20's is usually really quiet outside of the case. Scythe is a brand that specializes in quieter fans but they are somewhat pricey:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=2010110573+50002108&name=Scythe+USA

    You could also consider getting a sound-insulated case such as the Antec P182 or the Coolermaster Cosmos.

    Anyway..just some other options. I've found that it can be hard to really work out the kinds of issues you described. USB issues can be a real beast but I would start with the reinstallation of drivers.

    bc
     
  7. Why not? Recording a 5 minute track will not over heat your computer. Heck, my computer is set up so the fan only comes on when it gets to a certain temperature (not sure on the number) and it rarely comes on at all.

    lowsound
     
  8. marcray

    marcray

    Nov 28, 2006
    Englishman in Oyster Bay, NY
    Aging Former Bass Player
    what kind of recordings are u doing that you can hear the fan of a computer?
     
  9. DigMe

    DigMe

    Aug 10, 2002
    Waco, TX
    What if you forget to turn it back on? I read an article a while back by a well-respected tech news and reviews source that detailed how well various modern processors fare when the fan fails. Forgetting to turn it back on would be analogous to failure. None of those processors fared well. What processor are you using and does it have a heatsink with a fan attached directly to it?

    bc
     
  10. TrooperFarva

    TrooperFarva

    Nov 25, 2004
    New City, NY
    Depending on how a compressor is set up on the input, you may be able to hear yourself blink. Seriously.


    If you have access to a laptop, one option you could look into is a wireless internet connection on the laptop, and just use that to remotely, wirelessly, control the DAW. That's what I've done in a similar situation, it works well.
     
  11. Don't forget to turn it back on, or put it on a timer. I have no idea what is in my laptop, when ever apple put in there when they made it. I had the fan come on a little while ago, but I was running the computer really hard.

    lowsound
     
  12. DigMe

    DigMe

    Aug 10, 2002
    Waco, TX
    Oh ok, it's a laptop. Laptops run much quieter than desktops to begin with not to mention that they generally use more efficient processors that don't create nearly as much heat.

    bc
     
  13. And they're generally allowed to get hotter. My laptop tends to idle at more than 45° C, which would be awfully high for a desktop.
     
  14. Benjamin Strange

    Benjamin Strange Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    New Orleans, LA
    Owner / Tech: Strange Guitarworks
    I'm running a Mac G5, which has got close to zero fan noise - but I still hear it in the mics. I'm recording a solo acoustic album - just voice and acoustic guitar - so I can't have ANY stray noises in there.

    Macs also don't require printer drivers. My printer is set to the correct model. Remember, it's not just my printer that's acting funny - my keyboard and mouse randomly lose power and quit, too.
     
  15. marcray

    marcray

    Nov 28, 2006
    Englishman in Oyster Bay, NY
    Aging Former Bass Player
    ahhh... I hate doing acoustic guitars. I have to play acoustic guitar sessions quite a bit and the engineers goof on me because I'm asthmatic and I tend to breathe too heavy from my mouth when I'm concentrating... they actually had a mask waiting for me one time... the most aggravating thing is getting the perfect take and then you hear the back of the guitar hit on a jeans rivet or a button on your shirt.... makes me mental... though usually, unless it's solo'd you can't hear any of that stuff. Infact, our recording studios share a building with a catering hall and sometimes in one of the rooms you can hear kick drum coming thru and we'll just do the voc anyway... a bit of filtering and you can't hear it in the end...;)
     
  16. Benjamin Strange

    Benjamin Strange Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    New Orleans, LA
    Owner / Tech: Strange Guitarworks
    Yeah, the tiniest noises make it into the mix. Just recently, I made it through a perfect take, only to find that one of my knuckles had cracked while I was playing. It ruined the take, and I had to re-record the whole thing.
     

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