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HP Scanner - USB cable issues

Posted on 2009-04-18
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Last Modified: 2013-12-21

I have a client with an HP Scanjet 5590; basically a document scanner with an ADF (Automatic Document Feeder) which has support for up to 50 sheets at a time, double-sided support etc. etc.

On two totally separate computer systems (laptop and new Dell PC) we are having problems using any USB cable for connecting to the device other than the HP-bundled cable.

The problem here is that the cable included in the product is very short, 1 metre at most, and does not fit safely or neatly into the client's office configuration. I therefore suggested using either a USB "extension" or a longer USB device cable (A-to-B) to connect the device to the PC.

On both occasions, each attempt to extend the cable fails miserably. The computer detects the scanner is present but no data is ever transferred; it is possible to initiate a scan and the scanner accepts this by loading paper, but no scanning ever takes place - the scanner locks up and never scans or sends data to the PC, requiring us to force reboot it by removing the power.

The HP-bundled cable does have a black ring on the 'B' (device) end which looks typical of the usual interference-ring on many cables. I can understand that this may be required to be used in the connection, which is why I expected the USB extension approach, which still makes the HP cable and the interference-ring part of the connection part of the connection between device and PC.

* I know the USB cables are working, as the computer and laptop detects a device by way of the usual Windows "USB connected" tune on connection, and in Device Manager. They also work flawlessly on a USB-based printer or other USB device.
* The cables do *NOT* exceed the 5 metre limitation on USB; they are 2 - 3 metres at most.
* It is not a software issue, as per the above, the scanner works as when using the 1 metre HP USB cable which came bundled with the device.

I thought USB was pretty flexible up to cable lengths of 5 metres. Could some sort of USB controller in the scanner be at fault here, or be particularly picky about cable length/interference/cable power? If so, does anyone have any possible solutions and/or explanations?
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Question by:tigermatt
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Off hand, the only thing I can think of is to try a powered hub between the 2 cables, if you have one handy.
I don't have a link, but they also have "powered USB cables" you can get, that boost the signal.
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by:tigermatt
ID: 24178356

That's interesting. Are you suggesting there isn't enough power going down the cable, or that the signal is so weak after the cable is extended that a powered hub will "boost" it somehow?

I'll have a look at both anyway, and let you know.

-Matt
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by:nobus
ID: 24178586
you can take the problem up with HP in an online chat : http://welcome.hp.com/country/us/en/contact/chat_1.html
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by:_
_ earned 2000 total points
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>> ...isn't enough power going down the cable, or that the signal is so weak...

Power probably isn't a problem, but the signal might be weak. Worth checking if you have access to a hub (or cable).
But I would talk to HP like nobus suggested, before dropping any money on a 'maybe'.
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by:tigermatt
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I'll give the HP route a try first, although it looks like I'll need to get the Serial Number of the device from my client beforehand.

Give me a few days :-)
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by:tigermatt
ID: 24461672
I never managed to get hold of HP about this. Will be pursuing it again soon.
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by:tigermatt
ID: 24645309
Sorry guys, the client is being particularly difficult to work with. I'd rather not close out until I have a good answer, so I will continue to wait.
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by:_
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no problem
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by:tigermatt
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Thanks coral47!
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Thank you much.
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