Just received my Wyze Cam Pan yesterday and after playing with it, the one thing that I really would like is a longer USB cable. Maybe a 15 or 20 footer will do nicely.
FYI - For a low-speed device like a camera, the specification limit before data/power starts to be lost is 9 feet, 10 inches.
If Wyze supplied long cables and the power was reduced producing a bad picture, most people would blame the camera (Wyze) for the bad picture and not the choice of cable lenght.
Having said that, there are ways around this, but they cost more than the camera would…
9 or 10 feet would allow me to put the camera on my ceiling.
Data Loss? The USB cable is for power only, there’s no data going over it.
+1 on the cable only being used for power, so who cares about signal integrity. That said, a long enough cable and the voltage will drop and the camera will shut down when under high current draw (moving with infrared on, etc). This won’t be a degradation, it will probably cause the camera to cut off and reboot.
Also, a camera would not be a USB low-speed device. USB low-speed is part of the USB 1.0 spec and was designed for very slow devices such as keyboards and mice. It is limited to 1.5mbit/sec, shared among all devices. Being part of USB 1.x, yes, there was a 3m/9.8 foot cable length limit. Even in the era of USB1.0, cameras were full speed devices, not low speed.
USB 2.0 was introduced 18 years ago, and it extended cables to 5m for anything full speed and higher. These days, even a lot of keyboards and mice are actually using full speed anyway, low speed is becoming a relic of the past. Of course, most cameras are doing high speed (480mbit/sec, USB 2.0’s peak speed) and some are doing super speed (5gbit/sec, USB 3.0’s peak speed).
Correct, we’re not referring to data here per sa, but power. Still data would be transmitted because USB requires the data lines to request more power from the host device. This is why some cheap ‘charge only’ cables that are missing these connections only let devices charge very slowly. What’s important to note is something called voltage drop. A USB twisted-pair cable usually has 90 Ω ± 15% characteristic impedance. Voltage drop is defined as the amount of voltage loss which occurs through the circuit due to impedance. When current flows through a cable, the current flowing through the resistance results in a voltage drop according to Ohm’s law, voltage = current x resistance. The wire used for USB is extremely thin, typically 28 gauge (very small) and some of the cheaper ones don’t even use copper. Usually USB negotiation with the USB controller will be the limiting factor. Bottom line, not all USB cables are the same depending on use and manufacture. You’d need to test to see if your particular cable used would have too much voltage drop for your application or not. As noted by mkmd12 it will probably cause the camera to cut off and reboot. However, testers for USB voltage are cheap and can be found online.
/sigh… so much wrong there. but let’s not turn this into a USB spec discussion.
The data lines won’t really matter, as Wyzcam is almost certainly not doing protocol level power negotiations and is just using resistors to put the port in charge mode.
Suffice to say, if the DC power conductors of the cable will carry the power without a lot of voltage drop, it will work. The pan definitely draws more peak power than the regular wyzecam due to the motors, so a cable that works with one, might not work with the other. Try it out doing a lot of panning with the night-vision LEDs on before deciding a cable is good.
However, I don’t see any reason you can’t use a decent quality long usb power cord to the pan, even those well over the USB 2.0 5 meter max length, it just needs to be one with decent gauge conductors for the power pins to avoid voltage drop.
I tried mine last night with a cheap 25’ cable I have laying around. I forced night-vision on, turned on pan-scan and motion tracking and made it follow my hand around while simultaneously streaming the video to my phone. It worked just fine, but I wouldn’t count on every 25’ cable working, particularly if your source is on the lower end of the output voltage range.
I also used a cheap USB current meter contraption, and it was drawing 0.83 amps during this. I also rebooted the camera, and at one point in the boot up it exceeded 0.9 amps, but it was brief enough I didn’t get to read all the digits.
Suffice to say, count on a cable that can handle 1 amp of draw.
edit: note: I don’t exactly trust the numbers produced by my little current measuring widget to be terribly accurate, but its good enough for a ball-park. My primary intent was to use it to figure out which actions drew the most power, and I do trust it to be consistent relative to itself (ie: I trust that if one reading is higher than another, I trust the current really is higher, just not necessarily matching the values displayed.).
I’m running 4x V2 on 25’ usb cables and they are working great. Haven’t hooked up the Pan to one yet though.
Agreed, although the v2 definitely draws a lot less current than the pan does, so it will have less voltage drop and work with cables the pan won’t.
Honestly, I was a little surprised my 25’ cable was up to the task. It is cheap and pretty thin.
Why not just connect the usb/power charger to an basic extension cord like I did? Problem solved (and you probably have an extra laying around somewhere). Now I have about 20 extra feet left and no power loss to worry about.