MSolutions, a leading supplier of AV test devices and collaboration solutions, is now shipping its new USB cable test (UCT) module, the AV industry’s first solution for qualifying today’s wealth of USB cables, signal types and connectivity options. The UCT module also helps users understand the power consumption of a USB device in relation to the host, as well as bandwidth, data speeds and the presence of specific wires across the cable that match varied USB specifications.
Introduced at the InfoComm show in June, the UCT joins the growing family of modules for the company’s handheld MS-TestPro (MS-104B) device. MSolutions also offers HDMI, HDBaseT, IP and DC Resistance modules for its all-in-one AV tester.
The UCT module arrives on the market at a time of need for installers and tech managers tasked with modernizing meeting and learning spaces. Modernizing these spaces means an increased reliance on the USB transmission of AV signals, which also raises compliancy issues between transmitting and receiving devices.
The UCT removes the mystery of which cables are compatible between cameras, extenders and displays or computers by identifying what USB signal types the cable can pass. Upon attaching the module to a USB cable, MS-104B users receive accurate test measurements for USB-C to USB-C, USB-C to USB 3.0 (Type A), and USB 3.0 (Type B) to USB 3.0 (Type A), for example. The tester will also identify and qualify the USB version that the cable is specified to, which is often the root of compatibility issues – especially when laptops are involved.
“We see many cases where the presenter unknowingly buys and connects a USB 2.0 cable, which only accommodates charging, between a laptop and a USB 3.0 camera,” said Eliran Toren, CEO, MSolutions. “The problem is not a failed cable; it’s a mismatched cable that cannot pass the required data. The UCT module identifies these compatibility issues within seconds, eliminating the need for return visits and troubleshooting expenses for the end user.”
The UCT also confirms power consumption levels from USB devices, and the amount of power that the cable can transfer. As MSolutions CTO Ariel Marcus explains it, USB-C signal failure typically happens when the transmitting device and cable cannot provide the amount of power required for the signal. The UCT will specifically relay that the cable can transfer 20, 30 or 50 watts, for example.
“We can extract the current consumption and voltage using the UCT module and present that data on our tester’s GUI or as a PDF file online,” said Marcus. “It’s not always clear what USB port type is being used, and how much power that port can provide. If a user’s laptop is consuming 20 watts from a camera port that can’t provide that level of currency, the signal will fail. The same goes for connecting a camera to an extender; if the extender’s USB port cannot provide enough current to the camera, the connection will fail. The UCT module will provide these readings, as well as the presence and productivity of the wiring inside the cable.”
Toren adds that MSolutions now offers complete USB transmission solutions for collaboration rooms that provide rock-solid connections, including its MS-4KCam USB camera and MS-6U1C extender set. The latter is an entry-level USB-C solution that offers uncompressed extension of USB data, ideally for USB-C PTZ cameras, hard drives, laptops and other USB-C peripherals. The UCT provides peace of mind for users of these products that add a mix of USB cables from other sources.
More information on the UCT and other MS-104B test modules can be found at https://www.m4sol.com/test-equipment/.