After initial delays because of receiving a faulty unit.
My 4 Port USB extender has now arrived !
These devices are a godsend if you want to place USB devices more than (the official) 5 metres away from the PC. The solution consists of two parts :
1. A receiver which plugs into the PC
2. A transmitter which you connect your USB devices to.
Then you connect a piece of CAT5e or CAT6 cable between the two units. I have tested these units reliably up to 35 metres which is more than enough if you want to put that webcam in the greenhouse!
A word of caution though. Since they are only USB 1.1 and a camera will utilise approximately 9Mb/s (of the available 12Mb/s). Then you will not be able to connect more than one webcam per device. I have successfully managed to connect a webcam alongside a controller board (pictures).
The usb extender was purchased via eBay over the Internet from CDL Micro. The product I purchased was their “USB 4 Port Extender Hub over Cat5e / Cat 6 Network” at a cost of £44.85 (free P&P). I cannot recommend these guys enough. Even though the first device I received was DOA. They responded promptly arrange for an RMA and replaced the faulty unit without a quibble.