Discussion and Support for the OptiTrack, SmartNav and TrackIR brands by NaturalPoint

USB (cable) problems

by JeDi » Wed Mar 09, 2016 12:43 pm


Some of our customers are experiencing problems with the six V120:Slim cameras we are using in our custom bicycle analysis system.

Windows (most have upgraded to windows 10, but some use 7 or 8.1) seems to, sometimes, have trouble recognizing the cameras when plugged in (analysed in Device Manager). For most, the success rate is higher when plugging the cameras in one by one and waiting inbetween.

The setup for our system consists of two bars with:
- three V120:Slim cameras, connected to a powered USB hub (
- a USB extension cable from the USB hub to the PC

The problem seems to occur more when using longer USB extension cables. We don't use cheap cables that are non-powered and longer than they should be:
- we have unpowered 4,5 meter cables. They almost never cause problems
- we have 10 meter cables which use two USB connections instead of external power (and claim to work as good as externally powered ones)
- we have 15 meter cables which use external power

Could the problems be caused by the extension cables? If they work as stated and are correctly powered, could they still cause issues? I guess most motion capturing setups have even longer distances between the HUBs and PC?

We don't see these problems when plugging in webcams for example.

I also saw a known problems with USB 3 ports, could that be the problems for us? ... 3-0-issues

Kind regards,
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Joined: Thu Mar 10, 2011 3:59 am

by steven.andrews » Wed Mar 09, 2016 4:58 pm

Hello Jeroen,

It sounds like you have stuck with our general guidelines regarding USB system setup. In most cases, you can connect up to 2 active extenders for a total of roughly 15 meters. The only stipulation is that no extenders can be used between the hub and the camera.

To be honest, some of your cables are atypical, so I cannot say for certain whether or not they should work well.
If you are able, it might be a good idea to test your setup with OptiTrack hardware. I would suggest trying to use all USB cables and extenders provided by us, as well as an OptiHub in place of the powered hub you currently have. I know there are certain tests that have been done to qualify the cables we provide, and in some situations cables users have purchased separately have interfered with system performance.

There can sometimes be performance issues with USB3.0 ports, especially if you are mixing 3.0 and 2.0. You can always connect to a USB2.0 port if you are concerned about this. The system should still perform at peak performance.

I hope you find this to be useful. If you need to do any further troubleshooting with us, please feel free to reach out to us at

Steven Andrews
OptiTrack | Senior Customer Support Engineer
NaturalPoint Employee
NaturalPoint Employee
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Joined: Mon Jan 19, 2015 11:52 am

by JeDi » Wed May 18, 2016 5:19 am

We still get reports from users with a lot of USB problems. Sometimes not all cameras are recognized by windows, or some have exclamation marks in Device Manager. Sometimes cameras disconnect during recording.

Does anyone know a good way to analyse those problems? They feel like power or cabling issues, but the same cables work perfectly with other devices. It is very hard to go and test different hardware at all locations (distributed around the globe), so remote solutions would be preferred.
Posts: 41
Joined: Thu Mar 10, 2011 3:59 am

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