A thing about usb cable lengths! Answered
Well apparently according to many websites I've visted, claim that the longest cable you can use for a usb device is just a little over 15 feet.
That said, I'm one for completely disregarding warnings. According to the text on one website:
Q: How long of a cable can I use to connect my USB device?
A: In practice, the USB specification limits the cable length between Full-speed USB devices to 5 meters (A little under 16 feet, 5 inches). For a Low-Speed device, the limit is 3 meters (9 feet, 10 inches).
So my dilemma is that I have an a$$hole neighbour that is stealing things from me and I want to catch him. Being cheap, I'm going to use my webcam instead of spending $50 on a low resolution color camera that only outputs composite (although that would allow me to make cables easier and I DO have a capture card on my pc) but this is besides the point.
So I found a telephone cable (as it has 4 wires just like USB) and I figure it's got to be AT LEAST 20 feet long, maybe 30, which is long enough for what I need. I thought because It's all over the internet how apparently the limit is 15 feet, that is would just NOT work at all. 10 minutes later I had spliced the telephone wire between the USB connector and the webcam, wiring black to black, red to red, green to green, and yellow to white (usb side).
Upon plugging it into my desktop usb hub, sure enough, my computer recognized it, and the video came through just fine.
So I post this forum-topic to SHOW that it is infact possible to go OVER the so-called usb limit. I got the idea originally from a video I watched last night where a guy had a webcam mounted to the middle of his ceiling for a project he was working on, and it appeared that he had spliced in a longer wire than the webcam came with, and strung it across the ceiling, and then the wall.
I DO have a question and I AGAIN request the help of all you helpful instructables members! My webcam as-is can see IR (infared) light, as I've tested this with a remote control and it can see the white light coming out of it. So the question is, how hard would it be to build an array of IR LED's to light up my yard, not even nessesarily pointing away from the source of the webcam, but say, an array of led's above the door of my shed shining down so if someone does attempt to enter my shed, I will be able to clearly record them.
Long post I know, but this is VERY important to me that this works and I'm hoping I didn't waste my time constructing this, I've had a few things stolen from me recently and it's really pissing me off. For instance, one of my bicycles was stolen, RIGHT FROM MY FRONT DOORSTEP! It has wayyyy more sentimental value to me than actual cash value and I'm literally ready to choke the living sh)t out of someone!