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Old 01.06.2012, 18:11
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Why do USB plugs only fit in one orientation?

USB is great...except they made one big mistake: why do USB plugs only fit in the socket in one orientation? Couldn't they just as easily made the plug fit no matter of orientation? Like a round plug for example? How much exasperation I've had plugging in peripherals to the back of my PC under the desk pushed back against the wall. You would have thought that feature to be a no-brainer.
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Old 01.06.2012, 18:15
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Re: Why do USB plugs only fit in one orientation?

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USB is great...except they made one big mistake: why do USB plugs only fit in the socket in one orientation? Couldn't they just as easily made the plug fit no matter of orientation? Like a round plug for example? How much exasperation I've had plugging in peripherals to the back of my PC under the desk pushed back against the wall. You would have thought that feature to be a no-brainer.
Well you may think so, but I doubt the world will agree with you. All else apart, the 'top' of the plug is nearly always identifiable by the funny USB 3-way branch symbol, so it shouldn't be rocket science to align it correctly before stretching round behind the machine. Plus of course any vaguely modern machine will have them on the front as well, for often-removed stuff. I only ever use the ones at the rear for mouse and keyboard.
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Old 01.06.2012, 18:16
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Re: Why do USB plugs only fit in one orientation?

Daft, init? I wrecked the USB socket on a previous Dell shoving the thing in the wrong way. Couldn't they just print "This side in" on the side facing one??
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Old 01.06.2012, 18:20
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Re: Why do USB plugs only fit in one orientation?

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Well you may think so, but I doubt the world will agree with you. All else apart, the 'top' of the plug is nearly always identifiable by the funny USB 3-way branch symbol, so it shouldn't be rocket science to align it correctly before stretching round behind the machine. Plus of course any vaguely modern machine will have them on the front as well, for often-removed stuff. I only ever use the ones at the rear for mouse and keyboard.
Yea, well I have a Dell tower with a row of USB plugs configured in a vertical direction, so it is impossible to discern with is the "top" side. With the printer, hub, backup drives, wifi, media players, etc. connected it is almost impossible to pull that sucker out into the light to see. It has caused me endless aggravation.
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Old 01.06.2012, 18:21
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Re: Why do USB plugs only fit in one orientation?

They should do that with any connection. But there's a problem, with 2 connections, you can make something like coax, 1 inside, 1 out. USB has many more, it would be a mighty clever bit of engineering to make all the connecting pins match up to their partners in any rotation, and at the same time be easy to put in and remove without risk of damage.
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Old 01.06.2012, 18:29
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Re: Why do USB plugs only fit in one orientation?

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Daft, init? I wrecked the USB socket on a previous Dell shoving the thing in the wrong way. Couldn't they just print "This side in" on the side facing one??
Err, they do, sort of. See my other post.
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Old 01.06.2012, 18:34
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Re: Why do USB plugs only fit in one orientation?

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USB is great...except they made one big mistake: why do USB plugs only fit in the socket in one orientation? Couldn't they just as easily made the plug fit no matter of orientation? Like a round plug for example? How much exasperation I've had plugging in peripherals to the back of my PC under the desk pushed back against the wall. You would have thought that feature to be a no-brainer.
The problem is the outer power pins.

But if you don't need to power your device then they invented bluetooth for people like you.
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Old 01.06.2012, 18:39
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Re: Why do USB plugs only fit in one orientation?

With me it goes something like this:

1. Attempt to insert USB plug - Doesn't fit

2. Rotate USB plug 180 degrees and repeat insertion attempt - Still doesn't fit

3. Return plug to it's original orientation - Fits

4.

There's quantum mechanics afoot here, I tell ya.
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Old 02.06.2012, 18:05
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Re: Why do USB plugs only fit in one orientation?

In addition to data, there's pins on the connector for a +5V DC signal and a ground. This would probably be the reason it only fits in one way and not the other..

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Old 02.06.2012, 18:37
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Re: Why do USB plugs only fit in one orientation?

It would have helped if USB type A connectors where D shaped... the B, C etc ones are, that way there's no risk of forcing a socket. 1990s tech
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Old 02.06.2012, 19:56
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Re: Why do USB plugs only fit in one orientation?

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Err, they do, sort of. See my other post.
Impossible to see the 3 prongie thing when the USB plug is black and the Dell has 3 sokets at 45degree angle under a flap that only opens 30 degrees and I'm on my knees under the desk...
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Old 02.06.2012, 20:15
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Re: Why do USB plugs only fit in one orientation?

You are absolutely right!!
I've been kludging all sorts of IT equipment together since the early seventies.
Whilst the electrical properties of plugs and sockets might be designed/specified by clever bods... the mechanical realisation seem to have been entrusted to jokers.
Take SCART sockets!! WTF!!


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Daft, init? I wrecked the USB socket on a previous Dell shoving the thing in the wrong way. Couldn't they just print "This side in" on the side facing one??
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Old 03.06.2012, 13:54
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Re: Why do USB plugs only fit in one orientation?

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You are absolutely right!!
I've been kludging all sorts of IT equipment together since the early seventies.
Whilst the electrical properties of plugs and sockets might be designed/specified by clever bods... the mechanical realisation seem to have been entrusted to jokers.
Take SCART sockets!! WTF!!
SCART sockets; why don't they fit them with a clip to hold the plug in? I have several times had a problem with a plug coming partly out of the socket & it is not easy to get round the back of the device to get it right.
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Old 03.06.2012, 22:16
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Re: Why do USB plugs only fit in one orientation?

Having trouble getting it in? Get a USB extension cable (or a hub, if you need to plug in more than one device at a time). Sit that on your desk, and plug in merrily!
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Old 03.06.2012, 22:23
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Re: Why do USB plugs only fit in one orientation?

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Having trouble getting it in?
*snickers*
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