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OPTIMISE VISTA FOR GAMING ISSUE 224 MAR 2009

PERFORMANCE GEAR & GAMING

WORLD’S FASTEST CARD!

NOT BAD FOR A HUMAN

GEFORCE GTX 295

ISSUE 224 NOT BAD FOR A HUMAN

FR EE

59 Ga m 134 Appes s S ee pa ge 118

Benched NVIDIA’s dual-GPU monolithic beauty kicks gaming to the next level

MAKE YOUR OWN USB VIA ETHERNET CONNECTOR

Extend the range of your peripherals

WWW.PCFORMAT.CO.UK

THERE’S MORE… HD Projector group test Code your own games The God sims you need to play

PLUS!

HARDCORE PC ADVICE ¤ HACKING &TWEAKING ¤ OVERCLOCKING ¤ MODDING MADNESS

Fallout G.E.C.K. guide

Issue 224 Mar 2009 £5.99 Outside UK & ROI £6.49

BUG HUNTING DAWN OF WAR II PCF224.cover 1

F.E.A.R. 2 SCARY GIRL’S BACK 22/1/09 10:34:17 am


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Make a USB-toEthernet adaptor Extend your USB devices over metres with these easy to make and cheap adaptors

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e’ve all had that problem; the webcam is over there pointing at the neighbour’s bedroom window and the PC is on the other side of the room. How are you supposed to surreptitiously spy on next door from your legal grey area without the proper cables? Fear not, we’re at hand to offer a cheap and easy way to extend any USB device using any old existing network cable you may have and a couple of easy to make adaptors. The theory is simple, CAT5 network cables use twisted pairs of wires to massively reduce signal noise, which means they can transfer signals over metres and metres of cable without serious degradation. Using the right wiring schematics you can transfer all manner of data over these versatile cables not just USB signals. Making the adaptors may seem a little complicated, but there are two easy options: one alternative is to scavenge ports from an old motherboard – this was our choice – but equally you could remove ports from an

old network hub or similar. If this isn’t an option then you can buy pre-made Ethernet ports designed to slide into wall-mounted boxes or an Ethernet coupler will also do. An old USB cable can provide the upstream male-end and we still favour cast-off USB backplates for the downstream female connectors. Once you’ve put these together it should be possible to use up to 5m cables, beyond this distance the USB timing control breaks down. ¤ Neil Mohr

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What you will need ¤ ¤ ¤ ¤ ¤ ¤ ¤ ¤

Two salvaged RJ45 sockets One USB male plug One USB female plug 2mm heat shrink 6mm heat shrink 20mm heat shrink Soldering kit Ethernet cable

Salvage price:

£1

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Future Publishing Limited provides the information for this project in good faith and makes no representations as to its completeness or accuracy. Individuals carrying out the instructions in this project do so at their own risk and must exercise their independent judgement in determining the appropriateness of parts, equipment, sealants and other

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adhesives for a particular use.. Protective clothing, gloves and goggles/safety glasses should also be worn at all times, when using soldering and and adhesives. Always read the label before use of adhesives and seek medical assistance in the event of ingestation or irritation. Use of the USB-to-Ethernet adaptor may void a product’s

warranty. To the fullest extent permitted by law, Future Publishing Limited takes no responsibility for any person relying on the information relating to this project and disclaims all liability for any errors, omissions, damage or injury to users or their equipment as a result of or relating to their making and use of the laser pointing device.

March 2009

26/1/09 9:43:19 am


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“A cheap and easy way to extend any USB device using any old existing network cable you may have”

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How to make a handy adaptor

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Gather your tools of destruction. If you’re salvaging from a mobo we’d suggest having a chopping board to hand as those spiky solder points will mark any table (1). Locate your two RJ45, Ethernet sockets (aka 8P8C sockets). These are tricky to pick up individually as components, but can be salvaged from old mobos, network cards or an old hub (2). We have plenty of aging and dead mobos, so we chose to use one from here. Attempt to make life easier and de-solder the connections (3). Removing the socket can be something of a struggle. As long as the Ethernet socket remains intact - it seems this section is designed as a modular part – all will be well (4). Once you’ve located two sockets strip the wire back from both the male and female USB connections. For the female socket, we’re using a spare mobo USB back plate. Strip about 3cm of insulation back and tin the four wires (5). Add 2mm heatshrink to each small wire and 6mm to the larger wire. This will help insulate and mechanically secure the wiring afterwards. Otherwise insulation tape will be fine (6). It’s a tricky process but solder the green and white data lines to Pins 1 and 2. Then the red and black power lines to pins 7 and 8 (7). To finish the job use 20mm heatshrink to cover the whole adaptor and trim for a neat finish (8). Repeat for the other USB connector (9). We’d recommend testing the connections are correct with a multimeter, but otherwise you’re done (10)! March 2009

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Make a USB to Ethernet adaptor  

We’ve all had that problem; the webcam is over there pointing at the neighbour’s bedroom window and the PC is on the other side of the room....

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