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Why do USB cables in observatories go bad?

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More of a rant than a question :-) 
My roof controller based on arduino just started failing today. After being 100% reliable for 2 years, the arduino randomly disconnects and reconnects constantly.

Its not the first time I've had USB cables become unreliable. Wondering what is the cause. Must be something to do with the environment (cold/humidity) as it never seems to happen to home bound usb devices

D
Celestron C11 iOptron CEM120 Atik 383L
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Roll off roof observatory
Battling Irish weather
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1 year 1 week ago #77938

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I'm mostly using the same USB cables (and hub) that I installed in my observatory in 2015 and they're doing well. Granted not high humidity environment (arid desert heat) and I have an AC in during the day so this perhaps acts as a dehumidifier as well.
Jasem Mutlaq
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1 year 1 week ago #77942

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Does unplugging and plugging in again fix it? If yes, I‘d go for gold plated cables, as I‘d assume oxides on the contacts as culprits…
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1 year 1 week ago #77983

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Also thinking of oxides and such.
What i would try is to fill the connector with acid-free vaseline. This would reduce corrosion and water contaminants.
Or just solder the cable on the arduino board directly. :)
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1 year 1 week ago #77992

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Thanks everyone for the tips and info.
I think its my 3rd cable since I converted my obs to remote use in 2016. Always seems to be my arduino roof controller too. Pretty sure it must be the Irish weather. I've tried 'switch cleaner' spray on the cable contacts but its still unreliable.

Thinking of replacing the arduino micro in it with a newer IOT arduino with built in wifi and use a network connection instead of USB :-)

Derek
Celestron C11 iOptron CEM120 Atik 383L
HP8300 Elite i5 running Xubuntu, Indi, Kstars & Ekos
Roll off roof observatory
Battling Irish weather
github.com/dokeeffe
twitter.com/BallyhouraStars
1 year 6 days ago #78094

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