Does Arduino Uno's serial communication to PC has the same distance as USB communication? (if I'm not mistaken 5m) If it is, what are the options for me to be able to communicate from Arduino Uno to PC with a longer distance? Thank you for any help!

  • One alternative is to use a Bluetooth module. Dec 6 '16 at 19:18

There are many options of varying complexities, pros, cons and prices.

The simplest method is to use powered USB hubs to extend the range. It's 5m per run of cable between powered hubs, so if you have access to power at 5m intervals (or can provide power at 5m intervals) you can chain hubs together to increase your distance. That rapidly becomes unwieldy and expensive though.

Assuming you want to keep the ability to directly program your Arduino from the PC without having to mess with swapping cables around, etc, other options include:

  • USB over CAT5 adapters (up to 100m length)
  • Bypass the USB altogether and use RS-232 (MAX-232 chips, about 15m length)

There are also some bluetooth adaptors that allow programming of the Arduino, but that gets a bit tricky.

If you're not too worried about programming there are far more options:

  • Radio options, such as using XBees, nRF24L01 modules, etc.
  • Networking - connect to an Ethernet or WiFi network
  • GSM modem
  • RS-485 / RS-422 - similar to RS-232 but longer distance, and without the signals needed for rebooting the Arduino for programming

The "distance" of the fully networked options is, literally, global. Once on a network you have the option of arranging access from anywhere on the globe with an internet connection

It all depends, really, on what you want to be able to do over the connection.

(I am sure there are many more options I have forgotten - feel free to suggest them in comments, or even go ahead and edit this answer to add them if you like.)

  • Thank you for such comprehensive answer! I find the USB over CAT5 adapters more appropriate to what I'm trying to do, since I'm trying on sticking to wired and don't really know how to use rs232 communication for arduino and USB hubs are expensive. When you mean USB over CAT5 adapters is this what you mean? If I'm going to use this, will the power from my computer's usb enough?
    – Ralph
    Dec 6 '16 at 19:42
  • I can't tell from that image. If it is the same as this then yes - up to 50m or something. Note that you (usually) need to power the Arduino separately.
    – Majenko
    Dec 6 '16 at 19:45
  • oops sorry, yes the image I sent is the same as that. Ok noted, thanks for your help! now I gained hope in finishing my project
    – Ralph
    Dec 6 '16 at 19:48

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