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I'm looking into wiring a Raspberry Pi Zero (USB Micro-B) to my 3D printer (USB Type B). I can easily do this using some adaptors (Micro-B → Type A → Type B), but I would prefer to just connect them directly with a footprint as small as possible.

Looking into this I found these tables at Wikipedia: Host and device interface receptacles, USB - Wikipedia which seems to illustrate that such connections are not possible (or maybe just that they're not standard).

Would a directly wired connection between the Type B connector and the Micro B connector work?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ As long as the electrical and protocol requirements are satisfied you can make any USB cable you like. \$\endgroup\$ – Ignacio Vazquez-Abrams Feb 9 '18 at 17:46
  • \$\begingroup\$ @IgnacioVazquez-Abrams The cable he's contemplating making isn't going to satisfy the electrical requirements, since the sense pin must be tied to ground for it to be detected as a host connector. \$\endgroup\$ – Random832 Feb 9 '18 at 18:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ There are various places where you can get custom USB cables built, like usbfirewire.com/e-custom.aspx, but you can also build one yourself. \$\endgroup\$ – Selvek Feb 9 '18 at 18:00
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The micro B connector (Strictly speaking, it should be a micro-AB port that can accept a micro-A connector, but I don't know if the RPZ has this) must be wired as an OTG cable for this to work. This requires a "sense" pin in the connector to be tied to the ground (it floats on normal cables). The simplest way would be to use an existing OTG cable (I believe you can actually buy OTG cables with a full-sized B connector on the other end, which wouldn't require any modification) rather than attempt to mess with the wiring inside the plug.

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The connections are indeed nonstandard, since both types of connector are typically used for USB devices rather than USB hosts. However, since the port on the Pi is a host port with a micro-B connector, this connection would be fine. You can use a cable like this one.

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