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I want to connect an RPi 4 to a bunch of USB peripherals and a power source that are about 3m away from the Pi, using only one USB cable (because that seems a lot neater than multiple cables and aesthetics for the project matter...) Can I do it?

I've tried connecting a USB hub designed to pass through power and connect peripherals to a laptop via USB C (it has a male USB C connector that plugs into the laptop and a female USB C socket to receive power) but the Pi does not see the USB peripherals plugged into it (eg a mouse), but does receive power through it just fine (and plugging the same peripherals into the type A ports on the Pi works fine).

I plugged the USB hub into my laptop USB C port and the laptop can see and use the peripherals so the hub seems to be working.

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The Pi4 DOES NOT have any USB-C ports.

The USB-C connection is only for power (although it does support USB-2 OTG).

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As @Milliways has said, the USB-C port on the RPi supports power delivery and OTG ("on the go"). Your question is a bit ambiguous because it's unclear what exactly you mean when you ask, "Can I do it?". Also, your question might be off-topic for this (Raspberry Pi) SE.

There's quite a lot of online information available on the subject of USB hubs - the different types, and what each of them offers. Given that your goals are not entirely clear to us, and since USB hubs might be off-topic here, perhaps your best bet is to do some reading on the subject. A quick search just now revealed several potentially useful articles: 1, 2. This may help you understand the features and functions of the various types of USB hubs.

As for USB on the Raspberry Pi itself, that's fairly simple. The USB-C port is for power and USB-OTG. In addition, the RPi 4 has 2 USB-2 ports, and 2 USB 3 ports - as described in the "official documentation".

Two other USB-related things to be aware of on the RPi 4 are:

  • Early models had a design flaw that was released to manufacturing without adequate test. Some implications and details of this have been covered here in other questions (for example).
  • Many USB-C power cords are marginal for use with an RPi 4 when it has peripherals (incl USB peripherals) connected. The reason for this is simple "laws of electricity" : As the RPi 4 draws more current through the power cord, the voltage drop across the conductors increases. The result is that the voltage available to the RPi decreases to the point at which low voltage warnings are triggered - or in severe cases, cause the RPi to shut down. Depending on your particular setup, this may be remedied through the use of a powered hub, but that may not accommodate your objective of a single cable. Again - reviewing available information online is to your benefit.

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