Lots of people asking about CAT-5 for audio applications; let's consolidate them here. As this moves forward, I can add "proven solutions" to this post. *********************Proven Solutions:
I think this thread will be more useful if there is less chat, and more questions that can be answered by people who have experience with the solution they are proposing, or with the technical requirements of the cable.There are a few varieties of Category cable, CAT5, CAT5e, CAT6, CAT7, and going forward, higher categories. There are also shielded and unshielded versions of each, solid conductor, and stranded conductor, and for video, low skew versions. Most of these variations are available with "tactical" jackets or standard installation type PVC jacket. Low skew versions should only be used for analog video over CAT5 because all the pairs have the same twist rate which increases crosstalk, but reduces time smear in the video.You should also verify which wiring standard you need, there are two wiring standards for 8P8C (RJ45) connectors, TIA/EIA 568A and 568B.I don't think there is any plain CAT5 being made anymore, it would all be at least CAT5e now (I think).The standard spec of 100m (328') for Ethernet based runs is with solid conductors. Stranded conductors are often called "patch cables" because they are intended for shorter runs.If your system calls for shielded cable you will also need shielded connectors, and make sure that the shield is only connected to the shell of each connector.Because of the high bandwidth of the signal being carried there is more to testing cables than just continuity. If you are relying on Category cable for big shows you may want to get a cable analyzer. Even a kink in the cable can effect the cable performance, and that may not be easy to see with a tactical jacket.If you regularly need runs of 300' or more you should consider using an electrical to optical media convertor and going to fiber. Mac
Fancy cable is nice, but how do you know it'll actually carry all those channels?Here's what we use - tests Category cable and verifies Cat5, Cat5e, Cat6 performance. Looks like a toy, but does a solid job. Black Box TS580A.http://www.blackbox.com/Store/Detail.aspx/CAT5-5e-6-LAN-Performance-Verifier/TS580A%C4%82R4
Fancy cable is nice, but how do you know it'll actually carry all those channels?
I look at the main status and event log screens on my GLD surface, which indicate QoS or other link problems. Built-in cable tester.
Once you are set up is pretty late in the game to be testing cables. The whole console makes a clumsy tester in the shop. It's much easier to test cables while they are still coiled.Mac
Is there any reason why one would want stranded wire over solid, other than flexibility?
We have lots of people asking about CATx solutions for console connectivity applications; let's consolidate them here.
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