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CATx connectivity solutions for digital consoles

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Doug Fowler:
We have lots of people asking about CATx solutions for console connectivity applications; let's consolidate them here. 

As this moves forward, I can add "proven solutions" to this post.

*********************

Proven Solutions:

edit: change title, reword content to reflect original intention.

Cailen Waddell:
Do you mean like this?  If not delete please...

Yamaha CL1 to two rio 16 x 8 stageboxes

Using lex products 4 channel ether con snake. http://www.lexproducts.com/cs/entertainment_product?id=461&market=Entertainment&productLineId=9&subCategoryId=103

Over 20 shows, outside, never an issue.

Samuel Rees:
Love seeing these multi CAT solutions, they seem to be less talked about but seem very useful from loungers to LABers. Digital snakes, amp networks, redundant connections, alternative networks. Link USA has a multi-cat6 and AES cable which looks awesome but expensive.

Mac Kerr:

--- Quote from: Doug Fowler on August 09, 2013, 06:30:43 pm ---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:

--- End quote ---

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

Doug Fowler:

--- Quote from: Mac Kerr on August 09, 2013, 08:45:25 pm ---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

--- End quote ---

Mac -

Mea culpa on the thread title, go ahead and change it something more appropriate. 

I was thinking more along the lines of "what specific cable / connector combination are you currently using that works?", specifically targeting all these new(ish) low priced digital consoles.  That's why I put it in the Lounge. 

We are getting a lot of questions like this, and I think it's useful to consolidate the information.  Maybe another sub forum (yeah, I know...) with specific console stickies, and "proven solutions" added over time.

Cailen's reply is pretty much what I had in mind here.  There's no reason we can't cover anything that needs CATx connectivity. 

I propose calling the forum "Console Networking" or something similar, if we do this.

This would eventually become a quite useful repository for this information.

What does everyone think?

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