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Author Topic: Using existing multipair cable for CAT6 run  (Read 4605 times)

Jim Coleman

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Using existing multipair cable for CAT6 run
« on: October 21, 2013, 02:54:11 am »

I have been looking into the new Whirlwind Data Snake line.  I really like the idea of having a pair of CAT6 cables bundled with several analogue lines for intercom, and other assorted stuff.

I have already a ton of really beautiful Canare Star Quad DT12 snakes that until recently we used for our drive snakes.  Canare provides lots of information on their cable.  Data transmission specs do not seem to be on their list

Is it possible to modify a piece of my old Canare snake to carry 2 CAT6 runs?  Does Cat6 dislike separate shielded twisted pairs?.  I get that stuffing 8 25 AWG lines in an RJ45 connector may not be feasable, but I like a good experimental challenge.  Has anybody experimented with such?  Is my idea to recycle some really great cable misguided?

Any thoughts, information?
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Ryan C. Davis

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Re: Using existing multipair cable for CAT6 run
« Reply #1 on: October 21, 2013, 03:13:12 am »

I have been looking into the new Whirlwind Data Snake line.  I really like the idea of having a pair of CAT6 cables bundled with several analogue lines for intercom, and other assorted stuff.

I have already a ton of really beautiful Canare Star Quad DT12 snakes that until recently we used for our drive snakes.  Canare provides lots of information on their cable.  Data transmission specs do not seem to be on their list

Is it possible to modify a piece of my old Canare snake to carry 2 CAT6 runs?  Does Cat6 dislike separate shielded twisted pairs?.  I get that stuffing 8 25 AWG lines in an RJ45 connector may not be feasable, but I like a good experimental challenge.  Has anybody experimented with such?  Is my idea to recycle some really great cable misguided?

Any thoughts, information?

I do know that the twists per inch vary from pair to pair. I don't know fore certain the answer to your question but I'm going to say that if it does work you'd be talking about greatly reduced data rates....
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Ryan Davis

Bob Leonard

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Re: Using existing multipair cable for CAT6 run
« Reply #2 on: October 21, 2013, 07:50:34 am »

Jim,
One critical property of any cable carrying data via Ethernet is the impedance, related directly to the number of twists per inch and proximity of the wire pairs to one and another. Newer CAT5e and CAT6 Ethernet cable will have an interior spacer designed to guarantee proper electrical specifications.
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BOSTON STRONG........
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I did a gig for Otis Elevator once. Like every job, it had it's ups and downs.

Josh Hana

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Re: Using existing multipair cable for CAT6 run
« Reply #3 on: October 21, 2013, 09:24:44 am »

I made a prototype pair of adapters for Cat5 to XLR to run down our snake and then back to Cat5 at FOH. Doesn't matter that it's Cat5 since it's coming from a computer straight to the router on the stage side, so anything on the other side of the router can be Cat6 or anything else.

It works as long as the snake run is about 300ft or less. I tried it in our 350ft drive snake and get no connection. Technically it should be 333ft max, but I'm guessing there is a little bit of loss in this setup.

In simple 10baseT wiring, only 2 pair of the ethernet cable are actually in use, so it was fairly simple to pull each pair to pins 2 and 3 on the XLR.
Here's a photo. Not pretty but it gets the job done for now.
http://i.imgur.com/xZuMZiF.jpg
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Mac Kerr

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Re: Using existing multipair cable for CAT6 run
« Reply #4 on: October 21, 2013, 09:45:46 am »

Is it possible to modify a piece of my old Canare snake to carry 2 CAT6 runs?

No. You an modify the cable, with some effort as the individual cores will not fit in an RJ45 type connector, but it will not be Cat6, and it will probably not even be Cat5. It will probably be Cat3 or below. The physical specifications and requirements for Category 5 cable are quite tight, and cable not designed to meet them will not. Category 6 is a more constrained spec than Cat5, and is strict enough that it is often recommended that the connections not be made by anyone but an experienced operator with specific tools.

There are data types that can be run over category type cable that do not require that type spec and will work OK. Equipment that specifies Cat5e or Cat6 will not be reliable, if it works at all.

Mac
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kristianjohnsen

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Re: Using existing multipair cable for CAT6 run
« Reply #5 on: October 21, 2013, 09:51:49 am »

I made a prototype pair of adapters for Cat5 to XLR to run down our snake and then back to Cat5 at FOH. Doesn't matter that it's Cat5 since it's coming from a computer straight to the router on the stage side, so anything on the other side of the router can be Cat6 or anything else.

It works as long as the snake run is about 300ft or less. I tried it in our 350ft drive snake and get no connection. Technically it should be 333ft max, but I'm guessing there is a little bit of loss in this setup.

In simple 10baseT wiring, only 2 pair of the ethernet cable are actually in use, so it was fairly simple to pull each pair to pins 2 and 3 on the XLR.
Here's a photo. Not pretty but it gets the job done for now.
http://i.imgur.com/xZuMZiF.jpg

I would most likely have soldered a CAT->5pin XLR cable and then made a 5pin XLR->2x3pin XLR adapter using mic cable, to make the adaptors more durable.

That said, I'm thinking even a wireless connection probably is more reliable than the "network-over-mic-cable" scheme in the first place.  And Cat5 is ridiculously inexpensive if you get the home-brand stuff...
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Josh Hana

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Re: Using existing multipair cable for CAT6 run
« Reply #6 on: October 21, 2013, 02:09:32 pm »

I would most likely have soldered a CAT->5pin XLR cable and then made a 5pin XLR->2x3pin XLR adapter using mic cable, to make the adaptors more durable.

That said, I'm thinking even a wireless connection probably is more reliable than the "network-over-mic-cable" scheme in the first place.  And Cat5 is ridiculously inexpensive if you get the home-brand stuff...

We did end up making a long cat5 to run to FOH, but we rarely use it. I figure even if it's not exactly 0% packet loss, I'm only using it for system processor control and monitoring, I'm not actually sending any audio up or down the line, so a few hiccups aren't the end of the world. I've had more issues with our wireless at ~75ft from stage and 500 people between the points than with the cat5 adaptors down the snake
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kristianjohnsen

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Re: Using existing multipair cable for CAT6 run
« Reply #7 on: October 21, 2013, 04:35:33 pm »

We did end up making a long cat5 to run to FOH, but we rarely use it. I figure even if it's not exactly 0% packet loss, I'm only using it for system processor control and monitoring, I'm not actually sending any audio up or down the line, so a few hiccups aren't the end of the world. I've had more issues with our wireless at ~75ft from stage and 500 people between the points than with the cat5 adaptors down the snake

Good toknow!  I'm always weary of wifi stuff at gigs.
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Cosmo

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Re: Using existing multipair cable for CAT6 run
« Reply #8 on: October 21, 2013, 05:59:43 pm »


Good toknow!  I'm always weary of wifi stuff at gigs.

Kristian, did you mean weary or wary?  Not bashing your English skills by any means, you do much better than most people I work with.  A co-worker of mine often combines "leery" and "wary" and comes up with "weary."  This may be what happened here.

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If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer.  Let him step to the music he hears, however measured or far away.  - H.D. Thoreau

kristianjohnsen

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Re: Using existing multipair cable for CAT6 run
« Reply #9 on: October 22, 2013, 03:48:14 am »

Kristian, did you mean weary or wary?  Not bashing your English skills by any means, you do much better than most people I work with.  A co-worker of mine often combines "leery" and "wary" and comes up with "weary."  This may be what happened here.

That's fine, Cosmo and thanks.

I had to google to see, and I meant wary.  But that's only to avoid getting very weary after the show.
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ProSoundWeb Community

Re: Using existing multipair cable for CAT6 run
« Reply #9 on: October 22, 2013, 03:48:14 am »


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