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Cat6a shielding connected via wall plates

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James Hampshire-Perks:
Hi All,

I'm installing some cat6a lines in our venue, to be used for audio console (M32) to stage box (DL32) and any other application that requires network lines from FOH to stage.

I have thought of a potential issue with my current setup and am just seeking some advise as to whether or not problems my arise.

I have 2 cat6a lines both terminating at neutrik cta6a feedthrough connectors, these are mounted on a steel wall plate (plug box cover) both ends. Being steel this connects the shields of the two cable runs via the housing of the connectors.

So if one line was being used for FOH audio to stage box and another for lighting or a video application, their shields would be connected. This sounds like a bad thing in my brain.

Any thoughts appreciated.

Mac Kerr:

--- Quote from: drumtastik on September 13, 2020, 03:49:41 am ---Hi All,

I'm installing some cat6a lines in our venue, to be used for audio console (M32) to stage box (DL32) and any other application that requires network lines from FOH to stage.

I have thought of a potential issue with my current setup and am just seeking some advise as to whether or not problems my arise.

I have 2 cat6a lines both terminating at neutrik cta6a feedthrough connectors, these are mounted on a steel wall plate (plug box cover) both ends. Being steel this connects the shields of the two cable runs via the housing of the connectors.

So if one line was being used for FOH audio to stage box and another for lighting or a video application, their shields would be connected. This sounds like a bad thing in my brain.

Any thoughts appreciated.

--- End quote ---

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Mac
Admin

Erik Jerde:

--- Quote from: James Hampshire-Perks on September 13, 2020, 03:49:41 am ---Hi All,

I'm installing some cat6a lines in our venue, to be used for audio console (M32) to stage box (DL32) and any other application that requires network lines from FOH to stage.

I have thought of a potential issue with my current setup and am just seeking some advise as to whether or not problems my arise.

I have 2 cat6a lines both terminating at neutrik cta6a feedthrough connectors, these are mounted on a steel wall plate (plug box cover) both ends. Being steel this connects the shields of the two cable runs via the housing of the connectors.

So if one line was being used for FOH audio to stage box and another for lighting or a video application, their shields would be connected. This sounds like a bad thing in my brain.

Any thoughts appreciated.

--- End quote ---

I canít be sure without an exact part number but it looks like the cat6a products donít have the ability to defeat the panel ground connection like the D series ethercon products do.  Thatís a bummer.

Given the x/m32 ground issues and how itís becoming more common to use shielded catx for analog snakes Iíd have some concerns about common ground across systems as well.

If youíre committed to the cat6a rated connectors you could try a wrap of etape along with one of the colored plastic rings and effect a DIY isolation.

If youíre not committed to those connectors just swap for the ones with selectable panel ground bond.  If youíve got a proper cable qualifier you could even test to see what sort of actual impact it has.  It would be interesting to see the effect of the lower rated connectors in real world use vs the cat6a.

Russell Ault:
If audio power uses an isolated ground in your building and other departments don't I could see the potential for ground loops if audio is using one network line and, say, lighting is using the other (since you'd basically be tying your isolated ground to the building's ground through the shields of those two Ethernet cables).

If everyone is using the same power ground then I'm not sure I see why there'd be a problem? IIRC, the AES50 shielding weirdness with the X32 platform is all about using the shell on the EtherCON connector to make sure that all the parts of the EtherCON that should be tied to ground actually are. My sense is that adding a few extra grounding points on the cable's shield shouldn't cause any (additional) problems (as long as this doesn't cause ground loops, anyway).

-Russ

Chrysander 'C.R.' Young:

--- Quote from: James Hampshire-Perks on September 13, 2020, 03:49:41 am ---Hi All,

I'm installing some cat6a lines in our venue, to be used for audio console (M32) to stage box (DL32) and any other application that requires network lines from FOH to stage.

I have thought of a potential issue with my current setup and am just seeking some advise as to whether or not problems my arise.

I have 2 cat6a lines both terminating at neutrik cta6a feedthrough connectors, these are mounted on a steel wall plate (plug box cover) both ends. Being steel this connects the shields of the two cable runs via the housing of the connectors.

So if one line was being used for FOH audio to stage box and another for lighting or a video application, their shields would be connected. This sounds like a bad thing in my brain.

Any thoughts appreciated.

--- End quote ---

Why Cat6a?  That stuff is heavier, thicker, more expensive, and harder to work with than other options and is way overkill for your needs.  For M32/X32, Cat5e with Ethercon is the right answer. 

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