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Cable for E1.31 Data Transfer and power

Discussion in 'Computers, Cabling & Other Miscellaneous Hardware' started by rvenegas, Feb 11, 2016.

  1. rvenegas

    rvenegas Apprentice Elf

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    This is the case, i got one box with 300 mts of CAT 5e cable, i'm wondering if i can use it to Connect my controllers to pixels strips.
    I want to use my Cat 5E since i already use CAT 6 cable in my office and home.
     
  2. fasteddy

    fasteddy I have C.L.A.P Global Moderator Generous Elf

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    Do you want to use this for power, if so then the standard CAT 5 current capacity per core is approx. 1 amp which is not enough to power full strips or strings. You can double up and triple up the cores to get more current but this can be very risky as most CAT 5 cable is solid core and can easily break a core and thus overloading the other cores. In severe cases this could lead to overheating and fire, so I'm not a big fan of people using network cable for loads that are greater than what a single core can take
     
  3. i13

    i13 Senior Elf

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    I have only seen it demonstrated with coaxial cable but I'm quite sure you can use CAT5 cable to transfer WS2811/WS2812B data long distances from some types of controllers. As Fasteddy explained, it won't be much use for power distribution.

    Please give some more information about your setup. What particular controller are you using? Which particular pixels? How far do you want between the controller and first pixel?
     
  4. multicast

    multicast Senior Elf Generous Elf

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    680mA. Properly construted Power over Ethernet will let you get 90W, safely.. Your using all four pairs for power then. and data gets over the top of that. It works really well. Come to one of the minis and and i'll show you how our Patent Pending Power over Ethernet Lighting Technology works.
     
  5. fasteddy

    fasteddy I have C.L.A.P Global Moderator Generous Elf

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    Im not saying this is a bad idea overall, but for DIY and the reasons DIYers want to use it can be a bad idea because it is very different to a commercial application as you say 2 very important words here 'properly constructed' and the main reason someone wants to use CAT5 cable is to save some money where they use cheaper low efficient LEDs with cheap solid core CAT5 in a system that get pulled down every season

    But a good example of a recent large installation done by Phillips using POE can be seen here http://www.ledinside.com/lighting/2016/1/philips_upgrades_us_university_campus_with_led_lighting_system_powered_over_Ethernet

    So you are correct in saying a properly constructed system can do this but this is currently outside the realms of most DIYers. But I may have to take up your invite and take a closer look at your new POE system
     
  6. OP
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    rvenegas

    rvenegas Apprentice Elf

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    Well, the distance will be around 6 meters. I will use around 180 2811 12V pixels in a window frame. The Controler in that part of the house will be a P12r. However, if CAT5e works well, maybe i will use in my whole display as data/ground wiring since i got 300 meters available.
     
  7. OP
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    rvenegas

    rvenegas Apprentice Elf

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    I whish i could visit one of your minis. I Live in the other side of the planet (Venezuela).
     
  8. fasteddy

    fasteddy I have C.L.A.P Global Moderator Generous Elf

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    Perfect for data but not for ground because the ground carries the same load as the + power because the ground acts as the return path for the current
     
  9. i13

    i13 Senior Elf

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    The Cat5 or Cat5e is for connecting the data and ground to the controller. Don't use it to connect the ground to the power supply and don't use it to power the lights through a controller.

    Unfortunately J1sys controllers including the P12R are not good at sending the data long distances but 6 metres with Cat5e would be worth a try. Have a null pixel handy because there may be more interference when you actually put the display up compared to bench testing. I'm quite confident that you'll only need one null pixel for that distance.

    I thought there was a modification where you replace some resistors on the controller and get significantly better distances with certain cables including Cat5e but please find out more before going ahead, trying to do this and voiding the warranty.

    Also note that the P12R is limited to 170 pixels per output.
     
  10. OP
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    rvenegas

    rvenegas Apprentice Elf

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    Thanks i13, it is clear for me now. No Cat5e for power, only for data transfer. regarding any electronic modification to controller, i really suck soldering. i will keep at hand a couple of pixels to use them as null if necesary.
     
  11. scamper

    scamper Senior Elf

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    I used cat5 for my display last year, for data, it worked well up to 10m was my longest run and not a hiccup in sight.
    Yes you need to run power, but as you often need to power inject anyway, there is no problem with that.
    I am toying with the idea of digging in a permanent data cable to run to 2 way points in my yard so I don't have the problem of rolling the cables up each year, but I will see how I go with time next spring.
     
  12. drakky

    drakky Full Time Elf

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    where would I find the modification?
     

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