Cat5 cable

kane

Dedicated elf
Joined
Dec 23, 2010
Messages
1,033
Location
Trigg (Northern suburbs of Perth)
Someone mentioned a while back that there are quite different levels of quality with Cat5e cable, and that some are much more susceptible to being damaged, especially by the cable being kinked while running it. Does anyone know more about this, and what to look out for when purchasing?

Also, when purchasing crimps, is there a difference in quality with these?

I bought a 500m of grey cat5e a couple years ago, and a heap of crimps off ebay. Even when running small cables, I sometimes need a few attempts to get the cable to test okay.. I don't recall having the same issues in the past.

Any helpful hints?
 

fasteddy

I have C.L.A.P
Global moderator
Joined
Apr 26, 2010
Messages
6,645
Location
Albion Park NSW
Kane said:
Someone mentioned a while back that there are quite different levels of quality with Cat5e cable, and that some are much more susceptible to being damaged, especially by the cable being kinked while running it. Does anyone know more about this, and what to look out for when purchasing?

Also, when purchasing crimps, is there a difference in quality with these?

I bought a 500m of grey cat5e a couple years ago, and a heap of crimps off ebay. Even when running small cables, I sometimes need a few attempts to get the cable to test okay.. I don't recall having the same issues in the past.

Any helpful hints?
The main difference is the use of solid core as oppsed to stranded core. The solid core is more susceptable to damage when kinked or being moved around as this is generally designed for permanent installations. The stranded cat5 cable is more expensive but is designed for use with patch cables and is much more durable in non permanent installations like our displays
 

AAH

I love blinky lights :)
Community project designer
Joined
Dec 27, 2010
Messages
3,598
Location
Eaglehawk
There are 2 basic types of cat5 cable. There's single strand which is used for internal wiring in walls etc or there's stranded which is used for patch cables etc. As the Chrissy lights aren't fixed it is always the stranded type cable that should be used. I don't know that there is much difference in the actual crimp plugs but there is in the crimpers. The plugs themselves are actually a bit hard to measure with a multimeter as the pins are a bit hard to reach unless you have a really fine tip. An actual cat5 tester or some sort of breakout tester would be the way to go if you're going to do lots.
 

kane

Dedicated elf
Joined
Dec 23, 2010
Messages
1,033
Location
Trigg (Northern suburbs of Perth)
AAH said:
There are 2 basic types of cat5 cable. There's single strand which is used for internal wiring in walls etc or there's stranded which is used for patch cables etc. As the Chrissy lights aren't fixed it is always the stranded type cable that should be used. I don't know that there is much difference in the actual crimp plugs but there is in the crimpers. The plugs themselves are actually a bit hard to measure with a multimeter as the pins are a bit hard to reach unless you have a really fine tip. An actual cat5 tester or some sort of breakout tester would be the way to go if you're going to do lots.
Thanks Alan and Eddy - I was thinking that the stranded stuff might be better, so will get some of that. I'm getting fed up with failed cables - much better to spend a bit more on the wire upfront which will save me a lot of time.

I do have a little cat5 tester which I've had for years and works well - a little unit that plugs into each end with 8 leds, one for each wire - very quick to let me know that I've done a crap job and need to start again!
 

David_AVD

Really old (now a Grandpa)
Community project designer
Generous elf
Joined
Jun 12, 2010
Messages
4,223
Location
Victoria Point (Brisbane)
Some RJ45 plugs are for solid cable, some are for stranded cable and some will work with both types. Some of the el-cheapo RJ45 plugs are just plain crappy and will never work 100% with any wire type!
 

kane

Dedicated elf
Joined
Dec 23, 2010
Messages
1,033
Location
Trigg (Northern suburbs of Perth)
David_AVD said:
Some RJ45 plugs are for solid cable, some are for stranded cable and some will work with both types. Some of the el-cheapo RJ45 plugs are just plain crappy and will never work 100% with any wire type!
And the important question, when purchasing, how do you determine which are the crappy ones?
 

David_AVD

Really old (now a Grandpa)
Community project designer
Generous elf
Joined
Jun 12, 2010
Messages
4,223
Location
Victoria Point (Brisbane)
Kane said:
And the important question, when purchasing, how do you determine which are the crappy ones?
Buying them from a local supplier (Jaycar, Altronics, Haymans, etc) should keep you away from the nasty stuff. I think some people buy RJ45's for $2.00 / 100 including postage and wonder why they have so much trouble. ???

A proper crimping too is also essential. (not a $5 special)
 

JPB

Full time elf
Joined
May 13, 2010
Messages
345
Location
Glenwood
The solid conductor cable should be okay for our use. Most of my display is using solid conductor because that is what I normally have in the van.

If you are having touble with failed cables I would be looking more at the plugs and the crimper. While the stranded cable is more flexible and can be moved around a lot more before failing, for the amount of movement our cables get the solid should be fine.

Jon
 
Top