Cat5 cabling - will this work?

kane

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With the way I have my controllers laid out (primarily due to cable distance from controllers to first pixel), I have a pixad8 mounted in an enclosure at the top of my megatree. (5m high) I use it for the pixel star at the top of the tree, and also for a bunch of pixel strings I have on the tree..

One thing I stress about is the reliability of my rj45 connections, and usually it's not a big problem if there's an issue, as I can just re-crimp. But with my megatree, once I have it upright and all lights hanging off it, there is no way I could get up there to re-crimp. (apart from hiring a cherry picker!)

So I had a thought the other day that I could build in some redundancy, and run two cables up to the pixad8. I could then use an rj45 double adapter at the top of the tree, and plug both cables in to it, but only connect one of the cables to my hub. In the unlikely situation the first cable fails, I can just swap it over to the other cable.

It's only now that I've hooked it all up that I am thinking that there may be an issue with the plan. Given both cables are around 10m long, and are connected to the controller, but only one is connected to the hub, there may be a bunch of interference introduced??

Am I asking for trouble with this idea??

Thanks!
 

David_AVD

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I would have thought that an RJ45 double adapter and a long unterminated cable stub can't be a good thing for Ethernet.
 

kane

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David_AVD said:
I would have thought that an RJ45 double adapter and a long unterminated cable stub can't be a good thing for Ethernet.
Bummer - that's not the answer I was hoping for, although I pretty much expected it!!

Oh well, will just have to take the second one away and risk it!
 

burner

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What about just buying a 10m moulded cable from the local computer store/swap meet? This way it's a multistranded flexible cable. I've been buying a few things for my worksites from www.4cabling.com.au if that helps.
 

kane

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burner said:
What about just buying a 10m moulded cable from the local computer store/swap meet? This way it's a multistranded flexible cable. I've been buying a few things for my worksites from www.4cabling.com.au if that helps.
Yeah, I've used stranded Cat5 cable this year to reduce the chance of an accidental kink causing issues, I was just trying to be super careful and build in some redundancy.

I'll also do the same as last year, and once I have the tree upright, test that controller fully before loading up the 64 strings of lights.

(I have a different sort of tree than the standard - here's a post with what it looks like - and looking over it now, I even mentioned the issues I had last year with my cat5 (solid core) cable.
http://auschristmaslighting.com/forums/index.php/topic,1496.msg12101.html)
 

BradsXmasLights

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David_AVD said:
I would have thought that an RJ45 double adapter and a long unterminated cable stub can't be a good thing for Ethernet.
Correct - the signal will be reflected in the cable then - and will probably cause all sorts of surprises then.

I would use some PPX extenders, so you can leave the controller on the ground then (or up to 300m away!) You'd still need to run CAT5 from the PIX8+PPX transmitter to the PPX reciever, but at least you only loose one output then. (one cable per SPI output/PPX)
 

kane

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Driver said:
Correct - the signal will be reflected in the cable then - and will probably cause all sorts of surprises then.

I would use some PPX extenders, so you can leave the controller on the ground then (or up to 300m away!) You'd still need to run CAT5 from the PIX8+PPX transmitter to the PPX reciever, but at least you only loose one output then. (one cable per SPI output/PPX)
Yeah, I figured as much.

At this stage, I can't really reconfigure everything, but I'm sure it'll be fine - will just properly test before loading up the tree.

I did purchase a set of PPX extenders to play around with, but haven't actually done anything with them yet.. Would have been very handy last year instead of making up the cables with null pixels in them, but I have them made now, so easier to use those than setting up the PPX

Thanks for the information - I'm happy I thought about it before blindly going ahead with it!

Cheers

Kane
 
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