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cat5 cable?

Started by Dodgerblu, January 20, 2018, 06:22:43 PM

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0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

jnealand

I would never use solid just because it is brittle and stiff.  So when you are putting up and taking down cables over years of use stranded seems to be the better choice and is recommended by all folks who have been doing this for years.  Don't save pennies on a thousand dollar plus display and risk failure that can take your show down.  but it is your choice and solid will work fine.  Solid is used primarily inside walls and conduit where once it is installed is never moved.  All patch cords are stranded.  Get the picture.
Jim Nealand
Kennesaw, GA all Falcon controllers, all 12v Master Remote Multisync with Pi and BBB P10 and P5

abrianbaker

I would absolutely use stranded.  I made the mistake of using solid years ago and it seems that every year I am having to replace them because the brittle wire broke mid-run. Yes it costs a little more however it is absolutely worth the cost.  Also the stranded winds up easier as well.

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algerdes

Experience taught me to use stranded.  Too many solid lines broken at the weirdest times.
Sequencers: Vixen3 and xLights
Players: FPP and xSchedule Controllers:  Renards - SS24/SS16; E1.31 - San Devices E682 - Falcon F16, F4, F48 - J1Sys - DIYLEDExpress E1.31 Bridges.  Much more!

jhoybs

The main thing about stranded is it's flexibility - especially at low temperatures.  A single, solid conductor is way easier to break.
Jim H - Muskego, WI
Falcon F16v3, F4v3, PiCap, FPPs. Lynx Expresses, xLights

JonB256

I must be too gentle on my cables. In 12 years of lighting, I have yet to break a solid conductor CAT5 wire. It is what I use for custom made long runs.
For short "patch" cables, I just buy stranded from Monoprice.

I do always coil them up "gaffer" or "roadie" style where you alternate directions as you make fairly large loops. It keeps the cables from building in twists. Especially useful with very expensive mult-strand DMX cables but good for CAT5 and even extension cords.
Long time Falcon, FPP and xLights user

k6ccc

I also was wondering what you people are doing to your cables to cause mid span breaks.  Like JonB, I have NEVER had a solid wire Cat-5 cable break in 20+ years of field deployments despite tossing cables through trees, over light poles, along barbed wire fences, laying in the dirt and rocks.  These cable were routinely removed from service, stored, and re-deployed at some other location.  The only exception was an overhead span that someone drove a truck through and ripped the cable in the middle - can't blame that on the cable!  I have had connectors get physically damaged in repeated rough handling, but never had a cable break.  The most common failure being the locking tab on the connector gets broken off so the connector wont stay plugged in.  Replace the connector and back in service.  See photos below taken at a fire camp of some the temporary Cat-5 cables .

Using LOR (mostly SuperStar) for all sequencing - using FPP only to drive P5 and P10 panels.
My show website:  http://newburghlights.org

Jim

larryk5

Looks like I may have to experiment a little! I understand brittle, but I'm in southern Florida and cold is not a problem, 86 on February 6th!

abrianbaker

I guess my brittle comment was just meaning that a single 24 gauge wire would tend to break if not handled properly. Probably a YMMV situation. 

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algerdes

Winter here cannot make up its mind.  Freeze, Thaw, Freeze, Thaw.  Add to that animals (deer, dogs, humans, etc.) walking through the site - and you can see where damage to the lines can come from.  All our cables are on the ground.

In all these years, the only cable problems I have had were with solid core breaking a core or two.  Once I changed to stranded, I've had zero problems. I also now use outdoor rated.  Big difference.


As stated by others, YMMV.  Mine is with stranded.
Sequencers: Vixen3 and xLights
Players: FPP and xSchedule Controllers:  Renards - SS24/SS16; E1.31 - San Devices E682 - Falcon F16, F4, F48 - J1Sys - DIYLEDExpress E1.31 Bridges.  Much more!

MrTeaIOT

Is stranded and solid cables for power or data?  All network Cat5/6 cable are solid with 8 conductor and 23/24 gauge.  I never seen one that is stranded.  For power wire you can use 18/16 Gauge Solid stranded with 2 conductors.  When I compare Amazon versus Monoprice, the Amazon is cheaper price because including shipping.. I am ready to start this summer with F16v3 and Pi3 player this year.   I found some good prices on the Pixels LED from China and Amazon sellers.  8)

k6ccc

Quote from: MrTeaIOT on February 07, 2018, 12:13:35 PM
Is stranded and solid cables for power or data?  All network Cat5/6 cable are solid with 8 conductor and 23/24 gauge.  I never seen one that is stranded.  For power wire you can use 18/16 Gauge Solid stranded with 2 conductors.  When I compare Amazon versus Monoprice, the Amazon is cheaper price because including shipping.. I am ready to start this summer with F16v3 and Pi3 player this year.   I found some good prices on the Pixels LED from China and Amazon sellers.  8)

Your statement that all network cables are slid is incorrect.  You can buy then with either solid or stranded wire.  As a general rule of thumb, most Cat-5 cables installed in building distribution is solid.  The theory is that once installed, it never moves and it is less expensive.  When you're wiring a large building and buying cable by the mile, the cost difference can be quite a bit.  However generally stranded cable is used for applications that will get moved a lot.  For example, patch cables in a terminal closet, the patch cable going from the wall jack to a PC or phone.  As I said above, personally I only use solid and have never had a cable failure.

For power wires, I recommend against solid wire because at the larger conductor sizes used for power (commonly 12 - 18 AWG for our purposes), solid wire is less flexible.  This in theory does make it more likely to break, but the far bigger issue is that it's just harder to work with because it does not bend as well.

Just for whatever it's worth, I started with computer controlled lighting (used year round) in the early stage of a major front yard landscaping project.  As a result, there is almost a quarter mile of PVC conduit under the lawn.  That conduit has 120 Volt AC power, Ethernet LAN, RS-485 network (LOR networks), line level audio, video over Cat-5, 5, 12, & 24 Volt DC power (both supply and downstream of DC lighting controllers).  Except for the Cat-5 which is solid, most of the rest is stranded simply because it's easier to pull through conduit (stranded doesn't push through conduit very well however).  And before someone asks, no, I don't have 120V AC power and low voltage stuff in the same conduit.  It was all done to U.S. National Electrical Code and was permitted and inspected by my city.

Using LOR (mostly SuperStar) for all sequencing - using FPP only to drive P5 and P10 panels.
My show website:  http://newburghlights.org

Jim

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