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Over the years, I've started to notice that the weakest link in my LOR setup is the crappy LOR green cables.  Not sure if they go bad in the deep Iowa freeze, but every year it seems I find bad cables.

What are other's using for their cables (especially those in below freezing weather)?  Are you having the same cable problems?

Jeff

 

 

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Please define 'Bad" (failure mode).

Cracks? Rusted/corroded  contacts? Broken wires?...

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Bad.  I use the cable....I get various results from hardware utility (no device detected, multiple unknown device detected , etc).

I change the cable with a new one, and instantly find my device.

This has happened regularly through the years.  My assumption is that the cold / freeze probably cracks the wires?!?

As far as root cause of the cable, who knows.  Could be all the items you mentioned. 

All I know is that by replacing the cable everything works.  Again, this has happened pretty much every year!!

I have not used any other cable supplier except using the LOR green cables. (Now I define as crappy).

Jeff

 

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43 minutes ago, christmascrossing said:

Bad.  I use the cable....I get various results from hardware utility (no device detected, multiple unknown device detected , etc).

OK, so you're talking about Cat-5 cables?

Almost all of my Cat-5 cable came in 1,000 foot boxes from monoprice.com, and I install the connectors.  In my case, LOR network cable is purple and E1.31 cable is green.  I have quite a bit that is installed year round - in conduit so it's not exposed to sun.  Here in the Los Angeles area, we certainly don't get your version of cold - heck, we haul out foul weather gear when it gets below 40 (or is it 50?).  The only Cat-5 cables that are setup for Christmas and weather exposed is about 20 feet of green cable for the pixel tree, and 50 feet of purple cable for the arches.  I've run the same cables for five and three years respectively with no issues - they get hauled out and set up this weekend for 2017.

 

Edited by k6ccc

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My guess is you are seeing the effects of failing or damaged jacks. They are relatively delicate and frequently become intermittent particularly if someone trips or snags a cable.

It is a good idea to protect all your connections with good strain relief. I pounds a one foot length of pvc. Into the ground and ziptie the cable to it

Check if the pins inside are displaced or bent. You can sometimes very carefully push them back into place with a toothpick.

Get an inexpensive cat 5 tester, less than 10 bucks on Amazon and I'll bet those cables test ok, unless really abused or damaged.

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So I assume that LOR network cable is not special (ie doesn't have different pin-outs) than regular CAT-5 cable you would use for Ethernet!?!  Somehow, when I first started this, I thought I needed to buy network cable from LOR (and kept doing that).

I think I will get a cat 5 tester, seems I'm doing more cabling these days with LOR and just home network in general. Probably a good tool to have on hand.

I do think that our severe cold weather plays a part in my frequent faults (either cable issue or connector issue).  I envy you fair weather folks.  Although I give extra credit to those folks who have to put on a show in sub-freezing weather!! :-)

Jeff

 

 

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The HU seems to have detection issues like you describe.  I threw out a CAT5 (not 5e) cable I had delegated to Slow speed (RS485) use, before I asked here.

Like K6ccc, I make most of my longer cables. I found that Platinum Tools RJ45 CAT5 connectors (and crimper) make it almost goof proof, as the wires come out the tip (before crimp-cut) and can be eyeballed for correctness

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20 minutes ago, christmascrossing said:

I think I will get a cat 5 tester, seems I'm doing more cabling these days with LOR and just home network in general. Probably a good tool to have on hand.

This is the one I bought a while back based on the recommendation of someone else here on the forum:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00OUFX38W/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o03_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

$7.99 with Prime shipping

 

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I've got the same weather issues as the OP (rain, snow, freezing rain, ice, etc..).  Unless you're using outdoor rated cable, most cat 5 simply isn't made to withstand these type of conditions.  I make my own cables and have had some issues with the outer jacket cracking (and one bad cable one time), but compared to the cost of outdoor rated cable, it's simply easier and cheaper to make a new one if I have any issues.

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There is a lot of  CCA cat 5 cable that is going around that I made the mistake of buying. It is Copper Coated Aluminum which does not hold up to our use, but they do sell the stuff rather cheap. I make my own cords also, which is cheaper and I can custom make the length I need.  I make it a point to buy good quality cable so now no more failures unless the animals eat it.

Tom

Edited by TBS99
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21 hours ago, TBS99 said:

There is a lot of  CCA cat 5 cable that is going around that I made the mistake of buying. It is Copper Coated Aluminum which does not hold up to our use, but they do sell the stuff rather cheap. I make my own cords also, which is cheaper and I can custom make the length I need.  I make it a point to buy good quality cable so now no more failures unless the animals eat it.

Tom

I doubt LOR is selling CCA cat 5 cable.  They're a better company than that.

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1 hour ago, jfuller8400 said:

I doubt LOR is selling CCA cat 5 cable.  They're a better company than that.

My green LOR cables are not CCA . But I did buy some cables for a very good price from the internet that ended up being CCA which the seller did not specify. They all failed during the show.  I decided to make my own after that. The LOR cable I got from them I have not used. Yes they are a better company than that to sell us CCA cables.

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I was able to buy and receive today (on Sunday, Amazon is amazing) a CAT 5 cable tester.

Thanks for the suggestion!

I was able to verify that what I thought were bad cables (sorry LOR), were in fact good.

It does seem that my RJ45 connector is probably the culprit.  Like was said before, I probably need to protect the jack from unwanted forces due to the cable.

Thanks for the input !!!

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Absolutely correct - We do not sell CCA CAT 5.

Our cables are a little expensive since they are high quality.  We have sold countless numbers of them, and can only recall a single instance where a customer got a bad cable OOB.  

 

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I've been using original LOR cat5 cables for many controllers since 2006 and haven't had any fail on me. Strain relief makes a big difference in snag prone areas as well.

Edited by Santas Helper

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