Jump to content

CAT5 Cable


George Simmons
 Share

Recommended Posts

George Simmons

Hi All,

I finally figured out how many CAT5 cables and lenghths I needed and went looking around for them yesterday. OUCH!! I guess while I wasn't paying attention the last couple of years, the prices have gone through the roof!

Does anyone have any advice where a fellow can purchase them for a reasonable price? I tried the usual culprits - Best Buy, etc, and the best price I found was at Radio Shack - which was still outrageous by my standards.

Advice anyone?

George

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Anthony in Houston

II had to use various lengths of the cat5 cables and the best solution I came up with was to putchase the cable in bulk 300 or longer bulk length and make the cables to length.

At one time Fries Electronics had th 300 foot cable bulk with crimpers and ends for $39.

I used this in my display and was able to make runs that did not waste cable. Look for a package like this at your local electronics stores.

Anthony

Ridding out hurricane Ike at work for the next 2 days and keeping fire trucks going and going like the energizer bunny.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

George Simmons wrote:

Hi All,

I finally figured out how many CAT5 cables and lenghths I needed and went looking around for them yesterday. OUCH!! I guess while I wasn't paying attention the last couple of years, the prices have gone through the roof!

Does anyone have any advice where a fellow can purchase them for a reasonable price? I tried the usual culprits - Best Buy, etc, and the best price I found was at Radio Shack - which was still outrageous by my standards.

Advice anyone?

George


I assume you dont know of any local electronics store? Locally owned stroes usually have the best deals on this stuff. I found my 100ft cord for 8.99 at my local store.

I assume you dont want to use phone cable to link your lor controlers?

I would also give newegg.com a try -

http://www.newegg.com/Store/SubCategory.aspx?SubCategory=132&name=Network-Cables

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16812189039
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Parts Express has a buy out on various lengths of patch cables. For example they have a 50 foot Cat5E snagless patch cable for $5.88, 25 foot for $3.48. Short lengths are less than $2. I stocked up on various lengths earlier this year. I have an extensive home network and use a lot of cables.

www.partsexpress.com

Go to the Wire/Cable category and look at Home A/V Cat 5/6 cables.

Howard

Link to comment
Share on other sites

RI_Pilot wrote:

Parts Express has a buy out on various lengths of patch cables. For example they have a 50 foot Cat5E snagless patch cable for $5.88, 25 foot for $3.48. Short lengths are less than $2. I stocked up on various lengths earlier this year. I have an extensive home network and use a lot of cables.

http://www.partsexpress.com

Go to the Wire/Cable category and look at Home A/V Cat 5/6 cables.

Howard


beats the pants of newegg thats for sure :D

I think my bookmark toolbar found a new button too :)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Seems that most folks here use Cat5, but for 5 seasons (going on 6) I've exclusively used flat phone cord -- the type which you can buy 50' lengths for a buck or two.

Used it with 144 channels and going possibly 1000' of wire last year, planning on adding 32 channels this year (but not much more wire as they'll drop inline).

If you want Cat5, and have anything over a couple of controllers, I'd buy bulk wire and make up your own. A good crimper runs about $50 (don't cheap out on this -- I tried and failed miserably) and you'll pay that off in just a few crimps... The Ideal brand sold at Home Depot is what I now have, and it works very well with both Cat5 and phone (most of what I've done with it is phone, although I've done some Cat5 for home networking use).

Good luck,

-Tim

Link to comment
Share on other sites

George Simmons

Thanks guys.

Tim - I've thought of using flat phone cable since I probably have enough of 'em laying around to wrap around my house two or three times. But how do you daisy-chain the controllers since they have only one receptacle for telephone cable? Do you use splitters to feed just one cable to each controller?

Howard - Thanks for the link to partsexpress. Those are the kinds of CAT5 prices I remember seeing the last time I bought any. Sheesh... Radio Shack had a price of $36 bucks for a 50' cable and proudly proclaimed they had the lowest price in town - which in my travels, they did! I'm glad I asked the question here - you've taken a big load off my mind and wallet. Hmmm... I wonder if I can parlay the "savings" on cable as an excuse for buying another controller???

George

Link to comment
Share on other sites

George Simmons wrote:

Thanks guys.

Tim - I've thought of using flat phone cable since I probably have enough of 'em laying around to wrap around my house two or three times. But how do you daisy-chain the controllers since they have only one receptacle for telephone cable? Do you use splitters to feed just one cable to each controller?

George,

The "out" jack fits either a phone or network cable, so you can daisy chain at will. The only reason LOR has two different input connectors is that phone cords are wired as "crossover" whereas standard network cables are wired straight through.

(as a bit of trivia, the original LOR boards, of which I have something like 72 channels of, had just two Cat-5 connectors, and you had to use jumpers to select "standard" or "crossover"...)

You can even mix Cat-5 and phone in the same LOR network.

-Tim
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have mixed cat5 and phone cords every year without problem. I initially used phone cord because, at the time, it was cheaper than cat5. I figured someone would trip over the cord (most likely me) and break it. Cheaper to replace a phone cord than a cat5. Each year, I buy enough cat5 to retire the phone cords, but then Dan comes up with these terrific sales each year and I end up with more controllers, so the phone cords continue to be used.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

George Simmons

Thanks Tim. Heaven forbid I should actually READ the full instruction manual...

Thanks again everyone for the info.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

George Simmons wrote:

Thanks Tim. Heaven forbid I should actually READ the full instruction manual...


If you saw my thread about how I installed eight optoisolator chips upside-down on my kit, you'll see I fully understand... :?:P

-Tim
Link to comment
Share on other sites

George Simmons

Tim or ?,

One last question. I've got nine controllers on a small city lot. From my "office" window at home where the CPU running the show is located I'll have controllers in two opposite directions - six one way and three the other. Can I feed an ordinary phone cable to the controller closest to the window and then branch out in two directions from that unit with Cat5? Or do I have to connect them all in a straight line, so to speak?

Okay, I guess that was two questions.

Thanks.

George

Link to comment
Share on other sites

George Simmons wrote:

Tim or ?,

One last question. I've got nine controllers on a small city lot. From my "office" window at home where the CPU running the show is located I'll have controllers in two opposite directions - six one way and three the other. Can I feed an ordinary phone cable to the controller closest to the window and then branch out in two directions from that unit with Cat5? Or do I have to connect them all in a straight line, so to speak?

Okay, I guess that was two questions.

Thanks.

George


With a standard interface, you're supposed to have them all in one straight chain (electrically). That's what I do, even though in a couple of places the wire goes to a controller, then the output wire doubles back on that one to get to the next physical locations...

I believe there is now a newer computer interface that has two ports on it so you can run the network in two directions -- I have no experience with it but I"m sure it works as advertised.

-Tim
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Mountainwxman wrote:

You can use a repeater that LOR has recently put on their line of accessories: http://store.lightorama.com/rsnere.html

It has one input and two outputs.



William,

I bought one of those this year, in testing with 16 controllers, works great! Gives a lot of flexibility in arranging the controllers in the yard.

Look forward to seeing you again next week at the Charlotte, NC mini. Don't forget to bring the "gasoline additive". I'm bringing plenty of red "funnels".
Link to comment
Share on other sites

George Simmons wrote:

Can I feed an ordinary phone cable to the controller closest to the window and then branch out in two directions from that unit with Cat5? Or do I have to connect them all in a straight line, so to speak?

Yes, you have to connect them all in a straight line, but the computer can be in the middle of this straight line. In other words, a RS485 (LOR) network must have exactly two ends. Many setups have one end at the computer and the other end at the "last" controller, but in your case (and in mine, by the way), it makes more sense to have one end on the controller at one end of your lot and the other end on the controller at the other end of your lot, with the computer in the middle.

Normally, if you want to put the computer in the middle, you will use the RS485 Adapter with Booster (store.lightorama.com/uscoadwivobo.html) because it has two RJ45 jacks, but both RJ45 jacks are wired in parallel, so it's possible to run two cables from one of the RS485 adapters with one RJ45, if you don't mind a messy splice.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest wbottomley

JBullard wrote:

Mountainwxman wrote:
You can use a repeater that LOR has recently put on their line of accessories: http://store.lightorama.com/rsnere.html

It has one input and two outputs.



William,

I bought one of those this year, in testing with 16 controllers, works great! Gives a lot of flexibility in arranging the controllers in the yard.

Look forward to seeing you again next week at the Charlotte, NC mini. Don't forget to bring the "gasoline additive". I'm bringing plenty of red "funnels".







John, I have 20 controllers this year. But I'm running two legs from my MP3 Director card.

Hopefully I won't need one.

The gas-a-haul will arrive safe and sound, hopefully.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Steven wrote:

so it's possible to run two cables from one of the RS485 adapters with one RJ45, if you don't mind a messy splice.


In the past, Dan's discouraged people from doing that (and that was before he sold a dual-jack option so I don't think he had alterior motives ;) ) due to potential network reliability issues. But I'm pretty sure people have gotten it working...

I'm lucky that I'm able to basically come up with a very-meandering chain of controllers. I do have one place (as I mentioned above) which is sort of an extension, where the wire runs out to two controllers, then doubles back on itself and runs the other direction... You can run a lot of extra wire before you recoup the costs of a repeater or double-jacked interface ;) (although when I eventually upgrade my ancient LOR PC I may well invest in the dual-jacked USB solution to replace my 1st-gen serial adapter...)

-Tim
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Mountainwxman wrote:

JBullard wrote:
Mountainwxman wrote:
You can use a repeater that LOR has recently put on their line of accessories: http://store.lightorama.com/rsnere.html

It has one input and two outputs.



William,

I bought one of those this year, in testing with 16 controllers, works great! Gives a lot of flexibility in arranging the controllers in the yard.

Look forward to seeing you again next week at the Charlotte, NC mini. Don't forget to bring the "gasoline additive". I'm bringing plenty of red "funnels".







John, I have 20 controllers this year. But I'm running two legs from my MP3 Director card.

Hopefully I won't need one.

The gas-a-haul will arrive safe and sound, hopefully.

I'll still use my 3 ELLs with my display, to keep from running CAT5 across the driveway and sidewalks.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

George Simmons

Does anyone know: Is the LOR repeater anything more than just a fancy splitter. The description says its powered by nearby controllers. Does that just refer to the status light or is there some kind of signal amplifier on board also?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

George Simmons wrote:

Does anyone know: Is the LOR repeater anything more than just a fancy splitter. The description says its powered by nearby controllers. Does that just refer to the status light or is there some kind of signal amplifier on board also?


The LOR repeater is an active device. Attached is an inside shot...




Attached files 157534=9116-LOR-REP-INSIDE.jpg
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...