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Using LOR CAT 5 on an existing CAT 5 home network


Brian Mahnke
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Does anyone know if a the CAT 5 conections coming out of a desktop PC for a home network, would conflict with LOR CAT 5 connections?

I was wanting to connect and run the LOR signal through my existing home network, but do not want any signal conflicts with other computers on my home newtwork.

I have tried pluging a CAT 5 cable from the Home computers CAT 5 terminal straight into an LOR board and could not receive a signal.

In an ideal world, If this is possible, I would be able to install a CAT 5 PLug on an outside wall near my Holiday display, and connect it to my home network. Then all of my home PC's as well as my LOR signal would be able to travel on the same wiring network.

Any insight would be greatly appreciated

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The LOR controllers will NOT work on an ethernet network, which is what your home network is. The protocols are COMPLETELY different, and you will not be able to plug an LOR controller into an ethernet hub and expect to have it work. You MAY even damage one or the other of the two.

D.T.

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LOR is running a RS485 serial protocol. Ethernet TCP/IP is not the same. Both use a RJ45 jack, more for ease of connectivity and because cat5 wire meets the requirements of capacitance and resistance for a RS485 network.

I have not tried this yet - but I have heard than LOR can be placed on a home automation network that uses RS485, though there might be some issues with bi-directional communication.

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You would still have issues where both systems are trying to talk at once. RS-485 does not specify how to do buss mediation. That is left to the applications. LOR probably makes no provisions to share, and if they made any, they probably would not be compatible with the home automation.

You can use cat 5 origionally run for home networking, you just can't use it for both at the same time. Well you could make special adapters so you are using two pairs for 10/100 Ethernet, and the other two for LOR, but that would be a bit of a pain, and there is some risk of interference.

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bhays wrote:

While they can't share the same network, I do recommend installing an outdoor jack on the house for the LOR connection. I did this when I first started and it is very convenient.


I did the same when I got into this. I actually have four rj45 jacks installed for my LOR network. I have a jack on my office wall then the living room wall then another on the living room wall connecting to the one on the outside wall. My biggest reason for this, is when I started this I had a 1, 2, and 4 year old running around, and a wire lying around just begged them to pick it up and try and run off with it.:shock:

Some just run the cat5 thru a window which works also.
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Dr. Jones wrote:

I have not tried this yet - but I have heard than LOR can be placed on a home automation network that uses RS485, though there might be some issues with bi-directional communication.

Good day Dr. Jones.

I work with RS-485 at work for DAQ aquiring temperature, pressure and vaccum data from production parts being processed. RS-485 protocal only allows for one master to be on the buss. All other devices have to be slaves. And the slaves do not talk unless talked to. Now with-in the protocal there are some proprietary twist in the data that is sent back and forth. Example: there is enough difference in the syntex between LOR HWU and the recommened DIO board that you can not use the LOR HWU to communicate with this DIO board.

Hope this helps

Max

BTW RS-485 vs RS232 differences is the voltagle levels of the signals 0 and 1 states. The distance between the master and last slave on the buss. Number of devices on the buss. Hands down RS-485 wins
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Max-Paul wrote:


BTW RS-485 vs RS232 differences is the voltagle levels of the signals 0 and 1 states. The distance between the master and last slave on the buss. Number of devices on the buss. Hands down RS-485 wins

RS-485 is also differential signalling. RS-232 is ground referenced, which in my mind is a much bigger difference than just the voltage levels involved... Differential signalling being responsible for much of the length, speed, and reliability benefits...
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DON'T DO IT!

In the manual it clearly states DO NOT do that because you could damage your home networking devices by introducing current where it does not belong like your network cards. The LOR controllers and their respective RJ45 jacks are not the same signal and it is not compatible with typical computer networking at all. The ONLY way you could use your existing home network wiring is if you did not have ANY computers, routers, or any other hardware on the lines. PERIOD!

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-klb- wrote:

Max-Paul wrote:

BTW RS-485 vs RS232 differences is the voltagle levels of the signals 0 and 1 states. The distance between the master and last slave on the buss. Number of devices on the buss. Hands down RS-485 wins

RS-485 is also differential signalling. RS-232 is ground referenced, which in my mind is a much bigger difference than just the voltage levels involved... Differential signalling being responsible for much of the length, speed, and reliability benefits...
klb,

you are absolutly correct and I did forget to mention that fact also.


Thanks

Max
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Duke wrote:

DON'T DO IT!

In the manual it clearly states DO NOT do that because you could damage your home networking devices by introducing current where it does not belong like your network cards. The LOR controllers and their respective RJ45 jacks are not the same signal and it is not compatible with typical computer networking at all. The ONLY way you could use your existing home network wiring is if you did not have ANY computers, routers, or any other hardware on the lines. PERIOD!
Duke that was slick. ;) I suppose if one did not have a switch at minimum on the home network, would it still be a network?

Do you or anyone know just what pair LOR are using of the 4 pairs in the CAT 5 cable? Is it possible that they are using one of the two that is not being used for regular computer network use?

Max
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Max,

"I suppose if one did not have a switch at minimum on the home network, would it still be a network?"

Yeah it would be a network of wiring even with nothing on it just like the network of AC wiring in your home or network of highways/roads.
Would it be a functioning computer network after leaving an LOR controller plugged in with PC hardware on it? Probably not. I don't think NIC's or routers like that kind of current going through them. :shock:

In regards to which pairs LOR uses, I know that LOR does not use the Orange/Orange White and Brown/Brown White.
They DO use the Blue/Blue White and Green/Green White. Their RJ45's are wired using the "B standard" configuration which is common with computer networks.

The related pins on their circuit boards ARE wired thru and I have thought of using the spares for a closed loop, low voltage, alarm system. Others have used these spares for putting stereo speakers out in the field with their controllers.

I did not use pin numbers to describe this because of the 2 different configurations.

Does that make sense?

I got a message from Dan at LOR stating that they are not planning on using these in the future so it's safe to design using these. ;)

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Duke wrote:

I did not use pin numbers to describe this because of the 2 different configurations. . . . .

The LOR units use pins 3, 4, 5 & 6 in the RJ45 connectors. The Ethernet EIA T568A and T568B cabling standards actually refer to the wire colours to each pin in the connectors, not the function of each pin. The wire colour is therefore dependant on whether you have wired both ends as "568A" or "568B". It is worth also mentioning that the specification for high speed "gigabit ethernet" actually uses all eight wires.

Regards,

Alan.
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Paul R. thanks and will take a look at it in a minute. I always get my A and B wiring mixed up as to which colors are which pin. And colors is just a standardizing that the industry uses. But I do know that it's pins 1,2,3 and 6. So, it looks like LOR uses 1 pair that eithernet uses also.

Duke, you and I buddy are on the same page. I was thinking of that same thing. Make a low voltage / current loop through all of the controllers and then when I make the end of the cable to go into my computer. Peel back the brown / brown-white leads and terminate them on a home brew alarm. Maybe in the future use these leads also on some kind of video recorder and turn on some ext. lights Only thought is that I would want to run a pair of wires over to the header if there are any pins open. Use this as the last controller loop back. modify all controllers so that any one of them could easly be configured as the last controller with a simple jumper. Again providing that there are two pins on the header that are not in use.

Max

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Max-Paul wrote:

. . . . . Only thought is that I would want to run a pair of wires over to the header if there are any pins open. Use this as the last controller loop back. modify all controllers so that any one of them could easly be configured as the last controller with a simple jumper. Again providing that there are two pins on the header that are not in use. . . . .

Alternatively, an RJ45 plug in the final unit, with the appropriate pins shorted. This would have the advangtage that it is easily movable, so any of the controllers could be the final one.

Regards,

Alan.
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Max-Paul wrote:

Paul R. thanks and will take a look at it in a minute. I always get my A and B wiring mixed up as to which colors are which pin. And colors is just a standardizing that the industry uses. But I do know that it's pins 1,2,3 and 6. So, it looks like LOR uses 1 pair that eithernet uses also.

Duke, you and I buddy are on the same page. I was thinking of that same thing. Make a low voltage / current loop through all of the controllers and then when I make the end of the cable to go into my computer. Peel back the brown / brown-white leads and terminate them on a home brew alarm. Maybe in the future use these leads also on some kind of video recorder and turn on some ext. lights Only thought is that I would want to run a pair of wires over to the header if there are any pins open. Use this as the last controller loop back. modify all controllers so that any one of them could easly be configured as the last controller with a simple jumper. Again providing that there are two pins on the header that are not in use.

Max



I was thinking of going back thru a relay with dual contacts for both states open and closed then you could do whatever you want.
To close the loop I would make a terminator from a RJ45 on the end controller as Alan said.
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Duke wrote




I was thinking of going back thru a relay with dual contacts for both states open and closed then you could do whatever you want.
To close the loop I would make a terminator from a RJ45 on the end controller as Alan said.

Giving myself a V8 smack to the forehead. Alan hit it smack on the head of the nail. Much easier way of doing it for sure. I am thinking that what ever relay you use. You are going to want a high resistance coil to keep the current draw down and a voltage that will work with a wall wart? Execlent discussion!

Max
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Max-Paul wrote:

Duke wrote



I was thinking of going back thru a relay with dual contacts for both states open and closed then you could do whatever you want.
To close the loop I would make a terminator from a RJ45 on the end controller as Alan said.

Giving myself a V8 smack to the forehead. Alan hit it smack on the head of the nail. Much easier way of doing it for sure. I am thinking that what ever relay you use. You are going to want a high resistance coil to keep the current draw down and a voltage that will work with a wall wart? Execlent discussion!

Max

You could use an el cheapo car alarm siren (12volt) in conjunction with a N.C. relay and a wall wart to power it all as well. Total cost should be about $100. Disconnecting or cutting ANY of the network cables would de-energize the coil and power would then go through the N.C. contacts on the coil sounding the siren. Only 1 pair of wires needs to be used with that method and if the coil has a second set of isolated contacts rated for 120 volt, they could be used for a high powered strobe and some flood lights. Total chaos and panic! Oh and don't forget to de-energize the system if you need to disconnect the LAN cable for any reason. Your neighbors will hate you! :D
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