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Cat5 vs. Cat3(phone)


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Just wondering if there's an advantage to using one over the other. I can do either method just as easily, so maybe it just doesn't matter.

Still waiting on my LOR to show up, but if I'm all ready to roll than the install should hopefully be quick.

-Eric

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Not really, for our purposes. In theory, Cat 5 will handle the signal better (RS485 is designed to work with twisted pairs, and standard flat phone cable is not twisted). But Dan said he had several thousand feet of flat phone cable connecting bunches of LOR boxes with no issues. Right now we use all flat Cat 3 -- for a few hundred feet in a standard display it really doesn't matter.

If I had to start over, I'd probably buy a big spool of Cat 5 and make my own cables. One of the primary reasons I went with Cat 3 is it was much cheaper to buy jacks for the boxes (I didn't like the idea of having to go inside the box to hook up com cables) but I've since recanted and now I like the idea of having those connections protected from the weather.

-Tim

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If you want to spare some expense, you CAN use CAT3 network cable (the older stuff that might be hard to find and ws good up to 10 Mbps networking) and it's probably just as good as CAT5. It's twisted, just not as tightly. There are also RJ-45 Jacks and plugs that are NOT rated CAT5 which would work just fine. In fact some of my custom CAT5 cables for my home network use NON-CAT5 rated connectors. They also may be harder to fine, but should be out there.

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I'll add that I just made up a 100' Cat3 cable (4 wire station cable actually.. but sold and advertised by Home Depot as Cat3). I put RJ11 connectors on it and fired up the MegaTree last night .. All is working fine

Its not my 1st choice for wire, but it'll do for now ... Once I get settled on where the show computer will live, I'll make a better cable for it.

-- Bob

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Bob_Moody wrote:

Its not my 1st choice for wire, but it'll do for now ... Once I get settled on where the show computer will live, I'll make a better cable for it.

There's really no need. If it's working, it's working :P. LOR is set up to handle Cat 3 just fine.

-Tim
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Great. Thanks for the help everyone. I'll just go with the easiest/cheapest method. I'm pretty sure we've got a 1000' roll of cat5 at work that nobody will miss a few feet from.

-Eric

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This is the lowest price for a cable supplier I have found:

http://www.infinity-cable.com/

We buy all of our cables at work from them, easier and cheaper than making a bunch patch cords, and how can you go wrong with $10.00 for 100' factory made cord. Only thing is a minimum order of $50.00 ($5.00 handling charge for under 100.00) but maybe a good group buy item.

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