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Shock through Cat5


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My dad wanted me to ask this question. He was wondering if their was any need of having a surge protector on ur Cat5 cable? This might not make any sense but this is the best i can explain it.

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Chad

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I see no way that you going to get high voltage on CAT5 cable unless your running it up a tree and you have lightning. Typically CAT5 is only used for low voltage and is just laying on the ground and wont see any power surges.

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You will not get shocked. Just to make it simple to understand, it is a digital signal, meaning is runs off of 5 volts DC.

Now the problem may be the conversion from the circuit board to run your AC lights.

You need to be careful on that side of the circuit board.

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I do not know that much about the circut but, Dan had said that if their was a certain part malfunctioning you would get line voltage to your computer serial port! (ouch) Also while reading th DIY manuel their looks to be an resistor that needs to be in the right place because of this. Also I think Dan's products are safe and not have to worry about the surge! Also those surge protectors add interfereance and might not be good for the LOR signal!




--Daniel L

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Years ago (when Quake II came out) we accidentally had AC line voltage on a coax network cable. Traced it back to a failed (but still functional!) network card passing it from the PC it was installed in.

So, it is possible to have line voltage on a network (CAT5) cable, but unlikely. Something has to be broken or set up wrong.

You will have signal level power present on any copper wire passing signal (such as video or audio, anaolog or digital), but it is typically insignificant compared to AC line-level voltage.

Moving Target in NC

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movtarget wrote:

Years ago (when Quake II came out) we accidentally had AC line voltage on a coax network cable. Traced it back to a failed (but still functional!) network card passing it from the PC it was installed in.

So, it is possible to have line voltage on a network (CAT5) cable, but unlikely. Something has to be broken or set up wrong.

There is NO way that line voltage can be passed through a card slot. The power supplies in PC's are switching type and are isolated from the line input. On a fully functioning PC the most you could get is 12 volts DC.
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ErnieHorning wrote:

movtarget wrote:
Years ago (when Quake II came out) we accidentally had AC line voltage on a coax network cable. Traced it back to a failed (but still functional!) network card passing it from the PC it was installed in.

So, it is possible to have line voltage on a network (CAT5) cable, but unlikely. Something has to be broken or set up wrong.

There is NO way that line voltage can be passed through a card slot. The power supplies in PC's are switching type and are isolated from the line input. On a fully functioning PC the most you could get is 12 volts DC.

I agree with you, was not coming from the card slot, but from direct contact between the coax network card and the power supply.

One of the board components (cap, resistor, etc., don't remember now) was disconnected and a 'leg' sticking out, coming in contact with the power supply. It was a unique event. After we opened it up and pulled the card out, couldn't tell whether the stray leg was sticking into the power supply through a vent slot (and therefore contacting a line input) or just contacting the power supply housing (which should NOT have been energized). If the second were the case, we would likely point to the 40-year-old house wiring as having a wrongly wired outlet (yikes!).

We had extra PCs, so we pulled that guys machine off-line and didn't worry about it. 15 of us spent the next 11 hours in a major frag-fest, and by the next session some months later, we had all converted to 10-baseT.

Back to my "something has to be broken or set up wrong (including line voltage where it shouldn't be)"

BTW, I have seen CAT5 used as a power carrier on purpose, not up to code, or recommended, but it worked for his installation.

Moving Target in NC
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If you are worried, a number of places do sell protection but from my observations it looks to be well protected. A transformer failure is not likely and the triacs appear to be optically isolated via a MOC. I could be wrong as my order has not arrived, just going by pictures at this point.

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