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Cat5 cable, or Phone line


lightzilla
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This is a question for those who live in very cold climate. Is phone cable good to use in the very cold temperatures, or should I go with the outdoor cat 5 cable? Ivory colour.

We had 3 straight weeks of very cold temps....around {minus 34C} which is about {minus 30F}......even down around {minus 38F} for a few daytime lows.....at that time I was using AL controllers......but the normal cat5 cable just about 3 days before Christmas eve could stand up to the constance cold any longer, I think the boards had a rough go of it too.

This Christmas I plan to put the controllers in a box and add something like a 40 watt bulb for warmth.....but any thoughts on cat5 cable? Would cat 6 be better?

Scott

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Perhaps the quality of the cat5 cable I bought was not good. If it is good to -55C then the quality is an issue.....I think I will go with that outdoor cat5 cable and see how that works.

Wrapping it in pipe covering did cross my mine as well. Yea Daryl I forgot your in Prince George......it gets cold there.

Anyhow last year was an issue with the cat cable, and if it was not the cable then it had to be a controller screwing up the display......I did come across a faulty cat jack on 1 controller.

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Most cat 6 is thicker and stiffer when warm than cat 5... I would think that would make it even worse in the cold.

On the other hand, most cat 5 is PVC jacket, and PVC can get really brittle when cold. I wonder if maybe plenum cable, which does start stiffer, but may change less with temperature, might handle cold better..

Of course, I'm expecting that the failure mode is insulation breakage as the cable gets flexed in the wind, or otherwise.. So cable routing to minimize flex during the season may have substantial value.

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Yes we had a lot of wind this December, and yes the outer cover of the cat 5 cable did crack and twist. When I replaced it, the show ran a bit better....but 1 AL controller maintained a jack issue.

I just want things to run better for me this Christmas with my new Lor controllers.

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One thing I've started doing to protect the jacks, is wire tie the cat 5 to the inlet cords just below the controller.. That way, if someone trips on the cat 5, it can't pull on the jack to damage it. I also notice that the new LOR controllers that are factory assembled cards appear to have some glue between the jack and the card. That may help prevent some of the jack damage that occasionally happens.

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Scott,
If your making your own patch cables, use outdoor rated stranded cat5. My first year, I used solid and had nothing but problems. I then replaced everything with stranded and haven't had a problem since. Store bought RJ45 patch cords are typically rated for indoor use. I'm just about to take possession of the new house and I will be ordering a box of cat5 stranded to make the new harnesses, If you want I can send some wire to you and you can make them or give me the lengths you need and I'll make and mail them to you.

Daryl B

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I have been making Cat5 and Cat6 cables for jobs here at work. So I wont have any trouble making the cables. But due to this thread, I will surely be looking for cable that has the ability to go to low temperatures without cracking.

For those of us who will be putting together kits of the LOR boards. I recommend that you do not put the componets tight to the board. Use toothpicks to leave a little space between the componet and the board. If you do not believe me or not, but the heating up of the componets and the lead can cause stress fractures in the solder joints and thus what becomes a form of, but not really a cold solder joint. I say not really for a cold solder joint is created while soldering in the part. But this stress crack does look like a cold solder joint.

Anyway take it from an old hand and fixing stuff that just quites one day. Do your self a favor and leave a small space between the board and the componets. As for the RJ-45 jacks. put a smug of RTV adhiesive on the back of the jack. Being careful to not get any on the wire pins. And install it on the board, again leaving just a small crack of space then solder it in.

One person said that they used wire tye wraps to tie the Cat cable to the lead in cable. Not the best of ideas, could cause mutual inducted noise onto the cat cable. Try to tie to something else that is not carrying current.

Max

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grump010 wrote:

Scott,
If your making your own patch cables, use outdoor rated stranded cat5. My first year, I used solid and had nothing but problems. I then replaced everything with stranded and haven't had a problem since. Store bought RJ45 patch cords are typically rated for indoor use. I'm just about to take possession of the new house and I will be ordering a box of cat5 stranded to make the new harnesses, If you want I can send some wire to you and you can make them or give me the lengths you need and I'll make and mail them to you.

Daryl B

Well Home Depot sales the outdoor cat5 cable for $25.00 CND per 100ft.....or 500ft for $125.00.....plus $39.00 for the tool with some cat5 connections, and I can buy spare connections as well.

As for the length....if you were to make them......I would say 25ft lengths x 4, and 2 5ft length, and 2 15ft length.

Could you please look when you get moved and settled in if you have some enclosure....for the PC controllers such as we talked about before.

There is a fellow I know and I want to buy him 1 PC LOR controller and software....but I plan to buy him the board/with HD heat sinks and the wires only + software and he well need to make his own enclosure. I may even get him to buy his own wire (Christmas light cords) will work and I will give him the spade connectors to help out with the task.
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