500' Run of Cat 5 Cable

JEmanuelJEmanuel Registered User
edited June 2008 in Misc. Discussion
On top of being in the world of Lighting, I deal with audio too. Recently the audio world has introduced digital snake systems that connect via cat-5 cable, similar to the networking ability of the wholehog console to the dp packs. We're looking to purchase a 500' long rubber coated reel of Cat-5 cable that's really durable and can stand up to the riggers of daily use. Anyone know a good spot to find good durable cat-5 cable?


  • jxgriffijxgriffi Registered User, DL Beta, Hog Beta
    edited April 2008
    I would definitely look at Proplex Ethernet Cable...

    Taken from the TMB Ethernet FAQ:

    What makes ProPlex Ethernet superior to all other Ethernet cables on the Market?

    The standard ‘market’ Ethernet cables are designed for commercial building applications, telecommunication and computer networks. The backbone cables have solid conductors and are neither flexible, durable or designed for portable applications. Constant coiling and pulling on these cables would easily break the conductors.
    The jacket is typically a gray PVC jacketed cable rated for indoor installation purposes only.

    ProPlex PCCAT5P and ProPlex PCCAT5EP advantages.

    ProPlex Ethernet is unique; it is designed for strength, durability and electrical performance to equal the harsh environmental conditions it is likely to be subjected to in portable touring situations.

    1] Stranded conductors for maximum flexibility, having electrical performance equal to that of solid conductor Ethernet cables. The stranded conductor prevents any potential breakage during coiling purposes and hence enables the signal to continue un-disturbed.

    2] Maximum shielding; foil and braid shielding giving maximum EMI protection. The braid also offers mechanical protection, strength, and aids in its flexibility.

    3] Strength members are laid up under the shields, amongst the twisted pairs to maintain the pairs twist, and hence electrical performance. They strengthen the cable core and avoid elongation of the conductors during coiling functions.

    4] A tough Black Polyurethane jacket is applied over the outer shield, the jacket is very durable, and resistant to cut, abrasion, UV, most organic and inorganic compounds, and a wide range of chemicals.

    5] Suitable for both indoor and outdoor environments.

    Is ProPlex Ethernet suitable for constant coiling and ‘reeling’ applications?


    There are installation guidelines to follow for reeling purpose.
    1] The minimum reel core diameter is 10cm.
    2] Minimum tension is used during reeling and the unreeling process.
    3] Terminate the cable with RJ45 plugs before reeling is initiated.
    4] Cable length per reel is less than 90 meters.
    5] Recommended to use ruggedized RJ45 connectors such as RJLnxx, RJ Field or Neutrik Ethercon for maximum support.

    In the core level, under the shields, are 4–twisted pairs and 6 strength members. Two strength members are positioned centrally to perform ‘Tension Relief’ function; the other 4 strength members are twisted around the pairs, each pair being wrapped individually by one of the strength members to perform a ‘Pair Structure Holding’ function.
    The length of the strength members remains constant and equal to the length of the insulated wires.
  • rosswillrosswill Registered User, Hog Beta
    edited April 2008
    I have not managed to get further than 120m without a switch in line. I have had success with greater distances but only using fibre.

  • J CriminsJ Crimins Registered User
    edited April 2008
    As far as networking goes. To my knowledge the longest you should run before adding a switch is 100m(328'). Unless I think if you are doing power over ethernet, you might be able to get further. I have not used it.
  • edited April 2008
    J Crimins wrote:
    Unless I think if you are doing power over ethernet, you might be able to get further. I have not used it.

    Power over Ethernet will *not* increase your distance.

    If anything, it will decrease the usable distance of a run, especially if you're using "mid span" power injection equipment. Also the resistive losses of a long run can decrease the power available to a PoE powered device.
  • zafflaxzafflax Registered User
    edited June 2008
    recently did a show utilizing 1000' feet of cat-5 (2 500 foot reels) to send audio and video down the same cable. Video came through flawlessly, however the audio came with a "snap" "crackle" "pop". ended up going to sam ash and buying 1000' feet of xlr to run the audio feed. ended up sending video the 1000' feet with NO jumper and audio 1000' feet with xlr. the reason why the audio did not send was because of one converter not working with the other. otherwise it would of been perfect. Moral of the story is that you don't always need a jumper to send audio and video through CAT-5.
  • Marty PostmaMarty Postma Registered User
    edited June 2008
    The maximum usable distance of a Cat-5 cable is going to depend on your application.

    For networking - 100 meters (328') is the recognized maximum distance, anything longer requires a different medium (such as fiber).

    For other applications - such as a dry line using video baluns, most commonly it jumps to about 300 meters (984'). Different manufacturers have different specs for different baluns.

    You should definitely check with your manufacturer and find out if you are sending/receiving network traffic or some other protocol to help determine the longest run you can make safely.

    Hope this helps.:)
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