Where to buy cat5 cables?

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This topic contains 14 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of SteffenR SteffenR 6 years, 8 months ago.

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  • #44553
    Profile photo of Eric
    Eric
    Participant

    Hi! I’m new to this forum. I just purchased an A&H QU-16 and am thinking of purchasing the AB168. I can’t seem to find prices or where to purchase either the A&H cat5e cables, or the 2 that they recommend that are available in the US, as I’m in the US. I usually buy my network cables from Monoprice, but it seems that they haven’t been tested with this unit.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Eric

    #44554
    Profile photo of Andreas
    Andreas
    Moderator

    From a technical standpoint any proper Cat5e cable should work, anything else relate to haptics and length. The cables approved by A&H are pretty solid but not necessarily compatible to a small budget…

    #44555
    Profile photo of MartinW
    MartinW
    Participant

    Try these guys

    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/designacable-Line-6-2m-Variax-Cat-5-Ethercon-Lead-/201148801970?pt=UK_Musical_Cables_Leads_Connectors&hash=item2ed56723b2

    I’ve had a couple of ethercon leads from them, not too expensive and great quality.

    Standard cat5 cables are loads cheaper, do the job, but not as flexible or robust as these

    #44597
    Profile photo of tonmeister
    tonmeister
    Participant

    There are some pretty good reasons to go with the kind of cable they spec. I was not happy with prices I was finding, but after extensive research, I found this company:

    http://btpa.com

    I got this cable:

    http://btpa.com/ETHERCON9-XXX.html

    It meets the standards set by A & H, and it didn’t break the bank. The company gave me first rate service, too. They went the extra mile to get a specific cable reel at my request and assemble the cable/reel for me. The cable is really outstanding, and again, I can’t say enough about how well the company treated me, and how reasonable the cost was.

    #44607
    Profile photo of Eric
    Eric
    Participant

    Thanks! Which cable reel did you end up getting?

    #44608
    Profile photo of dcongdon
    dcongdon
    Participant

    If you are in the states, I have been happy with Rapco Duracat cable and Hannay reels.

    #44609
    Profile photo of tonmeister
    tonmeister
    Participant

    I got the Technec Jackreel-F4. It is light, yet plenty sturdy enough to handle the cable weight, and reasonably rugged. It differs from some reels in that it has a larger center hub diameter. (It is marketed primarily as an optimal reel for fiber-optic cable, as that kind of cable should not be wound too tightly, and although ethernet cable may be theoretically more able to withstand much tighter bends, I still like to baby the cable by minimizing stresses on it — after all, a lot is riding on the integrity of that lifeline!)

    I got 165′ and there is a little extra room on the spool — I’d guess you might be able to fit 200′ or more on the Jackreel-F4 (although I chose to limit it to 165′ since that was a practical limit on “bullet-proof” reliable length for stranded cable that a few different sources I researched had recommended).

    Have only had it a few months, but loving it so far. My old, heavy copper “dinosaur” snake is sold and quickly falling out of sight in my rear view mirror. Loving the AB168 Qu16 combo!

    #44610
    Profile photo of tonmeister
    tonmeister
    Participant

    PS — I wouldn’t resonally recommend the Rapco Duracat unless it is for a fixed installation. That is solid core, and if you are going to be deploying/taking it up regularly for live work, stranded construction will give higher reliability over a longer period, as well as greater flexibility (and, in turn, greater ease of handling). A & H specifically states that the cable used should be stranded when intended for use in live applications. (Shielded, too — double shielded, in fact, if I recall correctly. I think they recommend both an outer braided shield and inner foil shield. The Rapco Duracat is not shielded at all. Due to the potential for high EMI/RFI, etc. in most venues, I would recommend playing it safe and sticking to the published A & H cable specs.)

    #44622
    Profile photo of Eric
    Eric
    Participant

    Thanks tonmeister! I really appreciate the advice. I think I’m going to go the exact route that you did. Did you have to call them in order to get the special cable reel?

    #44662
    Profile photo of tonmeister
    tonmeister
    Participant

    Yes, give them a call. Ask for Brad Bartosz — he should be able to help you. When you tell him what you are after, mention that you were referred by a previous customer. He may remember my transaction because it was a slightly unusual special order for them, and I think he handled most of the particulars on their end. I paid ~ $175 for the cable. The reel/hub adapter was another $75, I think. I don’t think the reel was a stock item for them, and I don’t think they up-charged me at all for that, nor for assembling it on the reel for me — pretty amazing, really. I’m very pleased with the cable and the whole rig.

    Enjoy!

    Tim

    #44663
    Profile photo of dcongdon
    dcongdon
    Participant

    Tim is correct that stranded cable is more durable and shielding is recommended by A&H. We have used solid core Duracat because we have events requiring 200 and 300 ft runs. The cable is rated for live applications and the rubberized jacket is very durable. 2 years in and we have never lost a cable or had interference issues. A&H lists a company in Germany, called Klotz, that manufactures solid strand and shielded cat5e.

    I would be very interested in a solid core, double shielded option in the states if anyone here knows of a manufacturer.

    #44664
    Profile photo of [XAP]Bob
    [XAP]Bob
    Participant

    Just out of interest….

    Church has a Roland M300, and we accidentally installed miles of UTP cat5 when we returned the building. Which turns out to be lucky, because despite the REAC being 10/100 Ethernet (L2) it doesn’t tend to work over shielded cable.

    I could never work that one out either – but I’ve observed it. We’re glad we ended up with UTP rather than STP

    #44674
    Profile photo of Andreas
    Andreas
    Moderator

    Probably a grounding issue. I’d still prefer to run STP the long distance and drop in a “ground lift” to either end using a short UTP cable. But then beware touching the open STP end…
    …other opinions explicitly allowed… 😉

    #44676
    Profile photo of GCumbee
    GCumbee
    Participant

    FWIW. I have several installs that I used just regular old CAT5 unshielded cable with no problems. One the electrical contractor had already pulled CAT6 on about 300′ run. It has a AR084 only on that run. My installs have all been in low RF areas. I do have an official AH reel and 100′ shielded for portable use.

    #44706
    Profile photo of SteffenR
    SteffenR
    Participant

    RF is not the only problem, high power dimming could be a problem as well…

    Modern CAT5 STP is the road to go these days for events,
    then you can use the cables for other audio networks too.

    Any big cable supplier should have a good network cable…

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