Shielded Cat5e/6 connectors and tools

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jantonuk
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Shielded Cat5e/6 connectors and tools

Post by jantonuk » Mon Oct 31, 2016 1:40 pm

I'm working on a legacy Studio Hub installation. I'm going to be doing some new/replacement cabling. I'm looking for a recommendation for good quality shielded RJ45 plugs to put on bulk cable to build my own patch cords.

I've done the technical chat thing with some domestic manufacturers and they indicate "do not build your own shielded patch cords"
Or course, they are looking at it from the perspective of Cat6/6A and Gigabit (and up) network performance and certification.

Some of the reviews I've read about the inexpensive shielded Cat5e/6 connectors indicate they're junk.

Now I'm looking at EZ-RJ45
I've used the Platinum EZ-RJ45 in the past for 100 Mbps Ethernet but am looking again for audio, as they have what appears to be a decent shielded connector.
It looks like they'd be OK with Cat 5e which is fine for analog audio that I'm handling.
It looks like it might be not "what the doctor ordered" for Cat6 due to the larger diameter of the cable.

thanks for your observations/experiences/advice.

John

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Re: Shielded Cat5e/6 connectors and tools

Post by PID_Stop » Tue Nov 01, 2016 7:26 am

Platinum makes two different shielded RJ45 plugs, and their maximum cable diameter is different. The 100022 is the larger, and accommodates cable up to around 0.28" diameter. That's very close to Belden 2412F cable (0.29")... and other types might be a bit smaller.

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Re: Shielded Cat5e/6 connectors and tools

Post by dbuckley » Tue Nov 01, 2016 1:25 pm

I tend to get a "standard" cat5 cable and chop it in two, and put the appropriate connector on the bare ends of the chopped cable.

The magic that allows audio to operate successfully over cat5 is the common mode rejection of the balanced lines, rather than earth shielding. After all, your phone line isn't screened, and runs for miles without crosstalk interference.

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Re: Shielded Cat5e/6 connectors and tools

Post by TPT » Wed Nov 02, 2016 7:05 am

Have a non-com (high school station)--studios moved from top floor to near main entrance. School didn't want to move STL antenna. So ran 1000' of CAT6, left the audio processor and STL transmitter upstairs, ran program audio through the CAT6--works fine. Used jacks on each end and the studio hub adapters for the in and out. Works just fine.

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Re: Shielded Cat5e/6 connectors and tools

Post by KPJL FM » Wed Nov 02, 2016 8:19 am

I'll assume from your question you are making new Ethernet cables for the Studio Hub, not the computer network. You don't need Cat6, it's just audio. You probably don't need shielded, unless there's a high powered AM or FM transmitter within shouting distance of the studios. I don't use Studio Hub, anyway. I just make RJ to XLR with Gepco D72401EZGF shielded stereo pair (for places that need shielding, or for unbalanced RCA connections). Did a complete Wheatstone multi-studio install with the tower 50' away, no problems. Save a lot of money.
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jantonuk
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Re: Shielded Cat5e/6 connectors and tools

Post by jantonuk » Wed Nov 02, 2016 1:02 pm

KPJL FM,
You're correct, this is for audio, not for network.

All,
I figure the minute I don't use shielded, that Murphy's Law will strike and I'll wish I had.

For over 30 years I've used shielded audio cable like Belden 8451, Clark RS22G2, etc
I think it is just good engineering practice.

Having said that, I'm looking for good way to build my own custom lengths instead of purchasing really expensive pre-made shielded cables which are really for networking and therefore overkill for audio.

I know and understand that the shield might not always be absolutely needed, but humor me :)

Anybody have a better suggestion than the Platinum Tools EZ-RJ45 system?
Anybody have trouble with this system?

thanks,
John

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Re: Shielded Cat5e/6 connectors and tools

Post by Deep Thought » Wed Nov 02, 2016 1:43 pm

re: shielded cable. If the shield is not properly terminated in an actual ground it'll cause just as much trouble as Beldfoil shields do when improperly terminated. I've worked at/on stations whose studios are wired with UTP (except for mic cabling) and are co-located with the AM and FM transmitters. No problems *if properly done*.
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Re: Shielded Cat5e/6 connectors and tools

Post by BigRed » Wed Nov 02, 2016 10:49 pm

No personal experience with them but for what it's worth I've heard some bad things about those fancy Platinum RJ45 plugs. It seems that the wires protruding through the front of the connector can sometimes prevent the connector from "bottoming" in the jack properly. The latch apparently doesn't engage completely and the connection breaks unexpectedly at some future time. I know of one radio plant where they're now going through and replacing every cable built with them. It could just be a simple tooling adjustment issue? Just wanted to raise that flag to possibly save you some heartache.

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jantonuk
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Re: Shielded Cat5e/6 connectors and tools

Post by jantonuk » Thu Nov 03, 2016 12:53 pm

Yikes!
Something to consider.
thanks,
John

Anybody else actually used them??

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Re: Shielded Cat5e/6 connectors and tools

Post by w9wi » Thu Nov 03, 2016 6:43 pm

I have and without problems. We did find it occasionally necessary to use a set of diagonal pliers to cut off the ends the tool didn't get.
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Re: Shielded Cat5e/6 connectors and tools

Post by kkiddkkidd » Fri Nov 04, 2016 5:44 pm

I have one of the EZ RJ45 tools and have never had a problem with the wires sticking out. That is as along as I completed the crimp and allowed the trimmer blade to fully cut the ends. They are almost perfectly flush with the end of the connector body.

I have tried to recut improperly crimped (by me) tails with a pair of flush cut clippers as well as a knife and have had various problems with each.

YMMV, etc, etc.
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Re: Shielded Cat5e/6 connectors and tools

Post by w9wi » Fri Nov 04, 2016 8:12 pm

I won't say I've never had a short on the first try when nipping overhanging ends with pliers - but they always clear after a second trimming - and since I test every cable with a Fluke TDR before using it, I've never had one cause issues.

On the other hand, if one has a fair amount of experience terminating the "ordinary" RJ45 plugs, I don't think these are any faster/easier to use. They do seem to be useful for "newbies" -- again, as long they're trained to test every cable before putting it into service.
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Re: Shielded Cat5e/6 connectors and tools

Post by kkiddkkidd » Sat Nov 05, 2016 4:35 am

Shorts between pairs were my problem as well but most of the time, my second cut is on the other side of the connector... This usually accompanied by a burst of discouraging words.

If I am doing several where I get back in practice, I use regular connectors but for one or 2 off, I use the EZ's where I don't have to worry about exact strip lengths & can verify my wire order. I am by no means a newby but always have to look at the chart for the wire order. It just won't stick in my head for more than a few days.

I had to replace a connector on an existing cable several weeks ago that seemed to have a life of it's own. I was using an EZ connector and about wore it out sliding it on and off the wire. The wires were really springing and held some of the spiral no matter what technique I used to straighten them. They absolutely would not lay down straight and stay in order. At least one of the wires were out of place in each of at least 10 attempts to insert the wires thru the connector. Even discouraging words didn't improve my aim...
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Re: Shielded Cat5e/6 connectors and tools

Post by w9wi » Sat Nov 05, 2016 7:18 am

kkiddkkidd wrote: I had to replace a connector on an existing cable several weeks ago that seemed to have a life of it's own. I was using an EZ connector and about wore it out sliding it on and off the wire. The wires were really springing and held some of the spiral no matter what technique I used to straighten them. They absolutely would not lay down straight and stay in order. At least one of the wires were out of place in each of at least 10 attempts to insert the wires thru the connector. Even discouraging words didn't improve my aim...
Yes. About 5-10% of the time. Same problem with "regular" connectors, and it doesn't seem to matter what brand of cable you're using.



A few years ago I ended up with a box of cable where the pairs were mechanically joined... I mean, the green and white/green wires were "webbed" together, like a piece of zip cord; as were the orange and white/orange, etc., etc... It wasn't horribly hard to split them, but WHY?
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kkiddkkidd
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Re: Shielded Cat5e/6 connectors and tools

Post by kkiddkkidd » Sat Nov 05, 2016 6:28 pm

w9wi wrote:
A few years ago I ended up with a box of cable where the pairs were mechanically joined... I mean, the green and white/green wires were "webbed" together, like a piece of zip cord; as were the orange and white/orange, etc., etc... It wasn't horribly hard to split them, but WHY?
I must say that I have never saw that. And like you said... Why?
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