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Cable Reference Guide

Ethernet Cables Maximum Speed Solid / Stranded
Cat5 100Mb/s Both
Cat5e 1Gb/s Both
Cat6 10Gb/s (55m or less) Usually solid

Stranded vs. Solid Cable

Solid Ethernet cables have a single core of copper. This offers better transmission, allowing the maximum 100m to be reached, but as the cable has limited flexibility it should only be used in permanent installations.

Stranded cables (Datasafe) have multiple cores of copper, allowing greater flexibility but a maximum distance of 80m. Stranded cables are more suitable for touring uses.

Shielded vs. Unshielded

By their design, Ethernet cables have been designed to reject noise. However in certain applications, more protection is required to ensure fault-free operation. Datasafe Cat5e cable provides an overall braid shield.

DMX Cables

  • 300m maximum length
  • All DMX cables should be terminated
  • RDM uses the same pair as DMX
  • 2nd pair is generally used for proprietary protocols
  • Ethernet cable can be used for DMX512-A, but shorter cable limits apply
  • DMX and microphone cables are different and have been designed for different tasks

The problem with cable adaptors

Metal cable adaptors, such as 3 to 5 pin, can cause serious damage to a product if plugged directly into the panel-mounted XLR connector. A short cable should be used between the adaptor and panel mounted XLR connector.

Using Power Cables

  • Cable diameter (cross sectional diameter) dictates how much current the cable can safely cope with
  • Always uncoil cables under load
  • Use appropriately heat rated cables (silicone based) when laying cables close to heat sources
  • IP rated connectors should still be mounted appropriately, i.e. off the floor and bagged
  • Male to male power cables are ALWAYS a bad idea. You would be surprised how many people use them