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Can you make CAT5 Phono leads?

Discussion in 'Cables & Switches' started by Tyler Durden, Sep 6, 2005.

  1. Tyler Durden

    Tyler Durden
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    Will it work if I try and wire up 2 RCA plugs with CAT5 cable?

    If it will how should it be done?

    Thanks
     
  2. eviljohn2

    eviljohn2
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    You can but it's less than ideal as the geometry doesn't suit the way that the signal should be transmitted.

    Much better to use cable with a coaxial geometry. :)
     
  3. Tyler Durden

    Tyler Durden
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    What about if I used two CAT5 cables, used all one cable for the positive and all of the other for the negative?
     
  4. eviljohn2

    eviljohn2
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  5. BDCSTENG GARETH

    BDCSTENG GARETH
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    In fact, This is more common than you think!

    The properties of the "twisted pair" are very good for running unbalanced signals. In fact, twisting is a formally recognised mrathod of noise canceling. It sortof works "loosely" like the theory of full balanced lines, where the twists pick up noise in phase, and anti phase and it sortof cancels out.

    Give it a try... you've got nothing to loose.
     
  6. Reiner

    Reiner
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    If the signal is unbalanced than using a balanced cable is counter-productive, in particular if it's missing the shield.

    Using a CAT5 as phono cable is possible (ie. it can work) but there is IMHO no real benefit while using a coaxial cable will avoid any possible problems.
     
  7. Tyler Durden

    Tyler Durden
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    How shall I do it then, use the white striped wires for the core, and the full wires for the outer? Or a wire for each?
     
  8. Tyler Durden

    Tyler Durden
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    I only ask because i have a lot of CAT5 cable at my disposal and some old phono leads that aren't long enough!
     
  9. BDCSTENG GARETH

    BDCSTENG GARETH
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    Use one colour per RCA. As long as you keep the same rule at both ends, you will not have any phasing issues. I would use the stiped colour for the outer, and the solid colour fot the centre pin. Just cut away the un-used colours, and If it were me, I'd finish with some heatshrink where the couter shieth has been striped.

    Happy cable making. :smashin:

    Gareth.
     
  10. Tyler Durden

    Tyler Durden
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    Wouldn't I be better off using all the solid colours for the centre and all the striped for the outer?
     
  11. BDCSTENG GARETH

    BDCSTENG GARETH
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    No.

    As I said above, you are using the tight swists in the cores to iliminate noise. The signal & return need to be tightly twisted together.

    You are confusing signal signal with power transfer (conductor guage) for speakers.
     
  12. Reiner

    Reiner
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    And I say again there is no noice cancellation effect because the signal itself is not balanced.

    IMHO there is nothing wrong with using all the wires as Tyler Durden intents to do.
     
  13. BDCSTENG GARETH

    BDCSTENG GARETH
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    Reiner,

    Im sorry, but there is some interference-resistance in twisted pair cores. In actuall fact, Cat5 has some specification on number of twists etc, and if you send data (which down a cable is analogue) down paralell cores in a multicore cable, then there are benefits to the different twist ratios and directions etc.

    I am perfectly versed in balanced lines vs un-balanced lines... I used to work in outside broadcasts, and now am a systems engineer for one of the leading post prodcution groups in Soho.

    I did not say how well the noise cancelation worked, nor did I state what source of noise this would have any effect on. Noise can be anything, due to the definition of noise being any unwanted sound or signal.

    Tyler, you can try any way you want, and believe who ever you want - Makes no odds to me or anyone else. Im sure the cables will be fine, and unless you have a signal to noise measuring test set, Im sure you'll be happy.

    Regards,

    Gareth.
     
  14. Nic Rhodes

    Nic Rhodes
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    The advantages are pretty minor in comparison to balanced though.
     
  15. BDCSTENG GARETH

    BDCSTENG GARETH
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    This was my last point... Thankyou.

    Of course a balanced line is the best way to go, but I was just pointing this feature of the cable out...

    Gareth.
     
  16. CJROSS

    CJROSS
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    When this sort of coaxial SAT TV cable is available from Maplins for 49p a metre, why would you ever want to make up ICs with CAT5 ?

    [​IMG]

    More hassle than it worth trying to make ICs out of the stuff, speaker cables though well the term no-brainer comes to mind if you have loads of it lying around.
     
  17. StooMonster

    StooMonster
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    CAT5 has five twists per inch.
    CAT6 has six twists per inch.

    StooMonster
     
  18. Nic Rhodes

    Nic Rhodes
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    I feel a spinal tap quote coming on :)
     
  19. Reiner

    Reiner
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    I agree if the signal itself is balanced like e.g. in an IP environment or AV/hifi equipment with balanced circuits.
    For unbalanced circuits/signals you use coax since it provides a shield that keeps noise away, but if you run the same (unbalanced) signal over a twisted pair cable then the signal is not protected against noise at all if you use UTP (unshielded twisted pair) CAT5 cable. If you use STP (shielded twisted pair) CAT5 cable then you would most likely connect the shield to ground and use any, some or all of the wires for the signal, which in effect creates a coaxial/unbalanced cable (with different mechanical properties).

    I am also aware of the principles but you seem to overlook that there is a difference in the signals/circuits - balanced and unbalanced does not only apply to the cables used.

    For those that would like to learn more about the subject please click here.

    So if you can't state how well the noise cancellation works, and that may very well include it doesn't work at all, why do you suggest using CAT5 over coax? :confused:
     
  20. lakes

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  21. neilball

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    Holy Thread Resurrection Batman :)

    The audio senders your first link points to is a set of baluns that require a suitable Cat5e/Cat6 cable to carry the electrical signals directly from end to end. They do not convert the audio signal to packetised Ethernet data suitable for transmission over a data network, rather just physically convert the cable connections to allow easy connection to RJ45 and back again at the other end.

    If you want to send audio wirelessly then look for wireless audio transmitters/receivers such as those manufactured by SoundCast.
     
  22. lakes

    lakes
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    Hey, thanks for the response - I wasn't overly confident I could revive thread ;)

    Thant's a shame, but I suspected as much. At least you've saved me upwards of £50. I tried two of these Bluetooth Audio Transmitter & Bluetooth Audio Adapter with aptX support - Avantree Saturn - Avantree but wasn't impressed with the pairing abilities. It proved a real pain.

    I'm hoping to connect my turntable to my Harman Kardon Soundstick's at the other end of the room, on the cheap.. looks like I'll have to fork out more money that my soundsticks to do it though.. shame. I may just resort to moving my speakers, or hiding phono leads under the carpet. Thanks anyway.
     
  23. Aclass Technology

    Aclass Technology
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    To clarify

    The first part of your equipment list should work fine to convert your audio to cat5 and back again, just dont use them in conjuntion with the Powerline device.

    Seb
     

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