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Arrgh again (last post disappeared into the... ether)
dovid Jul-03-02 10:45 AM
Short version:

Using outdoor CAT5 to connect two adjacent houses. Cable is BreezeCom label, comes as a 50M "loose" spool, open-ended, with three metal-shielded RJ45 clips and a single boot.

This is heavey duty stuff. From the inside out, you have:

  1. Eight conductor bundle, which seem stiffer than most, plus a braided bare metal wire, perhaps for grounding or shielding?
  2. A mylar-foil-mylar wrap (three layers), provides shielding
  3. A very heavy vinyl cover, which would normally be the outer insutlation on regular cable (although in this case, it is a bit heavier than the usual outer insulation)
  4. A poweder coat and a piece of string, don't know function (reminds me of the red thread that used to come in band-aid packaages, but I doubt it serves the same purpose).
  5. An extra outer layer, similar to #3

Overall, really thick, stiff cable. Plus, conductors are tightly bundled, with no give within the mylar/foil sheath, making it difficult to work with the stripped ends.

I -- and a few other people who have tried it -- find it impossible to get the conductors to insert fully into the jack for crimping. Seems to be a leverage and varying stiffness problem. Because it is tightly wrapped, in the half-inch stripped portion, the ends are only straight for about half the length, i.e., about a quarter inch. There is no way to get the straight for more without stripping more than half an inch -- which you aren't supposed to do, and doesn't solve the problem anyway, since longer exposed conductors result in two much flexing to keep them straight while applying enough force to insert fully.

Anyone experienced something like this? Tips?

1. RE: Arrgh again (last post disappeared into the... ether)
lbyard Jul-03-02 03:09 PM
In response to message 0
Sorry about the post. I tried to restore it. Sent you an E-Mail. Why not use regular CAT 5 cable? Is this cable going above or below ground? I haven't worked with CAT 5 shielded cable. Other members have. Larry

2. RE: Arrgh again (last post disappeared into the... ether)
dovid Jul-03-02 10:44 PM
In response to message 1
Regular CAT 5 has a tendency to 1) deteriorate in uncontrolled environments, and 2) attract lightning. Outdoor CAT 5 deterirates much more slowly, and SUPPOSEDLY is safer lightning-wise.

This is more than shielded, though. Typical shielded CAT 5 has only one or two extra layers -- either just the foil layer, or sometimes foil with an electric insulator, such as mylar, between the conductor wires and the foil. This has mylar on both sides of the foil; two layers of exterior insulation; exterior insulatio is heavier gauge vinyl; possibly stronger conductor wires (subjective test); and some other stuff in there. According to the OEM manufacturer, it is suited for use as buried cable, or as outdoor "string" cable (i.e., doesn't need to be supported at frequent intervals).

Finally got it working. The basic trick is to cut off more of the outer insulator than the inner, and to "condition" the conductor wires by starting off with an inch and a half, pushing down the twists as close to the insulation exit as possible, and doing "practice runs" before each crimp at just over half an inch, half an inch, and finally the real thing at just under half an inch.

The two levels of cut leav enough of the inner insulator exposed to use inside the jack (under the wedge), while not having the outermost insulator, which is too wide to fit, get in the way.

The inch-and-a-half length leaves enough room to do a good job straightening out the twists, and leaves leverage to "pull the remaining twists down." The "practice" run ensures that there is enough wire length to make it all the way in spite of inevitable twisting and therefore shortening of some of the individual wires, and helps "condition" the wires to go exactly where they should, perfectly straight, when you cut it to barest tolerance.


3. RE: Arrgh again (last post disappeared into the... ether)
lbyard Jul-04-02 00:02 AM
In response to message 2
My thoughts on running cable between building are here: http://duxcw.com/faq/network/outside.htm. I don't care what kind of cable you use; running cable above ground between buildings is dangerous. You are deluding yourself if you think using shielded cable will make it safer. This comes from a person who has installed shielded cable between buildings and witnessed (and repaired) the damage that resulted when it was hit by lightning. More info here: http://duxcw.com/dcforum/DCForumID2/1748.html. I would run regular CAT 5e underground in PCV pipe as others have. Larry

4. RE: Arrgh again (last post disappeared into the... ether)
dovid Jul-12-02 00:46 AM
In response to message 3
I know you don't approve, but sometimes you have to...

I've run it along telco conduit (which is also house-to-house). The telco conduit has a grounding cable running its length. I've basically crossed my fingers, assumed the telco techs know what they are doing, and using the same grounding.

Incidentally, this cable is rated for burial without additional trouble and expense of PVC pipe.

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