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Thread: Cable Questions

  1. #1
    Automated Home Guru Geps's Avatar
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    Default Cable Questions

    Hope you all had a good Christmas!

    Thanks to Karam, I've received my Idratek starter kit and been having a play with it. With the VAT increase and my credit card giving me cash back on puchases until the end of the month, I'm keen to purchase alot of the cable I'll need now. Looking through the various options I have a couple of questions I'd just like to clear up:

    1) Is there anywhere to get the mains rated 'Pink' cable from apart from C-Bus shop? I ask only because they're currently showing as out of stock (don't want to upset any sponsors!)

    2) Is there any performance difference between CCA and copper?

    3) Am I right in thinking mains rated when mains cables are nearby? IE if I have a channel that *just* has Idranet modules at either end...I can safely run standard cat5e between the points?

    4) Stranded/solid - I'm assuming solid for all cables that are in fixed in place and stranded for patch leads etc etc?

    Cheers,

  2. #2
    Automated Home Legend Paul_B's Avatar
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    I think most of us have been through the same process when we start out with Idratek / Idranet. First think to say is that when it was demo'ed all those years back it was running over bell wire or burglar alarm cable.

    Here's a few pointers from my own experience / perspective:
    - Stranded cable seems to work better than solid core when terminating into the green connectors. I run my system over dedicated cabling so all runs are stranded, if you go structured cabling then you could go solid core for runs and terminate with straned.
    - Shielded / Unshieled is probably the biggest decision. From what I now know badly shielded cabling could cause more problems than unshielded cabling because of ground loops.
    - Radial or daisy chain. I started trying to daisy chain that is cabling to a device with two cables one coming from the previous unit and then second continiung on to the next unit. I stopped doing this now purely because it is fiddly and I'm often trying to do it in the loft where it is cramped, cold and dark.
    - Try and keep away from mains cabling to avoid interference, certainly avoid long runs in parallel, if it is necessary cross mains cables at right-angles.

    In the end I went for STP Stranded Cat 5E cabling. Although some of my early modules need to be rewired where I made mistakes with shielding.

    HTH

    Paul

  3. #3
    Automated Home Guru Geps's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul_B View Post
    HTH
    Yup I think it does thanks....time to go 'invest' in some cable!

    Cheers,

  4. #4
    Automated Home Legend chris_j_hunter's Avatar
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    additional-point - if aiming to use Idratek intercom features, you'll need shielded Cat-5e, or the audio could be v.noisy ...

    shield earthing, just be careful to avoid loops - eg: star-wire, earth only at inner end, and be careful to ensure good continuity out to the outer end ...

    also take care to ensure shielding is maximised / twisting isn't compromised more than absolutely necessary - when making connections to terminals & into plugs ...
    Last edited by chris_j_hunter; 26th December 2010 at 07:13 PM.

  5. #5
    Automated Home Legend Karam's Avatar
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    We recommend shielded as a precaution. Stranded is less prone to 'breaking' particularly if nicked during the stripping process - also we have in the past experienced internal breaks in solids perhaps due to tight bending or maybe rough handling of cables.

    As Paul mentioned, the digital bus is robust and has no problems running over burglar alarm cable however it uses a differential signal intended for use with twisted pair. The audio bus is not quite as sensitive as implied - it has quite a low impedence and the signal voltage can be up to 10V p-p so it would take pretty good coupling for an external noise source to impact on this. Nonetheless we can't predict everyone's circumstances so shielding is recommended as a precaution.

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