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Cat 5 Coupler


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12 replies to this topic

#1 THurrle

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Posted 19 July 2011 - 11:53 PM

Has any one ever used a cat 5 coupler to connect two things together and if so does it work alright?

#2 dmoore

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Posted 20 July 2011 - 12:15 AM

Has any one ever used a cat 5 coupler to connect two things together and if so does it work alright?


I use them for all my RGB items where the CAT5 cable carries the power and data signal and they work great. Heck, I even left them exposed without too many issues (I don't live where it gets too cold).

If you watch this video:

View on Vimeo.



You can see them at :57, 2:15, 2:25, etc

Monoprice sells them the cheapest.

#3 pmcpa

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Posted 20 July 2011 - 03:47 AM

I live in those cold areas... had one I forgot about until last week! (I lost it under the mulch!) Looks fine, still works! I do only use ones actually labeled "cat5" though... there are some 8con phone couplers out there (As seen in the video above!), I don't think they are as high quality, but should still work! The reason I don't use them is I'm in a cold and sometimes wet environment... no offense intended, but if I put dmoore's setup up here in Philly, the gfi's would trip in 2 seconds!!

Edited by pmcpa, 20 July 2011 - 03:56 AM.

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#4 dmoore

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Posted 20 July 2011 - 04:11 AM

I do only use ones actually labeled "cat5" though... there are some 8con phone couplers out there (As seen in the video above!), I don't think they are as high quality, but should still work!


Is it possible for you to break open that coupler and post some macro photos? I'd like to see the differences between the .20 cent couplers I use (http://www.monoprice...&seq=1&format=2) and some of the "CAT5e" couplers like this: http://www.monoprice...&seq=1&format=2 which are $1.47 each.

Monoprice doesn't list any specific differences (contact coatings, wire guage, water proofness, etc) and they both list "CAT5". Of course RS485 could nearly run on wet fishing line, so I'm thinking the tolerances of CAT5 would seem to be a bit of a waste.

#5 pmcpa

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Posted 20 July 2011 - 12:08 PM

Posted Image

all coated board.. no wires

Just a quick shot with the phone... I can get a higher detailed shot if you want

Edited by pmcpa, 20 July 2011 - 12:17 PM.

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#6 dmoore

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Posted 20 July 2011 - 01:51 PM

Posted Image

all coated board.. no wires

Just a quick shot with the phone... I can get a higher detailed shot if you want


Thanks for posting the photo. Where I've seen most issues arise is in corrosion at the wires that touch the pin on the male cable end, which both would have – then it’s more of an issue with the metals used in producing and/or coating. I'm still at a loss as to what makes one better or worse than the other (wire vs circuit board), especially since the “CAT5e” type is 700% more expensive than the “CAT5” type.

#7 pmcpa

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Posted 20 July 2011 - 01:58 PM

Honestly, for what were doing, not much difference. My main line of business is IT/Networking (I run the company) so I have a ton of these around, as the ones you use we couldn't on a 10/100 network...

Where I have seen those phone couplers go bad is also the crimp between the wires and the pins... I think its the combo of all the cheep metal involved

As I tell everyone, there is a right way to do things, and then there is the other guys right way to do things! They all work
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#8 PaulChristmas

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Posted 20 July 2011 - 02:01 PM

I used one inside from PC to 1st controller then to the last 3 controllers with no issues (that I saw).
They were from our Dollar Store.
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#9 somtng4u2c

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Posted 20 July 2011 - 04:28 PM

Honestly, for what were doing, not much difference. My main line of business is IT/Networking (I run the company) so I have a ton of these around, as the ones you use we couldn't on a 10/100 network...

Where I have seen those phone couplers go bad is also the crimp between the wires and the pins... I think its the combo of all the cheep metal involved

As I tell everyone, there is a right way to do things, and then there is the other guys right way to do things! They all work



Well there is a wrong way and then there is the right way and then there is my way

#10 Chuck Smith

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Posted 02 August 2011 - 12:42 PM

The Cat5 couplers work great. Been using them for years to connect light controllers where the data cable isn't quite long enough. Use a bit of common sense and keep couplers out of damp areas.

p.s. Stay away from the really cheap couplers, though. You get what you pay for holds true.and the last thing anyone needs is an intermittent coupler during your big reveal.

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#11 Flanigan

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Posted 01 October 2011 - 03:48 PM

Have used them in two places for the past 6 seasons - right where the network cables exit the house. Have yet to get around to making a deluxe I/O panel which will have a female connection rather than a pigtail hanging out. Make certain you get connectors with gold-plated finger stock - not steel or brass as those will rust/corrode over time. Have had these ice over and thaw several times each year with no ill effects. That is not to say you should just leave them exposed. Good place to stash the "splice" is inside a blow mold or wrap some coax sealant around it - messy stuff to get off, but makes a water tight seal.

Edited by Flanigan, 01 October 2011 - 03:54 PM.

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#12 Denise Brunner

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Posted 01 October 2011 - 11:41 PM

I would think if you put the electronic silicone paste inside the coupler it would help keep the water out
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#13 ragweed

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Posted 29 October 2011 - 05:45 AM

Cat5 is an older outdated standard but it will work fine. the current standard is Cat5e (main difference is for 1000MbE in long runs, you should use Cat5e, better signal) There are also Cat6, Cat6a Cat7, and an upcoming Cat7a.

Short version, Cat5 is fine unless you are running several hundred foot long lengths.

Edited by ragweed, 29 October 2011 - 05:46 AM.





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