Building a lighting inventory- baby steps


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I mean, in a pinch I've used 150+ feet of mic cabling without any errors controlling a Geyser RGB and three moving heads, so at least from my experience the proper impedance cable really isn't actually all that critical...


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Of course not, but I'm sure there's a good reason they added Cat cabling for permanent installation.

Jay Ashworth

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In a related story, while the 100 ohm characteristic impedance of Cat5 is right at the recommended lower limit (100-120) for DMX, and the 20pf/ft is fine, how do they handle the spec wanting shield? Cat cable is unshielded twisted pair...

and while it's unreasonably difficult to find the CI of STP, the table here* suggests the shield *raises* it, which I guess works out ok, though I don't know what the capacitance does.

If it's in the standard, though, then connector-termination is my only concern...



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I don't know of any, and a quick search isn't yielding much for me.

I think the problem with using cat is that the standard implicates using the normal 8P8C connectors as with Ethernet. Creating confusion between normal Ethernet drops (which could be carrying DMX data over a protocol) and an rs-485 run.

If you're wiring new cat, I think you may as well keep it as an Ethernet network and use a pathport output like the ones Gaff Taper uses for devices.


Resident Curmudgeon
Senior Team
Premium Member
Does anyone manufacture 5-pin DMX connectors, wall-panel or on-cable, with IDC rear-ends for terminating Cat5?
From the thread :
Seriously, the problem is with stripping the Cat5 without nicking it, making it subject to future fracture. Might work, might not. Why take the chance? Be conservative. The audience will like you for it.

FYI, ETC makes a CAT5 insulation displacement XLR-5 wall mount, and perhaps others do as well.

Something to possibly consider:
If one installs regular RJ45 connectors and CAT5e wire, one can use (other manufacturers offer similar) to enable multiple DMX512 universes.


Active Member
I had been planning to terminate in 5-pin XLR wall-mounts in the booth and in the ceiling (which I just picked up yesterday from an electronics boneyard), but now I'm thinking ethercon might be a better way to go to open up the option of sending artnet/sACN or DMX as needed depending on the adapter that gets plugged in. This is a semi-permanent installation, I'm using the plenum-rated cable so I don't have to pull it through conduit and to keep my own labor to a minimum. The cable was essentially free as it was leftover from another project.

The majority of what I've read on here points to Cat5/6 as a reasonable alternative to proper DMX cable, and the variety of adapters available from TMB's sneaksnake to RJ45/5-pin XLR boxes makes it seem pretty low-risk to me...

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