CAT6 "kinks"

Andy Haefner

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Feb 23, 2018
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Hello, I am using a HDMI over cat5 extender for my stage monitors... I recently got a massive coil of high quality CAT6 for free and I intend to use it, however there are some very bad kinks in it. Have kinks affected performance or functionality for anyone using a cat5 type extension? I've attempted to search for how kinks affect CAT6 cable but the internet only comes up with answers related to networking. The cable is 23awg CAT6 STP
 

ruinexplorer

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Solid core or stranded?
 

Amiers

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Is the coil more than 300 ish feet if not just put ends on it and test it. Then cut to length if it works at 300 feet.
 

techieman33

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A local A/V company uses cat 5e cable that usually has kinks in it and I've never noticed any problems. They just use it for a while until it starts to look really bad or it gets destroyed by some other means. And as u/Amiers said the only way to know for sure it to test it.
 

Amiers

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Solid core kinks aren’t ideal. Don’t flex them back the other way to straighten it out unless you are feeling ballsy. Which makes for pulling it a bitch in a half if you are gonna conduit it.
 

ruinexplorer

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Agreed. Stranded will be more forgiving. If you can get access to a network tester, make sure that you gently nudge the kinks during the test. This will give you a better result. I had a cable that I suspected bad. The first test showed nothing wrong, but when I applied pressure to the point that I suspected damage, that proved true.
 
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Van

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Wait, the Electrons can't flow through a kink can they? won't that slow down the data rate?
:mrgreen:
 

Amiers

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Actually it speeds up the flow. The weak electrons hit the link and dissipate while the strong ones survive and bring better quality to the end of the data chain....
 

Van

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Actually it speeds up the flow. The weak electrons hit the link and dissipate while the strong ones survive and bring better quality to the end of the data chain....
"Electro-Darwinism" It's a thing.
 

TNasty

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@RonHebbard you made me actually laugh out loud with that one.

Sadly electrons only get furious and destructive when they stick a fork in the outlet. Steroids for electrons? "Are your sub-atomic particles taking steroids behind your back? It's more likely than you'd think!"

On a serious note, I personally would give the cable a gentle unkink. Frequently I have my solid 5E come out of my pullbox with kinks, and I'll just gently bend it back to the point that it's non-obtrusive. I just wouldn't try if it's bent all the way into the fourth dimension.
 
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RonHebbard

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@Van [/Snark on] (as @TimMc would say. DC data gets dizzy twirling around kinks. AC data sobers up on the return trip. [/Snark off]
Toodleoo!
Ron Hebbard.
@RonHebbard you made me actually laugh out loud with that one.
@TNasty You're only cackling 'cuz I've got @TimMc on my knee and my right hand's in his back. Don't make me tell you where my left hand is or I'll sic @derekleffew on you and we don't even go there in the ProSound Basement. (I'm doing my best to exercise restraint.)
Toodleoo!
Ron Hebbard.
 
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JD

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North Wales PA
Once you give a solid copper conductor a sharp bend, it becomes brittle at that spot. The true danger to kinks is that a conductor will snap and you will have an open circuit. A lesser danger is that the kink was sharp enough that the soft plastic on the conductors in the pair gets displaced and the pair becomes one. Outside of those issues, kinks are more of a cosmetic nuisance.
 

RonHebbard

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Once you give a solid copper conductor a sharp bend, it becomes brittle at that spot. The true danger to kinks is that a conductor will snap and you will have an open circuit. A lesser danger is that the kink was sharp enough that the soft plastic on the conductors in the pair gets displaced and the pair becomes one. Outside of those issues, kinks are more of a cosmetic nuisance.
@JD And cause conductors and cables to occupy more cross-sectional area within conduits and increase the difficulty of slipping conductors and cables past one another in conduits both flexible and rigid. The best kinks were led by Ray Davies.
Toodleoo!
Ron Hebbard.
 

Texxgadget

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Hello, I am using a HDMI over cat5 extender for my stage monitors... I recently got a massive coil of high quality CAT6 for free and I intend to use it, however there are some very bad kinks in it. Have kinks affected performance or functionality for anyone using a cat5 type extension? I've attempted to search for how kinks affect CAT6 cable but the internet only comes up with answers related to networking. The cable is 23awg CAT6 STP
 

Texxgadget

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Mar 15, 2018
Location
Kensington CA USA
As said before testing is advised.
The correct tool is called a "Time Domain Reflexometer". or TDR.

Some notes on cabling:

CAT type cable is always "Over under" coiled like any cable that you respect.
Violators should be sent out the door, opening said door being optional

When you get a kink in CAT or fibre, it is compromised.
Sure the electrons (or photons in fibre) still flow but the characteristic of the cable changes.

Do not exceed a bending radius that you can't put a 5in CD on the inside of.
When that apprentice coiled a CAT-5 cable around their elbow, in 1 shot they converted your CAT-5 to a CAT-3 !

There are some electrical characteristics that distinguish each of these standards from each other.
Im trying to recall if ordinary twisted doorbell wire is CAT-2 or 1. Probably depends on the twists per inch.

Exceeding the bending radius of a cable causes the conductors in the cable to move just a teensy bit and that little bit is
enough to change the characteristics of that section of the cable.
The overall characteristics of the cable are equal to the worst segment along it.

This is why we all learned to "over-under" coil out cable, and why my welcome speech to volunteers states
"First time you coil anything around your elbow, you are PERMANENTLY GONE!"

Im leery of trying to work out a kink from solid conductor cable.
If it breaks, its dead.
If you leave the kink where it is, it will still work, just not as well.
(IE: Compromised CAT-6 might only act like CAT-4 or 3, but KINDA still work)

Stranded, I might take out on the loading dock on a warm day, get warm in sun and GENTLY massage the kink out of it.

About fibre:
Again, the light still goes through it, but it doesn't act right.
Kinked fibre at that spot has micro fractures in the optical conductor that cause excessive side to side reflections at that point.
In fibre, the damage doesn't always show up immediately.
You might not notice the problem until 6 months after "Numbnuts" drove the cherry picker over the new optical line that you
had laid out for pulling through conduit.

I also don't like to "fly" optical, unless Im flying a conduit with the optical in it.
Flying it "raw" causes it to sag & stretch with time and eventually go out of spec.

With the growth of computers on both sides of the arch, audio & video systems are picking up more digital noise.
As time progresses, long audio & video are moving to fibre to keep them clean.
 

JD

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Location
North Wales PA
Fiber flies nicely, as long as it is the correct cable. Best example is the stuff Verizon uses for FIOS. Under the tough plastic outer coat are two fiberglass poles. Between them is a tube that contains a very thick oil. in the middle of that tube is a coated fiber. It is amazing just how rugged the cable is. Of course, with the two fiberglass poles in it, its not too flexible !! You are limited to about a 12 inch bend. I'll have to add a picture some time.
FIOS.png

Here's some I had around. case, filler, two white fiberglass rods, blue tube full of oil, and sheathed fiber.
 
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raymor

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May 26, 2013
Location
College Station, TX
As TexxGadget said, you no longer have CAT6 cable. With kinks in it, it's more like CAT3.

Electrons will flow, yes, but what makes the different categories is that with CAT6 the electrons change direction 250 million times per second and all the different pairs act exactly the same, with the same timing down to a billionth of a second.

You can expect degraded video quality and possibly drop outs as data that is supposed to arrive together instead arrives out of sync.

Cable is cheap compared to installation. A month from now, diagnosing the problem, tearing out the damaged cable, and installing new, correct cable will cost a lot more, and be a lot more of a hassle, than just getting some good cable now. You can use the kinked stuff later for shorter runs by cutting lengths between the kinks.

There is a reason you're trying to use CAT6 or CAT5 cable, and not cheaper CAT2. The kinked stuff is CAT2 now. It's no longer CAT6 cable.