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ETC RFU over Cat 5 cable

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by willbb123, May 13, 2009.

  1. willbb123

    willbb123 Active Member

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    We have an Expression 3 and the RFU. I have moved the board from the booth, into the balcony, I had enough DMX cable to run to my new position. But I don't have a long enough 6 Pin cable. Would it be possible to just get two six pin connectors and solder them onto a cat 5 cable?
     
  2. cprted

    cprted Active Member

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    Yes. We run our ETC RFU over Cat5.
     
  3. willbb123

    willbb123 Active Member

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    Thanks for the quick reply.

    Do you know how the pins are connected? Does it matter which color goes to what pin (the twisted pairs probably make a difference)?
     
  4. cprted

    cprted Active Member

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    I don't. Will take a look this week.
     
  5. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    Be aware there are two different XLR-6 pin configurations--one symmetrical and one offset.
    from Neutrik - Frequently Asked Questions :
    [Edit: The black insert is the non-symmetrical layout. According to below, you'd want the gray insert for the "5pin with an extra pin in the center." So, according to Neutrik at least, the symmetric is the non-standard.]

    Here's the pinout:
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2009
  6. jmabray

    jmabray Active Member

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    It may work, but by no means is it standard, and if you have trouble, or blow it up, I don't think ETC will warranty it.
     
  7. willbb123

    willbb123 Active Member

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    I'm in the middle of a show right now, I'll post a picture once they are done. It woulda been way too easy if there was only one style of connectors.
    It looks like a 5 pin, with an extra pin in the middle. We have plates with RFU and DMX jacks right next to each other, and I've figured out that a 5 pin cable will fit into the RFU jack.

    Things not exploding is always interfered. Can Cat 5 cable hold the 12v? Should I pair the send, receive, and power together?
     
  8. SteveB

    SteveB Well-Known Member

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    The RFU gets it's power from the console and I would worry a bit about potential voltage drop with a long run of non=spec. cable. The RFU's are sensitive to power, FYI.

    'Ya might want to run it past ETC tech support.

    SB
     
  9. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    Been awhile since this thread has been active, looking to do this in my place. ETC, any ideas? Possible double up the power pins?
     
  10. BenTev28

    BenTev28 Member

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    I can't really speak specifically to whether the RFU over Cat5 is a good or solid idea, but rated Cat5 cable will hold 12V with no issue. POE is 48V at up to 100m
     
  11. DavidNorth

    DavidNorth ETC Rigging General Manager Premium Member Fight Leukemia Departed Member

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    There should be no problem running the RFU data signal [two differential signals] on Category cable as it is a very low baud rate. I would suggest using a twisted pair for pin 1 and 2 and then a twisted pair for pins 3 and 4. Here is more information: RFU - Electronic Theatre Controls

    The issue in using Category cable for the power pins is that there may not be enough conductor size to handle current requirements over distance. Since this is 12vdc power, voltage drop at some point will cause the RFU to not power up be or be unreliable in operation. We have always recommended a pair of #16s to handle the power. You may try doubling up conductors, but there are no guarantees. 48v at low current is way different than 12v at higher current.....

    If it were me, and I was running Cat5 either free or in conduit [recommended], I would pull a 2 x #16 audio or fire alarm cable in a jacket to go with it. Then, if you happen to have a broken conductor in the Cat5 wire during pulling or in the future, you have two full spare pairs to use instead of having to repull. Just a thought.

    David
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2012
  12. BenTev28

    BenTev28 Member

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    Adding one to the running tally of things I have learned from David North. :)
     

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