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Cat5 question

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Cat5 question
Posted by Blind Bruce on Tuesday, February 12, 2008 1:46 PM
How on earth do you strip cat5 without nicking it?

73

Bruce in the Peg

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Posted by BlueHillsCPR on Tuesday, February 12, 2008 1:53 PM

Laugh [(-D]

Good question.

I use my wire strippers and grip the cable loosely with them letting it rest in/beside the hole for the largest gauge and on the wire cutter portion of the jaws.  Then applying slight pressure and rotating the stippers, I score the sheath without cutting all the way through.  Then I grip the scored portion of the sheath with the jaws of the strippers and pull it off.  I used to nick the odd wire but I haven't done that in ages.  There are other methods that are better I'm sure, but it works for me.  As for the individual conductors, I used to use my teeth...(BAD IDEA) until I chipped one stripping a wire.  Now I use a small pair of side cutters in a similar fashion as I use the strippers to remove the sheath.  Micro-Mark sells a stripper for smaller gauge wires.

22-30 gauge stripper 

 

There are also cable strippers similar to what I use for stripping coaxial cable that are made for stripping the sheath off Category 5 cable.

Cable Stripper 

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Posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, February 12, 2008 2:21 PM

In Ethernet Class, we had strippers that did the work.

Sometimes we stripped each wire one by one after breaking though the main insulator. SOme classmates thought it boring and tedious =) I was happy like fish in water.

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Posted by Phoebe Vet on Tuesday, February 12, 2008 2:42 PM
I use dikes (diagonal cutters) for 90% of the wires I strip.  I've been doing it that way since I was in the Navy.

Dave

Lackawanna Route of the Phoebe Snow

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Posted by BlueHillsCPR on Tuesday, February 12, 2008 3:22 PM
 Falls Valley RR wrote:
In Ethernet Class, we had strippers that did the work.

Sometimes we stripped each wire one by one after breaking though the main insulator. SOme classmates thought it boring and tedious =) I was happy like fish in water.

I am trying to picture the need for stripping each of the wires when doing Ethernet cabling?  I have never run across a situation where I needed to strip anything but the cable sheath for ethernet. Smile [:)]

 Phoebe Vet wrote:
I use dikes (diagonal cutters) for 90% of the wires I strip.  I've been doing it that way since I was in the Navy.

Yes, dikes, (diagonal pliers) what I call side cutters have always worked for me.  Lots of people would say it's a bad way to do it and in the case of household or commercial electrical wiring I would agree.  Otherwise the "dikes" work pretty well. 

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Posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, February 12, 2008 3:30 PM

Building crossover or straight through installations with the plastic jacks, wire color diagram and straight boxes of bulk cat5.

Then stringing the routers to the workstations and wanning, lanning and trunking everything until you ran screaming out of there. I lasted a year in there until I learned that I like to build computers not networks.

Then one day each work station had a wireless antenna.... it became more of a software exercise. Banged Head [banghead]

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Posted by BlueHillsCPR on Tuesday, February 12, 2008 4:52 PM

 Falls Valley RR wrote:
Building crossover or straight through installations with the plastic jacks, wire color diagram and straight boxes of bulk cat5.

Yup I gotcha there but we always used punchdowns on quickport jacks etc. and the crimp-down RJ45 connector plugs... no stripping individual wires just about 1/2" of the sheath.

For sure, wireless spoilled all the fun.  I like cable though. Confused [%-)] Smile [:)]

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Posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, February 12, 2008 5:12 PM

We also had the punches etc but they made us do it the slow, hard way manually so that you actually sat there thinking about each wire color.

Basically it is like trying to teach someone how to take blood pressure manually in a world of electronic gizmos.

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Posted by Blind Bruce on Wednesday, February 13, 2008 5:13 PM
You guys that work with cat5s intended purpose are well above what I had in mind. I already removed the shieth and WAS having trouble with my old (old) yellow handled stripper. It nicked the soft copper solid more that I wanted. I finally used my old (old) thumb nail and just pulled the insulation off. No nicks but my thumb hurtsSmile,Wink, & Grin [swg]

73

Bruce in the Peg

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Posted by yankee flyer on Wednesday, February 13, 2008 5:24 PM

Bruce

OK whats cat 5? is that the same as 4 wire telephone cable (wire)? 

Lee       Happy RR ing

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Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, February 13, 2008 7:41 PM
 yankee flyer wrote:

Bruce

OK whats cat 5? is that the same as 4 wire telephone cable (wire)? 

Lee       Happy RR ing

No it aint.

It is 8 wires wrapped into one that are supposed to feed workstations from routers, hubs, rack panels etc. One of those can reach 100 yards from the MDF or IDF within a work building to a workstation.

I better shut up now... about to reveal my staggering lack of knowledge and ignorance for all the world to see.

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Posted by BlueHillsCPR on Wednesday, February 13, 2008 8:16 PM
 Falls Valley RR wrote:
 yankee flyer wrote:

Bruce

OK whats cat 5? is that the same as 4 wire telephone cable (wire)? 

Lee       Happy RR ing

No it aint.

It is 8 wires wrapped into one that are supposed to feed workstations from routers, hubs, rack panels etc. One of those can reach 100 yards from the MDF or IDF within a work building to a workstation.

I better shut up now... about to reveal my staggering lack of knowledge and ignorance for all the world to see.

 

Sounds like you have it pretty well cased actually. Smile [:)]

The only thing I might add is that category 5 cable can be found in sheilded and non-sheilded varieties and the 8 conductors are actually more appropriately described as four pairs.  The sheilded variety has a foil wrap around the pairs to limit external interference.  The non shielded is usually called twisted pair because the paired conductors are twisted together.  The twist provides sheilding from interference.  That's about as far as my knowledge goes.  Beyond that is pure ignorance on my part. Big Smile [:D]

BTW

I hope this is not mistaken for an advertisement. I recently removed 1000's of feet of telecom, alarm, and network cable from a commercial building that I did the electrical demolition on.  I now have a plethora of comm cable in "like new" condition on hand.  IF, anyone is in need of some cable I can let you have it for the cost of shipping it to you.  I want no profit from it, it is not for sale.  I have no idea how the shipping cost would compare with buying it locally.  That's up to the individual to determine.  Anyone in my "area" could probably make arangements to avoid shipping and in that case the cable would be virtually free. Thumbs Up [tup]

If interested PM or email me. 

If anyone has a problem with me making this offer here let me know in a PM and I will delete it from my post ASAP. Smile [:)]

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Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, February 13, 2008 8:21 PM
 BlueHillsCPR wrote:
 Falls Valley RR wrote:
 yankee flyer wrote:

Bruce

OK whats cat 5? is that the same as 4 wire telephone cable (wire)? 

Lee       Happy RR ing

No it aint.

It is 8 wires wrapped into one that are supposed to feed workstations from routers, hubs, rack panels etc. One of those can reach 100 yards from the MDF or IDF within a work building to a workstation.

I better shut up now... about to reveal my staggering lack of knowledge and ignorance for all the world to see.

 

Sounds like you have it pretty well cased actually. Smile [:)]

The only thing I might add is that category 5 cable can be found in sheilded and non-sheilded varieties and the 8 conductors are actually more appropriately described as four pairs.  The sheilded variety has a foil wrap around the pairs to limit external interference.  The non shielded is usually called twisted pair because the paired conductors are twisted together.  The twist provides sheilding from interference.  That's about as far as my knowledge goes.  Beyond that is pure ignorance on my part. Big Smile [:D]

That would be called cross talk I believe. When bundles of wire carrying alot of traffic begin to literally signal each other and interfere with traffic.

If memory serves, we had 40 work stations in one class room. I think there were about12 class rooms in the building, one of which is a protected security/proxy lab for hacking etc. The rest of the school were on fiber between buildings and ultimately to a little green box carrying a HUGE amount of copper.

All we did was take half the workstations, go through a bunch of routers and connect to the other half. And variations of the same exercise.

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Posted by Blind Bruce on Wednesday, February 13, 2008 8:57 PM
One thing everyone has forgotten to mention is that cat 5 has four pairs of #24 SOLID wire. As such, it is very prone to breaking off. That is why it is important to not nick it. That is where it will break off, every time.

73

Bruce in the Peg

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Posted by jbinkley60 on Wednesday, February 13, 2008 9:35 PM
 Falls Valley RR wrote:
 yankee flyer wrote:

Bruce

OK whats cat 5? is that the same as 4 wire telephone cable (wire)? 

Lee       Happy RR ing

No it aint.

It is 8 wires wrapped into one that are supposed to feed workstations from routers, hubs, rack panels etc. One of those can reach 100 yards from the MDF or IDF within a work building to a workstation.

I better shut up now... about to reveal my staggering lack of knowledge and ignorance for all the world to see.

The 100 yards you refer to is the approximate distance for 100Meg ethernet over Cat 5 cabling but it is actually 100 meters for those metric type of people Big Smile [:D] .  The more commonly available CAT 5E cable distance is 350 meters.  These specs are maintained by the TIA under the 568A standard.  For what we deal with in model railroading, we can go much greater distances, depending upon the use.  In some cases, where we may be powering a device like building lights and such, then the actual wire resistance becomes morre important than the AC electrical properties of the wire at certain frequencies.  

 

Engineer Jeff NS Nut
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Posted by BlueHillsCPR on Wednesday, February 13, 2008 10:55 PM

 Blind Bruce wrote:
One thing everyone has forgotten to mention is that cat 5 has four pairs of #24 SOLID wire. As such, it is very prone to breaking off. That is why it is important to not nick it. That is where it will break off, every time.

The stuff used in runs in buildings is solid conductor wire.  It is also available with stranded condutors which is what is commonly used for patch cables between wall jacks and workstations.  The stranded conductor cables will take much more flexing than the solid of course.  As mentioned nicks to the solid conductors will almost certainly quickly result in a broken wire. 

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Posted by Tilden on Thursday, February 14, 2008 10:12 AM

  Yes, but the 100 meters includes patch cords and cross-connect jumpers.  Not that anybody really cares....

Tilden 

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Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, February 14, 2008 10:21 AM

Degrading of a signal before timeout restricts travel range.

Indeed, what can you do with this thin 24 gauge wire in the Hobby? Here Im thinking 12 gauge buses and short 18 gauge (Within a few feet at most) feeders.

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Posted by fwright on Thursday, February 14, 2008 11:21 AM
 Falls Valley RR wrote:

Degrading of a signal before timeout restricts travel range.

Indeed, what can you do with this thin 24 gauge wire in the Hobby? Here Im thinking 12 gauge buses and short 18 gauge (Within a few feet at most) feeders.

Using a pair of Cat5 24 gauge wires is the same as using a single 20 gauge wire.  Using 4 wires tied together at the terminal is the same as 16 gauge.  So a single Cat 5 cable with 4 wires each leg can serve as a power bus!

But I'm thinking overkill for the typical bedroom size or smaller layout with the wiring specs you suggest.  Unless you are actually using the full 5 amps of your DCC power on the rails, or have wiring runs longer than 30ft, 16 gauge power bus, and multiple 22-24 gauge short feeders are quite adequate for most home layouts.  The wiring needs to be heavy enough to immediatley trip the circuit breaker with the quarter test, and to limit voltage drop to less than 0.7 volts when you have the maximum running load - and no more.

Being realistic, 12 or 14 gauge wire is often easier to find and cheaper than 16 gauge because of its use in household wiring, so no harm done.  I have successfully used 26 gauge magnet wire for feeders (16 gauge braided antenna wire for bus), but then I'm only running a max of 2 locos at once on a small layout (and I don't have a 5 amp power supply either).  The magnet wire feeders are very unobtrusive, feed nicely through a 1/8" hole, and are used on every rail section because I don't depend on rail joiners for electrical contact.

Do I recommend such light wiring for all?  No, it depends on your loads and wiring scheme.  And if heavier than required wire is readily available at a good price, by all means use it.

just my thoughts, your choices

Fred W 

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Posted by cmawdsley on Thursday, February 14, 2008 3:38 PM

I use Cat 3 and Cat 5 wire for controlling turnouts.  In particular I find it useful for connecting a diode matrix to pushbuttons located a distance away, or to more than one set of pushbuttons.  I have an 8-track staging yard off a wye, with a set of buttons at the yard, and another set on the main, mainly due to the *&^% duckunder in between.  Works like a charm.

I also use 3-pair Cat 3 wire for the wye turnouts.  It helps keep things neat. No issues for slo-mo machines, and for twin-coil, I just run at the upper end of the rated voltage, so any voltage drop doesn't affect them.

I don't strip the 24 AWG conductors, I use the 2- and 3-terminal telco splices.  They're quick, easy and reliable.  Just grab a slip-joint plier and have at it.

One last thing, two 24 AWG wire is equivalent to one 21 AWG wire. Every three numbers up represents a doubling in conductor cross-sectional area.

Chris M.

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Posted by jbinkley60 on Thursday, February 14, 2008 6:19 PM
 Falls Valley RR wrote:

Degrading of a signal before timeout restricts travel range.

Indeed, what can you do with this thin 24 gauge wire in the Hobby? Here Im thinking 12 gauge buses and short 18 gauge (Within a few feet at most) feeders.

I use it for switch machines and other low current applications.

 

Engineer Jeff NS Nut
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Posted by Tilden on Thursday, February 14, 2008 6:52 PM

Nice work Jeff.

Tilden 

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Posted by JulesB on Thursday, February 14, 2008 11:26 PM
 BlueHillsCPR wrote:

 Blind Bruce wrote:
One thing everyone has forgotten to mention is that cat 5 has four pairs of #24 SOLID wire. As such, it is very prone to breaking off. That is why it is important to not nick it. That is where it will break off, every time.

The stuff used in runs in buildings is solid conductor wire.  It is also available with stranded condutors which is what is commonly used for patch cables between wall jacks and workstations.  The stranded conductor cables will take much more flexing than the solid of course.  As mentioned nicks to the solid conductors will almost certainly quickly result in a broken wire. 

The stranded CAT 5e is known as patch cable. The flexibility is needed because they are changed from time to time. Different RJ45 portals need to be changed if desks/ offices are moved etc. Regular CAT5e/6 is PVC, if you run it thru ducts in old buildings you need to use Plenum cable, no noxious fumes during a fire.

I have 1000" reels of patch and Plenum almost full. Leftover, now I'm retarded.

 

Jules

 

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Posted by Rdrr on Tuesday, February 26, 2008 8:39 PM
Cat 3 and Cat 5 cables usually have a fiber string inside the sheath with the conductors. Just skin the end of the otside jacket with a knife about 3/4" or so, find the string, grip the end of the cable, and pull the string back up through the jacket like a zipper.
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Posted by BlueHillsCPR on Tuesday, February 26, 2008 9:16 PM

 Rdrr wrote:
Cat 3 and Cat 5 cables usually have a fiber string inside the sheath with the conductors. Just skin the end of the otside jacket with a knife about 3/4" or so, find the string, grip the end of the cable, and pull the string back up through the jacket like a zipper.

Yes that will work on chunks a few feet long or so, but I have pulled the fiber string right out of the cable while trying to do this on short lengths.  Have you ever given yourself a cut on the finger from that stuff.  Man, just like a paper cut! Sad [:(]

When the string works though, it works great! 

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