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Old 04-08-2019, 03:47 PM
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Merlin66 (Ken)
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After 12 years the Cat5 cable gave up the ghost!

Well I suppose I can't really complain....
I bought a 20mtr Cat5 cable to run between the telescope mount and the internal office, I think it cost about $8.
As I moved around the world it went with me and would be draped across the ground/ behind sheds/ over pathways etc etc - generally abused!
I've replaced the end connectors a couple of times when they rusted/ broke/ filled with water...but like many things in life the cable has reached the end of it's life, no longer functional. The covering has deteriorated badly (UV embrittlement) and the individual wires look "tired".
I've decided to put it out it's misery....

The replacement CAT 6 cable cost me $12, so at a running cost of about $1 per year it's ended up much cheaper than some of the other stuff I've bought in astronomy.
(Yes, yes I know the cable should be protected and run in conduit, but moving around that wasn't a real option....)
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Old 04-08-2019, 09:52 PM
Startrek (Martin)
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Ken
Your Cat 5 cable lasted 12 years probably because it was manufactured in Australia using Australian copper and Polyethylene etc
Good luck with your new Cat 6 cable from China , typically a 1 in 10 failure rate
Although your possibly not pushing the full bandwidth
I worked in the electrical industry for 42 years and noticed many types of electrical cables and equipment ( including data cables ) started having higher than acceptable failure rates as soon as we lost a majority of the manufacturing market in Australia ( around 10 to 12 years ago ) to the Chinese
Thatís Progress I suppose
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Old 05-08-2019, 09:16 AM
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Merlin66 (Ken)
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Martin,
Can't really comment......you may be correct...

I'd be interested to know if you can get a UV "protected" Cat 5/6 cable?
I sense all the cables are designed for internal applications.
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Old 05-08-2019, 10:28 AM
Startrek (Martin)
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Iíve never come across UV stabilised data cables or data patch cords as they were always specíd for internal use, although on government projects they sometimes asked us for vermin proofing of the cable sheath but we could never find anyone that manufactured that requirement
I run all my cables ( 230V mains , 12V DC , USB etc ) from workstation to mount across the ground through a flat or semi curved 3 channel PVC floor duct which adequately protects them from the elements and does not pose a trip hazard due to the low profile
Flexible medium duty corrugated PVC conduit would also be suitable but a trip hazard if not buried or clipped out the way
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Old 05-08-2019, 10:56 AM
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Merlin66 (Ken)
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Martin,
I see you can now buy 20mm flexible conduit for $9.50/ 10Mtr ($16.80/20mtr)
This might be a better solution for the current installation....I could run it through the shed/ observatory, along the fence and up to the second story office.
Would probably extend the life of the Cat 6 cable - beyond ten years? I'll probably be in no need of it in ten years time!!!
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Old 05-08-2019, 01:04 PM
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sil (Steve)
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I would have thought you would have laser comms and radio transmitters aplenty. I envisage you have a mini -Parkes setup at home

Cat cabling is easy just make sure you wire correctly before crimping, the connectors are usually the weak point with all cables. I could lend you my kit if you like to test/repair what you have. (message me, I have bag with crimping tool, cable tester and male ends). Too fiddly for me one handed now. My cables have never failed, and I agree with Martin on good luck with Chinese cables made with lowest grade recycled copper etc. You really should put in a permanent length shielded (electrically) and insulated (thermally) to a switch at each end where you can run lengths as needed and replace easier. Its worth sourcing better quality components to have a lasting reliable run. Running on a fence I would be wary of with fences getting induced currents and lightning discharges on their lengths. Plus many people use fences as earths too from their mains so personally I would find shielded cabling for my paranoia. I've forgotten so much about electrician stuff I dont know if baluns or similar at intervals along tthe run would provide protection from interference. There are likely optic fiber options for this sort of thing: a long run with a terminal at each end to wire in LANs.
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Old 05-08-2019, 02:29 PM
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Merlin66 (Ken)
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Steve,
Thanks for the offer, but I've got the crimper, tester etc. Couldn't find those through fit Cat5 connectors which makes aligning the wires 100% easier...

I appreciate your thoughts on the observatory connection, but TeamViewer has worked well for me over the years and a replacement cable will probably see me out.
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Old 06-08-2019, 09:41 PM
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Foxinsox (Graeme Fox)
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I have not been able to get reliable data comms from my PC to and ANKER data hub mounted on my scope using cable longer than 3 meters.

What cabling do you use to achieve 15m - 20 m of cable length with reliable data transfer between the USB port on your computer and the imaging and auto-guide operations at your telescope/mount ? I typically use EQMod, APT or Sharpcap, Cartes du Ciel, PHD2; Gameboy ..)
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Old 07-08-2019, 09:27 AM
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Merlin66 (Ken)
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Greame,
I think we're discussing two different issues:
1. Connections between the telescope (USB hub?) and a local PC.
2. Connection between a local PC (in the observatory?) and a semi-remote warm room (!) home/office PC.

#1 In the observatory none of the connections is greater than 3 - 5 mtr, I use a local power 7 connection USB hub mounted on the pier and only 2 USB cables back to the PC. Why 2 connections? One of my cameras doesn't like connecting through the hub.

#2 My observatory is about +/-16 mtr from the home office. I use the Cat5/6 cable between the observatory PC and the WIFI modem/router (NBN) in the home office and Teamviewer to "see" and operate the observatory PC.

I just have to open the roof, fire up the gear (EQMod, CdC, PHD2, AstroArt, FireCapture etc) then head back to the warmth of the home office.
Hope this helps.
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Old 07-08-2019, 05:32 PM
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Foxinsox (Graeme Fox)
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Data Cabling from Mount/Cameras to PC via data hub(s)

This certainly answers my question which is to do with the connection to my telescope hub and my PC. I will work within my 3 -5 meter limit . From your response it seems that my data corruption issues are related to my imaging camera using the same 5-port data hub as comms cabling to my AZEQ6 autoguide . I will try using two hubs with two separate data cables to two ports on my PC .
many thanks
Graeme

Quote:
Originally Posted by Merlin66 View Post
Greame,
I think we're discussing two different issues:
1. Connections between the telescope (USB hub?) and a local PC.
2. Connection between a local PC (in the observatory?) and a semi-remote warm room (!) home/office PC.

#1 In the observatory none of the connections is greater than 3 - 5 mtr, I use a local power 7 connection USB hub mounted on the pier and only 2 USB cables back to the PC. Why 2 connections? One of my cameras doesn't like connecting through the hub.

#2 My observatory is about +/-16 mtr from the home office. I use the Cat5/6 cable between the observatory PC and the WIFI modem/router (NBN) in the home office and Teamviewer to "see" and operate the observatory PC.

I just have to open the roof, fire up the gear (EQMod, CdC, PHD2, AstroArt, FireCapture etc) then head back to the warmth of the home office.
Hope this helps.
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  #11  
Old 23-08-2019, 06:50 AM
Pepper (Steve)
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Guys, I’m a bit late to the party here but I’m a data cabler by day, and yes, you can get cat6 for outdoor use. Don’t think it comes in pre-made cables but you can certainly buy it on the roll. It is normal cat6 cable with a heavy duty black uv jacket on it. Use it all the time when doing outdoor radio links. Just need to be able to crimp rj45 ends on it or know someone who can.
Underground cat 6 is also available. It’s same as outdoor cat6 but with grease in the cable to prevent water ingress.
As an aside, cat6 should be able to be run for 100m with no real issues. If a 3m cable don’t work, there is something terribly wrong with that cable.

Last edited by Pepper; 23-08-2019 at 06:54 AM. Reason: Bit more info
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  #12  
Old 23-08-2019, 10:20 AM
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Merlin66 (Ken)
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Steve,
Thanks for the input, very good to know.
I ended up buying the CAT6 cable.
I now have a "plan" to run it in some spare 19mm black irrigation piping along the fence and up to the office.
That should provide some weatherproofing and UV protection.
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Old 23-08-2019, 10:25 AM
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The_bluester (Paul)
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Just on lengths, I have a 100M cable and it has been performing just fine for 5 years. To be replaced by a fibre once I finally pull my finger out!

I put it in to my shed to be able to set up an IP phone intercom from the house as my wife was sick of yelling for me to come in for dinner but it has the handy side effect of letting me have decent wifi when doing Astro stuff out there and running a second cable out to my mount PC so it is easy to control from the house, plus as it is set up now, my subs appear on my PC inside about ten seconds after they come off the camera.
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Old 23-08-2019, 10:33 AM
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Merlin66 (Ken)
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Paul,
Did you run the Cat 5 cable in conduit underground??
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Old 23-08-2019, 10:57 AM
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The_bluester (Paul)
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Yep. I had an excavator hired for a few jobs and had some comms pipe lying around so I grabbed a pit from Middys and linked it all up.
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