How to wire a passive 4 channel Cat5 XLR Snake

Discussion in 'Live Sound Engineers And Live Gear' started by AprilBHernandez, Jun 2, 2017.

  1. AprilBHernandez

    AprilBHernandez New Member

    I've heard it's possible to use standard Cat5 to create a passive 4 channel xlr snake (8 wires in cat5, just not using the ground in each xlr) Can someone explain how to do this and what equipment I'll need? I'm not sure what kind of Cat5 to use (ie shielded? unshielded? ) and have never terminated Cat5 ends before.

    I understand the risk in voiding the ground, and this snake would also not be able to carry phantom, but in my situation it would help out greatly and be very cost effective.

    If anyone can provide any pin out diagrams or suggestions on how to go about doing this, it'd be greatly appreciated.
  2. Robert M Leigh

    Robert M Leigh New Member

    Cat 5 cable is basically a 'use once' deal in that it doesn't coil up again very well and of course it's dirt cheap. If you're absolutely determined to use the same cable in different ways in different places, just wire a 9-way D-sub connector at each end to make it portable from a wiring point of view.

    There's something on the net somewhere about a guy who used shielded cat5 cable to wire a big church for mikes. Can't remember enough about it off the top of my head to tell you more but using the shielded cat5 you've got an earth, albeit a shared one. The cable is not much dearer than the ordinary unshielded ethernet cable, so that might be worth a think.

    Be prepared for cable failure if you start coiling and re-coiling a load of this stuff. It doesn't like it.

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