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Thread: Buy or Make Own Cables

  1. #1
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    Default Buy or Make Own Cables

    Are you buying 115V AC and Ethernet cables or are you making them yourself? I probably will make my own Ethernet cables as I did this before, have the tools and the connectors will be in a dry location (box). However, I am a bit more hesitant about the AC cables. They will be exposed to the elements and I am not quite sure how I could make them safe so they don't short out when it rains. If you make your own cable do you have part numbers that you are using?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Buy or Make Own Cables

    I make both my ethernet and AC cables. I use 100% Copper Stranded Cat 5 cable for the Ethernet with the corresponding ends. For AC I use 18 AWG SPT2 cord with Vampire Plugs and have never had an issue with them due to weather. I do make an effort to keep them off the ground when possible and in an area that will not puddle when I cannot keep them off the ground.
    2012 - 1st year 64 Channels - 7500 LED lights - 5 sequences
    2013 - 128 Channels - 10,000 LED lights - 7 sequences (2 New)
    2014 - 201 Channels - upgrading 8 Arches to dumb RGB - 8+ sequences (1+ New)
    2015 - 240 Channels + 8 Universes - sequences TBD
    2016 - No Display
    2017 - Back in the Game - 240 Renard Channels + 12 Universes
    2018 - 256 Renard and 9 Falcon Outputs of Pixels - 16 sequences shown over 2 nights
    2019 - 256 Renard and 9 Falcon Outputs of Pixels - 16 sequences shown over 2 nights
    2020 - Emergency Conversion to Falcon F48 with limited wireless

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Buy or Make Own Cables

    What Tom said ^^^^. I do the same.
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  4. #4
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    Default Re: Buy or Make Own Cables

    I have always made my own ethernet cables from cat5e wire.
    I reuse alot or repurposed AC cables from retired applicances and cables I've gotten from work from old PC's and monitors.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Buy or Make Own Cables

    What Tom said.
    Rayhjr I Love This Stuff!

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Buy or Make Own Cables

    What Tom said here too!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Buy or Make Own Cables

    I don't worry about AC cables getting wet. I don't want them sitting in a pool of water but they otherwise sit on the ground. If I can keep connectors under the eaves, tucked under a gutter, etc then that's where they go. I buy my AC cables because it works better to have several standard lengths. It's easier to accommodate changes when I don't have a length of cable for a specific purpose. I've mentioned before, I don't want to waste time looking for the one 16.5 foot cable that goes to a wireframe. Instead I grab 3 6' cables or a 15' and a 6'. I keep extras on hand so I can vary which cables go where. I've tried labeling cable but I still had the dilemma of wasting time when one comes up missing. I do the same with pixel extensions.

    I avoid network cable whenever possible. You can't extend it easily like AC wire and pixel extensions. Years ago I had over 80 network cables in my show. There were 3 bins with nothing but network cable, all custom lengths and labeled for a single use. Those bins were at least 50-60 pounds each. Now the only network cable I have goes from my attic to a router under the porch. I stopped running data wire to pixel and Renard controllers. I also ditched remote SSR's and only use controllers with SSR's on board. I'm 100% wireless for data. It's made a huge difference in cost, storage and ease of setup/take down.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Buy or Make Own Cables

    I bought a 1000' spool of SPT2 wire and bags of vampire plugs in 2012 when I got started and it's one of the best things I bought.... They are much easier to make than ethernet cables, and I've had zero issues. I don't worry about water at all with the vampire plugs, which we get plenty of being in Atlanta.
    -Chris

    2012: 3 Renard SS24's for 72 channels... 6236 lights... powered by HLS
    2014: 3 Renard SS24's, 1 SS16, 2 REN RGB+w, 1 E6804, 32 FAST tubes... 7,000+ lights & 200 pixels... powered by FPP & HLS

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Buy or Make Own Cables

    I agree with everyone else above. I make my own ethernet cables and generally use spt2 for power. I do use store bought outdoor cables for major power runs. To run power from outdoor plug to points in the display were power is needed. Then use SPT2 to go from that point to props. Big drops to put power for multiple props and then SPT2 for individual props.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Buy or Make Own Cables

    I view making cables like using a calculator: it's best if you learn arithmetic first, but once you do, it's faster to buy a calculator.

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