Ethernet rewiring


#1

My system is simple, I stream mostly, my modem is connected to an ASUS RT-N66U access point by a long ethernet cable and another short ethernet cable connects the access point to the audio system.

The long cable was budget - well, it cost me nothing as the satellite company put it in. It’s about 25m CAT5e and about 10m of it is outside the house, getting hot, cold, wet and occasionally covered in snow.

I bought an oil filled external CAT6 for about $30, but now realise I have a possible internal route that would be 20m. Part of the route it will be next to a galvanised steel track and when it enters the audio cupboard it crosses a couple of power cables.

The most practical cable would be a flat one, I understand CAT6a is probably best and would cost

$25 https://www.amazon.co.uk/MainCore-Ethernet-GIGABIT-Compatible-Available-black/dp/B0792CYGKV/ref=sr_1_1_sspa?ie=UTF8&qid=1540333007&sr=8-1-spons&keywords=cat6a%2B20m&th=1

For slightly more there is a flattish CAT7

I’ve read about CAT8 - is this overkill? I just doing video and 24/192 audio. It’s much more expensive, but it’s not a problem. It’s less practical to install.

$200: https://www.futureshop.co.uk/supra-cat8-flame-retardant-ethernet-cable

I really have no idea what I should get. Answers please …


#2

Get cat6 or cat6a from Blue Jeans.

It is made from Belden and measures to spec.


#3

Your post didn’t specify exactly the problem you are trying to solve – poor sound quality for streaming, video breaking up, something else? You must have some reason that you are choosing to upgrade your network cabling…

For whatever its worth, I was suffering from a variety of nuisance issues on my network, one of which was excessive video breakup while I was watching TV via the HDHomeRun. Due to the need for more connections at the house patch panel (different problem), I substituted a 16 port switch for the 8 wired connections of my router. The video problems disappeared. Looking back, I see now that the frame rate my router was capable of handling was inadequate for the high video and computer load I had, among which (I found out later) were when my wife broadcasted YouTube from her iPad to the living room TV. By offloading the switching the router had to deal with onto a more capable device, I had “accidentally” solved my problem.

I just did an inventory of my currently connected devices by logging into my router and found the following on wireless: irrigation system, garage door opener, thermostat, 2 iPhones, 1 iPad, 2 Nooks, and 3 TVs. On wired I found the HDHomeRunPrime, 4 computers (there are sometimes more depending on what I’m working on), and the UPS for my server computers. As we move farther into the internet of things (IOT), and have more connected “smart” devices, most of the time not knowing the load these devices will put on the network, I suspect that problems like mine may become more common.

Its unlikely that plugging an “internet coffee pot” in will wreak your streaming or that adding an internet connected thermostat to your furnace will cause other problems, unless of course a network device is defective. But as we put more and more load on our home networks, eventually there will be consequences.

Point is, networking issues can be tricky. If you know the problem you’re trying to solve, its usually easier to figure out what to do. Who knows, perhaps you can add a switch to your network and live with the cabling you have.


#4

My main concern is that the cable outside will get damaged by the weather or animals and I’d rather it was inside. if I’m going to put in a new cable, I would like to get it right.


#5

Thanks - will go for the Blue Jeans 6a.


#6

The Supra cables are fantastic cables. Definitely recommend those. I would say that if you’re looking for something to improve your system especially if you’re playing off a server – look into the aftermarket switch and router products from the linear solutions. It really made a profound difference in the listening tests my buddy and I did.


#7

Very good reason for replacing cable. There are some tips on installing you can find online. One of the most important is maintaining at least 1 inch bend radius for cat 6 cable - some installers recommend a 2 inch bend radius.


#8

I’ve also read to limit the bend to 4 x cable thickness.

Linear Solutions are a little pricey - $1,250 for a router.

My access point is an ASUS RT-N66U and my server an Aries Mini with a 1TB SSD. Both have after-market external linear power supplies, and they are fed off a PS Audio Regenerator (the regenerated supplies). The signal is reclocked by the Devialet Core Infinity streamer.

So I hope I’m pretty much covered.


#9

I may still go for the Supra. One further point about cables put in by the satellite cable guy is the quality of the terminations. Blue Jeans and Supra are factory terminated and tested.


#10

I think the bend radius has more to do with stressing/stretching the copper and maintaining the twist ratio through the run. I’m conservative so I go with the larger radius.

Depending on the topology of your network and the traffic between nodes, a high priced router is not necessarily required. I’d think the most important cabling is between the server and DAC since bit errors there could cause the most damage to audio quality. I think, but have not verified, that traffic through the router to the internet for streaming may have error correction built into the protocol so the cabling for that traffic is less critical.


#11

It’s been decades since I was up to speed on this topic. But I can tell you for sure that it used to be that if you wanted Ethernet cable that would hold up to the elements outdoors, you HAD to purchase cables specifically rated for that. And Blue Jeans cable is highly unlikely to sell that for audio, as it would unnecessarily drive up costs for cables people normally use inside their houses.

Google is your friend. Get out door rated cable for your outside runs.

Oh… if you want to ensure that critters don’t get to it - however unlikely - you’re going to have to run that outdoor cable through some form of conduit. Exposed cable is, well… exposed.


#12

Oh that’s great. A quality LPS and clean power will go a good ways into solidifying things. We took a look at the internals the TLS switch and it was a pretty solid job. It had an aftermarket OXCO clock, used 7N copper wiring, been replaced with audiophile grade caps, regulators were also replaced and it also looked like some noise shielding material was used.

In regards to the price, I do believe he’s now selling it without the LPS which could bring down the price for you since you already have your own.

But glad you’re keeping an eye out on the network infrastructure for streaming. It’s an often overlooked part of the system!