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AV and Multimedia Related Thread, Using cat5 tester for speaker cables in Technical; Evening all, I'm redoing my house and have had all the speaker wires for my 5.1 run into the walls. ...
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    Using cat5 tester for speaker cables

    Evening all,

    I'm redoing my house and have had all the speaker wires for my 5.1 run into the walls. I went to install the custom faceplate for the speaker terminals on the wall today, and realised I didn't know which wire was which(the electrician ran them and didn't label them).

    No problems I thought, I've got my trusty cat5 tester. So, I made a cable, tested the cable, cut the cable in half and isolated one conductor. This I thought would be perfect, attach the remote to a wire in the living room, and then touch the corresponding wire to each cable at the termination point, and I will get 1 light pop up when I get the right one! Sounded perfectly feasible to me.

    You may have guessed that this didn't work.

    Even if I connected it conductor to conductor, without the speaker wire, I got no lights. Am I missing something fundamental as to how these devices work? It is one of the cheapo remote and master jobbies with a rj45 and a rj11 connector on each unit.

    Someone please shed some light, if only to prove that simple still means complicated or that by cutting the wire, I let the magic smoke out

    Oh well, the old "one speaker, one ageing hifi" wire locating system it is for the time being!

    Thanks

    James

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    robk's Avatar
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    You will need two conductors to create a circuit which the tester uses to light the lamp so to speak. If you have buried cables in the wall, that you want to identify It might be easier to short the remote end of a pair, then use a multimeter set to continuity test to find those two wires at the amp end. Rinse and repeat and you will have labelled all the cables ready to connect to amp and speakers.

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    Did you have a ground to the tester. I'd agree Robk's way sounds easiest

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    In the end, I twisted each pos and neg together at the living room end, and then used 2 conductors in the main part of the tester to get a light, worked perfectly. My continuity tester is sitting on my desk at work, so once I worked out touching orange to orange/strip produced a light on the unit, everything else was plain sailing.

    Thanks all for the input

    This is the wall, rough fit, then a bit more paint and clean up the plaster:

    473264_10151387748811463_482107681_o.jpg

    Now, how to fit 6 cat6 modules into a double box, hmmm....

    James

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    Quote Originally Posted by CAWJames View Post
    Now, how to fit 6 cat6 modules into a double box, hmmm....

    James
    My previous school had a double gang cat5 faceplate with 6 modules in it. This was the first and the last socket like that I've seen!!

    No idea where you could get one from though and Google doesn't seem to be much help

    EDIT: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/6-x-Cat5e-...-/170400647569
    Last edited by Chris_; 5th May 2013 at 11:46 AM.

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    I believe this may be what @CAWJames may be after: Comms Express: 6x RJ45 Cat6 Modules in Doublegang Faceplate

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    There is the 6 module face plate I've used in the top right, but I would have to use keystone modules(which have more of a back than a nice full size module), and as my back boxes are only 25mm, it doesn't leave much room to terminate a cat6 cable in each one and make it fit, that particular 6 module faceplate is very flush!

    I will probably use the face plate like the top middle, which has a 'domed' 5 module face plate and use 3 double keystone modules and 2 blanks, hopefully this will give me a little more room for the module and cable in the back box.

    4 runs to the tv(2 for hdmi sender, and 2 for tv and a.n.other), and 2 to the garage, take that wireless and red brick limitations!

    And in case anyone is wondering, the 5.1 plate is for my living room, and the array of 6 speaker terminals, is for speakers in my bedroom, kitchen and bathroom.

    3 raspberry pi's running SqueezePlug clients, and a Oracle Linux 6.4 box in the garage providing the server. 3 Open frame Tripath TA202x units will provide amplification to each 'zone'.

    I have also constructed an Ikea Lack based unit to carry all the hifi, networking et al gubbins:

    466794_10151386420666463_1256853131_o.jpg

    LACK table(£5) and a lack coffee table on coasters(£25), cut to size and screwed together.

    The LACK range is mostly 19" wide, so you can see why its popular amongst home networking people.
    Last edited by CAWJames; 5th May 2013 at 11:51 AM.

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    Thanks Shielder, that's perfect, just need to know the depth of the modules, will have to break out some google-fu and find out.

    James

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    I have Cat5e modules in a similar faceplate (3x in single gang), these are 31mm deep but take up 16mm of the back box from the back edge of the faceplate if that makes any sense. I would hope that that Cat6 modules aren't any deeper.

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    They would do it, but £30 for a faceplate and modules!

    Bit steep, but lets me know it can be done, will no scour the CPC/Farnell website for the correct faceplate and modules, see how much I can get it for in bits!

    I am already crying about circa £40 per KEF in-ceiling speakers, need 6 of them, they were around £25 when I was pricing up this project!

    Thanks

    James

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    I linked to a 6x RJ45 faceplate on eBay in my post for £10.

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    Ah ha, yes you did, must have missed that! And its the same one.

    Good old ebay!!

    Thanks

    James

    Actually that's the cat5e version, i really want the cat6 one, which is still 23.99. I know there's not much difference, but i want everything to be at least rated cat6. Thanks for the pointer though.
    Last edited by CAWJames; 5th May 2013 at 01:00 PM.

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    Right, all sorted for the princely sum of £9.08

    And oh my god, was it fiddly, keystones and not a lot of space to work with!

    944443_10151392562646463_1733920379_n.jpg

    Thanks for all the input on this.

    James

    p.s. Spot the single to double socket converter

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