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Cat5 Wiring Problem

By egray ·
I recently wired my house in North Florida with riser-rated cat5 cabling. The cable was pulled through the walls, across the attic, to an 8-port switch in an unfinished bonus room above my garage.

Everything works fine during the warm months, but when the overnight temperature drops near freezing, everything seems to stop working (yes, it does get a little cold in North Florida). Basically, it works during the day, but stops working at night. The switch is your typical home networking type (i.e. cheap), but I've also tried it with an old 24-port HP AdvanceStack 10base-T hub I had laying around at the office, but the problem persists.

Any ideas?

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Thats Weird.

by baketown83 In reply to Cat5 Wiring Problem

I thought that equipment runs better when its cool. But then again you did say near freezing. I will ask a few of my contacts and see what they say.

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Check those cables again

by mjd420nova In reply to Cat5 Wiring Problem

The cable lengths will shorten in the cold.
connectors become intermittent. check if
the switch is still working in the cold.
Check the power supply to see if it has
quit if it's powered.

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Continuity, Continuity,....

by Overcharge In reply to Cat5 Wiring Problem

Best way to solve the problem is a $30-100 continuity checker. Sounds like you have a break and the expansion of the wire during the day is giving you contact and opening it at night when the cold contracts the wire.

If you had any hard pulls, or kinks, I'd be looking there.

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Could it be moisture related?

by Choppit In reply to Cat5 Wiring Problem
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Check your lights

by jdclyde In reply to Cat5 Wiring Problem

if your cable run goes by floresents that would only be on at night, this could cause issues.

Can you ping at night time?

Total loss or just drops some?

You don't have any splices do you?

have you taken a cable tester to the lines?

unless it is electrical at one end or another, it would have to be moisture. Electricity actually travels FASTER when it is cold, so the freezing shouldn't bother this, unless they are exposed to the elements. lines outside are in conduct? conducts are dry?

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Sounds more like a condensation problem

by sleepin'dawg In reply to Check your lights

This could be alleviated by proper ventilation of the space. Rather than conduct, I think you meant to say contact. Make sure all contacts are clean and there are no shorts across contacts caused by condensation. The space needs either proper insulation and/or ventilation. Try insulating the contacts to eliminate any possibilities of shorts.

There could be faults in the wiring insulation which only show up when the wires contract in the colder temperature causing a short at a point the wire come into contact with any metal, i.e. like where the wire runs through a metal stud or metal joist. The runs of wire should be loose and not pulled taut.

Dawg ]:)

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Or better yet

by jdclyde In reply to Sounds more like a conden ...

just go wireless for the whole thing and not worry about bad wires!

A wireless card for your pc's isn't expensive anymore.

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but they're

by Dr Dij In reply to Or better yet

more expensive equipment
(could be a wash as wires cost money too & time to run)

not as fast as cat5
less secure

(insert old geezer rant:)
back in the old days, when cat5 cable was solid core, if you sharply bent a segment of the wire you instantly destroyed it, i.e. it was looped and you pulled the loop tight. we had a cal-tech student intern crawling around in the ceilings of our plant installing the stuff, who didn't quite get this, and it wouldn't work unless he was careful. cold weather contracts metal so bends where it cracked slightly would open. less of a problem with todays stranded wire but it is still metal, not a polymer and can micro-crack if you bent it too much or stretched it too tight.

the common mode noise reduction is supposed to eliminate or greatly reduce introduced noise such as from flourescent ballasts but especially if you didn't terminate the ends correctly, you'll still have data transmitting OK but no common mode noise reduction and 'zap' when flourescents or other noise source go on.

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cost and speed

by jdclyde In reply to but they're

wireless card $50 to $80 usd.
Access point as low as $30, up to $150.

The flexibility of moving a system anywhere you want is a bonus.

A much better solution than having to pull all new cables, because unless he has the use of a $10K tester, he is never going to find the spot that is causing the problem.

If you go right along a main power line of across a flourescent light, you will pick up all kinds of noise.

Speed, 10/100 vs 54. The ONLY time this would matter is copying large files from one system to another (talking GIGS). When your bottleneck is a 3 meg cable modem (or slower) if you were on a 10baseT network you would never no the difference.

The only REAL overhead is the additional software running to make the wireless connection will take about 3 megs of ram.

You also have more network overhead than on Ethernet, but again it is still much faster than what your internet connection is, it won't impact him.

The other choice is to run new cables for each system that drops off.

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Maybe tight cables or contracting wires

by Deadly Ernest In reply to Cat5 Wiring Problem

If it only heppens when cold then it could be that the cables have been drawn too tight and the contraction caused by the cold is breaking connections. I would check tension on the cables and recheck the quality of the connections at each end make sure they have sufficient copper in the crimp points and crimped properly.

Another thing I would try is to place insulation around the cables where they go through walls and are most exposed in the attic and between buildings if they do.

Also check that the power supply to the switch is not affected by the cold. The freeze may stop the power point from functioning, this would then stop the switch

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