Shielded Ethernet Cable

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  • Question
  • Updated 2 weeks ago
Does anyone have any thoughts on the use of shielded Ethernet cables?
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Dave

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Posted 3 weeks ago

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VE7ATJ

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Highly recommended.  I'm just switching over to them now -- just in case there's some RF floating around the shack.  Also, make sure the cables are CAT6/6A.
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Frank

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I replaced all my cat 5 cables with shielded cat 7 and a switch that also had metal grounded connectors.  I verified continuity between radio and computer chassis.  Since then, I find that my computer does not freeze up due to suspected extraneous rf as it did before.  I tried to keep the runs as short as possible.  I would highly recommend it.

73,
Frank N5SSH

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kr4k

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Always. I use nothing but CAT 6 or 7 shielded cables. My Ubuquiti Unifi switches are all PoE and in metal. Agree with Frank - use shortest cable possible.
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KC7ES

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Makes all the difference at my very QRO commercial broadcast sites. Better data integrity all around.
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John - WA7UAR

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Hello Dave,

I’m planning to pull around 150 feet of Ethernet cabling in my condo building (from the roof to the club room) and was thinking about this too. I think most folks would have used Cat5e for home installs in the past but are moving to higher grade cable now — since I’m running such a long run through my building I’ve decided to use Cat7 shielded cable .

Here are some information links I have found helpful:
https://www.axis.com/files/whitepaper...
https://www.pcgamer.com/what-are-the-...
https://www.belden.com/blog/smart-bui...

This is the product I plan to purchase:
https://infinity-cable-products.com/p...

And a good conversation thread on Redit:
https://www.reddit.com/r/amateurradio...
(Edited)
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Jim Gilliam

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On long runs like that, you might consider going fiber.

Jim, K6QE
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WA5YOM

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I used shielded in industrial applications...in fact it was a requirement..but they need a path to ground thus the receptacle is designed to ground the shield.
I don’t believe most home devices are designed to ground a shield.
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Scott N8UMW

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Absolutely. I had RF messing with my network on 75 meters. My station is on the second floor and router on main floor. Pulled a new run of shielded, grounded at station end, and problem solved.
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Neal - K3NC, Elmer

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I hate to be the contrarian here (well, I usually am) but I have seen where this can really cause problems. When I was working at Flex, we had a case where a customer could not successfully connect and get his radio registered because there was interference appearing on the shield and causing lousy service quality. It might be purely an issue of cable quality but its not necessarily a great idea.

I honestly think going optical is a much better solution to rf/noise plus it gives you the peace of mind that lightning charges will not traverse your lan (as it did for me 2 years ago and blew everything not only connected but  near the cable).
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Ned K1NJ

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   Very much agree.  NN4ZZ has posted fiber optic configurations here.  It is not
as expensive as you might think.  I've been zapped twice by lightning. Some
suppressors were in place, but both times took out network cards.  Radios and
routers were spared, however.  With ethernet going everywhere and often to
some very costly equipment, fiber should be a serious consideration.

                   Ned,  K1NJ
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mikeatthebeach .

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You can find Ethernet to Fiber Converter Pairs
Rated 10/100 with Two power Supplies all for
$19 to $22 on EBay

Works great with my Flex6600M
Lightning Protection dirt cheap
No excuses not to do it

These are Plug and Play just add
A Fiber Cable and you on you way !

73 Mike

Search for this on eBay
1Pair 10/100M light RJ45 Ethernet to Fiber Optic Media Converter Singlemode 25KM
(Edited)
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Scott N8UMW

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Can't speak for every other issue in regards to shielded Ethernet cable, but it worked for me. With a legal limit amp on, I could make the laser clip on the node that serves my neighborhood. That's three quarters of a mile away. RF would make it all the way back to the modem and ride the hard line back to their converter. I almost couldn't believe it until the regional comcast supervisor showed me the spectrum display for the laser on his laptop. Could key up and see the spikes in real time.
(Edited)
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Scott N8UMW

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In the process, they found a few bad hardline connections they repaired also.
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Ted VE3TRQ

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Ethernet switches with X/SFP sockets in them, plus the X/SFP modules themselves, are becoming very inexpensive. This is often a better choice than using a converter. Have a main switch for the house Ethernet, plug in an X/SFP for LC connector fibre, then run as much as you need to a smaller 4-or-8-port switch in your shack, also with X/SFP socket.
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Wayne Schonfeld

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I recall Flex recommended against using shielded cables because of ground loops.  I would like FRS to reply to this in case the situation has changed their mind over time.
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Stan - VA7NF

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I also use shielded with one note.  Connect one end normally to your switch (metallic shield to metallic switch connection, BUT put a non shielded double female near the other end with a short jumper to finish the connection. 
This will prevent ground loops yet still shield the cable.
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Ted VE3TRQ

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A double female connector is usually considered bad form, and should be avoided, especially if you are running long runs of cable or Gigabit speeds (or higher :-). Much better to simply use a non-grounding RJ45 connector on the radio end.
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Stan - VA7NF

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Thanks Ted, I agree about the double female but that is the fastest way to unshield one end.  My preference, when using pre-assembled cables is to get one that is long enough for making two cables, cut at a split point, then add a non-shielded connector to each.
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Dave

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 Thanks for all the input... I thought of just going fiber, true isolation!!!!  I did pick up some DX engineering ethernet isolation / supression devices....I think they are a newer product, they seem to have good reviews

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John - WA7UAR

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Is this the kind of product at DX Engineering you mean?
https://www.dxengineering.com/parts/d...
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Dave

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;Yes that is what I ordered.  Seem to have good reviews from the few I could find.. Was also talked about in Ham Nation https://twit.tv/shows/ham-nation/episodes/386
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mikeatthebeach .

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Dave
Did the same after Tx with QRO on 75meters
Can drive the 6600m screen crazy here !!!
Added a pair of DXE RFI Ethernet
Filters to take care of this
Mike
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Scott N8UMW

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That's what I plan on doing. I only need a 10/100/1000 media converter for upstairs,, a cable, a pair of sfp + transceivers and done. My router already has a sfp + port.
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Chuck

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Mike, are you seeing any birdies coming from the power supplies on those very inexpensive  (<$20) Ethernet to fiber converters on eBay?  At that price point, it hard to imagine how those wall warts are not RF emitters at some frequencies.  I use fiber for the 100 foot run from network entry point to the shack and then Ethernet for the short runs around the shack.  The DXEngineering devices look very promising where Ethernet is a requirement.
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mikeatthebeach .

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No birdies from what I can tell
FYI, just ordered A pair of DXE Ethernet
RFI Filters
Know Fact to much Power on Tx
Can play havoc on 75meters into
Ethernet Cable On on the Flex
73 Mike
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Scott N8UMW

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Especially when your run of Ethernet cable is about a quarter wavelength on 75. LOL
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John - K3MA

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You can also pickup one or more HP Procurve 2524 24 port switches and if you look around you can get them with one or two Gigabit fiber links installed for less than $25.  One of these with a media converter or two will give you fiber.  I did my entire LAN with fiber for less than $100.  The HP power supplies are clean.  I also did not see any birdies on HF from the media converter supplies.
The one thing you should keep in mind is the HP switches are commerical grade and thus you might find the fan noise too high for a home desktop install.  My Flex is in a unfinished room in the basement so noise is not a issue for me.

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AA0KM

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Dave

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Wow thanks for the input everyone.  Went to shielded ... Will probably use fiber at some point! 

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mikeatthebeach .

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Got the DX Engineering Ethernet RFI Filters today

My Noise Floor drop significantly on 6meters with pair
between my 6600m and Router also a pair on my
Ethernet to Fiber Media units clean up my Radio
Well from carrier birdies

Think most Birdies where From 6600m to Router, the
Media Ethernet to Fiber Units were clean to begin
with no birdies observed there

Can use QRO on 75meters with no glitches
No RFI affecting the Remote Station

Would say adding the DX Engineering Ethernet
Filters to the Station was money well spent !

Hope this helps someone out there !

73 Mike
(Edited)