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Electronics Activity LED on cat5 cable

Discussion in 'Modding' started by bard, 21 Nov 2008.

  1. bard

    bard Modding isn't what it used to be

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    I am mounting a wall socket for my cat 5-cable. This socket has two "holes", but only one will be used to connect the cable. I was thinking I could place an activity LED in the other hole.

    How would the schematics look for an activity LED on a network cable? I am guessing I would need some sort of small battery to drive the LED, or is there a current that I could use from the cat5-cable itself? If so, will this affect the speed of my connection?
     
  2. bradders2125

    bradders2125 What's a Dremel?

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    I'm not sure if i'm right or not, but i believe not all the pairs are used in a cat5 cable and so if you could pass the power along an unused pair you would be able to have a light on the socket. You would need to check i am right on this, as i said i'm not sure.


    It might be worth your while looking at POE (Power Over Ethernet) to provide power so that when the switch is on with poe active the light is on.
     
  3. Tulatin

    Tulatin The Froggy Poster

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    Yes, you could do this by wiring the LEDs on your router/switch into one of the pairs on the cable, but bear in mind that you won't be able to get past 100mbps using this.
     
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  4. bard

    bard Modding isn't what it used to be

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    So you are saying that wiring a pair to an LED would compromise the speed of the network?

    I see that the brown wires in a cat5 cable are unused, but would sending a current through them the whole length of the wire (approx 10 meters) create interference in the other pairs?
     
  5. Smilodon

    Smilodon The Antagonist

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    Hey Bard! Long time, no see!


    1000Base Tx Ethernet uses two pairs for data communication, while 100Base only uses two pairs. If You use one (or two) of the pairs for the lights there will only be two left for data.


    However, if you have a wall socket with two holes, and both are connected via one cable, you still have only 2x 100Mb connections.
     

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