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Can I use a 250+ pair CAT3 cable to transfer ethernet data? Or other speculative uses?

Posted on 2006-04-20
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I recently inherited a ~100 foot, large bundle of what appears to be CAT3 grade wiring. It's all contained in one plastic housing, effectively making one large cable. I believe it has 250+ individual wires, but I'm not sure if it's 2-pair or 4-pair.

So here's the question:

Can I use this cable to transmit network data at reasonable (100Mb+) speeds, either between only two machines (point-to-point) or between multiple machines? Perhaps trunking of some sort? If so, how? Or what other technologies (POTS/VOIP-related?) could this cable be applied to, and how? Is CAT3 even used much anymore? What is it good for? I'd prefer ideas that doesn't use pricey equipment. If there are multiple plausible and thoughtful ideas, I'll split up the points.
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Question by:thomaswwilliams
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grsteed earned 172 total points
ID: 16504890
The short answer is it's not good for much.

Can't be used for 100mb data, 10 Mb maybe but doubtful you would need that many pairs to one location, plus the additional cost of Cat 3 terminations isn't worth it when most will need higher speed connections.  

It could still be used for POTS.  That type of cable was typically used to get a bunch of phone lines from the PBX to an IDF to serve part of the building and was terminated on 66 blocks.

I think it might be a candidate for the copper recycling bin.

Cheers,

Gary
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by:Irwin Santos
Irwin Santos earned 164 total points
ID: 16504938
@thomaswwiliams....i concur to what grsteed says...

you could make use of it for electromagnetic projects... like basic electric motors.. that's usually fun.

http://www.simplemotor.com/
http://www.eas.asu.edu/~holbert/wise/dcmotor.htm

other purposes...

Wire hanging for pictures
tie wrap for garden hose
....I'm sure there many others I can think of, but I haven't had my beer yet. :-)
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by:OAC Technology
ID: 16504976
I use CAT3 cable to tie down tarp on my boat.

That's a good use for Cat 3 cable :-)
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by:jhance
ID: 16505587
CAT3 is good for up to 10MB/s Ethernet (i.e. 10Base-T) as well as all types of phone services.  It's NOT suitable for 100Base-T or faster.
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by:pseudocyber
pseudocyber earned 164 total points
ID: 16506163
My suggestions for use (ps. Grsteed said it first and best) ...

1. Ebay - sell to someone putting in a Telephone Room (TR).  What you've got there is a backbone cable for phone.
2. Use it yourself - for a phone backbone cable, see above.
3. Find the best metal place that will give you the best price for copper/pound of wire.
4. Give it to someone less knowledgeable than yourself ...
5. Get Mikey to haul it down to the trash.
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by:Irwin Santos
ID: 16506204
I thought of 1 more....

Snare trap wire.  Make a loop/lasso and attach to a stick trigger, which in turn is anchored to a length of wire tied to the top of a Eucalyptus tree.  Pull the tree down, and make sure the stick trigger is set.

put little Eucalyptus leaves into the "hole" of the snare next to the trigger.

wait for Koala.
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by:pseudocyber
ID: 16506235
Only problem with that irwinpks is that you would exceed the maximum bend radius for the cable when it was tightening ... you need to go for bigger game - like a grizzly bear, or an elephant ...
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by:Irwin Santos
ID: 16506292
@pseudocyber...I didn't figure out the physics for that yet, and I think the Eucalyptus tree can only handle 4 pairs of the 24 pairs of wire that is on the Cat 3 spool.  We gotta figure out a bigger tree, that would be flexible, yet not break. So if you figure in a grizzly bear, we need to have a tree that can support at least 750lbs of bend at a 45 degree angle.  The strength of the 24 pairs of copper wire should suffice.

We also have to switch out the bait.

insert human + honey
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by:pseudocyber
ID: 16506318
But you can't leave the other 226 pairs unterminated as that would provide a potential source of EFI pickup - which some electrically sensitive animals (say electric eels) might be sensitive to.

You could break them out and have multiple loops for snagging - or perhaps a loop field - in which an animal could walk into and have four legs (100 pairs @ 25 pairs/loop) a head (25 pairs) and a tail (25 pairs).  That still leaves 75 pair unused though.  

I'll have to give it some thought.

Ps.  We will need to terminate and bond to ground both ends of the cable so that the animals don't have a risk of being electrocuted (cooked) before we can get to them - don't want dinner to be cold.

:D
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by:Irwin Santos
ID: 16506374
@pseudocyber...consider recycling and environmental issues with the remaining 75 pairs of 100ft.  We can create a 10 x 10ft pen to house our newly captured animals.  So no wasted cable, and now we have a zoo.

a 10 x 10 pen will fit

a couple Koalas
Grizzly Bear
and 1-4 legged critter 50% of the size of the grizzly bear.
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by:pseudocyber
ID: 16506394
irwinpks - but you can't break the cable apart!  You'd have to strip the entire 100ft of cable jacket to extract the 75 pairs from the other 175 pairs ...

Pretty sure that would violate even Category 3's lowly standards about maintaining twist and jacketing ...

Can't have a tiger trap that isn't Cat3+ rated!
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by:Irwin Santos
ID: 16506470
@pseudocyber...you're absolutely right..what was I thinking?  But your idea of stipping the wire, leads me to think of another GREAT idea..

Strip ALL sleeving.. outside CAT3 casing and the coated wire so that ALL the copper is exposed.  Instead of making a pen.. we create an electrified barrier fence. By stranding 250 pairs of bare copper wire 100' (make the layer of wire sparse, like a net), mount on posts.  Apply 1000V of Electricty at 5AmP.. and we effectively have a force equal to the electric chair in San Quentin.  What we could do is have Experts on one side

The otherside, we have noobs
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by:pseudocyber
ID: 16506497
Hmm... or perhaps take all the pure copper and add some tin and make Bronze.  Then we could make little Bronze busts of ourselves and put them on our shelves to admire them! :)  Or we could make swords out of bronze and just fight it out amongst ourselves...
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by:Irwin Santos
ID: 16506570
I like the idea of Bronze and some kind of recognition other than points here at EE....I will soon hit a 1/4 million points over the weekend, and 1 point is the same as 100 million points....rather than walk away with squat I rather walk away with Cat3 100ft cabling that I can recycle the metal to create a trophy more worthy than the affluential squat.
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by:WGhen
ID: 16506594
I would knit a hooded sweater using the cat three.  Then the transmissions from the mother ship could be shut out any time I wanted just by flipping up the hood.  The habchi helmet works OK of course but the hood would be more convienient.

WGhen
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by:Irwin Santos
ID: 16506647
@Whgen..well I see..sorta like they used in the movie "Signs".  However, you need to consider the environmental impact and the remaining wire from your prototype.  I'm figuring you will use up 25% of the volume of cable.

IDEA..

The remaining cable can be folded.  Now we have 75feet to work with, but folding 3x, we will have 25' of 750 strands of copper wire.  When you want to implement long range communication to the mothership, we can attach the newly formed cable for omni-directional wide band throughput of single.  The highband frequency should emulate that of a small parabolic dish.

Just in case you need to phone home.
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by:Irwin Santos
ID: 16506660
single = signal
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by:pseudocyber
ID: 16506673
>>rather than walk away with squat I rather walk away with Cat3 100ft cabling that I can recycle the metal to create a trophy more worthy than the affluential squat.

Hey, I get great satisfaction and joy out of EE - helping my fellow man/woman/other.  Actually, it give me a chance to exercise my mind ... and I'm nearking 1M points!  Wh00t, Wh00t!  I'm going to qualify for another free cup of coffee!!!

Back to the exercise though ... the knitted sweater idea gave me an idea - how about making a chain mail suit of armor - provides physical protection against the tigers and RFI protection against aliens - all at the same time! :)
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by:Jay_Jay70
ID: 16506708
whatever route is taken i want in - Ill show you all the best spots in Aus for wild Koalas, and if we have no luck with wild ones, there is a Koala park 5 Minutes from my house and a Pub 3 Minutes

think about it.... the possibilities are endless
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by:WGhen
ID: 16506738
Hey yeah,
With a whole suit of the stuff, I'd be a walking Faraday cage and be Tiger resistant.  I wonder if the hood of my sweater could sorta flop open to be a dish antenna while flipped down, and a hood whilst up.

WGhen
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by:pseudocyber
ID: 16506751
I was at official BiCSi training for ... among other things Cat3 backbone cabling ... and there was a real, wild Alligator right outside the classroom window - they had warned us about staying on the concrete and not venturing onto the grass, or near the pond ...

... too bad I didn't have a spare 100' or so of surplus 250 pair Cat3 nearby ...
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by:Irwin Santos
ID: 16506774
"another free cup of coffee!!!"

I haven't gotten my first cup...where do you get that here?

In regards to your "chain" in the armor.  Back when I was a small kid, my elementary school teacher showed us how to make wire rings.. simply make a loop (circle to fit your finger) and wrap the wire around the circle...(oh yeah, strip the plastic casing and save on the side).  2 feet of cable should make 1 ring. Doing the math,  100' x 250 / 2 = 12500 rings.  We can pass these out to young males to pass to their girlfriends as a practice effort in courtship. It will be their first ring and if there was ever a breakup, no loss...

The "mother-dog" got a lousy piece of wire.

I haven't figured out what to do about the stripped plastic casing...though if we line a pit that is 6 feet deep, we can make a homemade cesspool.
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by:pseudocyber
ID: 16506867
Stripped plastic casing ... put it all together, light it up, and offer the kids that sit around pouting about being called names and planning masacres at their high school a free, pvc high.  It's this new drug dude - called cyanide gas.  It's wicked.
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by:pseudocyber
ID: 16506874
Ps.  Coffee - it's right down the hall.  Hurry up and go get some.
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by:Irwin Santos
ID: 16506903
@pseudocyber...the was surely and inspiration from the Columbine anniversary.

Anyway, I'm going to turn in.. it is 3am in Hawaii.  But before I go....

we can use the 100' spool as a..

boat anchor.
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by:pseudocyber
ID: 16506929
C ya irwinpks - I'm on East Coast, so I need to get working.  

The Columbine thing - yeah, they found a bunch of idiots who were planning the same thing and stupid enough to talk about it on myspace.com.  Idiots.  16-18 year olds now being tried for Conspiracy to commite 1st degree murder.  Good riddance - anyone that stupid should be locked up for a long time - or forced to smoke 100' of 250 pair PVC jacketing.

C ya.

Thomas - sorry to hijack your thread - just a little geek humor.  I still like grsteed's first post.
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by:WGhen
ID: 16507138
Posting stuff like that on myspace... Natures newest way of thinning the herd.
WGhen
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by:pseudocyber
ID: 16507226
Wghen - yeah.  Too bad they aren't eligible for a Darwin Award.
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by:Irwin Santos
ID: 16511569
@thomaswilliams....do you need more ideas?
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by:OAC Technology
ID: 16513502
whips & handcuffs?
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by:Irwin Santos
ID: 16513512
@datadudes...perhaps you can enlighten us on how you can create your product?
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by:OAC Technology
ID: 16516271
haha, i was afraid i had already gone too far ;-)
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by:Irwin Santos
ID: 16516344
@datadudes...depends how far you went....were you on the receiving end?
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by:OAC Technology
ID: 16516459
i'm not much of a cat 3 kinda guy, i'm more into cat 5 or 5e.
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by:Irwin Santos
ID: 16520030
@datadudes...OIC...Cat-O-5e tails huh?
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by:grsteed
ID: 16735127
@thomaswilliams....do you need anymore info???
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by:Irwin Santos
ID: 16735190
@thomaswilliams...did you forget us?
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by:Irwin Santos
ID: 17954066
split points between all participants
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by:pseudocyber
ID: 17955171
The answers at the top were serious answers.  Split points.
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