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Ralph Priest

LOR and Cat5

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Ok,I have a big problem with my controllers--for the second time this season. Twice I've had to replace CAT5 ,with brand new cables--both in the exact same box and position. That suggests to me that the problem is with the RJ45 jack in the Showtime controller(3rd Generation) What says the mob?

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Are these premade Cat5 cables or are you making them yourself?  If you are making them yourself, avoid using EZRJ45 connectors.  If you don't have a sharp crimp/cut off tool, the ends of the cat5 can poke through the connector and cause pins in the RJ45 jack to short out.

 

I would check for corrosion in the RJ45 jack.  Maybe replacing the cable is cleaning off these connections just enough to make it work until the corrosion creeps back in.

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I simply use the same dielectric grease that I use on my RGB connectors to prevent corrosion.  Very lightly coat the cable plug and then plug/unplug a couple times to clean and coat the connection.  I did notice a couple years back green corrosion on the copper tangs in the Cat5 wire plugs.  That is when I started using the grease.

I would look inside the LOR jacks too...make sure all the pins are straight and extended.  It definitely sounds like a pug or jack issue that was temp fixed when you installed the new cable.

Also, have you recently updated the firmware or anything this season that might be causing an issue.  If you did, I would try to go back to the firmware that was installed previously.  If not, I would go and download the latest firmware and update the LOR unit.

 

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From my experience, I have had several on the controller is bad. I have gone as far as to build a permanent residence for the controllers so I do not have to plug/unplug the Cat 5 cables. The connectors are readily available from Mouser, e for example, and with some solder -wick can be easily removed and replaced. 

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I actually went ahead and mounted the light linkers in each box. this allows me to leave the cat 5 cable plugged in without unplugging. 

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Jacks on LOR controllers certainly can be damaged/"go bad" - I've had this happen a couple of times before. LOR can repair, of course, but the issue can cause data corruption along your entire network and make things to wacky. 

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Pretty easy to repair yourself if you have any soldering experience. If you are have "wacky" communication issues, take a look at the routing of your main power wiring as well as controller outputs.

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