CAT5 Cable in the high corners of my room for surround sound?

IrishLaad

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Jan 8, 2014
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There has been this cables in the 4 high corners of my bedroom (old sitting room) since I can remember. They lead back to beside the TV input and where covered in by a blank socket.

It says CAT5 E on the sleeve of the cable and looks to be 5 wires inside the cable.

Why would they be there ? Im looking to install a surround sound system now and I hear these are not correct cables. What else would the intention have been with them? Or was it a mistake on the electricians part when the house was being built.


Thanks
 

BadBoyGreek

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May 15, 2014
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CAT5e is a class of network cable. Odds are whoever built the house intended to run network cables through the walls etc. to keep them hidden. Though you could technically use it as speaker cable, since it is copper, I don't recommend it.
 

4 cameras on the same room? maybe they were filming adult movies. :D

There is this thinking on some corners of the Internet, if CAT5 cables can handle mega, giga speeds, surely it can handle mundane audio signal! and it just happens I have some laying around, and it got four pairs of wires inside, how convenient, I can run 4 speakers with a single cable!

Yes you can run speakers on these, the only potential problem is, they are 24 gauge copper, a typical speaker cable 18 gauge or thicker depending how much wattage you are running them.
 
Sounds like an electrician used what he had on the truck. Yes you can use it as speaker wire.
You will need to carefully select the wires to group together at each end to make two conductors. The same color coded wires have to be used to maintain polarity. If you don't you will damage the electronics. The copper is likely solid core so you have to be a bit careful not to snap each solid wire when you work with them.
I would suggest that you only use the ones that are positioned as the surround speakers. Putting the left and right front speakers in the corners is not good. Place the center speaker below the TV. The left and right fronts on either side of the screen but not right near it. You can spread them out to provide a wider soundstage.
 

IrishLaad

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Jan 8, 2014
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Thank you everyone for your replies but I figured it out myself last night!

The electrician used CAT5 so that in case we wanted surround sound we could tie the ends of your audio cable to the CAT5 cable and pull it behind the walls. I used to pull cables myself at an industrial level and I can believe I didnt think of it first before posting. Tie the old cable to the new and you pull the old, replacing the new without any wall damage and all goes well.. assuming it doesnt get caught on something behind the wall ;)
 
Cat 5 cables use 0.5mm wire to carry signals, and this wire has quite large linear resistance. 25ft pair of AWG24 (50ft, 15m, at 0.085Ohm/m) will have a resistance of about 1.3Ohms, which is comparable to speakers' impedance, so you will have a lot of losses in that cable. I've used this calculator as a reference.

If you definitely want to use this cable for speaker - one pair (connected in parallel) per speaker post, this will lower the resistance.
 
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