I want to prepare the wiring in our church to use a digital snake system. We haven't decided which brand we're going for yet, but both M-2001 - S-1608 (REAC) and X32 - S16 (AES50) combinations have these Ethernet connectors with XLR-like shield around them. Both systems claim that they work over normal CAT5 (for short distances) or CAT6 cables. The connectors as seen in the photo's however do not look like the RJ45 connectors I'm used to on my router, computer, NAS, etc. The center does look so, but it has a XLR-like shield around it.
Can I use normal RJ45 cables and is the XLR stuff just eye-candy? I guess I could use more expensive f/utp cable and connect the shilding foil to an old dismantled XLR connector, but would it help anything? Wouldn't I be creating a ground-loop that can cause interference on the digital signal? (I know there is CRC correction, meaning it would be difficult to tell while the interference stays under the correction threshold).
So the question boils down to:
- How are these connectors called? (I've searched on RJ45 and XLR without success).
- Can I use standard networking cable after all?
- Could someone specify "short distance" a little more definite (I guess that 20 meters is "short"?)