Saturday, January 01, 2011


Cat-5 cable has been the bane of my existence.

I'm marginally color blind (red-green) so sometimes making a cable, especially in low light, is problematic. But overall, I can strip, order and crimp a cat-5 connection pretty quick.
Yesterday JR threw a helluva curve at me.
Cold-Weather-Rated Cat-5.

Now, I've worked with Cat-5, Cat-5e and Cat-6... Even bonded pair, which I hate with a passion, but the cold-rated stuff has replaced bonded pair as my most-hated cable.
The sleeve around the cable pairs has a silicone gel in it...and it is vile stuff.
And it gets all over everything. Hands, tools, connectors, work surface. Gah.
It takes solvent of some sort to get it off... Soap & water just won't do it.

Yours Truly trying to strip and order the strands of this crap.

Fortunately I always carry several pairs of rubber gloves in my backpack, "just in case"... Sure glad I had them yesterday.

Nasty. Yuck.
I hates it.

But- if your cables are running out to a tv truck in temps below 32 degrees, it's better to be safe than sorry.

(Guess what we'll be using a lot of up in Calgary? Cold-Rated Cat-5 & a shitload of Nitrile gloves.)

(Photos by GoodPhil)


The Mighty Skunk said...

It's lanolin.

Some advice from a guy who deals with cold-rated Cat5 as much as the indoor stuff:

1) If you just relax and let it rub into your skin, it'll make your hands super-soft (your wife will love it).

2) If you use calfskin gloves instead of rubber, the gloves will absorb the lanolin, will get super-soft, and will not freeze, even at Lake Louise in -37C (proven fact).

3) To clean your tools, a few drops of liquid Dr Bronners and REALLY hot water (boiling) emulsifies the lanolin and cleans up tools pretty well.

Luc said...


No one told me about no stinking Cold-Rated Cat-5. >:-[


Bug said...

sounds similar to the goo inside some of the direct bury telco stuff I've (and I'm sure you have) dealt with... very yucky working with that stuff.

wow, never occured to me that it was lanolin, nor that you would care about TBG's wife liking his hands.

Cond0011 said...

Cold Rated Cat 5? Ugh.

Hey Thanks for the heads up.