Cheap connectors to mount cat 5 cables or similar

I have a project with a small arduino nano and I want to put it into a small plastic box. It will run from USB port and it will allow 4-8 Dallas ds18B20 one wire temperature sensors each on its own cat 5 cable. At the moment I am only allowing 4 connectors since each connector will go to a seperate IO port. I know I can put multiple on a single cable but cable length can be a factor then.

Now the cables connecting to the Ds18B20 is a cheap CAT 5E ethernet cable.

I would want to have a simple connector to connect each sensor - 3 wires each as they are running in standard mode (not parasitic power).

This seems to be the problem for me as I can find plugs like 3.5mm audio plugs but panel mounted sockets not so simply. I could use RJ45 or RJ11 but again no cheap panel mounts to mount to the plastic case.

I have really only been looking on EBAY as everything in New Zealand is expensive if I look at local electronic stores.

Any ideas of what is a good way to mount this type of setup?

At the moment I am thinking of buying a few of these and cutting the end off so they hang free of the box - cheap at $1 each

http://www.ebay.com/itm/3-5mm-Audio-Earphone-Headphone-Splitter-Cable-Adapter-Jack-Male-to-2-Female-TE-/121199901571?pt=US_Audio_Cables_Adapters&hash=item1c3813bb83#ht_2565wt_1362

and these connectors 10 for $3

http://www.ebay.com/itm/DIY10pcs-3-5MM-Stereo-Audio-Jack-Male-Plug-Adapter-Connector-Solder-Cord-For-MP3-/181124028867?pt=US_Surveillance_Cables_Adapters_Connectors&hash=item2a2bd559c3#ht_3417wt_1124

Any better ideas?

Cheers

Chris

If you're using a separate Ethernet cable per sensor, can't you just use conventional Ethernet connectors? It seems like overkill just to get three conductors, but that seems to be what you're describing.

PeterH:
If you're using a separate Ethernet cable per sensor, can't you just use conventional Ethernet connectors? It seems like overkill just to get three conductors, but that seems to be what you're describing.

That is not going to solve the problem of mounting female connectors on the box - most "RJ45" connectors are PCB mount, or even more cumbersome.

I seem to have found these. Not all have a mounting nut, so watch for that.

Now note a warning that has been seen here previously - Cat 5 cable is often not flexible and some varieties are aluminium wire with a copper plating that does not reliably solder. It is generally meant to mate using crimp connectors.

Hi

I ended up buying those products I posted about on my original post.

Yes the problem was the panel mounting not the connector.

On Ebay there is very little actual useful panel mounting products. Most are PCB based which is fine if you can create your own board and box.

Chris

it will allow 4-8 Dallas ds18B20 one wire temperature sensors each on its own cat 5 cable.

Any reason you are using cat5 cable instead of something smaller like four conductor cat3 phone wire, or maybe bulk thin three conductor wire?

Paul__B:

PeterH:
If you're using a separate Ethernet cable per sensor, can't you just use conventional Ethernet connectors? It seems like overkill just to get three conductors, but that seems to be what you're describing.

That is not going to solve the problem of mounting female connectors on the box - most "RJ45" connectors are PCB mount, or even more cumbersome.

A search for 'rj45 panel mount' turns up pages of suppliers - sourcing a panel mount connector is unlikely to be difficult. The CAT5 / RJ45 approach does seem like massive overkill for this application, though.

I found this searching for alternatives. It sounds like you’re going down the path that led me here. I put some stereo mini-jacks on my arduino project for connecting ds18B20 sensors. I got the plug and the panel mount jack on digikey. Anyway, you can short the 5v to ground when plugging in. My board went dead when I hot plugged my probe. Luckily I disconnected power and reconnected (sans temperature plug) and everything was ok. If you don’t hot plug/unplug you should be fine, but I want something a little more robust.

I think my solution will be panel mounted RJ11 jacks. But like you I’m finding it hard to find a reasonably priced solution.

I think my solution will be panel mounted RJ11 jacks. But like you I'm finding it hard to find a reasonably priced solution.

A single gang four port faceplate that takes punchdown keystone jacks? Mounted to your project box? Maybe not as elegant as a clean panel mount, but it would work depending on the size of your box. Of course you may need a punchdown tool, but they make plastic non-mechanical ones available for cheap too if you didn't want to get an expensive one. Or get tool-less jacks.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/4-PORT-WHITE-WALL-PLATE-FOR-KEYSTONE-JACK-CAT5-CAT6-RJ45-4-Hole-single-gang-/221164255422?pt=US_Networking_Plugs_Jacks_Wall_Plates&hash=item337e6ab8be

For my DS18B20 project I bought a big box of RJ11 to RJ45 cables and then cut off the RJ45 plug end that I didn't need. I found this easier than dealing with a crimper and it worked out really well for my temp sensor project.

As it happens I'm trying to get rid of the left over cables by giving them away on eBay. If you want the RJ45 end then you can just cut off the RJ11!

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/221628584097.

The single price (£1.48) only covers the postage, but you can also choose a batch of 5 or 10.

Hope this helps some others!