Cat5e from computer to stereo


I was wondering if the power from a computer 3.5mm audio output would be to much for cat5e cable and burn my house down?

Here's the background,

I have wired a female cat5e wall plug in the computer room and in the entertainment room(for potential future use). Now I have taken a 3.5mm to stereo(red and white rca plugs) cable cut it in half and patched both halves to a male cat5e cable. I did it as follows.

Red wire from adapter -> Brown and Brown/White twisted pair on Cat5e
Bare copper from adapter -> Orange and Orange/White twisted pair on Cat5e

White wire from adapter -> Blue and Blue/White twisted pair
Bare Copper from Adapter -> Green and Green/White twisted pair

I did the exact same on the end of the adapter that has the 3.5mm plug on it. It works great.

But my only concern is will this cause the wires to become so hot that my house burns down? Or is the power output of the computer not that great. Will the twisting of the pairs cause it to heat up more? I called many computer places and they are half and half some say I will burn my house down and others say it is fine.

Thanks for your help.
5 answers Last reply
More about cat5e computer stereo
  1. How much power are you running to the speakers?

    from the look of things it seems the pc outputs 5v but you need to look up the amperage ....or check it yourself

    the one forum link provided has some information on the cat5e but everything depends on what amperage the 3.5mm outputs.


    if it were me...

    i would replace the wire with a heavier gage and use 3.5mm jacks on the wall (or phono jacks).

    dont chance things when you dont have to. but then again, its your walls not mine.
  3. drew455

    I don't know, I am pretty sure that the max voltage is 5.5v but I can't find the amperage on the specs. I have tested it at 40% volume so about half power, but the other confusing thing is that the adapter I split from was a #26 wire and my cat5e cable is #24. So logically since I used 2 #24 it is way better than the #26 that I am starting from.
  4. ssddx

    Thanks for the links, if you see the post above (from me to drew455) you will see why this is puzzling to me. I know that there should not be much power comming out of the sound card as most head phone cables are tiny wires and if the sound card produced that much power all the head phone cables would have melted. I also know that you can buy adapters that go from cat5e to 3.5mm and from cat5e to stereo rca's (can't remember the link). I am really hopeing not to connect a meter in series with the circuit to measure the amps but if I do I will post the data here.

    Thanks again and any future info will be appreciated.
  5. After a nice science experiment I found out that the cat5e cable should be able to handle the amperage coming from the sound card. While listening to one song the max amperage I found was 20uA. That is 0.000020 A. At a max voltage of .9V for that song. (it fluctuated those were the peaks). So the power output was P=IV =(.00002)(.9) = .000018W or 18uW very tiny. According to this web site

    the 24 twisted pair in cat5e cable should be able to handle 2.38A.

    thanks for all the replies
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