CAT Box Audio Over CAT5

CAT Box

Audio Over CAT5 Stagebox The SoundTools CAT Box is a stage box unit that allows you to run mic level, line level analog, AES3, DMX and/or com down a single Cat5e, Cat6, or Cat7 cable.

  • Low-cost modular stage/drop boxes for high-quality snakes
  • Compatible with DMX, COM and other 3-pin XLR based COM systems
  • 4 channels of balanced audio over Cat5
  • Available in male or female configurations

Starting From $120

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General Information


The SoundTools CAT Box isn’t your average stage drop box. We’ve designed it to be one of the most versatile audio-over-Cat units on the market. When combined with our SuperCAT or SuperCAT Sound cables, a snake built with CAT Boxes will cost approximately 15% what you’ll pay for an average audio snake using 4 XLR cables. Now you can run four isolated channels of clear audio or com down a single shielded Cat5e or better cable, and even increase the distance of your lines. We’ve successfully run balanced analog over 600 feet with our SuperCAT cable in our workshop.
Each CAT Box Unit has 4 XLR ins or outs (available in both male and female configurations) as well as an etherCON input and parallel etherCON output. This is an all-analog, fully passive drop box that can be input directly into analog or digital consoles. Using shielded Cat5e or better cable allows phantom power use through the system.
Not all disconnects are created equally. Because of its design, the SoundTools CAT Box can be used in a multitude of applications.

  • Use for bi-directional audio and COM for small stage or presentation applications
  • Use as a low-cost hard-wire split
  • Daisy-chain units and drop each channel in a different location
  • Use as an XLR-to-Cat conversion box to lower cable costs
  • Utilize Cat5 wiring in building installations to quickly set up audio in conference rooms
Not only is the SoundTools CAT Box designed to work flawlessly, but we created it to look great, too. SoundTools CAT Boxes are manufactured from machined anodized aluminum and finished with stainless steel screws, so they are rust-resistant and rugged enough to handle life on stage. Stylish black and red coloring is finished with a laser-etched SoundTools logo. When set on its side, the CAT Box allows cables to lay flat for a cleaner set up. Our clearly-labeled ins and outs simplify set up and tear down, making this the stage drop box you’ll be reaching for again and again.
SoundTools is founded and run by other audio professionals just like you. We know how much your happiness depends on high-quality tools that work every time. The SoundTools CAT Box is part of our Happy Human Warranty. If you’re not happy with it within the first year, you can return it for a refund. At any time after that, if it fails, contact us and we’ll send you a replacement.

Function


Using either a male or female CAT Box, attach your XLR cable ends to channels 1, 2, 3, or 4 and insert your shielded CAT cable into the input or parallel ends. Repeat the process for the other CAT Box Stage Box to complete the system.

The CAT Box is compatible with all RATCAT family products including the CAT Rack, CAT Tails, and WallCAT units.

Data Sheets


etherCON Wiring Diagram

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FAQ


Do I need to use shielded CAT5 cable?

Yes. Each of the channels share a common ground. This is especially important with digital signals.


How far can I send a my mic lines?

For balanced analog we've achieved distances of over 600ft using our SuperCAT cable. The results will vary with other CAT5 brands. For digital signals we reccommend distances up to 330 ft as per AES/EBU standards.


What is the tiny switch for?

The CAT Box comes with a chassis ground lift switch which will disconnect the ground from the box. Helpful if you run into issues with the metal body grounding to something else.​


Can I use the CAT Box with the SoundTools CAT Tails?

Absolutely! All of the RATCAT family will work together, bringing audio over CAT to the places you need​ it most. Connect CAT Box to CAT Tails or CAT Racks, split signals using the parallell/thru jacks, and route your audio where you want.


Can I send audio in both directions or do I need another gender CAT Box?

The CAT Box is capable of sending or receiving signals, just like an analog snake. ​You can use gender turnarounds OR use the "parallel" option and a second CAT Box. When sending mixed signals a high quality CAT cable is encouraged.


Is shielded cable really required?

The short answer is no. But in order to use phantom power and to minimize noise, we strongly suggest you use properly shielded cable. You can check if your cable is shielded by checking for continuity on the RJ45 jack using a multi-meter. Still not sure? Just purchase SuperCAT and you know you'll be covered.


Can I use it with my (digital console)?

While the CAT Box will work with any console on the market, it is important ​to note that it does not do any D/A conversion. The beauty of the CAT Box is that it sends analog audio over lightweight CAT cable, no conversion required. Hook directly up to your XLR connections and let CAT Box do the rest.

SoundTools Warranty Policy


SoundTools products are curated to thrive in the harshest of live sound and audio environments. We have the Happy Human Warranty because of our confidence in the reliability of SoundTools products. If you are unhappy with a SoundTools product for any reason, return it within one year in its original packaging to the place of purchase for a full refund, no questions asked.

If you experience any unhappiness after the one year warranty, return it to SoundTools with or without packaging in any condition and we will happily replace your SoundTools product with a new or reconditioned unit, for life.

*In the event your SoundTools product is discontinued, give us a shout and we will figure it out.

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