Mac Mini Dual Core 2.4Ghz, 8GB Ram, OS 10.13.6, most up to date Roon Server software
Network Details (Including networking gear model/manufacturer and if on WiFi/Ethernet)
Arris Cable Modem with built in 4 port router and Wifi
Audio Devices (Specify what device you’re using and its connection type - USB/HDMI/etc.)
Bluesound Node 2i > Cambridge Dac Magic.
Description Of Issue
Both the Node 2i and the Core are connected via Ethernet. The Core is connected via a 6’ Cat5e cable and the Node 2i is connected via a 50’ Shielded Cat 7 cable. I’m experiencing occasional drop outs. The dropouts seem to go away if I connect the Node 2i via wifi rather than the long ethernet cable. I would prefer to connect via ethernet if I can sort this issue out.
Changing the cable would definitely be a good place to start. CAT 7 is quite a specialised data centre / infrastructure cable that may not work well with consumer products in the home for which it wasn’t designed. Its similar to the issue of using enterprise managed switches which have backfired for several roon users.
For example, CAT 7 is an industry fora standard, not an IEEE standard and even uses a proprietary GG45 connector instead of RJ45 (although backwards compatible with RJ45). There are no guarantees that consumer devices have been rated for CAT 7 whatever the marketing. You could try CAT 6a for a long run and that is an IEEE standard and uses familiar RJ45 connectors.
I’m probably the wrong person to ask. There are strong opinions on this topic. Voting with my feet, we recently moved so there was an opportunity to cable up the new apartment. We installed unshielded CAT 6. I don’t have a strong opinion on this. The decision was simply that was what the contractors had, I’ve never heard a difference between cables, we didn’t need runs longer than 30 meters, and the contractors didn’t have the skill set for anything more complex. Works fine.
You want unshielded. Shielded requires proper termination with ground drain, which most people at home do NOT have. Without proper termination, it turns it into an antenna, which you don’t want. The “shield” is one of those things people that don’t know what they are talking about promugate in the audiophool market because it sounds better. It’s only really needed in industrial environments with very high RFI (like your cable runs past an arc welder) and again, requires proper ground drain termination to work correctly.