Outdoor Cat5 Outlets


Active Member
I would like to place a Cat5 outlet or two outside my home. Any ideas where I can get Cat5 outlets for the outdoors? I don't need to worry about people plugging into my network, as these outlets will not be connected to my network.
I once saw someone use a "Decora" type of outlet with a Cat 5 connector. They used a weather proof box and cover like for a GFCI. I assume it worked out well since it has gaskets and all.
I did some serious Googling on this one, and came up empty handed. I can surfice to say that I am 99% sure there is no "over the counter solution" to this one. I did find that here are TONS of Cat5 weatherproof cable suppliers!

I think you are most certainly gonna have to use a standard weatherproof electrical gang box, and modify it by mounting a cat 5 outlet inside of it.

Ok, am I the only one who is currious to ask that if you are not using this for a network, what are you using this for? Also, when you have the cat5 pluged in, the box is no longer sealed, and thus not weather proof, only when the box is closed. Is this something that you will just want to plug into now and then, or something that will be plugged in permanently?
If you use a CODEKEEPER box (I think Home Depot sells them) you will have a covered box even when the cable is plugged into it. It will still be subjected to humidity etc but not rain since the clear plastic cover is in place even when the cable is plugged in.

This type of box is often used for Bug zappers etc. (I know I did) and other devices where you want to leave them plugged in all of the time and control them from a switch inside (like an Insteon etc) and automate the zapper to turn on only for ceritan hours. The outlet is protected by the cover that has enough room to leave the cord plugged in and run out a slot on the bottom of the cover.

Its a neat box but not cheap if I remember correctly.
What I think I'll probably end up doing is modifiying one of the big clear covers that are over our outlets. They only have a screw in the middle, so I'll have to change that a bit. They have cord punchouts on the bottom, so the outlet will not be exposed to water.

As for the use, I am going to use it for my Light-o-Rama pannel I am planning to buy. That's the thing that made the christmas lights dance in that video I'm sure you all have seen. It connects from my Pannel (outside) to my controller computer (inside).
compuguru said:
It uses a serial port on the computer and connects to the controller board via something like an RJ-45 jack. You can check out the controller for yourself: http://www.lightoRama.com
Ah, pretty cool. Just checking (it's my job!!! hehe ;)).

So does this mean we should be expecting a video after Thanksgiving!!!???
Whatever you do to cover it, make sure to add dieletric grease to the data drops before connecting the male plug, so that there is no free air space for humidity condensation.

I saw a situation where the ocasional water (and sanitizer - it was an aseptic room) entered into the protected box. The data drops and patch cable had to be changed every six months. After applying the dielectric grease two years ago we have not ever changed them.

You will not have the situation of the sanitizer (which corrodes metal super fast), but you dont want to risk a short circuit at your PCs RS-232 serial port, which can reach voltages of up to 18v (at least on paper - I have not checked them in the last 12-14 years when I used to play a lot with PC components) ;), but anyway not good even at 12v.
Hubell has a line of water tight network/cat5 jacks for industrial and food industry use you might want to look into.

If I find a link I'll let you know.
Thanks for the links! I'll take a look at those. And yes, I will hopefully have a video sometime late this year. ;)
And minus the assembled board. You have to assemble the board yourself. I'm looking at getting one of these, which is between the two you linked to. It still needs the box and wires, but the board is fully assembled. http://store.lightorama.com/ctcotrbowihe.html

Wait until Monday before you buy anything though, because they have a sale starting that day.