Ethernet Cable Direction - Advice Appreciated


Does it have anything to do with direction?

Maybe, maybe not.

I’m just trying to help with the facts. :wink:

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Factcat ?

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True, but there is also many other kinds of messages from various layers of the networking stack that end up as EM waves on the physical transport layer, such as the streamer broadcasting its presence on the LAN. It’s really far fetched to talk about a flow direction on Ethernet

That’s true as well. On the other hand, these wires are twisted to avoid emitting EMI and there are very stringent specifications that have to be met regarding system noise or the whole contraption wouldn’t be working at all :slight_smile:

Plus, as yellow-banana alluded to, it’s really hard to see a direction here, regardless. There is a logical direction of data transmission, but I can’t see a physical direction. It’s a wire with a weak alternating current on it, either way.

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Sorry, I guess my irony tags should have been more obvious. :man_shrugging:
(The Naim streamers anyway try to buffer as much as they can, so there can be minutes of non-streaming.)


Well the article you linked is a very basic introduction to electromagnetic radiation and induction. Certainly the existence of these phenomena is not in doubt, as without them none of even the most basic electrical devices we take for granted would work.

The EMI the article talks about is, however, emitted by strong radiators either because they were built to radiate (radar, etc) or because they carry very strong currents (like overland power lines). It says nothing about weak currents where mitigation is in place (like twisted pair wires) and the effect on competently designed audio devices. Ethernet cables carry a few volts.

As for the other direction, the cable catching EMI from strong senders, again the Ethernet spec is meant to deal with it on the data integrity level and unless one lives in a very unhealthy environment I wouldn’t worry about the interference on the electrical level either.

Arguably, a very expensive audio device that’s designed to be connected to Ethernet should be able to cope with the weak EMI or other effects that occur in Ethernet cables that are within the stringent specification. If they require special cables or other additional mitigation, one would expect the manual to say so, at least.

Of course, anyone is free to believe that the Ethernet connection of their 6K streamer is crap or can be improved, and to experiment with whatever they like, as well as being free to define for themselves the levels of evidence they find acceptable.

No, I should have been more perceptive :slight_smile:

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I thought you where suggesting the data travelled along a piece of wire in both directions.

Ethernet traffic) still goes in both directions, and hence the electromagnetic “waves” on the wire also travel in both directions.

Data travel along one pair of wires in one direction and travels in the opposite direction along another pair of wires

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Yeah, I was being sloppy when I wrote that and it’s good that you corrected it.

It’s the option I went for and I’m happy with it

But Ethernet signals go BOTH ways!

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Yeah I know that but I’m not one to go down the rabbit hole on these things!
I’m just highlighting a potential origin for why manufacturers made a decision to put directional markings on these cables. I personally don’t feel it’ll make the slightest difference and if you flipped them round and blind tested I doubt anyone else would either.
Informational only on this occasion :partying_face:


I suppose the quantum tunneling is only a “likely” cause according to Nordost’s marketing materials :wink:

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Their copper supplier swears by it apparently.

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Directional ethernet cable. :rofl:


That’s Transmit +, Transmit -, Receive +, Receive -

The data isn’t all going up and down a single metallic path.

Let’s see where that takes us in the mad house today :rofl:

Yes, it is a mad house indeed!

Well it is Friday after all, perhaps we should throw pulse amplitude modulation in to the mix for some additional fun.

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I think the OP’s question is probably meant for the April Fool’s Day. :slight_smile: