Standard computer CAT5e cables can be used for the AES50 (supermac) and HMAC. However we DO NOT recommend them, especially not for the HMACs. They are not designed for continuous re patching, and also come in many varying tolerances and price ranges where the RJ45 connectors are known to cause intermittent connections with some of them. If the cable is being used in an area where there is a chance of vibration, then the RJ45 connector may vibrate in the panel mounted mating socket, causing intermittent audio or control information.
We recommend using ruggedised RJ45 connectors that have a shell (see Fig 1). This will lock into the high quality connectors that we use for our AES50 or HMAC connections and this will stop the RJ45 from vibrating.
Other issues that mass produced computer cables can cause is bent pins inside the panel mount AES50 connectors. This may be due due to the plastic boots having not been made to specification or the RJ45 having not been manufactured or crimped correctly. There are occasions where cables without shells have to be used, such as break outs from the unit to a panel on the rear of the rack. In this instance, make sure high quality cables are used and they are checked before being inserted. A panel mount RJ45 connector with a shell fitting can still be used however on the panel for the external connection (see Fig 2).
When you are buying expensive equipment, why disrupt your show with a cheap cable?