Homemade RCA to Ethernet Adapter

Updated April 17, 2017

Ethernet cables contain eight copper wires, twisted together into pairs in order to reduce signal interference. Extremely common and relatively inexpensive to run over long distances, Ethernet twisted pair cable is often chosen as a medium for range-extending adaptors. RCA phono connectors are colour-coded audio and video cables used to carry a single analogue signal. Composite video setups often employ three RCA cables: one for a single video stream, and two for stereo audio. Component RCA splits the video signal into three channels: brightness levels (luma), the difference between blue and luma, and the difference between red and luma.

RCA to Ethernet adaptor

Each of the four, colour-coded, wire pairs found in Ethernet cable are capable of carrying a single analogue signal up to 50 feet. Connect male or female RCA plugs to each twisted pair on one end of the Ethernet cable. The solid colour wire in each pair should be secured to an RCA plug's centre pole terminal, while the striped wire goes to ground. On the opposite end of the Ethernet cable, choose and attach a connector suitable for the desired application. 8P8C connectors are standard for Ethernet and can be attached in male or female form. Use one of the Ethernet wiring standards for 8P8C connectors and remember to use the same pin-out when making the second adaptor. A pair of adaptors should be tested for signal integrity and correct wiring before being installed between expensive equipment.

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About the Author

Glenn Xavier is an IT development consultant with more than five years of experience managing systems programs. Specializing in U.S. federal project management, he serves as a strategic communications officer, technical writer and application developer. When not managing programs, he lends his talent and experience to writing technical articles and consumer guides.