Remote IO Cable


Thread Starter

Bob Munch

Hello List:

I am trying to locate a cable to be used for Allen Bradley Remote I/O. The cable should be rated for EXPOSED OUTDOOR use. I have a very long RIO run for non-critical IO that I would like to run along existing pipe racks but not in conduit. (Just tie wrap it up) This would save a considerable amount of money and time.

I have contacted Belden and AB but they do not have a cable they specify for this use. They want to sell us either cable tray cable or
armored cable. The cable tray cable doesn't seem to have the UV protection necessary and the armored is just too expensive.

Anyone who can assist please weigh in.


Bob Munch
IQ Controls Corp.

Michael Klothe

Well, I've got some QAD solutions (that's "quick-and-dirty"). I'm not saying you'll like
them, but they are QAD:

-- Firstly, forget what all the experts say. Just string your coax. Most coax is rather weather resistant. It'll likely last years, and years before replacement is necessary.
At least until a up and coming man of your caliber has moved on in his career.

-- If the above doesn't grab you, get to any hardware store and get a length of garden hose. String your coax inside the garden hose. It'll be a long time before the weather has eaten through the hose. By then, RIO will likely be obsolete. Or the equipment to which it is attached will be.

For that matter, you can use any piece of opaque tubing or hose you may have lying
around the plant. Just be sure the ends of the tubing or hose are arranged such that rain or snow cannot get in after the coax has been installed.


Michael E. Klothe
Detroit, USA

Kinner, Russ

Here is another way to solve the weather resistant RIO cable need.

Belden sells multiple types of "Blue Hose".
1) High/Low Temperature Plenum Cable
2) High Flex Festooning Cable
3) Gel Filled for Burial
4) Thick Wall (for Abrasion Resistance)
5) Aluminum Interlocked Armor (great instead of Conduit)
6) 600V Cable Tray (yes, DH+ in Cabletray)
7) Zero Halogen (smoke emission)

This information was forwarded to me from another engineer in house here at AVCA who has dealt with special applications for communications cable.

Russ Kinner
AVCA Corporation
Maumee, OH USA
I fully endorse Michael Klothe's QAD solution #2

At the paper mill I worked at in New Zealand, we used black, UV stabilised, "Alkathene" plastic water piping to protect our fibre network cables. We have been using this piping for over seven years both inside and outside with no problems, and New Zealand has a very high level of solar UV radiation.

The pipe we used was a nominal 1 inch size and is available in something like 250 metre lengths. From memory, the cost was under US$ 0.5 per metre.
We laid this out in the yard and blew a draw cord into it using compressed air. Then it was an easy job to pull into the pipe a six core building grade fibre (must be a little bigger than the A-B "Blue Tube"). We were then able to pull the "Alkathene" and the contained fibre into both inside and outdoor cable trays. The added advantage was that the "Alkathene" naturally took up a "Lazy bend" well within the specification for the fibre cables.

I am sure this material will allow outside use of the A-B remote I/O cable.

Good luck

Peter Green
Try Turck.
They make great cordsets and cables for industrial automation.

Walt Boyes

Walt Boyes -- Director of New Business Development
Branom Instrument Co.-- P. O. Box 80307-- 5500 4th Ave. So.
Seattle, WA 98108-0307
Phone: 1-206-762-6050 ext. 310 -- Fax: 1-206-767-5669 --
mailto:[email protected]

William L. Mostia, Jr

There are some of considerations in regards to this:

1. If this cable is run through a hazardous(classified) area, the cable and installation has to meet the code requirements for the hazardous area that it goes through where it goes through it.

2. Electrical codes require any cable or wiring method be suitable for where it is used. Suitability generally is determined by the listing or approval of the cable and the wiring method's acceptability by the applicable electrical code. Of course, the local authority having jurisdiction can approve an installation but such an installation must stand the burden of proof of the audit of other applicable authorities having jurisdiction. Cost is not an acceptable reason for variance from code.

3. The attachment method must also be suitable, cable support method and spacing has to meet code requirements, and where subjected to physical
damage, conductors have be protected.

4. The use of other raceways(conduit, etc) as supports for wiring or raceways is subject to code requirements. The use of process piping as a
cable support is generally a no-no.

5. Outdoor rated tray cable is commonly used outdoors exposed to direct sunlight in ladder type cable tray.

William(Bill) L. Mostia, Jr. PE
Principal Engineer
WLM Engineering Co
Independent I&E Consultant
P.O. Box 1129
Kemah, TX 77565 USA
E-Mail: [email protected]

These opinions are my own and are offered on the basis of Caveat Emptor.