Radial Catapult Rack

  • $ 299.99

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Rackmount Cat 5 Analog Audio Distribution Transmitter & Receiver

The Catapult Rack is a passive audio snake that allows you to send or receive 12 channels of analog audio over standard Cat 5 or Cat 6 Ethernet cables.

The Catapult Rack TX and RX are the latest additions to Radial’s popular lineup of Cat 5 compatible analog audio snakes. These passive devices utilize the four pairs of twisted wire within Cat 5 ethernet cables to send analog audio over long distances without requiring bulky and expensive multi-channel snake cables.


  • Distribute 12 channels of balanced audio over three Cat 5 cable lines
  • Easily combines with any other Radial Catapult modules
  • Robust steel enclosure and locking Neutrik etherCON connectors
  • Reversible rack ears for optimal configuration with any setup

Analog audio over Cat 5 wiring

The Catapult Rack TX and RX act like a typical multi-channel analog audio snake; they allow you to send mic or line-level signals from one location to another without signal loss, noise, or interference, and without any digital audio conversion needed. What makes the Catapult system unique is that it utilizes Cat 5 Ethernet cable, which is widely available, lightweight, and economical. Simply connect one shielded Cat 5 cable for every four channels of audio and deliver it to any other Radial Catapult module – it will utilize the analog conductors in the cable to deliver four balanced audio lines to any destination.

1 Rackspace, 3 times the channel count

The Catapult Rack units operate like three modules in one chassis. Since each Cat 5 Ethernet cable can carry four channels, the 12 XLRs on each Catapult Rack are split into three banks, each with their own noise-eliminating ground lift switch and RJ45 Ethernet jacks on the rear panel. You can use three Ethernet cables to connect all 12 channels to a single location, or split them off to any of the Radial Catapult stage boxes, providing you with a fully customizable audio snake system that can connect multiple destinations at once and even include transformer isolation where needed.

Rugged and flexible

The Catapult Rack TX and RX are built to handle the toughest pro touring environments, and like all Catapult modules they include Neutrik etherCON RJ45 connectors. These allow you to use compatible cables with a protective metal shell around the Ethernet connector that protects against accidental disconnection while also preventing damage to the RJ45 plug itself. Another useful feature on the Catapult Rack is the addition of reversible rack ears, which can be mounted on either side of the chassis, so you can have the XLRS or the Ethernet connections facing outwards as necessary.

Straight-wire passive operation

Catapult Rack modules require no power to operate, and since they keep the signal in the analog realm, no digital conversion is necessary. Straight-wire connection from each bank of XLRs to the RJ45 connector on a Cat 5 cable ensures that your audio passes through without coloration or distortion.

All Radial Catapult modules are compatible with each other and sold individually, so you can select whichever combination best suits your needs. The Catapult Mini RX and TX can be used together as a pair, creating a compact 4-channel audio snake. However, if you prefer to have a stage box to plug microphones into, but want a compact breakout cable that fits in the case with the mixer, combine the Catapult TX4 with the Catapult Mini RX. With the addition of the Catapult Rack units, you can also incorporate equipment racks into your setups for greater flexibility, with each rack unit essentially functioning as three 4-channel modules in a 1RU rackspace. With a wide variety of modules available, you can customize your stage or recording studio setup to suit any application.

Common Radial Catapult questions -

What type of cable should I use with the Catapult Rack?

We recommend using shielded Cat 5 or Cat 6 cable for the best audio performance and noise rejection. Shielded cable is also required if you have any microphones connected which need 48V phantom power to operate. However, you may also use unshielded Cat 5 or Cat 6 cable to transmit audio between your Catapult modules.

Why are there two RJ45 connections for each bank of XLRs?

One connection is designed as the main input/output (depending on whether you have a TX or RX model), while the other RJ45 jack is intended for use as a Thru connector, so you can feed a copy of the four audio channels to another destination if needed. Both of these jacks are wired in parallel with the front panel XLRs, so it does not matter which one you use – this is why we left them unlabeled.

Can the Catapult Rack TX and RX be used with AES digital audio?

Yes, both the Catapult Rack modules can be used with AES audio signals. The characteristic cable impedance for AES signals is 110 Ohms. As luck will have it, Cat 5 cable has a similar characteristic impedance at 100 Ohms. This makes them compatible for use.

Can I use the Catapult Rack for speaker level signals?

No. The wire inside a Cat 5 cable is not thick enough to transmit speaker levels. For speakers, you really need 18-gauge wire or larger.

Can I use the Catapult Rack to transmit unbalanced signals?

Unbalanced signals require a coaxial cable design with an integral shield. Sending unbalanced signals over a balanced cable does not provide any benefit. It may work, but you will likely encounter noise, particularly if you extend the cable beyond 8 meters (25′).

How far can I transmit analog audio signals using Cat 5 cable?

We have tested the transmission to 100 meters (300′) without problem. As with any audio snake, when you extend beyond a certain length of cable, you may begin to experience more noise and high frequency signal loss due to cable capacitance. For the best results, we recommend you always use shielded Cat 5 cable.

Can I use each bank of four channels on the Catapult Rack as a 2 x 2 or 3 x 1 bidirectional audio snake?

Yes, you can use the Catapult system to send signals in both directions simultaneously. However, due to the differences in signal strength between mic and line-level signals, you may have crosstalk from the line-level signals onto the mic channels.

Do all Radial Catapult modules feature locking etherCON connectors?

Yes. While all Catapult modules can be used with standard Ethernet cables, they are also all equipped with Neutrik etherCON jacks, which accept compatible cables that have a metal protective shell around the connector that securely locks to the Catapult module, preventing both accidental disconnection and possible damage to the actual RJ45 plug itself.

Can I mix and match Catapult Rack modules with other Catapult modules like the Catapult Mini or the Catapult TX4 or RX4?

Absolutely! All of the Catapult modules are compatible with one another, so you can connect them in any combination depending on your application.