Copper cabling has been the backbone of any successful business for years. For enterprise horizontal cabling system copper cables are used and come in different categories. Each category (or commonly called as “Cat”) has its own specifications and are used based on certain requirements of the business. Their physical appearance is somewhat similar but each has its own distinct characteristics. Physical appearance of these cables can be deceptive. For every higher category, standards were enhanced to meet higher speeds at higher frequencies. With the advent of applications like Cloud Computing, Audio Video Streaming there has been an ever increasing demand of higher bandwidth. Each new category is capable of transmitting data at higher speeds at higher frequencies and each one is designed to keep limited impact of noise or EMI on data it carries.
There are mainly 3 differences as far as physical characteristics of the cable are concerned: Outer jacket thickness, shielding and twists per inch. Apart from these 3 differences cable standards ask for different wire gauge and shielding as well. There is no standardization on the twists per inch of cable but most manufacturers produce Cat6 cable with 4+ twists per inch. Each pair in a single cable will have different number of twists per inch in order to eliminate the possibility of aligning two different pair. Because all copper Cat cables are twisted, manufactures use shielding to further protect the cable from EMI. Unshielded twisted pair can easily be used for cables between your computer and the wall, but you will want to use shielded cable for areas with high interference and running cables outdoors or inside walls. Another major characteristic of the Ethernet cables is type of wire inside. It could be Stranded or Solid cable. Solid cable is not as flexible but it is more durable which makes it ideal for permanent installations as well as outdoor and in walls. Stranded wire is mostly used in Patch cables to provide greater flexibility. Solid cables are used in the horizontal cabling system connecting Patch panel to the inside of user end connector. Installers at ExcelLinx Communications follow strict guidelines while running cables. I thought it would be good to talk about some installation tips when we speak about Ethernet Cables. Below are some of them I found on Internet:
• For solid wire UTP, the minimum bend radius is eight times the outside diameter of the cable. Anything less affects the twist rate, reducing noise rejection.
• When installing long runs be careful not to stretch the cable, doing so could alter the twist rate, again reducing noise rejections.
• Due to the high frequency of digital transmissions, the phenomenon of skin effect comes into play. So be careful not to nick the copper wire.
• Make sure to use plenum-rated Ethernet cabling, if the run is located in a space that is used for air circulation.
• Run Ethernet cabling at least 15 cm from any high-voltage lines, 30 cm is better.
• If Ethernet cabling must cross a high-voltage line, do so at a 90 degree angle.
Another important factor while choosing the type of cable is the fill rate of the conduit if being used. Every cable category has a different fill rate for conduits. For example, a 2 IN EMT conduit can hold upto 22 Cat6 CMP rated cables. Installers need to check the conduit rating and type of cables being used and based on that information a right size of conduit can be selected.
At Excellinx communications we help customer to find a right type of cable along with other infrastructure needed to build a reliable and robust communication network. Our expert installers have tons of experience in designing, planning and implementing Cat5e, Cat6 and Cat6a Cabling systems. Please visit us at www.excellinx.com for more information about our products and services. Our experts can help you choosing right fit for your business.
---- Team ExcelLinx