Cat5 Cat5e Cat6 Cat7 Questions and Answers

1. How do cat5, cat5e, cat6 and cat7 differ from one another?

Simply put, cat5 rates at 100MHz, cat5e rates at 100MHz, cat6 rates at 250MHz, cat6A rates at 500 MHz, and cat7 allegedly rates at 600MHz.

Nowadays, cat7 is not approved by the TIA, but is recognized by BICSI. Presently cat5e or cat6 are the most commonly used options in today’s telecommunication systems. Cat6 cables are being created with separators that will deal with improved crosstalk and better 23 gauge conductor wires compared to the smaller Cat5e 24 gauge ones.

Cat5e comes with 100 ohm impedance, as well as electrical characteristics that support transmissions all the way up to 100 MHz. When it comes to performance, cat5 and cat5e differ in every aspect, such as attenuation, capacity, resistance, and frequency. The components of cat5e were especially made for high speed Ethernet. Although the components of cat5e work with gigabit Ethernet, they will perform below top standard if the distances are too long. So, if you use 1000 Mbps switches, cat6 cables would be better compared to cat5e cables.

The ‘e’ in cat5e actually stands for ‘enhanced’ and is totally backward compatible with modern equipment using cat5. Its improved electrical performance makes sure that the cables can support any applications which would need more bandwidth, like video or gigabit Ethernet.

2. What would be the differences between various kinds of cables?

Unshielded Twisted Pair or UTP refers to a kind of cable that comes with pairs of insulated twisted copper conductors within one sheath. Cables of UTP are highly common when it comes to desktop communications applications cabling.

Stranded cables refer to several tiny gauge wires within every separate sleeve of insulation. Stranded cables happen to be more flexible, so they would be ideal for distances that are shorter, like patch cords.

Solid cables have bigger gauge wires within every sleeve. These cables have an improved electrical performance compared to stranded cables and are traditionally put to use for inner walls and within ceilings – any kind of long cable runs.

For added flexibility, patch cables consist of stranded copper conductors. This kind of construction happens to be ideal for frequent changes which happen at patch panels or wall outlets. Stranded conductors will not send information signals as far as solid cables can, though since it comes with the governing standard in systems of commercial cabling that restricts its length to ten meters. Because of this, stranded cables would not be recommended for long cable runs. Although they usually don’t have problems reaching up to a hundred meters, it would still not be advisable.

3. How do 10BASE-T, 100BASE-T and 1000BASE-T differ from one another?

10BASE-T refers to the IEEE standard, which defines the overall requirement for transmitting data at 10 Mbps within unshielded twisted pairs of cabling, as well as different aspects in running Ethernet on its cabling.

100BASE-T refers to the IEEE standard, which defines the overall requirement for transmitting data at 100 Mbps within unshielded twisted pairs of cabling, as well as different aspects in running baseband Ethernet on its cabling.

1000BASE-T, or gigabit Ethernet, refers to the IEEE standard, which defines the overall requirement for transmitting data at 1000 Mbps within unshielded twisted pairs of cabling.

4. What are cross-over cables?

Cross-over cables refer to the parts of a cable, which cross over pins. Usually, such cables are put to use to link two personal computers together without the need of hubs, or to cascade dual hubs without the use of uplink ports.

5. Which maximum cable lengths are available?

When it comes to solid UTP, the fast Ethernet 100baseT can reach up to 100 meters, while the twisted pair of Ethernet 10baseT can reach up to 100 meters.

When it comes to patch cables made out of stranded cables, the fast Ethernet 100baseT and the twisted pair of Ethernet 10baseT can both reach up to 10 meters.

6. Are cat5e cables backwards compatible?

cat5e cables function with every 10BaseT and 100BaseT hub and network card. cat5e also happens to be compatible with cat5, but your overall network output will just be as quick as their slowest parts.

7. Can cat5e ethernet cables run outdoors?

Cat5e cables are not made for use outdoors, but won’t have problems doing so. Whenever possible, run your cables through so  me type of conduit in order to stop moisture from getting to them. It should be easy to locate gray PVC conduits that are suitable for cables at practically any hardware shop. Keep in mind, thought, that your maximum length is 100 meters at rated frequency, without any type of amplification, hub or bridge.

8. What would be a cat5e cable’s operating temp?

A CAT-5e cable’s operating temp would range from -10C up to 60C.

9. How does T568A wiring differ from T568B wiring?

T568A and T568B refer to two wiring patterns made for eight position RJ45 modular plugs, which are both allowed under the TIA/EIA 568A document of wiring standards. The sole difference between these patterns would be that pairs 2 and 3 happen to be interchanged.

10. What would be the cable UL levels?

Three levels exist: the general purpose level of UL1581, the riser level of UL1666, and the plenum level of UL910. All of these numbers are safety and fire rated.

11. How can EMI be prevented?

Electro-Magnetic Interference or EMI could be a possible danger to your overall communications system since it could reduce your high speed performance and lead to overall signal loss. EMI refers to the interference within signal reception or transmission, which is caused by magnetic or electrical field radiation that can be found near heavy machinery, fluorescent lighting, or power cables.

Staying away from EMI would be as easy as avoiding laying network cables near electrical cables, or (if required) switching to costlier shielded cables from UTP.