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Author Topic: Network Cables some insight  (Read 30229 times)


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Network Cables some insight
« on: August 05, 2013, 02:05:18 PM »

Network Ethernet Cables

Having read this post,11316.0.html with interest I thought I would try to add clarity too what has been said for others who might read it seeking help.

  • The OP asked (as I understand it) if he could use one run of 6 core phone cable and connect three network devices to three seperate ports and the answer is YES you can, one pair of the 6 core phone cable for each port. So why wouldn’t you?

    Ethernet standards

    Whilst you don’t have to follow these standards they are what guarantee if you do you will get the data through put at the maximum distance for the given category of Ethernet you are working in. This means, among other things, following the Ethernet specifications for punching cable i.e. which colour cable goes to which pin. This is because each pair in an Ethernet cable has a very specific and different number of twist designed to minimize interference and give the best signal quality.

    If you don’t follow these standards

    whilst the cable may well work you most likely won’t get the data through put you expect and most certainly won’t get this thorough put over longer cable lengths as well as being more susceptible to intermittent or funny issues .

    These points aside the other reason for not using 6 core phone cable to achieve the OP’s goal is the fact that the network equipment could only operate in half duplex mode, send data then receive data. For full duplex, send and receive data simultaneously requires 2 cable pairs per port for 10/100Mbs or 4 cable pairs for 1000Mbs.

  • Cat5 cable IS certified for copper gigabit Ethernet

    The confusion arises because Cat5 as a specification was certified before copper gigabit Ethernet was a reality. This said I wouldn’t get hung up on whether cat5 is or isn’t certified for gigabit Ethernet as I doubt you can buy cat5 now. Look closely if you think you can, it will be cat5e.

  • STP/UTP and other Cable types

    There are many Ethernet cable types and Ethernet cables are not limited to 4 pairs they can have many more and these are the type of cables “rizla” was talking about. These would normally be Shielded Twisted Pairs and used for horizontal and vertical wiring in buildings.

    The most common Ethernet cable is the one we are all use to seeing and there are 2 main types used for networking

    •   STP – shielded twisted pair
    •   UTP – Un shielded twisted pair

    Ignoring, for the moment the different categories of cable (Cat5, cat5e or cat6) the only difference is STP uses foil to screen the four cable pairs and has an un insulated earth wire. The way this shielding is configured, one shield for all pairs or one shield per cable pair for example, can vary.

    Why would you use STP when you can use either wherever you like?

    STP is more expensive but would be used where you want to defend against the effects of EMI (ElectroMagnetic Interference) and/or to ensure that you get the most speed and efficiency out of your network. For example, horizontal and vertical wiring in none domestic buildings.

  • Ethernet Categories

    The ones I’m aware of

    •   Cat5
    •   Cat5e
    •   Cat6
    •   Cat6a
    •   Cat7

    The main differences between the Categories are

    •   The maximum frequency in MHz they can operate at
    •   The maximum data through put in bits per second
    •   The number of twists per pair
    •   Thickness of the conductors
    •   Thickness of connector to accommodate thicker conductor
    •   Whether they are shielded

If you buy UTP Cat5e cable and adhere to the specifications, you can build a reliable gigabit capable network. If you are lucky enough to be building a 10 gigabit network you will definitely need Cat6a but Cat6 would probably work if the run is not too long

I hope this is helpful to someone  :graduate:
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Re: Network Cables some insight
« Reply #1 on: August 05, 2013, 02:45:13 PM »

Thank you very useful info  :).
That job is on hold until the winter as I'm doing some building outside while it's fine .
It will be interesting to see what I can get down the cables I put in, I can easily put in others if that cable was no good as it's in ducts.
Just after that post there was a roll of CAT5e cable on 'freecycle' but I did not get it. :(
I have a set of 6 fixed IP's From  Eclipse  isp.BT ADSL2(G992.3) line>HG612 as a Modem, Bridge, WAN Not Bound to LAN1 or 2 + Also have FTTP (G.984) No One isp Fixed IP >Dual WAN pfSense (Hardware Firewall and routing).> Two WAN's, Ethernet LAN, DMZ LAN, Zyxel GS1100-24 Switch.


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Re: Network Cables some insight
« Reply #2 on: August 05, 2013, 05:21:37 PM »

Thank you for this post

I hope this is helpful to someone

Stickied  :)

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Re: Network Cables some insight
« Reply #3 on: August 31, 2018, 11:52:17 AM »

Also be aware that there are two schemes for wiring a patch panel / outlet with 8-core cable.

T568A and T568B - the difference being that the green and orange pairs are swapped between the two schemes.

Make sure that you don't mix the two schemes by wiring the patch panel to one standard and the room outlets to another...