All About Cat7

Network has become an indispensable part of our daily life. Many homes and businesses today deploy network with either a wired network connection or a wireless connection, and these two network connection methods have their own advantages: wired connection is typically faster than wireless connection and has lower latency; while wireless connection makes it easier to get access to the network from nearly any convenient location. As network technology has kept stepping forward, these two types of network hardware also continue to advance, satisfying the requirements of users. Take wired connection for example, now a newer cable category is Cat7 ethernet cable. This article will focus on Cat7 and share the advantages and disadvantages of Cat7 cabling.

Overview of Cat7

Cat7 ethernet cable is not currently recognized by TIA/EIA, but it is designed to support 10G Ethernet with distance up to 100 meters. It can offer transmission frequencies of up to 600 MHz, which is 6 times larger than Cat5e and 2.4 times larger than Cat6. The Cat7 ethernet cable contains four twisted copper wire pairs, just like the earlier standards, and shielding has been added for individual wire pairs and the cable as a whole. In addition, Cat7 ethernet cable is terminated with GG45 (GigaGate45) connector, which is still compatible cat5e cable and cat6 cable with RJ45 connector.

Cat7 ethernet cable

Advantages And Disadvantages of Cat7 Cabling

Though Cat7 ethernet cable is a newer cable category, it is not the best choice for all network deployment. Why? Keeping reading and you will find the answer in the following part.

Advantages
  • Cat7 has higher bandwidth of up to 600 MHz, which is 6 times larger than Cat5e (100 MHz) and 2.4 times larger than Cat6 (250 MHz).
  • Cat 7 has an overall shield as well as individual shielding of every pair. It performs better to protect against outside interference. Therefore, it is suitable for installing in strong RFI & EMI environment.
  • Cat7 is thicker, more bulky, and more difficult to bend.
  • Cat7 is regarded as the most durable cable and has a longer lifespan of fifteen years than cat5e cable and cat6 cable.
  • Cat7 is compatible with preceding Ethernet cable standards like Cat5e and Cat6. as a result, users can move Cat5e cable or Cat6 cable from existing copper based LAN and install Cat7 without having to change the existing electronics.
Disadvantages
  • Cat7 ethernet cable is not currently recognized by TIA/EIA. It is not a solid, established industry standard.
  • Cat7 is very heavy. Individual pair and overall shielding increases the overall weight and size of Cat7, which makes it not an job for Cat7 cabling. Larger & stronger pathway and more stringent bend radius (100 mm or 4 inch) are required.
  • Cat7 is more expensive. Individual pair and overall shielding also means higher labor costs and more work towards cable termination.
  • Cat7 cabling may cause ground loop problems. If both ends of the cable are connected to ground, it will lead to ground loops which are a major cause of noise, hum, and interference in audio, video, and computer systems. They can also create an electric shock hazard, since ostensibly “grounded” parts of the equipment, which are often accessible to users, are not at ground potential.
Conclusion

For home network deployment, it is not a great option, because it is more expensive and Cat7 cabling is complicated. However, Cat7 is suitable for the place where needs high speed data transmission and is high EMI environment. Therefore, in order to get a successful network deployment, you have to make a careful plan, be familiar with environment, confirm the requirement of network deployment and choose the right transmission media. FS.COM offers the best and most versatile copper cables including Cat5e, Cat6 and Cat7 products. For more details, please visit our site.

How to DIY Ethernet Cables?

Buying the Ethernet cables in stores is probably a common way for average people. However, have you ever met the problem that the cable length is too long or too short? It is so difficult to find the most appropriate cable length at ordinary stores for your network. Especially when the cable is too long, the extra length may end up becoming a mess at your place. In order to solve this issue, why not make your own Ethernet cables? You can create your desired length and the procedures are fairly simple. This post will guide you to make a DIY Ethernet cable.

Essential Tools and Materials

Before you get started, there are some necessary tools and materials needed during the procedure. Wire cutter or wire stripper is used for the task of cutting and stripping wires. RJ45 cable crimping tool can make your cable’s data plug a permanent part of your new cable. RJ45 data plugs are important materials which can be found at many cable stores. Some plugs are labeled specifically Cat 6 or Cat 5e, you can buy specific ones if your network needs one or the other. And you should prepare the bulk Cat 5, Cat 5e, Cat 6 or other Ethernet cables according to your needs. Sometimes, having a cable tester is better since it will save time and prevent headaches down the line when you have a problem with a cable or connection.

Which Wiring Schemes?

Ethernet cables have several standard wiring schemes. T568A and T568B are the common wiring schemes which define the order of the individual wires and pin-outs for eight-pin modular connectors and jacks. If the cable is used for home-networking connections, T568B wiring scheme is recommended. T568A wiring scheme may be employed for the preexisting residential network wiring or other similar projects. The following figure presents the different wiring orders of T568A and T568B.

t568a-t568b-wiring-schemes

Ethernet Cable DIY Steps

After all the preparations, now you are ready to make your own Ethernet cable. Follow these steps and you will soon have your first self-made cable.

    • Step 1, measure the cable to the proper length you want. And don’t forget to add an inch or two because you may lose a bit of cable during the process. Then use the tool to cut down the cable.

cut-the-ethernet-cable

    • Step 2, remove the outer jacket of the cable. A good way to do so is to cut lengthwise with snips or a knife along the side of the cable, away from yourself, about an inch toward the open end. Also leave an inch to an inch and a half if you are green hand.

strip-the-cable-jacket

    • Step 3, untwist and straighten the wires, then arrange the wires into the desired scheme order.

wire-the-cable-into-specific-order

    • Step 4, once your wires are in the correct order, trim the excess away. Only leave slightly less wire to be fit inside the RJ45 clip. And hold the wires in place with your fingers and insert them all at once into the data plug.

install-cable-into-plug

    • Step 5, place your data plug into your crimping tool and give it a firm squeeze. And you just finally complete your Ethernet cable.

cimp-data-plug

Conclusion

If condition permits, using the cable tester to test the Ethernet cable before installation is recommended. Getting this new skill, you will no more worry about the cable length, you can make them as long or as short as you want. Enjoy using your DIY Ethernet cable!

Cat 5e or Cat 6 – Which Do You Choose?

As one type of copper cabling, twisted pair wiring is widely adopted for Ethernet networks which wraps the two conductors of a single circuit together. Nowadays, many kinds of twisted pair cables are available in the market. To specify the cable wiring standards, the Electronic Industries Alliance (EIA) and Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) have defined twisted pair cables into a series of categories, such as Cat 5, Cat 5e, Cat 6, Cat 6a, Cat 7, etc. This article will put emphasis on the two common categories of Cat 5e and Cat 6 to see their differences and which one to choose for your application.

cat5e-cat6

Wiring Standards of Cat 5e & Cat 6

Two standards of T568A and T568B can be used to wire Cat 5e and Cat 6 Ethernet cables. The only difference between T568A and T568B is that the green/green strip and orange/orange strip wire positions are swapped. In general, T568B is more popular for office and commercial networks. But no matter which wiring standard you choose, the most important thing is to continue with the selected standard for consistency. The following picture shows the concrete structure of T568A and T568B wiring.

t568a-t568b

Differences Between Cat 5e & Cat 6
Speed

Data speed is important for cable selections. You have to choose the cable that is equivalent to what is running on it. As for Cat 5e cable, it can support 1 Gigabit Ethernet. While Cat 6 can support higher data rate of 10 Gigabit Ethernet. This is because Cat 6 cable performs up to 250 MHz, which is more than twice that of Cat 5e cable with 100 MHz.

Maximum Length

The common ground for Cat 5e and Cat 6 cables is that they are all designed for short distance data transmission because they are made of copper wires. If the cable is used for lower data rate transfer, both Cat 5e and Cat 6 are able to reach the maximum length of 100 meters. However, when the data rate achieves the maximum speed, Cat 5e cable can only reach 50 meters and Cat 6 with 37 meters.

Cost

Compared with Cat 5e cables, the cost of Cat 6 cables is typically 10 to 20% more expensive because of higher transmission speed. But the price of these cables are comparatively cheap, which only takes up a small portion of the total budget. For the consideration of your application, Cat 6 might be a better choice if higher data rate is required. The additional cost can save you more money in the long run.

Application

Traditionally, Cat 5e cable is run for the business telephones. But using Cat 6 cable with a phone might be a waste. Cat 6 is suited for broadband video and digital video applications because of the lower signal losses and better transmission performance at higher frequencies compared with Cat 5e.

Can We Use Cat 5e With Cat 6?

The answer is yes. Regardless of a possibly different coating on the pins, Cat 5e and Cat 6 are both employing the RJ45 plug standard which makes them compatible to each other. But you can only receive a limited speed of the lowest link in the chain. Therefore, if you want to receive the best performance of cables, you should better use the matching components for your application.

Conclusion

Cat 5e and Cat 6 are two different categories of twisted pair cabling. The major difference between them is the data speed. Cat 6 has a higher speed than Cat 5e which accordingly varies their maximum length, cost and application. All these factors are important for you to make a choice between Cat 5e and Cat 6. Moreover, if higher speed over long distance is demanded, fiber optic cables might be a better solution.

How To Install Twisted Pair Cable Connectors

Currently, twisted-pair Ethernet Cabling is most ubiquitous, particularly UTP cabling, for For LAN and telephone installations. The main method to put connectors on twisted-pair cables is crimping. You use a tool called a crimper to push the metal contacts inside the connector onto the individual conductors in the cable, thus making the connection.
Firstly, we should know the types of twisted-pair cable connectors
Two main types of connectors/plugs are used for connectorizing twisted-pair cable in voice and data communications installations: the RJ-11 and RJ-45 connectors. Figure1 shows examples of RJ-11 and RJ-45 connectors for Twisted Pair Cable. Notice that these connectors are basically the same, except the RJ-45 accommodates more conductors and thus is slightly larger. Also note that the RJ-11 type connector shown in Figure1, while having six positions, is only configured with two metal contacts instead of six. This is a common cost-saving practice on RJ-11 type plugs when only two conductor contacts will be needed for a telephone application. Conversely, you rarely see an RJ-45 connector with less than all eight of its positions configured with contacts.

Figure1
RJ-11 connectors, because of their small form factor and simplicity, were historically used in both business and residential telephone applications, and they remain in widespread use in homes. RJ-45 connectors, on the other hand, because of the number of conductors they support (eight total), are used primarily in LAN applications. Current recommendations are to install RJ-45 jacks for telephone applications because those jacks support both RJ-11 and RJ-45 connectors.

Both types of connectors are made of plastic with metal “fingers” inside them (as you can see in Figure 1). These fingers are pushed down into the individual conductors in a twisted-pair cable during the crimping process. Once these fingers are crimped and make contact with the conductors in the twisted-pair cable, they are the contact points between the conductors and the pins inside the RJ-11 or RJ-45 jack.

Two versions RJ connectors are stranded-conductor and solid conductors
>>Stranded-conductor twisted-pair cables
Stranded-conductor twisted-pair cables are made up of many tiny hairlike strands of copper twisted together into a larger conductor. These conductors have more surface area to make contact with but are more difficult to crimp because they change shape easily. Because of their difficulty to connectorize, they are usually used as patch cables.
>>solid-conductor cables
Most UTP cable installed in the walls and ceilings between patch panels and wall plates is solid-conductor cable. Although they are not normally used as patch cables, solid-conductor cables are easiest to connectorize, so many people make their own patch cords out of solidconductor

Tools for Connector Crimping

The first tool you’re going to need is a Fiber Stripper, as shown in Figure 2. It will only cut through the outer jacket of the cable, not through the conductors inside. Many different kinds of cable strippers exist, but the most common are the small, plastic ones that easily fit into a shirt pocket. They are cheap to produce and purchase.
 
Figure2
Another tool you’re going to need when installing connectors on UTP or STP cable is a cable connector crimper. Many different styles of Network Cable Crimping Tool can crimp connectors on UTP or STP cables. Figure3 shows an example of a crimper that can crimp both RJ-11 and RJ-45 connectors.
Notice the two holes for the different connectors and the cutting bar.

Figure3

The last tool you’re going to use is a cable tester. This device tests for a continuous signal from the source connector to the destination and also tests the quality of that connection

Installing the Connector
Now we’ll go over the steps for installing the connectors. Pay particular attention to the order of these steps(shown in Figure 4)and be sure to follow them exactly.
Equipment from some manufacturers may require you to perform Warnin g slightly different steps. Check the manufacturer’s instructions before installing any connector.
Figure4
Check

Check to ensure all conductors are making contact and that all pins have been crimped into their respective conductors. If the connector didn’t crimp properly, cut off the connector and redo it.