Future Proofing your house with Network Cable
THE FUTURE IS NOW.
Over the last 25 years, category cables have been developed and consistently improved to support voice, video and data signals for various communications networks that were first being developed.
LEAVE THE PAST IN THE PAST
(some tech specs)
The original Cat 3 supported Local Area Networks with medium speed data utilizing a 1 to 16 MHz bandwidth with attenuation ranging from 7.8 to 40 dB and near-end cross-talk from 41 to 23 dB at 16 MHz; Cat 4 was then developed for extended distance Local Area Networks with attenuation ranging from 6.5 to 31 dB and near-end cross-talk at 56 to 36 dB at 20 MHz; and Cat 5 was developed for high-speed Local Area Networks with attenuation ranging from 6.3 to 67 dB and near-end cross-talk at 62 to 32 dB at 100 MHz.
SPEED IT UP
Category 5e was then developed which tested out to 350 MHz and this was followed by Cat 6 which tested out to 550 MHz and Cat 6A to 650 MHz. Both Cat 5e and Cat 6 and Cat 6A cables are available with unshielded or shielded cable construction.
SHOULD WE POWER UP THE SHIELD CAPTAIN?
Do I need shielded cables or just regular (unshielded)?
Shielding normally is needed in areas where there is a lot of high-frequency interference. These unshielded twisted pairs (UTP) and shielded twisted pair (STP) cables supported Token Ring and Ethernet and were specified in EIA/TIA-568.
There is also a Cat 7A shielded cable which can operate up to 1,000 MHz and features an LSZH (Low Smoke Zero Halogen) cable. As data transfer demands have grown we have seen further technology improvements in category cables.
Usually, these cables are installed behind the walls, in the attic, and in the basement. Most people do not understand how quickly voice, video, and data cables are now carrying signals that are at much higher speeds and with much greater resolutions.
SO WHAT SHOULD I GET?
Thus it is important that for Cat 6 they buy a cable with 23 AWG copper conductors rather than 24 AWG to allow the signal to travel further, uses a plastic spline to avoid cross-talk between the four pairs and complies with current standards that require higher frequencies for new applications like the 4K/2k video resolution.
(Do you even have a spline?)
BECAUSE: Once the category cable is installed in a home, business or other installation it is extremely difficult to remove it and very expensive to install new cable.
It must be noted that Cat 6 and Cat 7 cables must have an inner spline to avoid cross-talk between pairs. We performed electrical tests comparing
results with Cat 6 cable using a spline and those without a spline. We always use a spline, but some of our competitors do not and this results in failure! This is shown below and all tests are done using a calibrated test pair.
LET ME SEE THE TEST REPORTS!
1. Cat 6in 295ft length without spline which has a -3.1 dB headroom failure and a -0.9 power-sum failure.
2. Cat 6in 295ft length with spline which has a +6.1 dB passing headroom and a +7 passing power sum.
3. Cat 6 in 150 ft length without spline which has -3.5 dB headroom failure and a -2.1 power-sum failure.
4. Cat 6 in 150 ft length with spline which has a +5.6 dB passing headroom and a +6.4 db passing power-sum.
5. Cat 6 in 100 ft length without spline which has a -1.8 dB headroom failure and a -0.4 power-sum failure.
6. Cat 6 in 100 ft length with spline which has a +6.8 dB passing headroom and a +5.4 dB passing power-sum.