Ethernet Cable....Differences in specs...cat 5e etc

TheCorm

Diamond Member
Nov 5, 2000
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Whats the spec/description for each of these:

Cat 5
Cat 5e
Cat 6e

Am mainly looking for what speeds they each run at in terms of network speed (100mbps etc)

Cheers,

Corm
 

spidey07

No Lifer
Aug 4, 2000
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The difference in specs has to do with keeping the electrical properties of the cable within a certain range. Off the top of my head Cat5 has limits on Attentuation, Near-end cross talk (NeXT), lenght, wiremap - these are tested up to 100 Mhz.

Cat5e is tested upto 350 Mhz but also adds far-end crosstalk and maybe another measurement.

Don't think cat6 is a standard yet.

That covers the cables but you wanted to know what network types use which cables? 100 Base-T is 100 megabits/sec running at 125 Megabaud and is supported on Cat5 or higer cable. 1000 Base-T is 1000 megabits/sec running at 1250 Megabaud and is supported on cat5e or higher cable.

This is from memory so not totally sure of the exact specifications for category rated cable. 5e did however add another test.
 

Krk3561

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Jun 12, 2002
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I believe Cat5 is rated at 10 mb/s, Cat5e is 100 mb/s, and Cat6e is (1000 mb/s). Cat5 and Cat5e are for 10/100 ethernet cards, the most common cards. Cat6e is for gigabit ethernet cards or 10/100/1000 cards, newer standard, not mainstream yet.
 

TheCorm

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Nov 5, 2000
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Ah....so you can't run a 100mb network if you only have Cat 5 cable not Cat 5e....you sure?....the FAQ seems to say otherwise....I think.

Corm
 

spidey07

No Lifer
Aug 4, 2000
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10 Base-T, cat3 or better
100 Base-T, cat5 or better
1000 Base-T, cat 5e or better

don't believe the standard for cat6 has been completed yet.
 

JackMDS

Elite Member
Super Moderator
Oct 25, 1999
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You can Run 100Mb/sec. using CAT5, you do not need CAT5e.

A little perspective on Network Cabling.

This is a simplified (to suit all customer version); "Plumbers" please do not get upset.

In most cases of need to transfer electrical information, we use wires that are comprised of copper.

Copper is chosen, because it is inexpensive, mechanically flexible, and a good conductor.

Electrical transfer of electricity is made of rapid transfer of electrons from one molecule of the conductor to the other.

This transfer is generating heath, and electrical field around it. It is also susceptible to be influenced by outside electrical fields (commonly called noise).

The higher the frequency (speed) of the electrical transmission the more it creates noise, or can be affected by outside noise.

In order to suppress the phenomenon the coax cable was invented. The coax cable is build with inner copper conductor that is surrounded by ?plastic? tube, and the plastic tube has a Screen like copper sleeve around it. This copper sleeve is grounded on both sides of the cable, thus creating an electronic shield around the central conductor that carries the electrical information. It blocks sending interference out, and protected the central conductor from out side interference. In the early day of Networking coax cables were used to connect the NICs.

However, coax is expensive and hard to work with, hence comes the CAT5.

The main idea of the Cat5 is twisted pairs of conductors, since a pair of conductor when twisted together will create electrical fileds that can cancel out the noise. (like pushing and pulling the same electrical signal).

The efficacy of the CAT5 cable is a result of the twisted pairs, thus it is very important to build the CAT5 cable correctly, other wise the noise cancellation is reduced, and the Network will stop functioning, or will function at a reduced frequency (speed). Testing, and certifying a cable actually done by transfering high frequency through the cable, and measure the outcome, this is the reason why DC conductance (using regular OHMmeter) is not the correct test to insure CAT5 cable performance.

Unfortunately, High Frequency Networks are starting to reach the limit of the twisted pair?s technology.

Optic fibers is already used in major industrial installation, some time in the future, it probably will replace the Copper cables in local usage too. Optic fiber uses modulated light to transfer the Network info, thus it is not susceptible the above-mentioned noise.

The following table shows the speed of CAT X cables, and the kind of tests that has to be performed.

CAT 6 ballot passes at recent TIA Meeting.

And the future:

10 Gigabit Ethernet.
 

spidey07

No Lifer
Aug 4, 2000
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thanks for the update on cat6 Jack. I knew it was close, but they finally agreed to agree. :)
 

Bleep

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Oct 9, 1999
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Interesting thread!
Oddly enough I just got back from staples, I needed a cat 5 cable right away and all they carry are 5e cables, expensive, the manager told me that the e stands for eathernet, when I tried to tell him that he should order some just cat 5 he got pretty irate, even the managers at staples are jerks.
Bleep
 

TheCorm

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Nov 5, 2000
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Thanks for the information guys, that has answered my query and more.

"the manager told me that the e stands for eathernet"

rolleye.gif
sigh!...we have stores in the UK called PC World and Dixons....both of these have staff liken to staples I think. I have trouble finding Cat 5 anymore....my main supplier only stocks 5e and 6e.

Corm
 

Hanpan

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Aug 17, 2000
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Not to be a smart-ass but you can run 1000base-t or 1000Mbit on 4 pair cat 5. However in general it is a better idea to run 1000Mbit on cat 5e. While it is better it is not required. (though I would stress that your chances of being sucessful and maximizing network capacity will probably be increased with better cable.)
 

Bleep

Diamond Member
Oct 9, 1999
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Hanpan:

I sure dont have to worry about them speeds. Two of my machines are on a 10base T Hub. :eek:
Bleep
 

Hanpan

Diamond Member
Aug 17, 2000
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Originally posted by: Bleep
Interesting thread!
Oddly enough I just got back from staples, I needed a cat 5 cable right away and all they carry are 5e cables, expensive, the manager told me that the e stands for eathernet, when I tried to tell him that he should order some just cat 5 he got pretty irate, even the managers at staples are jerks.
Bleep

Just FYI but AFAIK e in cat 5e stands for enhanced.

 

Evadman

Administrator Emeritus<br>Elite Member
Feb 18, 2001
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Originally posted by: Bleep
Hanpan:

I sure dont have to worry about them speeds. Two of my machines are on a 10base T Hub. :eek:
Bleep

Only 2? I have 4 :D
 

MaxDSP

Lifer
May 15, 2001
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a little bit off-topic, but does anyone know of cheap places to get cat5/5e cable? also, any links to places that give you tips on how to wire your house with network cable?
 

ivwshane

Lifer
May 15, 2000
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I'm sure there are plenty of places online to get cable for cheap but I just went to my local home depot and bought some cable by the foot, and crimped my own.

200 feet of cat5e for about $20 (6-9 cents a foot).

The question I have, is the connector for cat5e the same and wired the same as cat5?
 

Armitage

Banned
Feb 23, 2001
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Originally posted by: chuck340
infogot this from another thread awhile ago. great site

One of the notes at the bottom of this page suggests that it is significantly more difficult to terminate CAT5e & CAT6 cables. Does anybody have any insight on this?
 

ScottMac

Moderator<br>Networking<br>Elite member
Mar 19, 2001
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Most, if not all, Cat5e connectors have a little wedge-shaped "sled" that the individual wire feed through that gets crimped into position at the front of the connector. If you look at the commercial Cat5e jumpers, the sled is frequently black in color and easily identified. Positioning the sled properly is a pain in the butt. Second to that, some crimpers (like the original flavors of the AMP crimper) will mutilate a Cat5e connector (I don't know why....it looks right, it feels right, but when you squeeze the handles, you can almost hear it scream.....).

There are basically two kind of connectors: one type for solid conductor cable, and another type for stranded cable.

If you don't use Cat5e rated connectors, then you don't have a Cat5e cable. If you use unrated connectors (like those used for 8 position phone cables), then you have an unrated cable.

All the other rules apply: no more than 1/2" of exposed pair, no more than 1/2" untwisted, the jacket has to be crimped under the rear strain relief blah blah blah...

It'd probably be much safer to just buy the jumpers you need.

FWIW

Scott
 

Armitage

Banned
Feb 23, 2001
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Originally posted by: ScottMac

It'd probably be much safer to just buy the jumpers you need.

FWIW

Scott

Agreed on patch cables. What I'm concerned with is terminating CAT5e/6 at wall sockets. Is this still a simple punch-down?

 

ScottMac

Moderator<br>Networking<br>Elite member
Mar 19, 2001
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Yep, the punching is no different.

1/2", no kinks, maintain the twist, etc etc etc....

Good Luck

Scott