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Discussion in 'General Hardware' started by Lifer, Oct 14, 2003.
is a patch cable just a very short cat5 used to connect to patch panels?
Yes .... though depending on the specific example they might be cross over cables.
Patch cable is a very generic term. Commonly it refers to audio cables involving RCA plugs, mini stereo jacks, and full size jacks. The term derives actually from old telephone switchboards where operators manually connect people by "patching" them from one line to another. In computer parlance, it is still generic. Are Cat5 ethernet cables patch cables? Yes. Are crossover CAT5 cables patch cables? Yes. Are USB connection cables patch cables? Yes. etc., etc.
not saying anyone is wrong, and im prolly misinformed but i thought there was a difference b/t a patch and cross-over cat5/cat5e/cat6 cable. the patch cable for use of direct pc to pc whereas the crossover for pretty much anything else involving networking...
You've got it backwards (many people seem confused on this today ).
Patch cables (as you would buy at CompUSA) are, indeed, just short ethernet cables, generally used for running between patch panels or for going from, say, a cable modem to a router or NIC. The only times they're really useful are if you're trying to make a very short run and you want to keep the cables neat, or if you need *one* short gigabit connection between two switches or something like that. Otherwise, standard cables work fine -- cat5 10/100 ethernet goes up to about 100ft with very few noise problems.
Crossover cables (or, technically, "Crossover patch cables") are used for direct PC/PC connections. They're also used to daisy-chain hubs and switches, but almost every switch and hub I've seen in the last few years has an "uplink" port that does the same thing internally, so you almost never need crossover cables nowadays.
Patch cables are normaly made of stranded wires.
The stranded wires are more flexable and can handle the bends of short run better.
Normal Cat5 is made of solid(single strand 22 ga) wire(s).
I've also seen and used stranded core cat5 cables.
I've used cat5 for telephone cable before. Just because I used it for that does not mean that was what it was intended or best suited for.
"2. What is the difference between the types of cable - UTP, Patch, Stranded, Solid...
UTP stands for Unshielded Twisted Pair. It is a cable type with pairs of twisted insulated copper conductors contained in a single sheath. UTP cables are the most common type of cabling used in desktop communications applications.
Stranded cable has several small gauge wires in each separate insulation sleeve. Stranded cable is more flexible, making it more suitable for shorter distances, such as patch cords.
Solid has one larger gauge wire in each sleeve. Solid cable has better electrical performance than stranded cable and is traditionally used for inside walls and through ceilings - any type of longer run of cable.
Patch Cables are made of stranded copper conductors for flexibility. This construction is great for the flexing and the frequent changes that occur at the wall outlet or patch panel. The stranded conductors do not transmit data signals as far as solid cable. The TIA/EIA 568A which is the governing standard regarding commercial cabling systems limits the length of patch cables to 10 meters in total length. Does that mean you can't use stranded cable for longer runs? Not at all, we've seen installations running stranded cable over 100 feet with no problems - it's just not recommended. This is why we don't sell patch cables over 30 feet in length.
Stranded cable should only be used for patch cables. Solid core should only be used in fixed installations.
Stranded UTP / Category-rated cable has much more loss than solid core UTP cabling (the signal degrades faster).
Solid-core cabling is easily broken under stress / excessive flexion.