Patch cables

With patch cables, your active equipment is connected to the network cabling system. These short, smooth connections are essential for the performance of your data network.

Data networks are installed and checked with the greatest care with certified equipment to guarantee performance over longer periods. At the moment, manufacturers give guarantees of up to 25 years on the performance of this cabling.

Since the introduction of the twisted pair cabling in the mid-90s, this copper cable has undergone an enormous evolution. The ever-growing need for more bandwidth has evolved this, originally from a telephone cable into a cable that can handle enormous performances. The copper cabling systems are divided into categories, at present category 1 to 4 are no longer in use.

Category 5/5E
Category 5, with a bandwidth of 100 MHz, is used for 100 Mbps Ethernet networks but is not suitable for Gigabit networks. For Gigabit networks we use Category 5E, this cable is suitable for 100 Mbps and 1000 Mbps Ethernet networks. In addition to Ethernet, these data networks are also suitable for many other protocols such as analogue telephony, ISDN, ATM, Token Ring and RS-232 up to a distance of up to 100 meters.

Category 6
Category 6, with a bandwidth of 250 MHz is used for 100 Mbps and 1000 Mbps Ethernet networks up to a maximum length of 100 meters. 10 Gigabit / s Ethernet can work up to a maximum length of 55 meters. Due to Alien Crosstalk, when cables are bundled, the maximum length is only 37 meters. In addition to Ethernet, these data networks are also suitable for many other protocols such as analogue telephony, ISDN, ATM, Token Ring and RS-232 up to a distance of up to 100 meters.

Category 6A
Category 6A, with a bandwidth of 500 MHz, is used for 100 Mbps, 1000 Mbps and 10 Gigabit / s Ethernet networks, with a maximum length of 100 meters. In addition to Ethernet, these data networks are also suitable for many other protocols such as analogue telephony, ISDN, ATM, Token Ring and RS-232 up to a distance of up to 100 meters. The aforementioned maximum cable distance of 100 meters consists of 90 meters of solid installation cable and 10 meters of flexible patch cable. Because flexible patch cables have a higher attenuation, the maximum distance decreases when using patch cables longer than 10 meters.
Patch cables are fitted with copper conductors and must meet the performance described in the ANSI / TIA-568-B2-1. 

Alternative patch cabels

Raw material prices have risen considerably in the past period and this has led to the market offering patch cables with other, cheaper conductors. Alternatives that are used are:

CCA, Copper Clad Aluminum

This conductor has an aluminum base that is covered with copper. The cable that is made from it looks the same and feels the same. That is why it is difficult to recognize the difference. The advantage of this conductor is that it is considerably cheaper.

Disadvantages of CCA (Copper Clad Aluminum) patch cables
are:

  • flexibility in the long term decreases
  • risk of breakage increases
  • damping is approximately 40% higher than with copper
  • DC resistance is approximately 40% higher than with copper
  • does not work with longer lengths
  • the cable can handle lower tensile strengths
  • does not comply with ANSI / TIA-568-B2-1