Q: Why do some Category 6 cables incorporate an internal spacer while others do not?
A: PCA was the first manufacture to develop a Category 6 cable with and "X" shaped separator in the center of the cable. The separator created a physical barrier between the twisted pairs within the cable and permitted the desired crosstalk performance. Category 5e didn't require one because it was only tested to 100 MHz. Category 6 is tested to 250 MHz. Also effecting electrical performance are the twist lays (how much the pair is twisted), the quality of the copper conductor, the insulation material, the jacket material, as well as the manufacturing and packaging processes. Just as computers have gotten faster and processers smaller, cables have benefitted from technological advancements made over that last few years. Better materials, better processes and a better overall knowledge of cable design and performance have allowed some manufacturers, like HMC, to reduce the size of or even eliminate the separator from the cable construction. Because all PCA Category 6 cables are UL verified for performance and PCA offers a performance guarantee on the cables, there is no risk when using an PCA cable with a smaller filler, such as our Category 6 PLUS or Premium, or an PCA cable with no filler, such as the Category 6 ECO. Some PCA cable constructions do utilize larger fillers. PCA engineers are working to incorporate smaller fillers into those constructions as well. The leading benefit of the new cable designs is the reduction in the outside diameter of the cable. This allows more cables to be installed in conduit than previous constructions.