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Q: What is a MPTL?

A: MPTL stands for Modular Plug Terminated Link. It's used to describe a cabling situation in which one end of the permanent link (jack-cable-jack) is terminated in a plug versus a jack (also sometimes called a socket). The other end typically terminates in a patch panel in the data room. This cabling method could apply to Category 5e, 6, 6A, 7, 7A links. This configuration is growing in popularity due to the number of networked devices being added to the network that can directly receive a plug. These devices primarily include cameras and wireless access points. Using the MPTL method eliminates the need for a jack/workbox and patch cord at the device end. However, testing of this configuration requires special test equipment which is now coming onto the market. [?]

Q: What is the bend radius for copper Category cables?

A: The typical bend radius for unshielded category cable is 4 times the cable’s outside diameter. The typical bend radius for a shielded category cable is 8 times the cables outside diameter. This is to ensure the shield and the relationship between the shield and the conductors is not compromised during installation. To better clarify what a bend radius is, picture a circle with a point in its center. The radius is the distance from the center to the edge of the circle. Now envision the circle as a pipe. When you know the radius of a circle, you can double it to get the diameter of the pipe. This size pipe would be the smallest size pipe you would want to bend the cable around. For example, if the bend radius for a .25 inch cable is 4x the cable diameter it means that when being pulled in, the cable should not be pulled around a pipe any smaller than 2.0 inches. However, it is not recommended that a cable be pulled around a pipe. The information is intended to identify just how small of an angle a cable should subject to when installed and static. [?]

Q: Are all HCA Category cables made in the U.S.?

A: Yes. All PCA copper category cables and fiber optic cables identified in the premise catalog and on our website are manufactured at the Manchester, NH facility. PCA also manufactures a large selection of flat and round electronics cables at the Manchester facility. [?]

Q: What is the best way to compare category cables from different manufacturers?

A: There are a number of ways. It depends on what is most important to those buying it. Regarding electrical performance, Attenuation to Crosstalk Ratio (ACR) can be a good parameter to base cable selection on. ACR is the relationship between signal strength and noise. As the signal strength increases, so does the noise. At some point, the noise overcomes the signal and corrupts it. Just like turning a stereo speaker up too loud can cause it to fail. The higher up the frequency ladder that the ACR value remains positive, the better the cable is in that respect. For example, a Category 6 cable that has a positive ACR value out to 350 MHz would be considered a better cable than one that has a positive ACR value out to 250 MHz. This extra performance may be useful for a particular application or may be helpful if the installation environment is challenging. Typically, additional cable performance above what the standards require provides a cushion in the event of a difficult installation or sub-par connectors and patch cords.

Near-End-Crosstalk (NEXT) is also a good measure of a cable quality. NEXT is the jumping of signal from one pair of conductors to an adjacent pair with a cable. A cable with a higher NEXT value than another, at a given frequency, would be a higher performing cable. [?]
cat6, cat 6

Q: What are the main differences between Category 5e cable and Category 6?

A: Category 5e cable is 24AWG and Category 6 is typically 23AWG. Category 5e cable is tested to 100 MHz and Category 6 cable is tested to 250 MHz. Most Category 6 cables utilize a center filler to separate the pairs, while Category 5e does not. (However, some recent versions of Category 6 cable, including HCA's Category 6 ECO, do not.) Category 5e cable is designed to accommodate 10 and 100 megabit Ethernet. It can also handle 1000 megabit Ethernet. Category 6 cable was designed for 1000 megabit Ethernet as well as extended distance Power Over Ethernet. [?]
cat5, cat 5, cat6

Q: Can I install Category 3 cable or should I go with Category 5e or Category 6?

A: It depends on what applications you plan on running over the network. Category 3 4-pair cables, due to their bandwidth limitations, should not be used for any data applications. If it is used, Category 3 should only be used for dedicated voice circuits. Keep in mind that by installing Category 3 4-pair cable, you are severely limiting what that cable may be used for. For that reason, Category 3 is typically used only as voice backbone cable between telecommunication rooms. It will never be used for anything else. It is recommended to use the same category cable for voice and data, regardless of whether it is Category 5e, 6 or 6A. This permits greater flexibility in how circuits are utilized. [?]
cat3, cat5, cat5, cat6, cat 3, cat 5, cat 6

Q: What is the difference between verified, compliant and listed? These terms are often used to describe cables. What do they mean?

A: Verified refers to the electrical performance of a cable. It is often preceeded by the term "third party". It means the cable was tested by someone other than the manufacture and that they verify it meets a particular level of performance. However, the "third party" verification is only as good as the third party verifying it. UL for example, is the leader in product verification. If it doesn\'t indicate UL verification, or that of another well known entity, it is reasonable to question the data. All of PCA category cables are verified by UL.<br><br> Compliant, as it relates to electrical performance, means that a product has been tested by the manufacturer and that they have found it to meet the requirements of a particular standard. Compliant products should raise eyebrows because they haven't been tested by a neutral, recognized third party. One must wonder why? Listed refers to the physical attributes of a cable. This is a requirement of National Electrical Code. Cables must have the appropriate listing, such as CMR or CMP, in order to be installed in a particular environment. Listings are obtained from companies like UL. [?]

Q: What kind of warranty do you offer and what does it cover?

A: All of our products come with a standard one-year warranty on materials and performance. Our fiber optic and category cables are also available with a lifetime warranty if they are installed by a certified installer. The warranty not only covers the physical and electrical performance of the cable, but the connective devices as well. This warranty is similar to those offered by many of the connectivity manufacturers. [?]

Q: When testing, should I do a permanent link test or a channel test?

A: Permanent link is a more reliable test. It tests all the static components of a communication circuits. Typically it consists of a jack, horizontal cable and a patch panel port. It could also include a consolidation point along the link. Channel testing includes the testing of the patch cords at each end. This test is not as reliable since patch cords are often relocated/replaced. Also, due to the nature of construction, it is unlikely that the patch cords will be in place when testing is required to be done nor is it likely that the patch cords, if used, will remain plugged in post testing, unless the building is already occupied and the cabling was installed as a result of an upgrade. [?]

Q: Can I mix and match various manufacturer's components and still comply with the standards?

A: Yes. TIA standards do not require the use of one manufacturer's products throughout a project. The standards were put in place to ensure all manufacturer's components would work together. [?]

Q: When should I recommend/install a Category 6A solution?

A: If the user considers their network infrastructure (Local Area Network) essential to their business, it would be wise to recommend the latest infrastructure technology, Category 6A. Category 6A cables and connectivity were designed to accommodate 10-gigabit-per-second throughbput up to 100 meters. The infrastructure to be installed should be chosen based not just on which applications are being run today, but which ones are on the horizon. The infrastructure should not be a bottleneck to improving network speeds. As bandwidth needs increase, so will the requirements of the network. Though most users are utilizing 100 Mbps or 1 Gbps, it''s only a matter of time before 10 Gbps to the desktop will be the norm. Installing the most advanced solution will help ensure that the infrastructure is viable for years to come.
cat6, cat6a, cat 6, cat 6a

Q: Category 6A cable is available in shielded and unshielded constructions. Which one should I chose?

A: Both offer desirable features and both accommodate 10-gigabit Ethernet to 100 meters. Shielded Category 6A (FUTP) has a smaller outside diameter and is significantly more resistant to electromagnetic and radio frequency interference than the unshielded (UTP) version. Category 6A FUTP overcomes alien crosstalk (signal jumping from cable to cable) through use of a shield. Category 6A UTP cables use unique constructions to accomplish the same. The result is a larger diameter cable. You can, therefore, fit more Category 6A FUTP cables in a conduit than you can Category 6A UTP cables. Shielded cables also require shielded connectivity. However, when properly installed, an FUTP solution is more robust and less susceptible to exterior interference. It also offers security features that UTP does not, making it the choice of vital government agencies and financial institutions. PCA offers its Category 6A Supra cables in both FUTP and UTP.
cat6, cat6a, cat 6, cat 6a

Q: When I bend a Category cable, it turns white? Why does it do that and is it bad for the cable?

A: Depending on the color of the jacket, when you bend some cables, it turns the jacket white. This is not a defect, nor will it impact the physical or electrical performance of the cable. Plenum and riser rated cables typically have PVC jackets. The PVC material used includes color compounds and flame retardant materials. When you bend the cable, you displace the color molecules and expose the flame retardant material, which is white. The whitening is more pronounced in plenum rated cables because that jacket material has more flame retardant in it than the riser rated versions. If you were to bend a plenum rated cable and see little or no whitening of the jacket, you should verify that the cable has, in fact, passed UL-910 flammability test required for a plenum rating. [?]

Q: Is there such a thing as counterfeit cable?

A: Yes, there is. Unfortunately, just like compact disks and watches, there is counterfeiting going on. Counterfeit cable is being manufactured at facilities around the world. And, some of this cable has found its way to the U.S. Disguised as product from well know manufacturers, this cable may have inferior electrical characteristics. Also, it will most likely be made of inferior materials and will not pass flammability tests required by national electrical code. In the event of a fire, counterfeit cable may not perform as national electrical code requires it to. In the event of a fire, the liability implications for installing noncompliant cable could be significant. To help ensure only genuine PCA product is on the market, PCA utilizes holographic stickers on its packages. These stickers identify PCA as the origin of a box of cable. This also allows our customers and their customers to be confident that they have purchased and are installing genuine PCA cable. [?]

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.
cat5e, cat 5e, cat6, cat 6

Q: What is the current carrying capacity of copper conductors?

A: Current carrying capacity is the maximum number of amperes (amps) that can flow through an insulated conductor before the insulation breaks down. Heat caused by an electrical current flowing through a conductor, will determine the amount of current a wire can handle. More information is available here. [?]

Q: Does CMP (plenum) rated category cable have PVC in it?

A: Yes. Unless explicitly noted, CMP rated cables utilize a PVC jacket, similar to that of a CMR (riser) rated cable. The CMP rated cable will have more flame retardant in the PVC. The CMP rated cable will also utilize different materials for the insulation that will assist it in passing the more rigorous plenum flammability test required by U.S. national electrical code. Sometimes people refer to CMR cable as PVC. Since both CMP and CMR cables utilize a PVC jacket, it is important when purchasing the cable to clarify which cable you want. [?]

Q: What plug should I use for Category 7?

A: Metz Connect makes an IDC style Category 6A connector that works with our Category 7 cable and exceeds test requirements. The part number for the Metz connector is 130E405032-E. [?]

Q: What plug should I use for Category 7 StratoGig-HD?

A: Metz Connect makes an IDC style Category 6A connector that works with our Category 7 StratoGig-HD cable and exceeds test requirements. The part number for the Metz connector is 130E405032-E. [?]

Q: What is the best cable for HDBaseT applications?

A: For HDBaseT applications, the HDBaseT Alliance states on their website, "Higher quality cable will keep the signal better than low quality cable over distances. A noise-free environment will deliver better performance over the distance than a noisy or EMI-prone environment."" Since shielded cables help prevent a noisy environment, they would be the ideal choice for HDBaseT applications. Shielded Category 6, 6A and 7 cables offer exceptional performance when it comes to minimizing outside noise interference. Proterial Cable America offers Stratogig-HD™ Category 7 cable (each of the four pairs inside a foil shield) as its highest performing HDBaseT cable. Certified by the HDBaseT Alliance, the Stratogig-HD offers unmatched performance in a 4-pair cable. [?]

Q: What is Ampacity?

A: Ampacity is the maximum amount of electric current a conductor or device can accommodate without exceeding its temperature rating. [?]

Q: How is Ampacity calculated?

A: In the upcoming National Electrical Code (NFPA70), a table will be added to provide Ampacity ratings for Category communication cables based on three cable characteristics: the gauge (AWG) of the copper conductors, the temperature rating of the cable and the size of cable bundle in which the cable runs. [?]

Q: What is LP testing? What is an LP rating?

A: LP (Limited Power) testing is a test procedure for determining how many amps a conductor can accommodate. LP testing was developed by Underwriters Laboratories (UL) to provide a standardized method of testing to which cable manufacturers could submit their cables. LP testing is not required by the National Electrical Code (NEC) in the U.S. It is an optional method of testing that cable manufacturers can use to promote the power carrying capacity of their cables. Typical results for 4-pair Category style communication cables (such as Cat 5e, Cat 6, Cat 6A and Cat 7) range from .5 amps per conductor to .9 amps. UL then permits the cable manufacturer to print the LP rating on the cable jacket. The intent is to aid contractors and end users in determining how much power a given cable can accommodate. An alternative to LP testing is to use an Ampacity chart provided in section 725 of the 2017 NEC. The Ampacity chart, along with information printed on the cable jacket can help determine the estimated power carrying capacity of the cable. As more and more devices receive their power over low voltage Category cables (known as Power over Ethernet or PoE), knowing what load the cable can safely carry is important. [?]

Q: What is UL 4299?

A: UL 4299 is a soon-to-be published certification program from UL (Underwriter’s Laboratories) that will focus on the electrical performance and safety testing of communication cables intended to support HDBaseT transmissions. The HDBaseT Alliance is an organization advocating the transmission of high-definition video and audio, Ethernet and controls for up to 100 meters. UL 4299 will test not only for support of the HDBaseT transmission itself, but for the cable’s ability to safely accommodate up to 100 watts of DC power. [?]

Q: What are the correct storage, installation, and operation temperature ranges for our Hitachi Copper Cable?

A: Please refer to our Cable Temperature Ranges document for recommended storage, installation, and operation temperature ranges. [?]

Q: What is IEEE 802.3bq?

A: IEEE 802.3bq is a standard by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers that establishes the physical layer and management parameters for 25 Gb/s and 40 Gb/s, also known as 25 Gigabit Ethernet (25GBase-T) and 40 Gigabit Ethernet (40GBase-T) respectively. 25 Gigabit Ethernet and 40 Gigabit Ethernet represent the higher data rates now achievable over copper based communication cables. The release of this standard coincides with the release of the Category 8 standard by the TIA (Telecommunications Industry Association). Category 8 (Cat 8) is intended to support IEEE 802.3bq for short "top-of-rack" distances of 5 to 30 meters. [?]

Q: What is Category 8?

A: Category 8 is a cable specification identified in the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) & Telecommunication Industry Association (TIA) standard ANSI/TIA 568-C.2-1. The standard identifies the performance parameters for a communication cable designed to support 25 Gigabit Ethernet (25GBase-T) and 40 Gigabit Ethernet (40GBase-T). Category 8 (Cat 8) will support these application from 5 to 30 meters and is intended for "top-of-rack" high speed applications. Category 8 cable is tested to 2 gigahertz. [?]

Q: What is UPoE?

A: UPoE, or Universal Power over Ethernet, is a proprietary PoE system offered by Cisco that delivers up to 60 watts of power to end devices. UPoE can support applications such as Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI), which is an internet-based hosted desktop service. In a VDI deployment, your desktop/laptop operating system is kept on a server in a data center, rather than on the individual device. By using a user name and password, a user can access his or her profile from any device rather than a dedicated one. VDI also saves documents via automatic backups to a secure company server rather than to the local device ensuring survival of the documents regardless of the state of the device. In an enterprise setting, remote devices can receive power and their network connection via UPoE. The application of UPoE in a VDI environment greatly reduces the need for electrical infrastructure/outlets and makes moves and adds easier, quicker and less costly. [?]

Q: What is Catgory 6?

A: Category 6 is part of the ANSI/TIA 568-C family of standards. Category 6 is used to describe a performance level given to cables and connective hardware that exceed the physical and electrical parameters defined in the ANSI/TIA standard. Electrical performance is characterized from 1 to 250 MHz. Electrical parameters include Insertion Loss, Return Loss, NEXT, PSNEXT, ACRF, PSACRF. Category 6 is ideally suited to accommodate Gigabit Ethernet. Category 6 offers higher performance than Category 5e. [?]

Q: When should I use Catgory 6?

A: Category 6A, initially designed to support data center backbone applications, is now the TIA recommended cable for all new and future Ethernet applications, especially Wireless Access Points.

10G Ethernet utilizes all four pairs for bidirectional transmit and receive each pair transmitting up to 2.5 Gbps times (x) 4 pairs to provide a total of 10G. Due to the narrow 133 millivolt signal encoding separation the application is more susceptible to electromagnetic interference (EMI) noise levels so additional TIA cable-to-cable testing was introduced to measure immunity to alien crosstalk. With the introduction of high data rate Power over Ethernet applications such as high-speed Wireless Access Points and high definition video such as HDBaseT, Category 6A is the only cable designed to transmit the combined high level of data as well as remote powering for the growing number of data-hungry and power-hungry applications.

Read Full PDF [?]

Q: What is Catgory 6A?

A: Category 6A is part of the ANSI/TIA 568-C family of standards. Category 6A is used to describe a performance level given to cables and connective hardware that exceed the physical and electrical parameters defined in the ANSI/TIA standard. Electrical performance is characterized from 1 to 500 MHz. Electrical parameters include Insertion Loss, Return Loss, NEXT, PSNEXT, ACRF, PSACRF, PSANEXT, PSAACRF. Category 6A is ideally suited to accommodate 10 Gigabit Ethernet and all other Ethernet applications preceding it. Category 6A introduce us to the term Alien Crosstalk or ANEXT. PSANEXT and PSAACRF are forms of this. Alien Crosstalk is unwanted noise that jumps from one cable to an adjacent cable with Category 6 offers higher performance than Category 5e. [?]

Q: When should I use Catgory 6A?

A: Category 6 cabling is the current workhorse for Ethernet environments and will satisfy most cable to the workstation requirements including data rates found in currently installed Power over Ethernet applications in use today.

1 gigabit Ethernet applications use all four pairs for bidirectional transmit and receive each pair transmitting 250 Mbps (megabits per second) times (x) 4 pairs to provide a total of 1 Gbps (gigabit per second). Due to the 0.5V signal encoding separation, the inherent noise-cancelling effect of balance twisted pair cabling works well against electrical interference found in most commercial environments. There is no cable to cable interference, also known as alien crosstalk, performance requirements for Category 6 which limits its use to 1 gigabit Ethernet and below.

Read Full PDF [?]

Q: How do I terminate Drybit to a jack?

A: Drybit cable has a unique construction that allows it to be both rated for plenum spaces and appropriate for wet locations. Drybit has a dual outer jacket construction. This outer jacket should be stripped in the manner that you would strip any jacket from any category cable. Your cable ringer can be set up to do one layer of the dual jacket at a time or both at once. The inner core of the cable is protected by the Drybit Barrier, which is just below the outer jacket. Once both layers of the jacket are removed, nip the Barrier as close to the jacket as possible. Unwrap it from the core and discard. You now have 4 pairs with a center filler exposed. Pull the pairs away from the filler. Nip the filler as close to the cable jacket as possible, being careful not to nick any of the conductors. Discord filler piece. You now have 4 pairs ready to terminate to any appropriate, standards compliant jack. [?]

Q: How do I terminate Drybit to a plug?

A: Drybit cable has a unique construction that allows it to be both rated for plenum spaces and appropriate for wet locations. Drybit has a dual outer jacket construction. The first layer of the outer jacket should be stripped in the manner that you would strip any jacket from any category cable. Your cable ringer can be set up to do score the outer layer without cutting into the inner layer. Bend and snap the out layer so it can be slid off and removed. Remove approximately 3 inches of outer jacket. Go up about ½ inch from where the outer jacket was removed and ring the inner jacket. Bend and snap and slide off this inner jacket layer. This will expose the barrier below. Using nips, nip the edge of the barrier then unwrap and discard it. This will expose the cable core. You can separate the pairs and using nippers remove the central filler cutting it as close as possible to the pairs without nicking them. You can now attach your plug. IDC style or crimp on can be used. The inner layer of the jacket is where the connector will attach to the jacket. There are many plugs on the market that can be utilized with Drybit. A few examples are: Sentinel pn: 111S08080054H34, Signamax pn: KRJS45FT-C6A, Platinum ezEX44. [?]

Q: Difference between Noise Control Barrier and discontinuous shield for 6a?

A: The Noise Control Barrier™ used in our Category 6A Supra 10G-XE cable is a continuous non-conducting barrier that permits exceptional alien crosstalk performance as well as isolates the cable for from other ambient electronic noise. Discontinuous shields utilize metallic segments in their shield. These segments act as a type of shield. Though they have shown be offer good Alien Crosstalk performance, which is a test parameter in the relevant industry standard (ANSI/TIA-568-C.2) they have shown to not fare as well in environments with ambient electronic noise. Though not measured in industry tests, this noise is very capable of disrupting 10 Gigabit Ethernet data signals on Category 6A cables. Ambient noise can get through the gaps of the discontinuous shields and corrupt the signals traveling on the conducts therein. [?]

Q: Why is Drybit better than using OSP Cat 6 to Indoor Cat 6?

A: Drybit™ cable is designed to take the place of 2 cables. Dybit cable is both plenum rated (CMP) and rated for continuous use in a wet environment. When installing a cable run that will go through both a wet place and a plenum space, the only option (until Drybit) has been to run two types of cables and connect them with a consolidation point or transition point. This is required both to ensure compliance to US national electrical code and to ensure the electrical performance of the cable. Indoor cables that are emerged in water will fail fairly quickly. Using two cables is more costly than using Drybit in that it requires more materials and time than just running one cable. Hitachi’s Drybit cables (in both Category 6 and 6A) allow the user to run one cable through both environments. [?]

Q: Can you interchange riser and plenum cables?

A: No. They are different. Plenum and Riser refer to places in a building in which the cables can be used. This distinction is a requirement of national electrical code in the U.S. and other countries that may have similar electrical codes. In Canada, riser is referred to as FT4 and plenum is referred to a FT6. National electrical code in the U.S. requires that cables that are installed in a riser, which is a vertical shaft/chase or pathway in a building, must pass certain flammability requirements. Those requirements are established in UL test 1666. A plenum space in a building is one in which the air in that space is used by the HVAC air handling system as part of the air return. Those cables must past more restrictive requirements than riser rated cables. This UL test is referred to as UL910. The reason for the more restrictive plenum rating is that if the cables in a plenum space are involved in a fire, they must exhibit certain characteristics to minimize the danger created by the fire. Plenum rated cables require different materials than riser rated cables. National electrical code has a hierarchy of what cables can be used where. Plenum rated cables are at the top. They can be used about anywhere. Both cables must be clearly marked on their jackets to ensure that riser rated cables are not used in a plenum spaces. A plenum cable, as referenced above, can be used in a riser space since it is designed for a higher level of fire resistance. [?]

Q: What is Drybit?

A: Drybit™ is a line of cables from Proterial Cable America that are both plenum-rated for indoor use and outdoor rated for use in wet environments. Drybit cables permit the use of one cable in situations where two cables have been used. Drybit cables are also UV resistant. Drybit cables are available in UL verified Category 6 and 6A designs. Both shielded (F/UTP) and unshielded (UTP) versions of the Cat 6 and 6A cables are available. Drybit cables utilize a unique construction to permit it to be water proof and gel free. Standard indoor cables are not water proof. Also, water, when in close proximity to a cable, impacts its electrical performance. The Drybit design mitigates the electrical impact of the water. The outer jacket is also water proof. [?]

Q: What is the right cable for Wifi-6?

A: Wi-Fi 6 is the latest generation in Wi-Fi technology. Known as IEEE 802.3ax, Wi-Fi 6 offers users improved performance over the previous generation. Wi-Fi 6 is 25% faster than IEEE 802.11 ac and allows for more users to share a Wi-Fi device than before, enabling more seamless connections and fewer dropped connections. Wi-Fi 6 is ideal for areas where large groups gather or pass through, such as airports and sports arenas. What is the right cable for Wi-Fi 6? Category 6A cables, especially those from Proterial Cable America, are designed to support up to 10 Gigabit Ethernet, making them perfect for Wi-Fi 6. In fact, BICSI recommends installing 2 Category 6A cables per Wi-Fi access point. Proterial Cable America, making cables in the U.S. since 1986, is a leader in the manufacture of high-performance Category 6A cables. The Supra 10G-XE™ is HCA’s innovative Category 6A unshielded (UTP) cable that delivers exceptional alien crosstalk, like that of a fully shielded cable, while also possessing a very small outside diameter. The Supra 10G-XE is well suited to support Wi-Fi 6. [?]


Q: Do you have a comparison of the properties of alloy wire versus standard annealed copper wire?

A: See Chart alloy properties comparison [?]

Q: Can you show me the hierarchy of National Electrical Code and UL and CSA flame ratings?

A: see chart NEC UL hierarchy [?]

Q: What are the UL and CSA burn tests and burn test requirements?

A: see chart UL Burn tests [?]

Q: What do flat cable acronyms mean?

A: Please refer to our Advanced Flat Cable Acronym Glossary. [?]

Q: How to Select Cables for Power over Industrial Ethernet?

A: Please refer to our Selecting Cables for Power over Industrial Ethernet white paper. [?]

Fiber Optic Cable

Q: To what fiber optic standards are your cables tested?

Fiber typePCA Catalog descriptionCorning Fiber TypeISO/IEC 11801 nomenclatureStandards compliance
SM8.3 UM OS2SMF-28e+*OS2G.652.D60793-2-50 B1.3TIA 492-CAAB
SM8.3 UM OS2Clearcurve XB*OS2G.652.D & G.657.A160793-2-50 B1.3TIA 492-CAAB
SM8.3 UM OS2BIClearcurve ZBLOS2G.652.D & G.657.B360793-2-50 B6_bTIA 492-CAAB
MM62.5 UM OM1Infinicor 300**OM1 -60793-2-10 type A1b492AAAA-A
MM50 UM OM2Clearcurve OM2OM2G.651.160793-2-10 type A1a.1492AAAB-A
MM50 UM OM3Clearcurve OM3OM3G.651.160793-2-10 type A1a.2492AAAC-B
MM50 UM OM4Clearcurve OM4OM4G.651.160793-2-10 type A1a.3492AAAD

Q: Why are there two bend radius values for each fiber optic cable?

A: The bend radii for each fiber optic cable define the minimum radius amount of bending each cable should be bent during installation and after installation. This is information is provided to ensure the fiber optic cable is not damaged during installation. Due to the stresses applied to the cables during installation, a larger bend radius is used. After a cable is pulled in, it can be positioned with a smaller bend radius to accommodate pathways, enclosures or work boxes. To better clarify what a bend radius is, picture a circle with a point in its center. The radius is the distance from the center to the edge of the circle. Now envision the circle as a pipe. When you know the radius of a circle, you can double it to get the diameter of a pipe. This size pipe would be the smallest size pipe you would want to bend the cable around. For example, if the bend radius for a .47 inch cable is 15X when under load (being installed) and 10x with no load (static, not being pulled), it means that when being pulled in, the cable should not be pulled around a pipe any smaller than 7.05 inches. When the cable is not under load, it can be laid around a pipe that is 4.7 inches in diameter. However, it is not recommended that a cable be pulled around a pipe. The information is intended to identify just how small of an angle a cable should subject to when installed and static. Logically, larger cables require larger bend radii. It should be noted that fiber optic cables with bend-insensitive glass are less susceptible to performance loss due to bending. However, the jacket construction could be damaged if the proper bend radii are not adhered to. [?]

Q: What's the difference between multimode fiber and singlemode fiber?

A: Multimode fiber comes in 62.5 and 50-micron diameters. It is used for shorter runs, under a couple thousand feet. The light travels down the glass along multiple pathways or modes. It can accommodate up to 10 gigabit Ethernet. Singlemode has a diameter 8-microns. It is intended for longer lengths (miles). It requires a laser light since it has only one mode for the light to travel down. Singlemode has a higher transmission capacity than multimode. [?]

Q: When would I use fiber optic cable instead of copper cable?

A: Fiber, due to its ability to carry significantly more data than copper, is typically used to link switches between telecommunications rooms. In this capacity it would act as a data backbone between rooms. Fiber is also used for longer runs. For example, Category 6 cable has a maximum installed length of 295 feet, regardless of the application running over it. Multimode fiber can support gigabit Ethernet up to 1,000 meters and Singlemode can support it up to 5,000 meters. As you can see, fiber can carry a signal much farther than copper.
cat6, cat 6

Q: What does OS1, OS2, OM1, OM2, OM3 and OM4 mean?

A: These are fiber optic cable designations that originated in the international ISO/IEC 11801 standard. The designations indicate a particular level of performance. OS levels are for singlemode fiber and OM levels are for multimode fiber. OM1 is for is for standard 62.5 micron multimode glass. OM2 is for standard 50 micron glass. OM3 is for enhanced 50 micron glass (capable of 10 gigabit Ethernet out to 300m). OM4 is a new designation, currently used by TIA, but not yet adopted by ISO, that identifies enhanced 50 micron glass capable of 10 gigabit Ethernet out to 550 meters. OS1 applies to standard singlemode glass while OS2 refers to a higher performing, low-water peak singlemode glass. There are additional differences between the designations as well.

Optical Specs Fiber [?]

Q: What is bend-insensitive optical glass?

A: Bend-insensitive optical glass is a relatively new breed of glass designed to be accommodate very small radius bends. Obviously the cable design will impact just how much the cable can be safely bent, but performance of the glass is no longer a significant restriction when bending the cable. Small diameter cables with bend-insensitive glass can be wrapped around a small around something as small as a pencil and not display any noticeable signal degradation. [?]

Q: What is NanoCore™ Micro Distribution fiber optic cable?

A: NanoCore™ Micro Distribution is a line of fiber optic cables from Proterial Cable America that utilizes lose-tube optical fibers (250 micron diameters) to build cables with extremely small outside diameters. Different cable types, such as armored, interconnect, single-jacket and dual-jacket are available. [?]

Q: Can I mix singlemode and multimode fiber optic cables?

A: No. The cores of the fibers are different sizes (ex. 50 micron for OM3 multimode and 9 micron for singlemode) and the electronics needed to send signals down them are different. [?]

Q: Can I mix 62.5 micron multimode optical fibers with 50 micron multimode optical fibers.

A: No. In reality, they will work together in one direction, but not the other. Since multimode fibers are utilized in pairs, one strand to send (TX) and one to receive (RX) signals, you need a signal loop to send and receive data. Think of putting a garden hose into a fire hose. Flow from the garden house will easily flow into the fire hose. But if you reverse the flow, from the fire hose into the garden hose, water will spill out. [?]

Q: What is an MPO (MTP®) connector?

A: An MPO connector is a multi-fiber push on (MPO) connector that allows for high strand counts in a very small connector. The optical fibers are typically arranged in rows of 12 strands. Connectors with 12 to 72 fiber optic connections are available. MPT is an MPO style connector manufactured and trademarked by US Conec, Ltd. [?]

Q: What does UL's Low Smoke Halogen Free (LSHF) dual rating mean?

A: Low Smoke Halogen Free (LSHF) certification from UL indicates that all of the combustible materials used in the construction of a cable are Halogen Free and the cables also comply with the requirements for low smoke when tested in accordance with IEC 61034-2 (International Standard for the Measurement of Smoke Density of Cables under Defined Conditions). Proterial is the first to offer a LSHF-Riser dual-rated listing for NanoCore™ multi-unit fiber optic cables, in accordance with the latest version of UL 2885 based on the IEC 62821 -1, -2 & -3 standards. The latest standard consolidates all existing standards and tests for LSHF cables as well as additional requirements. The standard is valid not only for the cable but also for any compounds or materials used in the cable.
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Q: What is Wideband Multimode Fiber?

A: Wideband multimode fiber (WBMMF) is an emerging fiber optic cable design that will permit transmission of 4x the current amount of data transmitted on a single multimode fiber optic strand. The optical strands are designed to allow the simultaneous transmission of 4 different wavelengths of light, quadrupling the throughput. For example, a pair of OM4 multimode fibers that can currently accommodate 10 gigabit Ethernet (10G-BaseSR) will be able to accommodate 40 gigabit Ethernet. This will be done using another technology coming to market, Short Wave Division Multiplexing. [?]

Q: What is Short Wave Division Multiplexing (SWDM)?

A: Short Wave Division Multiplexing (SWDM) is the processing of transmitting and receiving 4 different wavelengths of light simultaneously over Wideband Multimode fiber. Currently the wavelength of 850nm is utilized by vertical cavity surface emitting lasers (VCSELS) to send light down a pair of fiber optic strands for applications such as gigabit Ethernet and 10 gigabit Ethernet. In addition to 850nm, SWDM would use 880nm, 910nm and 940nm. Spacing out the different wavelengths will permit the electronics to more easily distinguish one wavelength from another. SWDM will not work over existing fiber infrastructure that does not utilize wideband multimode fiber. [?]

Q: Can you bury indoor/outdoor fiber optic cable?

A: Unlike direct bury outdoor cables, indoor/outdoor cables should be placed in conduit when run underground. Due to the materials needed to make them acceptable for indoor installation, they tend to not be as robust as cables designed strictly for outdoor use. [?]

Q: What is the difference between OM2, OM3 and OM4?

A: The terms OM2, OM3 and OM4 refer to different performance levels of multimode optical fibers. OM2 is the lowest performing of the three, while OM4 is the highest. For example, OM2 can support 10 Gigabit Ethernet up to 150 meters while OM4 can support it up to 550 meters. OM3 supports it to 300 meters. All three types of optical fibers are almost identical physically. They all have 50 micron cores and an outside diameter of 250 micron. The main difference between the three is how well the glass accommodate the light traveling down it. [?]

Q: Why is it better using armored fiber optic cables versus running cables in innerduct?

A: Prior to the introduction of interlock armored indoor fiber optic cable, the standard method of installation required the installation of innerduct first. Innerduct is a plastic tube, rated for the environment in which it is installed (such as plenum or riser) that is pulled into place to act as a pathway for the fiber optic cable. Usually orange or yellow in color, the innerduct protected the fiber optic cable inside and also allowed for easy identification of where the fiber optic cables are. Innerduct, however, added substantial cost to a project. The price of the innerduct itself was often more per foot than the price of the fiber optic cable inside. The process of installing innerduct also doubled the labor necessary to do the project. The installer would have to pull the innerduct into place, then utilize the pull string in the innerduct to pull the fiber optic cable in. And, since the innerduct is the pathway for the fiber, it is larger, takes up more space and can be more challenging to install than the fiber itself. Another downside to using innerduct is that it offered a convenient pathway for any contractors who want to run a cable to and from the same locations. So, contractor A installs the innerduct and the fiber optic cable (at their expense). Contractor B comes along and "borrows" the innerduct pathway to use as their own, at a tremendous labor savings. Also, Contractor B damaged the fiber while pulling in their cable alongside it.

So, interlock armored fiber optic cable (which are color coded orange, yellow and aqua) are one unit that consists of the inner fiber optic cable, the aluminum interlock armor and an outer jacket. Proterial Indoor Armored Fiber Optic Cables The outer jacket aids in installation and also permits the printing of required information about the cable.

Interlock armored fiber optic cables are robust, have a built-in natural bend radius, and are much smaller and more cost effective than fiber/innerduct options. [?]

Q: Can indoor/outdoor fiber optic cables be direct buried or hung?

A: Generally, the materials and constructions of indoor/outdoor fiber optic cables prohibit them from being direct buried. Unlike outdoor only fiber optic cables (also called OSP for Outside Plant), the jacket materials used for indoor/outdoor cables must help the cable pass the appropriate flammability tests for indoor use, such as plenum and riser. Outdoor only cables typically use materials that are very robust (harder) and have other qualities that prevent them from passing indoor flammability tests. Outdoor only cables are not rated, meaning they have not passed any flammability test and cannot be used indoors per U.S. national electrical code. Burying a cable can also crush it so it is typically recommended that only cables that state “direct bury” in their characteristics be buried. Hanging an indoor/outdoor fiber optic cable is acceptable. This can be done with a lashing machine or even UV resistant tie-wraps for very short runs. Indoor/outdoor fiber optic cables should be UV resistant and have a fungicide in the jacket material as well. (Hitachi’s do.) This ensures that regardless of the cables jacket color, it can be installed for long-term outdoor use as well as indoor use. [?]

Q: Is Outside plant "waterproof"?

A: Yes. Outside plant cable can be submerged for an indefinite period. However, water should not be allowed to enter the open ends of the cable. Though most outside cables have a core that is flooded with a gel that keeps water from migrating inside the cable jacket, the ends should be kept dry and secure. [?]

Q: What is the jacket material of the outside plant?

A: Jacket materials may vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. Typical materials for outside plant cable jackets would include PVC (polyvinyl chloride), TPE (thermoplastic elastomer) and polyethylene. [?]

Q: Is the outside plant oil and sunlight resistant?

A: All outside (OSP) and indoor/outdoor cables from Proterial Cable America are sunlight (UV) resistant. Even indoor/outdoor cables that have jackets with colors other than black have an additive in the jacket that makes them UV resistant. It is often assumed that cables with black jackets are UV resistant. However, just because a cable has a black jacket doesn’t mean it is naturally sunlight resistant. Check the product description and buy cable from a well-known manufacturer. [?]

Q: Can you use OM3 or OM4 "in place" of OM1?

A: It depends. OM1 fiber optic cable has a glass core that is 62.5 microns in diameter. OM3 and OM4 utilize a core that is 50 microns in diameter. If you are removing OM1 cable and installing OM3 or OM4, then these can be used. They will work with the technology that is supported by OM1. However, you cannot mix and match OM1 with OM3 and OM4 due to the difference in the core sizes. It would be like mating up a garden hose with a fire hose. It may work in one direction, but it won’t work in the other. [?]

Q: What is a composite cable?

A: A composite cable is a cable that includes both copper and optical fibers in its construction. The copper conductors may be for power or communication. The optical fibers are for communication. Proterial Cable America offers a line of composite cables called Power+™ that include a pair of copper conductors for power and optical fibers for communication, which in most instances will be video. The Power+ composite cables are ideally suited for long distance camera applications where power and video are desired. The Power+ cables are also plenum-rated for indoor use and ruggedized for outdoor use. They are also UV resistant. There are multiple options for the copper conductor gauge size and optical fibers are available in 2, 6 and 12 strands. More information on Power+ cables can be found at Proterial Cable America Power+ Composite Cables [?]


Q: What is RoHS?

A: RoHS stands for the Restriction of Hazardous Substances. Also known as Directive 2002/95/EC, RoHS was established in the European Union (EU) to limit the use of certain hazardous materials found in electronic and electrical equipment (EEE). There are six hazardous materials that are restricted in accordance to RoHS and each of the materials can harm the environment, pollute landfills and are dangerous to those exposed to the materials during manufacturing and recycling. [?]

Q: What are the RoHS restricted materials?

A: The six restricted materials include lead (Pb), mercury (Hg), cadmium (Cd), polybrominated biphenyls (PBB), hexavalent chromium (CrVI) and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE). All six materials are restricted to levels of <1000 ppm. [?]

Q: Is Proterial Cable America RoHS 2 compliant?

A: Yes, PCA was one of the first U.S. cable manufacturers to adopt RoHS into the production of our copper and fiber optic communication cables. In choosing to adopt the RoHS regulations early, Michael Gallant, Vice President of Quality and Administration said, "There really wasn't a reason to wait regarding the implementation of RoHS. If a positive environmental impact could be achieved by becoming RoHS 2 compliant, we wanted to do so as quickly as possible. Our customers can be confident that they are installing not only one of the finest cables on the market, but one that's RoHS 2 compliant as well." [?]

Q: Are RoHS and WEEE connected?

A: WEEE, an acronym for Waste from Electrical and Electronic Equipment is also known as Directive 2002/96/EC. Focusing on the treatment, recovery and recycling of electric and electronic equipment, the WEEE compliance was established to keep the creation of electronic products environmentally safe for recycling and recovery. RoHS and WEEE are related as RoHS restricts hazardous substances used in electrical and electronic equipment (EEE) and WEEE mandates the disposal of EEE. [?]

Q: What is REACH?

A: REACH is an acronym for Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals. Also known as Directive EC 1907/2006, REACH is a European Union (EU) regulation that focuses on the production and use of chemical materials and the possible effects on the environment and humans. There are over 143,000 chemical substances registered with REACH and the list continues to grow in order to protect the EU environment. REACH also strives to educate individuals who place chemicals on the market such as importers and manufacturers. [?]

Q: What does REACH mean for non-EU countries?

A: For countries outside of the European Union (EU), REACH is not a requirement for areas not interacting with the EU. But, as REACH has become more widely known in the world, more and more countries are adopting REACH regulations or similar restrictions which aid in the creation of a worldwide regulation system. [?]

Q: Is Proterial Cable America REACH compliant?

A: Yes, PCA is REACH compliant and all products made at the Manchester, NH location are REACH certified. As a manufacturer, PCA uses a number of chemicals during product production and it is important for PCA to be REACH compliant and follow the chemical substances regulations. [?]

Q: What does REACH really mean?

  • Registration- any chemical substances manufactured or imported into the EU must be registered if the quantities exceed more than 1 metric ton per year. The registration requirement is per substance and per manufacturer or importer.
  • Evaluation- there are two parts to the REACH evaluation process, substance evaluation and dossier evaluation. Substance evaluation consists of a selected number of chemical substances to go under further evaluation and the focus typically is on substances that are manufactured or imported in large amounts. It is also required that at least 5% of the dossiers submitted for REACH certification be thoroughly evaluated.
  • Authorization- REACH authorization is mandated for some products and individuals interested in a particular product can check the candidate list and authorization list to see if the product is authorized.
  • Restriction- the European Commission may select to use restriction on chemical substances in order to help control the distribution or use of dangerous chemicals within a common market. Any chemical substances under restriction can be located in the REACH Annex XVII.

Q: What is Hitachi's Conflict Minerals Procurement Policy?

A: Hitachi's Conflict Minerals Procurement Policy can be found here.
Contact your sales rep for updated Conflict Minerals Procurement Report. [?]


Q: What is DAS?

A: DAS stands for Distributed Antenna System. A DAS is used to improve wireless voice and data transmissions. A DAS is usually implemented where a high number of users are expected, such as in a stadium or convention center, or in an environment where cell tower originating signals are impeded. Users expect their wireless devices to work just about everywhere. Some buildings, due to their construction, may impede wireless signal transmission. For example, new window glass material helps reduce energy usage. But, it also helps block cell signals. A DAS located on the property can increase transmission integrity for local users and provide support to a higher number of users as well. [?]

Q: What is HDBaseT?

A: HDBaseT is a technology that connects entertainment systems and devices and allows the transmission of video, audio, Ethernet, control and power from one device to another on a single category 5e or 6 cable.
cat5, cat5e, cat 5, cat 5e, cat6, cat 6

Q: How does HDBaseT work?

A: Basically, the two devises speaking to each other, one transmitting and one receiving, must have an HDBaseT chip in them. The transmitting device sends video, audio, Ethernet, control and Power while the receiving device responds with audio, Ethernet and control back. The downstream link from the transmitting device can be up to 8 gigabits, while the returning, upstream link is about 300 megabits. PAM 16 encoding (Pulse Amplitude Modulation) is utilized for encoding. [?]

Q: What is HDBaseT 5-Play?

A: 5-Play refers to the five different elements that HDBaseT can accommodate. They are (1) HD Video, (2) Audio, (3) Ethernet, (4) Controls and (5) Power. [?]

Q: What is the maximum distance for HDBaseT?

A: HDBaseT can accommodate HD video, including ultra-high definition 4K video, up to 100 meters over a Category 5e or 6 cable. Patch cords are not recommended in an HDBaseT link. So, the horizontal category cable can be up to 100 meters long, which is 10 meters longer than the horizontal link permitted in a standard Ethernet link. A longer 150 meter link can be utilized, but it will only accommodate 720p for video
cat5, cat5e, cat 5, cat 5e, cat6, cat 6

Q: How much power can HDBaseT accommodate?

A: HDBaseT can accommodate up to 100 watts of power, which is enough to power a 50 inch flat screen television. It utilizes all 4 pairs in the cable to achieve this. [?]

Q: What type of controls can HDBaseT support?

A: HDBaseT supports CEC, IR, RS-232 and USB. [?]

Q: What is the current HDBaseT standard?

A: The 2.0 standard was released in 2013. It is the current standard. [?]

Q: What is the recommended cable for HDBaseT?

A: Although HDBaseT can operate over a Category 5e cable, a shielded Category 6 cable is recommended. Due to the larger copper conductor of the Category 6 cable (23 AWG), the Category 6 is inherently better for longer distances and higher watt devices. And since up to 100 watts can be accommodated, a larger conductor cable is recommended. A shield is also recommended since HDBaseT cables, like Ethernet cables, are susceptible to RFI (Radio Frequency Interference) and EMI (Electromagnetic Interference) which can be found in many facilities and is caused by devices like motors and light fixtures. Close proximity to electrical wiring can also have a detrimental impact on the cables performance. A shield helps block the cable core from these outside influences and thus ensure optimum cable performance.
cat5, cat5e, cat 5, cat 5e, cat6, cat 6

Q: Does HDBaseT support HDMI formats?

A: Yes. HDBaseT supports all HDMI formats with zero latency. [?]

Q: Will Category 5e cable work for gigabit Ethernet (1000BASE-T)?

A: Yes. Category 5e cable will support gigabit Ethernet. However, the quality of the cable and the installation will determine how well it supports this application.
cat5, cat5e, cat 5, cat 5e

Q: What is the appropriate cable to use for Power Over Ethernet (POE)?

A: The appropriate cable for the POE application would depend on the devices being powered and the load they will put on the cable. POE devices operate from 13 watts up to 60 watts. Category 5e may be fine for many devices, while Category 6, with its larger conductor will dissipate heat better than a smaller conductor and thus be more suitable for devices requiring more power and longer runs.
cat5, cat5e, cat 5, cat 5e, cat6, cat 6

Q: How far will OM3 glass work for 10 gigabit Ethernet?

A: Maximum distance for 10 gigabit Ethernet operating at a wavelength of 850 nanometers is 300 meters. [?]

Q: How far will OM4 glass work for 10 gigabit Ethernet?

A: 10GBASE-SR complies with IEEE 802.3ae standard, which can support 550m reach at a maximum when using OM4 multimode which complies with IEC 60793-2-10 Type A1a.3, TIA/EIA 492AAAD & ITU G651.1 standards. [?]

Q: Can I use 62.5 micron glass for 10 gigabit Ethernet?

A: Technically, yes. However, 62.5 optical glass was designed to accommodate LEDs used in slower applications. A faster application, like 10 gigabit Ethernet uses Vertical Cavity Surface Emitting Lasers (VCSELs) for transmitting light. Maximum distance for 10 gigabit Ethernet on 62.5 optical glass is 33 meters. [?]

Q: What is PoE?

A: PoE stands for Power over Ethernet. Power over Ethernet is a method of providing electrical power to devices via low voltage communication cables, such as Category 5e, 6 and 6A cables. Power is provided over two or four pairs in the cable, depending on the amount of wattage necessary to power the device. Standard PoE is characterized as providing up to 12.95 watts of power over 2 pairs. Powered devices include phones, wireless access points, cameras, access control devices, LED lighting and more. Power is supplied via individual power injectors or a rack mounted power supply which is usually located in the telecommunication room with the networking electronics. IEEE standard 802.3af (Type 1) identifies the techniques for transmitting power in this manner. A new PoE standard identifying 96 watts of power is currently in development. As the power transmitted over Ethernet increase, so does the variety of devices that will be powered. The main advantages of powering devices over category cable versus electrical wiring are the significantly reduced installation costs and quicker/simpler moves and additions.
cat5, cat5e, cat 5, cat 5e, cat6, cat 6

Q: What is PoE+?

A: PoE+ (IEEE 802.3at Type 2) is a form of Power over Ethernet in which 25.5 watts of power is transmitted over 2 of the 4 pairs of conductors in a category cable. [?]

Q: What is PoE++?

A: PoE++ (IEEE 802.3bt Type 3 and Type 4) is a form of Power over Ethernet in which 49 watts (Type 3) or 96 watts (Type 4) of power is transmitted over all 4 pairs of conductors in a category cable. This standard is currently in development. [?]

Q: How to Select Cables for Power over Industrial Ethernet?

A: Please refer to our Selecting Cables for Power over Industrial Ethernet white paper. [?]

Q: What is IEEE 802.3bz 2.5 gigabit Ethernet?

A: IEEE 802.3bz 2.5 gigabit is a new data rate developed to fall between two existing data rates, gigabit Ethernet and 10 gigabit Ethernet. The standard is referred to as 2.5GBase-T. Develop by the IEEE and formally known as 802.3bz, 2.5GBase-T is intended to operate over existing Category 5e and Category 6 infrastructure. Like gigabit Ethernet, it utilizes all 4 pairs of the cable. However, unlike the slower gigabit Ethernet, it uses the full 0-100 Mhz range making it ideal for Category 6, but potentially problematic for Category 5e infrastructures. Just like 10-gigabit Ethernet which can run over some Category 6 links, it is heavily distance restricted. It can also, of course, operate over the higher performing Category 6A infrastructure. 2.5GBase-T is intended to be helpful in a couple scenarios. It can be used for those who wish to increase their data rates over their existing Category 5e or Category 6 infrastructure. Although, as is the case with any Ethernet data rate, the quality of the components used as well as the installation will impact actual data network speeds. For those users who have prepared for the future by installing a Category 6A infrastructure, utilizing 2.5GBase-T could be seen as an interim solution if a cost savings on network electronics is desired. Then, when the appropriate time comes, upgrading to the faster 10GBase-T electronics will not be an issue since Category 6A was designed to accommodate it. [?]

Q: What is IEEE 802.3bz 5 gigabit Ethernet?

A: IEEE 802.3bz 5 gigabit Ethernet is a new data rate developed to fall between two existing data rates, gigabit Ethernet and 10 gigabit Ethernet. The standard is referred to as 5GBase-T. Develop by the IEEE and formally known as 802.3bz, 5GBase-T is intended to operate over existing Category 6 infrastructure. Like gigabit Ethernet, it utilizes all 4 pairs of the cable. However, unlike the slower gigabit Ethernet, it uses a full 0-200 Mhz range requiring it operate at minimum over a Category 6 infrastructure. Additionally, since it uses a sizeable portion of the Category 6 spectral bandwidth (0-250 Mhz), the quality of the connectivity and the cable will play a role in the ultimate performance of the link. Just like 10-gigabit Ethernet can operate over some Category 6 links, it is heavily distance restricted. 5GBase-T can also, of course, operate over the higher performing Category 6A infrastructure. 5GBase-T is intended to be helpful in a couple scenarios. It can be used for those who wish to increase their data rates over their existing Category 6 infrastructure. Although, as is the case with any Ethernet data rate, the quality of the components used as well as the installation will impact actual data network speeds. For those users who have prepared for the future by installing a Category 6A infrastructure, utilizing 5GBase-T could be seen as an interim solution if a cost savings on network electronics is desired. Then, when the appropriate time comes, upgrading to the faster 10GBase-T electronics will not be an issue since Category 6A was designed to accommodate it. [?]

Q: What is the Healthcare Facility Telecommunications Infrastructure Standard (TIA-1179-A)?

A: It is a standard that among other things, identifies the recommended cable types for backbone and horizontal cabling in Healthcare facilities. For backbone cabling, the standard recommends Category 6A for copper and OM4 or OM5 multimode optical fibers for fiber optic cables. It also recommends singlemode optical fibers. Additionally, for copper backbone cabling, it states that Category 8 cable can be utilized to construct a Category 6A solution. This is likely due to the enhanced shielding that Category 8 cables employ. It utilizes individual pairs in foil. It is worth noting that although never considered a formal Category by the TIA, Category 7 and 7A cables have a similar design to Category 8 and are currently available from some manufacturers (Proterial Cable America). Category 7 is tested to 600 MHz. Category 7A is tested to 1000 MHz and Category 8 is tested to 2000 MHz. For horizontal cabling, the recognized media types include copper Category 6A cabling. Again, Category 8 media is referenced as an option. For fiber, the recognized media types are OM4 or OM5 optical fiber and singlemode optical fiber. [?]


Q: What are your Premise and Fiber Jacket Color Options?

A: Click here to view the available Premise and Fiber Jacket color options. [?]

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