What is Cat6 cabling? Category 6 cable contains four twisted wire pairs and allows frequencies up to 250 MHz. It is used in 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T (Gigabit Ethernet), 10GBASE-T (10-Gigabit Ethernet) applications.
Cat6 also supports 10GBASE-T applications over the traditional limits of copper cabling. This is made possible with all four wires working together to handle the signal instead of just two, which can be found in Cat5e cable . It uses the same RJ45 connector as Cat5e.
However, Cat6 can only transmit 10 Gigabit Ethernet up to a maximum of 55m rather than the standard 90 metres of Cat6a and above.
What is Cat6 cabling used for?
Cat6 is used for networking, data transfer, and phone lines. Cat6 can support speeds up to 10Gbit/s so it has plenty of room to grow as technology changes and evolves.
What are the specs for Cat6 Cable?
Wire Gauge: 23 AWG
Shielding: 100% Aluminium Mylar foil with tinned copper braid
Impedance: 100 Ohm +/- 15%
Cat6 Pair Colours
Cat6 Cable follow the standard of all other twisted pair cables with 8 Strands; Individually twisted Four Pairs of Wires Inside.
The pairs for a standard Cat6 cable based on the EIA568 standard are as follows
- Solid Orange
- Solid Blue
- Solid Green
- Solid Brown
What are the different types of Cat6 Cable?
You may come across three different types of Cat6 cable when looking around; UTP (unshielded twisted pair), FTP (foiled twisted pair) and SFTP (screened foil twisted pair). A lot of industries specify using FTP when working with networking cables. This is because it offers better protection from EMI (electrical magnetic interference) and RFI (radio frequency interference).
Unshielded twisted pair (UTP), is the most commonly installed cable in the UK which consist of four pairs of wires inside a plastic sheath to protect them.
However, many industries and countries will specify a different cable depending on the transmission requirements and the surrounding interference.
A Category 6 cable connectors in many ways similar to that of a Cat5e connector. They are both made up of eight pins, to match the 568A or 568B termination standards. Colour coding on modules, jacks and patch panels will be to match the cable to ensure transmission is consistent end to end.
The RJ45 Cat6 Connector is the 8-pin modular jack found in computer networking devices. This can be the input port of a PC, Telephone, Television, CCTV Camera or many other network device.
Maximum length of Cat6 cabling
All twisted pair copper cabling are ratified to a standard based on a 90m permanent link from cabinet to user outlet. 5m patch leads are then allowed each end to connect to the devices.
However, if you decide to have longer patch lead connections at either end it will result in having to install the cable in the permanent realm below 90m.
An industry standard cabling tester such as a Fluke DSX will calculate these elements and confirm with a Green Tick or Red Cross whether that link passes the required standards. This then confirms if your technology transmission are at their most efficient.
UTP vs STP
Unshielded Twisted Pair (UTP) and Shielded Twisted Pair (STP) Cable are very similar in nature
However shielded cable features an additional layer of shielding around each bunch of wires or each individual pair of wires. Thus, providing an additional shield against electrical, radio or external interference and electrical noise.
The additional shielding increases the overall diameter of the STP cable and also the bend radius for installation. Therefore, less STP cables can be installed in the same containment compared to UTP.