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Networks Quality Ethernet Cables

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by ShakeyJake, 4 Jun 2020.

  1. ShakeyJake

    ShakeyJake My name is actually 'Jack'.

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    Hi everyone.

    I need a 15m ethernet cable to run through the floor between a desktop and a switch. Ideally already terminated as there's space to get the plugs in. I've never bought anything more than an Amazon special but as this is going semi permanently under the floor I want a decent one.

    Am I right to avoid CCA?
    Do I need cat 6 to be sure of gigabit speeds?
    Any recommendations for online shops?
    General pointers?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Bloody_Pete

    Bloody_Pete Technophile

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    Cat5e will let you do upto 10G these days, even at 15m.
    CCA probably won't matter tbh for your use. If you're doing POE avoid it.
    Any cables will do if they're certified. I think flat ones are far worse than round if memory serves. I tend to grab my technical stuff from RS, they have free delivery these days too.
     
  3. Fingers66

    Fingers66 Kiwi in London

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    I put foil shielded solid copper CAT6 throughout the house during a rewire 10 years ago, I got a reel of cable from kenable.co.uk for a great price. Still got a lot of it left too.
     
  4. Xlog

    Xlog Active Member

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    Just stay away from CCA, it breaks easily, it has signal integrity issues and price difference is negligible (unless you are just installing it and don't have to deal with consequences). In fact, dont buy any cable that doesn't explicitly states that its using pure copper conductors.
     
  5. edzieba

    edzieba Virtual Realist

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    - Don't bother with shielded cable, terminating shielding correctly is more trouble than it's worth unless you have some abnormal noise RF environment (e.g. running up an active elevator shaft) and terminating incorrectly just introduces more noise.
    - Minimum Bend Radius is probably going to be your enemy if you need to fish it through walls and shove it through drilled holes.
    - Cat6 & 6a both have internal stiffeners and larger minimum bend radii than Cat5e, so Cat5e is likely the better bet for installation ease.
    - While the best built cable is going to be the stuff build to installation, that stuff is also sold on the 100m reel rather than cut lengths so is likely not a good choice to buy new. If you can find somewhere selling offcuts of Systimax/Leviton/Belden/etc and you can terminate yourself that would be the most robust option.
    - If it's CCA it's trash
     
  6. Dr. Coin

    Dr. Coin Well-Known Member

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    I agree with edzieba don't use shielded cable unless you know you need it.

    One often over look cable property is solid vs stranded wires. Solid core wire cables are intended to permanent installations sometimes called premise wiring. With premise wiring the the cable is not likely to be moved and is typically used in hidden installations such as in walls or under flooring. A solid core wire is less flexible and more prone to stress fractures and breaks with repetitive bending. The upside side to this is that the cable is more durable for installation actives, i.e. pulling (provided pulling tensions and minimum bend radius are maintained). Premise wiring should terminate to a jack. The stranded cores have greater tolerance for movement and is why it is typical construction for patch cables. The strands are more fragile under tensile loads thus are not well suited for construction where the cable is to be pulled. Typical stranded core cables should only be used where the cable can be laid into position.

    One other consideration is cable construction, this may differ for Britain, I write this from a North American perspective.
    • CM - Communications Multipurpose
    • CMR - Communications Multipurpose, Riser
    • CMP - Communications Multipurpose, Plenum
    The various North American building codes require CM, CMR and CMP for different premise wiring locations. The long and short of it is that as you go down the list the price goes up. There is much debate on various website as to which cable should be used and when, but most of this debate is regurgitation of the same uneducated interpretation of building codes. Most people have failed to check if the codes they cite even pertains to them... In the jurisdictions I have check, a single family residence built with combustible materials, I use this as it is the typical home in my area, is permitted to install CM cable in all locations. In the event of a fire, the smoke from the network cable is going to be the least of your concerns. As I said I've only check a couple jurisdiction within North America, please consult with your local authorities.

    Considering your situation:
    1. "Semi permanently" equals permanent. One of the most valuable things I've learned in my profession career, "Nothing is more permanent than a temporary solution." - Dr. Coin
      As such you might as well make a good job of it.

    2. Are you a) fishing (pulling) the cable under the floor or b)is the floor removed and can you place the cable into place?
      If a) I'd consider using a solid core cable, that said 15 m is relatively short, and you can probably safely pull a stranded core cable that length with out issue.
      If b) then either type of cable can be used.

    3. "Already terminated", I am assuming you are planning to leave a length of cable poking out at either end. In this scenario the cable is just a very long patch cable this would dictate that a stranded core be used.
      My personal preference, is not have cable poking of the floor or walls. If the arrangement of a room ever changes then the cable is too long, too short, or in the way (if no longer in use). I'd personally install jacks at either end and then pick up suitable patch cables to run from the jack to the equipment. Terminating to jack is a lot nicer than crimping a connector on. If you really don't want to mess around with terminating, you can get RJ45 couplers (f/f) for keystone wall plates.
     
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  7. ShakeyJake

    ShakeyJake My name is actually 'Jack'.

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    Thank you all for that wealth of information!

    Ok, so the upstairs floor is just exposed floorboard with plenty of space to work, so that's not a problem and the cable can be quite easily laid. HOWEVER many people in here have advised against having just the last little bit of cable out and exposed (which is fair enough) but then if I have to put wall sockets in I have to route the cable up the wall a little and then bend again to wire it into the socket. What's the lesser of these two evils?

    Kenable don't have much stock in at the moment, but this appears to the most suitable of all the stuff that they have in stock, looking good or should I hunt down something a little more flexible from another supplier?
     
  8. Dr. Coin

    Dr. Coin Well-Known Member

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    Clarification to my post. With solid core wire the cable can be bent as part of installation. There shouldn't be any issue bending the cable up the wall and into a socket. It does not handle being repeatedly bent, as would happen with a cable that is being plugged into equipment. FYI most CAT6 cables have a minimum bending radius of 4x the cable OD. CAT 6 OD varies but 6-7mm is common thus the cable should not be bent so that the radius is less than 24-28mm measured to the inner surface of the cable (link example diagram).
     
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