Here at CAT5 Direct, we’re experts in all things cable and pride ourselves on our product knowledge. We’ve written this guide to give you all the technical information you need to make the right decision when choosing Premium Cable from CAT5 Direct.
‘CAT’, short for ‘CATEGORY’, is a specification for data communications.
This category specification relates to the different characteristics of the cable including but not limited to:
- Wire Twists
- Insulation Quality
- Conductor Size
Before Cat5e we had Cat5. Physically there’s no difference between the two types of cable but the difference becomes apparent with the testing. Cat5e cable has more stringent requirements than its predecessor. This is also the case with LSOH Cat5 Internal Cable that has requirements and testing to ensure that there’s limited smoke and no halogen when exposed to high sources of heat i.e Fire. Cat6 cable is the successor from Cat5e that performs at a much more efficient rate, transferring data up to 10GB.
The Cat5e, Cat5 Internal & Cat6 Network Cable comprises of 4 pairs of copper cable that are twisted throughout to reduce interference within the cable. The more twists, the greater signal integrity. The Network Cable is then terminated with RJ45 connectors after installation.
Let’s kick off with the 3 types of cable we stock here at CAT5 Direct:
- LSOH Cat5 Internal
The different types of cable have varied speed, frequency & applications (see table below) so it’s essential to make sure your cable is fit for purpose.
Now, let’s take a look at the physical differences between the 3 types of cable:
As you can see above, the Cat6 cable includes a plastic core meaning the cable is rigid therefore making it more durable during cable installations when running cable in walls or external installations. Another difference is the colour of the cable jacket, both Cat5e & Cat6 have black jackets whereas the Cat5 LSOH Internal is grey.
All our cable is made up of:
- Jacket to Protect the Cable
- Rip Cord to Easily Expose the Cable
- Plastic Core (Cat6 only)
Selecting the right cable for the application is incredibly important to avoid wasting time on site & labour cost.
You would need Cat6 cable when faster data transfer rates are required or if you need to install the cable outdoors in tougher conditions.
But why and where would you need LSOH Internal Cat5 cable?
LSOH Internal Cat5 cable is constructed using thermoplastic that emits a limited amount of smoke and zero halogen when it’s exposed to high sources of heat such as fire. If you’re installing systems that need to conform with Part B of The Building Regulations, a leading planning and building regulations resource for England and Wales states that:
The primary danger associated with fire in its early stages is not flame but the smoke and noxious gases produced by the fire. They cause most of the casualties and may also obscure the way to escape routes and exits. Measures designed to provide safe means of escape must, therefore, provide appropriate arrangements to limit the rapid spread of smoke and fumes
Not only is the cable safer but installation time is also shorter, this is due to being able to install around fire exits, which is a feature not applicable with Cat5e or Cat6. This is a much safer alternative compared with other cable alternatives such as LSF (Low Smoke & Fumes) cable that give off large amounts of black smoke reducing visibility and obscuring exit routes as well as emitting the harmful gas Hydrogen Chloride.
Now that you know the differences between the types of cable we offer at VueNet as well as where the cable should be installed, you can head over to the product pages here; Cat5e, LSOH Internal Cat5 & Cat6 where you’ll find product data sheets and all the information you need to place an order.