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Topic Title: Cat 5 or Cat 6
Topic Summary: Which to install?
Created On: 27 May 2011 10:08 AM
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 27 May 2011 10:08 AM
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primo

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Is there any advantage / dis-advantage to installing Cat 6 into a domestic rather than Cat 5.

As I understand it Cat 5 will take a bit more abuse than Cat 6 with regards to termination/installation?!

The install will be for internet and streaming HD around the house.
 27 May 2011 11:00 AM
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bajb

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I made my decision on my own place about 3 years ago when cat 5 was cheap and cheerful, whereas cat6 fittings had a significant price hike. For normal internet stuff and streaming an individual signal, my view at the time was that cat5 had more than enough bandwidth, with the exception of between server and switch if you were streamimg multiple signals simultaneously. So I went for cat 5 but with a switch with a couple of gigabit ports on it. It will be interesting to see whether there is a different view now, with much more hd around.
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Bruce
 27 May 2011 11:28 AM
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micjamesq

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Cat5e and Cat6 Comparision

If you are doing a new installation - there is no argument between Cat 5e and Cat 6 - go with the latter - and better still - if the budget allows - Fibre

Regards

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E & OE
 27 May 2011 11:44 AM
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haguetim

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A quick question, on average how much would a qualified sparks charge to run cat 6 into an average 3 bedroomed house when doing a rewire?.
 27 May 2011 12:59 PM
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Legh

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Originally posted by: haguetim

A quick question, on average how much would a qualified sparks charge to run cat 6 into an average 3 bedroomed house when doing a rewire?.


I personally charge the same hourly rate for all types cabling. I don't think that terminating cat5 or 6 is particularly difficult.

Follow the general rules for IDCs. The only thing to watch out for is the convention standard to work to such as 586A or 586B. but perhaps most important is that you are consistent throughout. B, I believe, is the most common.
Cat 6 is rated for a higher bandwidth but as suggested the likelihood that you will use all of that in a domestic environment is slim.

Legh

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 27 May 2011 01:26 PM
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jakegreenland

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installing structured cabling isn't difficult although you have to remember that if you install cat6/cat6a and then use a cat5e certified faceplate or patch panel, or even a cat5 patch cable,you don't have a compliant cat6 installation anymore thus rendering the additional cost pointless. That said to be a certified installation it needs to be tested for bandwidth and error rates in line with the manufacturers spec which isn't likely to happen in a residential environment due to the cost of the test gear required.

I personally went with Cat5e because at the end of the day noone in their right mind wants to spend multiple thousands of pounds for 10GB switchgear in their home [nor do they need it with any currently available residential itnernet services]. Whilst Cat6 has a higher bandwith it's 1Gbps specs in terms of distance etc is identical to Cat5e and that's about as fast as residential kit is going to run any time soon. Cat5e cable, faceplates and panels were cheaper so it is an easy choice. If, otoh, you get Cat6/Cat6a [or even Cat7] stuff cheaper than cat5e then it's a basic cost choice really.

But ultimately if you're only running gigabit kit then there is no need for anything beyond Cat5e right now.

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Jake Greenland, CEng MIET.
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 27 May 2011 01:51 PM
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bajb

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Originally posted by: micjamesq

Cat5e and Cat6 Comparision

If you are doing a new installation - there is no argument between Cat 5e and Cat 6 - go with the latter - and better still - if the budget allows - Fibre


Have read the comparison I think my reasoning still stands in the domestic scenario. I think the author of the link was trying to flog cat6!
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Bruce
 27 May 2011 04:26 PM
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ant1uk

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300 metres of cat6e for £30 at this price its not worth debating

Cat6 will run faster due to the twisted pair been tighter which has reports of been twice the speed of cat5e

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/305M-Gig...RL&hash=item483ca0c1c1
 27 May 2011 06:45 PM
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bajb

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I agree, with prices like that just go for it. Plenty of cheap sockets around also.
 27 May 2011 06:47 PM
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primo

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Thanks for all the info.

It would seem that the best thing for now would be to pull in Cat6 (for the additional cost of about £25 per 305m) but use Cat5e accessories allowing the customer to upgrade in the future if necessary. Everyone's happy...hopefully!
 27 May 2011 06:52 PM
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primo

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Originally posted by: ant1uk

300 metres of cat6e for £30 at this price its not worth debating


http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/305M-Gig...RL&hash=item483ca0c1c1


Is this not too cheap?! Its so much cheaper than everywhere else...alarm bells start to ring.
 27 May 2011 07:08 PM
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ant1uk

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Agree it does sound cheap but looking at the sellers positive feedback of 330000+ of 99.6% and has sold 138 boxes of this as well. I would personally go for it.
 27 May 2011 07:21 PM
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primo

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Originally posted by: ant1uk

Agree it does sound cheap but looking at the sellers positive feedback of 330000+ of 99.6% and has sold 138 boxes of this as well. I would personally go for it.


Imagine that, I might actually make some money for a change!
 27 May 2011 07:39 PM
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ant1uk

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Just to be safe you could always test the ends of the drum to make sure the cable is good. Remember to set your IR to 250v
 27 May 2011 09:11 PM
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kirchoffs

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Don`t forget cat 7. It`s about 8mm quite stiff and you have to crimp some of the plugs,a bitfiddley till you get the hang of it.

We install it for Bang & olufsen when we help them out on their installations.they swear by it for HD .It could be over spec for the job , i dont know. Cable bends very slow sweeps.
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 27 May 2011 11:43 PM
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jakegreenland

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Originally posted by: ant1uk

300 metres of cat6e for £30 at this price its not worth debating



There's no such thing as Cat6e so I'd be worried at what I was actually being sold at that point !



Cat6 will run faster due to the twisted pair been tighter which has reports of been twice the speed of cat5e



Whilst cat6 and cat6a have higher bandwidth capabilities than cat5e it's incorrect to say they will run faster since when using ethernet, the primary use of such cabling, the speed is defined by the ethernet standard in use. The main effect of the cable category is the distance at which it can carry a given data speed and in the case of Cat5e and Cat6 the distance it can carry gigabit ethernet signals is the same at 100m. The main advantage of Cat6, Cat6a and Cat7 [although Cat7 has a horrible bend radius making it a pig to work with in some tight cable trays] is the distance at which they will carry 10Gigabit ethernet - which isn't likely to be found in the average home network at the current time.

At any rate it seems the simplest solution has been found - if you're not doing a certified installation simply buy whatever cable and fittings are cheapest and will carry the speed you need them to and install that. Just be sure if using Cat6 not to strip back the sheath too much or unwind the twists too much when terminating otherwise you can really muck up the waveguide properties - Cat5e is a lot more forgiving in this regard.

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Jake Greenland, CEng MIET.
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 27 May 2011 11:56 PM
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ant1uk

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Yes I am not sure about the 6E thinking about it, I have only known it as cat6. From what I understand the cat6 twists are much tighter when compared to the cat5e, resulting in better data transfer and less risk of data packets losses.

I used to install alot of it and you are correct in saying to terminate it as short as possible keeping the twists up to the plug. also trying not to bend making small sweeps where possible.
 28 May 2011 12:17 AM
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jakegreenland

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Originally posted by: ant1uk

Yes I am not sure about the 6E thinking about it, I have only known it as cat6. From what I understand the cat6 twists are much tighter when compared to the cat5e, resulting in better data transfer and less risk of data packets losses. .


That's part of it certainly, although the communications protocol is still the real arbiter of speed on the line. Cat6 also introduces longitudinal separation - true cat6 cable should have a separator down the centre confining each pair to it's own quarter of the outer sheath - doing this reduces crosstalk dramatically and is mainly what allows it to deal with 10G ethernet.

However we're drifting way off topic here and much as I enjoy discussing the waveguide properties of data cabling I'll always come back to buy whatever is cheapest and meets the standard you have to support. We're not talking about a mains wire here that could overheat and start a fire if you get it wrong

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Jake Greenland, CEng MIET.
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 28 May 2011 12:04 PM
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Paul1966

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Originally posted by: Legh
The only thing to watch out for is the convention standard to work to such as 586A or 586B. but perhaps most important is that you are consistent throughout. B, I believe, is the most common.


The current TIA/EIA standard prefers the T568A configuration for new installs, but T568B still seems to be the most popular, no doubt due to the legacy of it being equivalent to the older AT&T 258A network wiring standard.

It seems to me that a disproportionate amount of concern is given to this fairly trivial matter though. Electrically, both standards connect pin 1 to 1, 2 to 2, 3 to 3, etc. The only difference between the two configurations is in the numbering order of the pairs, with pair 2 (orange/white) and pair 3 (green/white) being switched:

T568A
1 W/G
2 G/W
3 W/O
4 B/W
5 W/B
6 O/W
7 W/BN
8 BN/W

T568B
1 W/O
2 O/W
3 W/G
4 B/W
5 W/B
6 G/W
7 W/BN
8 BN/W

So long as the same standard is used at both ends of each run, everything will work perfectly fine even if you mix the A and B configurations within the same installation, although obviously it's a good idea to pick one standard and stick to it throughout or to follow the existing standard when extending an installation for consistency and to avoid confusion.
 28 May 2011 06:33 PM
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Zs

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I have an installation with 35 broadband points in it.

The client requested cat 5e. So most of it it is in that. But then I ran out and I had half a box of cat 6 left from my house. I finished off with cat 6 and there are 6 points.

The client runs standard computer equipment ( laptops with lots of choice where to plug in), security system and Napster through an extensive Sonos sound system.

Method A at patch panel and outlet. MK (I think) modules.

There is absolutely no difference in perfomance quality. There you go. sorted.

However, from the installer's point of view, cat 6 is a bit thicker and if you are reaching under floorboards to drill holes through joists away from your other cables, then you are not going to get as many Cat 6 in each hole. Small thing, but you could save a bit of time and effort with cat 5e.

With regard to the cost...the same as for anything else. With regard to connecting it all up to the internet.. I will only go as far as the patch panel. Have you ever tried making all those pig-tails? I choose to leave the responsibility for it all working to someone else. I have a little bloke in the network who has a passion for all things data, so I refer the client on to him at that point.

Zs
IET » Wiring and the regulations » Cat 5 or Cat 6

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