Topics: fiber optic cable, CAT-6 Cable, Cable
Are you one of those people who are troubled into going for a CAT-6 Cable or a Fiber Optic Cable? Here we examine both cables to see how they work and what qualities they have unique to each other.
CAT-6 cable is short for Category-6 Cable. It is a certain cable that is standard for Gigabit Ethernet and some other network protocols that is not compatible with category 3 cables. Cat-6 has more rigid specifications for system noise as well as crosstalk. The standard of the cable offers a performance of anything up to 250 MHz and it can even be used for 100BASE-TX/10BASE-T as well as 1000BASE-TX /1000BASE-T. It is also known to go well with the 10 Gigabit Ethernet standards. However, length restrictions are involved in using this cable.
Many people tend to confuse between the Cat-6 cables with other cables, but there one way to tell the difference and that is by the printing that can be found on the side of the sheath of the cable. The Cat-6 cable typically contains just four twisted copper wires; however they are sometimes made using 23 gauge wires, although this isn’t a requirement. There are certain specifications that state that the cable can be made using 22 or 24 AWG wire. All that matters is that the cable meets the testing standards that have been set for it. Sometimes the CAT-6 cable is used as a patch cable in 8P8C connectors, and oftentimes mistakenly referred to as “RJ-45″ electrical connectors. There are CAT-6 connectors that are specifically made to meet higher standards than other cables so that they assist in reducing noise that is commonly caused by system interference and crosstalk.
There are also some CAT-6 cables that are too big, which make it rather difficult to connect to the 8P8C connectors if you don’t have a special modular piece. If you mix the different standards of the cables together they are not guaranteed to work and the signal path’s performance would probably be limited to the lowest category of the wires. There are different lengths that this cable is available in, but the maximum length it can be is thirty feet or one-hundred meters.
Now we look to Fiber Optic Cable or commonly called or optical fiber. Fiber optic cable is different from CAT-6 or most types of cables; it draws on light instead of electricity to transmit signals. As you have already known, light is the fastest method of transmitting information, and fiber optic cable has the additional advantage of being immune to electrical interference. Thus, you can run it just about anywhere and anytime. Since light possesses a very little or no resistance at all, you can run fiber optic cable over very long distances, literally countries apart, without having to boost or clean the signal. Imagine what it means for a normal network installation to process signals that have been transmitted over thousands of miles away. It would be incredible.
Fiber optics also has the advantage of speed. It has a much cleaner signal than conventional copper cabling and can transmit signals at more than 10GB per second. To put it into perspective, fiber optic cabling is to digital information as electrical cabling is to analog information. They are completely different.
A fiber optic cable includes the core, cladding, strength member, buffer, and jacket as its components. The core of the cable gives the pathway through which the transmitted light can flow and is made of one or more glass or plastic fiber. The cladding that provides a refractive surface for light beams to reflect back into the core and continue its journey is typically made of plastic. The buffer consists of one or more layers of plastic, strengthens the cable and prevents damage to the core. As the name itself implies, the strength members are strands of a very tough material. Examples are fiberglass, steel or Kevlar, and provide extra strength for the cable. Finally, the jacket which is either be plenum or nonplenum which is the outer covering or shield of the cable.
Moreover, Fiber optic cable comes in two forms: single-mode and multi-mode. Since single-mode cable is so narrow, light can only travel through it in a single path. This kind of cable is awfully costly and is very difficult to work with. On the other hand, multi-mode cable has a wider core diameter which gives light streams the freedom to travel several paths. Unluckily, the multi-path configuration of the multi-mode fiber allows the possibility of signal distortion at the receiving end.
So if you think that it is time for an upgrade, there are many others to choose from, but if you want something that is going to benefit you in the long run, and know that it really time for an upgrade. Choose the best!
John Limbocker is an Internet marketer for cablemanufacturing.com. For more details and information about Fiber Optic Cables and CAT-6 Cables, simply go to www.cablemanufacturing.com.
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