Copper Networking cables Buyer’s Guide
Communication is very essential aspect of many organizations, companies and even our homes. For communications to take place smoothly, the communication system must have components that fit in perfectly. The largest part of a well-networked communication system is the wiring. The wires have to be right and top notch. You just can’t gamble with every other communications cables and hope to get the system up and running smoothly first time. This is where networking cables come in handy; they enhance fast transmission of data and information in communication systems.
For many decades copper has been used by various communications’ industries and it is still functional in many networks today. Generally copper cables dominate in most networks; this is because they are fast, reliable and affordable. Copper networking cables are quite popular in most domestic and industrial applications because of its speed and reliability. Besides, the cable is flame retardant and resistant to corrosion.
This cable can be found at Nassau electrical; a world class market leader in supply of wire and cable products. On this post I’ll share with you on what the copper networking cables are made of and some of its interesting features. Let’s get to the details.
How does the cable work?
Copper Networking Cables works the same way an electrical wire works when transmitting current from one source to another. It transmits electric signals to transmit data between networks based on the same principle. These electrical signals are mainly passed through the copper conductor on the cable. With this property the copper cable can power up a telephone and enable it to work even if there is a power loss. The copper cable works at its best over short distances so it’d be a perfect fit for networking systems within a building or a company. There is a cable insulator located around the conductor which is essential in preventing direct contact with the cable. The cables jacket prevents interference from external forces and also prevents the electrical signals from causing interference to the external devices.
Reliable insulation and jacketing for enhanced safety
These cables have a reliable insulation and jacketing which makes them durable. The cable’s conductor is covered by an insulator which protects the users from direct contact with the live wire so it is safe handling the cable even when it’s transmitting data. The insulator type mostly depends with the type of copper network cable since different insulators are used on different types of this cable The most commonly used insulation materials for the copper networking cables are; PVC, PO, polyolefin, Fluorinated Ethylene Propylene etc.
When it comes to the jacketing, PVC is mainly used even though other jacketing materials are also used on the different types of copper networking cables. On the microphone cable for instance, a tough EPDM rubber jacket is used which makes the cable durable and resistant to damaging. The jacket protects the cable from external forces that may cause damage to the cable during installation. The jacket also protects the cable from abrasion, sunlight, corrosion, water and other substances that may bring damage to the cable in the course of its lifetime.
Features of a typical networking cable
This type of cable has some spectacular features that help it perform its functions effectively. The most striking of these features would be the rip cords which ensure easy jacket removal. At some point you’d like to remove the jacketing to cut the cable or something of that sort, on most occasions these jackets are so tough it’d be difficult removing them. The manufacturer thought about it and probably said ‘’why not have the rip cords?” Furthermore on the cables jacket are sequential footage markings which help to eliminate guess work and wastage of the cable during installation because with the markings you get to know exactly how much cable you’re getting rid of and how much you’re keeping without having to do much calculations.
Some of them have a shorting fold technique which maintains metal-to-metal contact for improved high-frequency performance. In addition to faster installation and easy stripping foil shields are bonded to the jacket. For the HD coaxial cable, foil shields are securely bonded to the core which in turn makes stripping and termination easier, it also reduces the risks of foil stringers and shorting.
The conductor is a high strength alloy and a tough EPDM rubber jacket which makes it durable and withstand constant abuse. In cases where foam insulation is used, it provides for the right amount of conductor adhesion for easier stripping and it also improves connector reliability. For the video coax cable, a specially formulated gas injected high density foam polyethylene is more resistant to crushes compared with standard polyethylene. With this property it enables the cable to be resistant to deformations that may occur due to rough handling during installation process.
High flexibility is another awesome attribute of the copper networking cables. Generally, flexible cables are preferred to rigid cables because they are easier to transport and easier to install. Imagine having to transport a rigid cable, first, it just won’t fold so you have to carry it all the way while maintaining its shape. Two, you have to lay it out and install it as it is without folding it; quite a tall order, that’s why I’d go for the flexible Nassau Electrical Copper Networking Cables any day.
Applications of copper networking cables
There are many application areas of the copper networking cable. Knowing your application area is very vital in selecting the right cable for the job. Just to mention some of the areas it’s applied, include:
2. Access control
3. Card reader
6. Power limited controls
7. Indoor/Outdoor home theater
8. Speaker cable
9. Intercom/PA Systems
10.Single Line Telephone
13.Premise Horizontal Cable
14.Analog Multi-pair Snakes
These are just a few of the many application areas of the copper networking cable.
Categories of copper networking cables
Networking Cables are divided into certain categories depending on its features, design, bandwidth and area of application. These categories include Cat 3, Cat 5e, Cat 6, Cat 6a, Cat 7 and Cat 7a. These types of copper networking cables are categorized according to improvements made over the years.
Cat 3 This type of cable has a twisted pair of wire design. It’s relatively slow and outdated and is impossible to find in the current modern network.
Cat 5e It is a very common network cable, they also have a twisted pair design. It can be used both in the office and domestic applications. It is relatively fast with a bandwidth of 100MHz.
Cat 6 It has a relatively higher bandwidth of 250MHz which is higher compared to the cat 5e. It has a twisted pair design.
Cat 6a they are mostly used for higher-end applications since it has a higher bandwidth of 500MHz. The cat 6a also has a twisted pair design and more durable.
Cat 7 and 7a they are consider being the fastest type of copper networking cables but also the most expensive. They have a higher bandwidth of 600MHZ and 1000MHz for cat 7 and 7a respectively.
Copper networking cables are furthered sub divided in certain categories depending on the mode of construction. These categories are made by the cabling standards organization. These categories include:
- Unshielded twisted pair
- Shielded twisted pair
This type of wiring in a cable involves pairs of wires being twisted together to enable removal of electromagnetic interference (EMI) that may come from the other wire pairs or external forces. Twisted pair cables can be either shielded or unshielded. The shielded cable uses copper shielding around the twisted pair of wires to reduce any interference that may cause damage to the cable.
This category of copper networking cables works by confinement of electromagnetic wave within the cable or in between the shield and the innermost conductor. There is a dielectric in the cable between the conductors which facilitates the transmission of energy.
Choosing the type to use all depends with your needs and area of application. It is vital to choose the right type of copper networking cables that will meet your network’s needs. Many business owners out there find it hard to invest in copper networking cables since fiber optic cables provide more bandwidth compared to these cables. However in most business applications this higher bandwidth provided by the fiber optic cables is not necessarily required. Copper networking cables are very fast, reliable and very cheap compared to optic cables. In addition when it comes to maintenance copper cables are easy to maintain.
Types of copper networking cables
There are many types of copper networking cables easily available at Nassau electrical to meet your needs it just depends with the area of application. They include:
Benefits of using the right cable products for your networking project
There are a number of benefits that the consumer can enjoy by the use of the copper networking cable. Use of these cables saves you money since they are sold at a cheaper price. Considering the facts that you have read on this article the cable is generally durable and can withstand harsh environments. The cable also performs its specific applications at its best with minimal failures. The Category has a wide range of standard options to choose from when purchasing so have a chance to choose what will work best for your unique networking needs.
Ratings and approvals of copper networking cables
It’s always advisable to work with products that have been tested and approved safe to use by international standards. The copper networking cable sold at Nassau electrical has undergone numerous tests and has been approved by the following international standards:
- Plenum rated
- NEC (National Electrical Code)
- UL listed
- CSA Flame Test
- UL Flame Test
- ANSI/SCTE standards
- C (UL) Listed
With the approval of the above international standards this gives our customers confidence on the product.
All these cables can be found with different suppliers and manufacturers across the country but some of these suppliers are a sham and they are only interested in your money. It’s advisable to contact manufacturers and suppliers that are genuine and reliable. This is where reputable suppliers like Nassau electrical come in. Nassau Electrical is a renowned market leader in supply of wire and cable products. We provide top notch services that will impress you. For more information click on the links or get in touch with us on our website via the live chat and we’ll always be happy to help you out.