Cat-5 VS Cat-6

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Oh, to answer your question about probes and toners- CAT5 and 6 is notoriously difficult to trace because of the tight twists so you need a high output tone generator and a sensitive probe.
Not so :happyyes:. You can't put the tracing signal into a single pair since it doesn't radiate much at all. I use a cut off net cable with all the whites twisted together, clip the toner to that and usually let the toner's other lead float. Even floating, the signal is usually easy to find. If not, ground the off side of the toner and watch out, that's a hot signal.

Just like tracing coax- put the toner on the shield, not on the center.
 

hbiss

EC, Westchester, New York NEC: 2014
Location
Hawthorne, New York NEC: 2014
Occupation
EC
Not so :happyyes:. You can't put the tracing signal into a single pair since it doesn't radiate much at all. I use a cut off net cable with all the whites twisted together, clip the toner to that and usually let the toner's other lead float. Even floating, the signal is usually easy to find. If not, ground the off side of the toner and watch out, that's a hot signal.

Just like tracing coax- put the toner on the shield, not on the center.
Yes, that can be a useful trick but you will find that if you are working with a bundle of cables the signal will bleed over to others and all will be equally loud. With the toner and probe with a metal tip that I mentioned above you can apply tone to one pair as usual and be able to locate the cable quite easily, though you may have to rotate the cable as you are holding it with your fingers until the pair is under the probe tip to confirm that you have the right cable. You may get a weak signal on several but only one will be loud as you rotate it.


Of course if you can get at the cut end and stick the probe in it there should be no problem.


-Hal
 
Yes, that can be a useful trick but you will find that if you are working with a bundle of cables the signal will bleed over to others and all will be equally loud.
Of course. I though you were referring to tracing through walls and such where the radiation from a single twisted pair is pretty small. If you're trying to pick out an individual cable in a bundle, then yes, apply signal to a single pair.
 

kbsparky

Senior Member
Location
Delmarva, USA
... There is NO excuse for mis-matching cable and termination devices. Whatever level of cable you use, you must use the corresponding level jacks and patch panels.

-Hal
OK, here is the problem with that line of thinking:

On several jobs, there is already existing cabling, and network switches present. It's all CAT-5e. Now, they want some new jacks installed, but specify that they be wired to CAT-6 specification. So, the new jacks will all be CAT-6, and use CAT-6 wire, but will initially terminate into the existing CAT-5e network switch.

This will give CAT-5e performance ... for now.

If and when they want to replace/upgrade the rest of the system, it will all have to be CAT-6. But the new jacks we install today won't have to be upgraded, since they will already be up to specification.

Make sense?
 

hbiss

EC, Westchester, New York NEC: 2014
Location
Hawthorne, New York NEC: 2014
Occupation
EC
OK, here is the problem with that line of thinking:

On several jobs, there is already existing cabling, and network switches present. It's all CAT-5e. Now, they want some new jacks installed, but specify that they be wired to CAT-6 specification. So, the new jacks will all be CAT-6, and use CAT-6 wire, but will initially terminate into the existing CAT-5e network switch.

This will give CAT-5e performance ... for now.

If and when they want to replace/upgrade the rest of the system, it will all have to be CAT-6. But the new jacks we install today won't have to be upgraded, since they will already be up to specification.

Make sense?
Does that make sense? Absolutely not. You think you are going to replace all the jacks with the old wiring then pull the wiring off at a later date and terminate the CAT6 on the same jacks? Good luck with making that work. I would never use the same jack twice with he same wire just from a reliability standpoint because they are not really made to be terminated more than once. But in your case the wire gauge between CAT5e and CAT6 is different so normally a CAT6 jack will not be designed for CAT5e wire. Also, different wire gauges can cause problems with the clips being spread by the larger wire then not closing properly on the smaller one.

Besides this, most of the cost is labor. You can re-use the wall plates so the cost of the actual keystone jack itself is a small part of the job. If you do this it's going to come back and bite you later. Like I said there is no excuse.

-Hal
 
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kbsparky

Senior Member
Location
Delmarva, USA
Does that make sense? Absolutely not. You think you are going to replace all the jacks with the old wiring then pull the wiring off at a later date and terminate the CAT6 on the same jacks? Good luck with making that work....
You have missed my point. NOWHERE did I say I would re-use ANYTHING!!

I am installing NEW WIRE and NEW JACKS into areas that do not have any jacks. I AM NOT touching any of the EXISTING jacks!!

The new stuff I am installing is all CAT-6.

IF and WHEN they want to upgrade the other existing wiring, it will all have to be replaced ALONG WITH NEW JACKS.
 

hbiss

EC, Westchester, New York NEC: 2014
Location
Hawthorne, New York NEC: 2014
Occupation
EC
I am installing NEW WIRE and NEW JACKS into areas that do not have any jacks. I AM NOT touching any of the EXISTING jacks!!
I apologize for not understanding that originally. I just assumed that you were making an argument (OK, here is the problem with that line of thinking) against my "there is no excuse for mis-matching cable and termination devices" statement. Unless you are using the existing CAT5e patch panel with the new CAT6 runs and CAT6 jacks how is what you are talking about the same thing?

There is no such thing as a CAT5e network switch. It's an everyday occurrance to have anything from 10 baseT, 100 baseT and 1000 baseT (gigabyte ethernet) capable switches, routers and NIC cards plugged into a CAT5e wiring system which supports them just fine as will CAT6.

Further, switches, routers and other electronics are not termination devices. Cabling system termination devices are patch panels and jacks which together with the cable determine the level of performance the wiring system is capable of. That's what we are talking about.

So if you are going to install new runs of CAT6 terminated with CAT6 jacks and a CAT6 patch panel along side the old CAT5e wiring there's no problem with that. Nothing says that all wiring has to be the same level.


-Hal
 

esobocinski

Member
Location
Ann Arbor, MI
Yup, it makes sense. It'll pay off if they upgrade to a network technology that needs Cat 6. If they leapfrog to the next greatest technology that needs the next greatest cabling, then the Cat 6 might be a wasted investment. That's not really your problem. On the other hand, they could decide to upgrade to a future faster switch for only Cat 6 jacks and put the Cat 5e jacks on switch ports that have been configured to stay slower (or leave them on the slower older switch), upgrading only Cat 5e jacks that have users who need the speed. The same is possible if they leapfrog: it's still a win to do a future replacement of the Cat 5e to Cat6a or Cat 7 and put the Cat 6 jacks on switch ports that are dialed back.

Anyhow, there are lots of possibilities, and the customer is not stupid to keep as many future options as possible if they think it's worth the gamble to spend the incremental cost for Cat 6 now. Like any future planning, it's a gamble. Personally, I'd do it: Cat 6 cost is close enough to Cat 5e that I'd rather pay the increment than risk paying labor a second time someday for a future upgrade.
 

hbiss

EC, Westchester, New York NEC: 2014
Location
Hawthorne, New York NEC: 2014
Occupation
EC
Most customers have no clue and only want CAT6 just because it's newer than CAT5e. Not to say that you shouldn't install what's current (which is CAT6 at present), I wouldn't get all carried away with analyzing all the possibilities and the future. Most customers only use their network for internet and simple file sharing and wouldn't see a difference if they were still on CAT3.

-Hal
 
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