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Cable suggestions

Mon Mar 18, 2019 6:30 pm

Going to be running a drop from the 1st floor to my basement in my home. I haven't done anything cable related in over 10 years. When I was going through Amazon notice different cat6 some copper clade and some solid core. Not sure what exactly I need, but I would like to have the drop be able to support at least 10 Gb in the future. Thanks in advance for any suggestions.
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Re: Cable suggestions

Mon Mar 18, 2019 8:09 pm

I'm not a cabling expert, but solid core sounds weird. Ethernet typically uses twisted pair. Early Ethernet used coaxial, and some exotic Ethernet uses fiber optic. So I'm not sure what a solid core Ethernet cable is supposed to be, unless it's a legacy coaxial cable.

Anyway, the first thing I'd worry about is maximum cable length. Different categories of ethernet cabling have different maximum lengths at different speeds.

This ought to help:
"The Category 6 specification improves upon the Category 5e specification by extending frequency response and further reducing crosstalk. The improved performance of Cat 6 provides 250 MHz bandwidth and supports 10GBASE-T (10-Gigabit Ethernet) for distances up to 55 meters.[10] Category 6A cable provides 500 MHz bandwidth and supports 10GBASE-T for distances up to 100 meters. Both variants are backwards compatible with Category 5 and 5e cables."

So if you want 10 Gb in the future, and if the distance from the 1st floor to the basement is more than 55 meters, you'll want to upgrade from Cat 6 to Cat 6A.

And according to this, Cat 7 is not a recognized TIA/EIA standard. The same article goes on to say, "Category 8 [is] . . . only for distances from 30 m to 36 m . . . . Category 8 is designed only for data centers where distances between switches and servers are short. It is not intended for general office cabling."

And according to this, "10GBASE-T . . . provide[s] 10 Gbit/s connections over unshielded or shielded twisted pair cables, over distances up to 100 metres (330 ft).[44] Category 6a is required to reach the full distance of 100 metres (330 ft) and category 6 may reach a distance of 55 metres (180 ft) . . . ."

So once again, it seems like Cat 6A is your best bet if the distance is more than 55 meters.

But I'd measure the distance.
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Re: Cable suggestions

Tue Mar 19, 2019 12:24 am

In-wall cabling is usually solid, not stranded. Given the choice I would use copper, not CCA (copper clad aluminum), although that’s my preference.

For 10G you will need Cat 6A, however this is significantly more difficult to properly terminate than Cat 6 or Cat 5e. Given the choice I would run conduit and pull strings alongside whatever among Cat 5e or Cat 6 (not 6A) that you can get cheapest. If you can’t run pull strings and conduit for future proofing, well, you can still use the existing cable to pull a newer cable through in the future...

(And yes, distance dependent as noted earlier, etc..)
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Re: Cable suggestions

Tue Mar 19, 2019 6:31 am

What continuum says:

Run a 1" conduit and pull strings with CAT6 for now and when you upgrade your switches/router/NICs to 10GbE in the future, buy whatever's best for that then.

For single household distances, almost any old CAT6 will do but it wouldn't hurt to get STP (foil-shielded). I don't think solid core is necessary, and it certainly makes the cable a PITA to work with compared to stranded.

We have some 125m runs on one of our floors between switch and NIC with two patch panels in-between and we're using stranded CAT6 for that (it was temporary but became permanent anyway). If anything, it proves that the 'limits' aren't black and white anyway. We haven't had any issues with that particular 125m cable run regardless of what hardware is used - Cisco switch to Cisco switch, or a couple of laptops using Realtek or Atheros on-board NICs, most likely.
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Re: Cable suggestions

Wed Mar 20, 2019 10:28 am

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Re: Cable suggestions

Wed Mar 20, 2019 10:51 am

Advice on here is right on. Recommend buying Amazon Basics or Monoprice. Very good quality.

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