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Below are Frequently Asked Questions about cabling. If you have any additional questions, please feel free to contact us.

What is the difference between multimode and singlemode fiber?

Multimode fiber comes in 62.5 and 50-micron diameters. It is used for shorter runs, less than a of couple thousand feet. The light travels down the glass along multiple pathways or modes. It can accommodate up to 10 gigabit Ethernet. Singlemode has a diameter of 8-microns, intended for longer lengths (miles) and requires a laser light since it has only one mode for the light to travel down. Singlemode has a higher transmission capacity than multimode.

What is the difference between 62.5 and 50-micron?

This refers to the core size of the fiber. 50-micron fiber is newer and offers better reliability, lower attenuation rates and increased distances. 50-micron fiber has three times the bandwidth capacity of 62.5-micron fiber and this enables it to achieve longer distances. However an existing network with 62.5 will operate better when not mixed with 50 as this does create attenuation where different size fibers are joined.

What is the main difference between Category 5e, 6 and 6A?

Category 5e cable is 24AWG and Category 6 is typically 23AWG. Category 5e cable is tested to 100 MHz and Category 6 cable is tested to 250 MHz. Most Category 6 cables utilize a center filler to separate the pairs, while Category 5e does not. Category 5e cable is designed to accommodate 10 and 100 megabit Ethernet. It may also handle 1 gigabit Ethernet over shorter distances. Category 6 cable was designed for 1 gigabit Ethernet as well as extended distance Power Over Ethernet (POE). Category 6A can run up to 10 gigabit and is better suited for POE+ and POE++.

What is POE or Power over Ethernet?

The POE carries data and delivers power to electronic devices connected to the switch through the wired network. There are three versions, each has a maximum wattage carried:

  • POE: 15.4 watts
  • POE+: 30 watts
  • POE++: 60 watts

What is the difference between plenum and riser cable?

Plenum rated cable is needed if the cable path is in the return air space of an HVAC system as it has a higher ignition temperature and is less toxic. Riser cable, on the other hand, is roughly a third less expensive.

Why should I have my new cabling certified?

Anytime you have wiring installed you should require having it certified and get a copy of the results. Oftentimes in order to win a bid people use counterfeit wire, jacks and patch panels that are not made to Telecommunications Industry Association TIA/EIA Electronic Industries Alliance standards. This means it may not perform as needed. They also may employ people that have not been trained on how to properly install and terminate your wiring.

Top 5 Causes of Cabling Failures – Network Cable Certification Obstacles:

  1. Modular plugs are not terminated properly. Use the right type of plug (stranded vs. solid conductor), following the color code, and making sure the sheathing is under the crimp tab.
  2. Pair-twists are not maintained. If needed, add an additional twist to the pair when terminating the modular jack, when terminating ensure that the cutter on the termination tool is facing the right direction.
  3. Too much cable jacketing is removed. Keep the cable jacket intact up to the connector and only remove enough jacket to terminate the pairs.
  4. Poor cable routing. Keep cable separation from power and other telecom cabling as needed, do not exceed 25 lb of tension on cables being pulled, watch for cable twisting and rubs on nails, screws and even poorly drilled joists and studs. Avoid direct contact with fluorescent lighting fixtures and electric wiring as this may cause interference that compromises connection.
  5. Poor components. Always make sure TIA/EIA components are used and ask about a manufacturer’s warranty.