Cordial Knowledge Base

Cat Cables

Especially when it comes to the transmission of high-frequency data signals during productions, event technicians really want to be on the safe side as their absolute priority is to avoid any kind of interference and transmission deficits.

Since 2002, the use of Category 5 twisted pair cables (Cat 5e - specification of suitability for Gigabit Ethernet) has been standard for Gigabit networks and in the course of consistent further technological development Cat 6 and Cat 7 were added.

The terms are common – but in what way do these cables actually differ? Well, they significantly differ regarding bandwidth. While Cat 5 cables are designed for operating frequencies of up to 100 megahertz, Cat 6 versions support maximum bandwidth frequencies of up to 500 MHz and Cat 7 cables even of up to 1,000 MHz. What then is decisive for achieving higher operating frequencies together with even better transmission characteristics? In a nutshell: the key words are twisting/stranding or shielding.

Cat 5 cables are Screened Unshielded Twisted Pair (S/UTP) cables, i.e. no shielding on the individual wire pairs, but a braided shield around the entire cable pairs structure. Electromagnetic interference is reduced by twisted wire pairs.

This is, however, not sufficient enough for higher operating frequencies. Cat 6 cables therefore feature a foil shielding around the wire pairs to protect the cables from interference such as cross talk (FTP = Foiled Twisted Pair).

For Fast Ethernet (FENet = frequency range of 600 or 1,000 MHz), Cat 7 cables come into play. Here all 4 wire pairs are individually surrounded by a foil shield and all of them, additionally, by an overall braided shield.

Cordial offers both, Cat 5e and Cat 7a cables, which were especially designed to meet all the requirements of event technology (bulk and ready-made cables). The Cat 6 bulk cable CCAT 6A INST-FRNC supplements our product range targeting specifically fixed installations equipment (with CPR class Dca compliant with the Building Products Ordinance).

Information on these products can be found here