Archives for February 2017

Let’s do a burn test on Counterfeit Category Cable

It seems like since around the early 2000s we’ve heard stories of low end cable manufactures cutting corners such as copper clad aluminum and pushing it as a 100% copper conductor and I’ll also never forget the phone call I received from a contractor yelling at me about how hundreds of his Cat5e jacks are failing (He bought the jacks from me, these ones) and after further inspection the cable he installed (Not bought from me) was actually a 26awg not a 24awg as stated by that cable manufacture and it caused all kinds of contact issues.

Now I have something new to reference bad cables with, the Communications Cable and Connectivity Association did a video demonstrating a burn test on counterfeit cables. This videos does a great job not only demonstrating what happens but also referencing standards from TIA and fire codes from the NFPA, let’s check out this video.

It’s interesting how the counterfeit cables do act like a fuse and the spread of the fire and smoke was amazing. Remember smoke inhalation is the number one cause of death in fires. The video does talk about the UL holographic logo you should look for but that’s another thing I’ve already seen that’s also been counterfeited so you may want to look for that but also make sure you purchase your copper cable from a reputable manufacture and be-careful with the “House Brand” of cable.

Category 8 Testing Standard Approved?!

In October TIA established TIA-1152-A that covers Category 8 testing in the field and the standard has been in development since late 2013 and specifies Level 2G testing accuracy. Category 8 cabling specifications have also been established so manufactures can now start manufacturing components and systems, my only problem is where are all the Cat7 components and systems?

How is Category 8 different? It uses a frequency of 2000 MHz, and is limited to a 30 meter two connector channel. Cat5e through Cat6A uses a shielded or unshieled twisted-pair construction, Category 8 requires only a shielded full twisted pair 22awg.

Category 8 Cable shielded individual pairs

Category 8 S/FTP Copper Cable

 

Over the years Cat6A has been climbing in sales year after year but Cat7 has only been talked about from time to time and now there’s Category 8?! That 30 meter limit I think is going to be a problem that will slow the progress of this cabling system but I’ve been wrong before, just ask the wife.