Do Not Look Down Upon Cable Tie

It goes without saying that cable management is an essential step for the whole cabling system. When carrying on cable management, there is a small component—cable tie, which is easily ignored by many people. As a matter of fact, the role of cable tie in cable management is as important as that of Phillips screwdriver in tool bag. The figure below shows the neat and tidy cabling system with the use of cable ties. So do not look down upon cable tie. This article will guide you to know more about cable tie from its applications, advantages as well as factors to consider when choosing cable ties.

cable ties

Application

Because cable tie is low in cost and easy to use, it has been used in a wide range of applications. Followings are five common applications of cable tie.

Application one: Cable tie can be used to bundle cables firmly. You can make minute adjustments on the cable tie to realize bundling cables with different sizes.

Application two: Cable tie can be used to organize cable bundles. In addition, cable tie with an outside flag design is helpful to separate and identify different cables.

Application three: Cable tie can be used as clip for holding cables, tubing and hoses. And cable tie can do this well in limited space.

Application four: Cable tie made of special material with high performance can be used in hash environment where cables have to be exposed to high temperature, UV rays, rain, salt water and so on.

Application five: Cable tie can also be used in household applications, such as placing and fixing tools in the garage.

Advantages

Cable tie obtains several advantages that help to achieve successful cable management.

Avoid injury: Keeping bundled cables affixed to server racks or hangers helps data center managers avoid being hurt like tripping, which would cause body injury.

Protect cables: Cable tie can protect cables from damage caused by excessive tension, keep the shape of cables, and guarantee the high performance of network.

Save money: Cable tie is low in cost which can save money for other investments on the cabling system.

Identify cables easily: With all the cables organized neatly, data center managers can identify and manage cables easily.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Cable Ties

There are various types of cable ties available on the market, such as plastic cable tie, velcro cable tie, nylon cable tie, stainless steel zip tie and so on. And different types are designed to meet different requirements in the application. Therefore, it is necessary to take some factors into consideration when choosing cable ties.

Material: Cable ties are available in different materials with their own specific properties. In addition, the selection of material is directly related to the environment where cables runs. Cable ties made of some materials can be used in outdoor environment while others can be only used indoor.

Design: Cable ties have different designs of construction, such as self-locking, ID marker and so on. They can provide a convenient using way to satisfy different needs.

Length: The length of cable tie length should be longer than the diameter of the cable bundle. It cannot be too long or too short.

Conclusion

Although cable ties look inconspicuous, the importance of these cheap components can not be looked down upon. It can do an amazing job for making messy cables well-organized. Thus, it is greatly favored by data center managers. I hope this article can help you have a better understanding of cable ties and choose the suitable type of cable tie for your application. FS.COM provides the cable ties mentioned above and some other products for cable management, such as cable management panel. If you want to know more details, please visit our site.

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How to Choose the Right Ethernet Cable for Your Network?

To build your Ethernet network, the transmission media Ethernet cable is indispensable. And there are a variety of choices for Ethernet cables, such as Cat5e, Cat6, Cat6a and so on. If you are familiar with the differences between these different types of Ethernet cables, you may think it’s very simple to choose the right Ethernet cable for your network. However, is this really enough to help you make the decision? Are there any other factors you have to take into consideration? This article will give you the answer.

Overview of Different Types of Ethernet Cables

First, let’s have a quick review of the basic knowledge of these different types of Ethernet cables. For data speed, Cat5e is designed to support 1 Gigabit Ethernet with bandwidth up to 100MHz; Cat6 can support higher data rate of 10 Gigabit Ethernet with bandwidth up to 250 MHz; Cat6a is defined at frequencies up to 500MHz among 10G Ethernet applications. For transmission distance, Cat5e can reach 100 meters at the speed of 1Gbps; Cat6 is able to run 100 meters with data speed up to 1Gbps and only 55 meters at the speed of 10Gbps; Cat6a can support the distance over 100 meters at the speed of 10Gbps. Which types of Ethernet cables to choose depends on your requirement for transmission speed and distance. After you make a decision on this, there are some other factors you have to consider—straight-through or crossover cable, UTP (unshielded twisted pair) or STP (shielded twisted pair) cable, length and color. The following part will focus on these factors.

Straight-Through or Crossover Cable?

Ethernet cable terminated with RJ45 connector contains eight color-coded wires. The color-coded wiring sequences exist as a cabling industry standard. When linking RJ45 connector to a cable, there are two wiring standards—T-568A and T-568B. The two wiring standards are used to create a straight-through cable (T-568A or T-568B on both ends), or a crossover cable (T-568A on one end and T-568B on the other end). To choose a straight-through cable, you have to use either T-568A or T-568B on both ends of the cable; to choose a crossover cable, you need to wire T-568A on one end and T-568B on the other end of the cable. Here is a figure of T-568A and T-568B, from which you can see the difference between these two wiring standards.

T-568A and T-568B

UTP or STP Cable?

STP cable has a metal shield around each twisted pair which is composed of copper tape, a layer of conducting polymer or a braid (mostly made of copper or aluminum). With the shield, EMI (electromagnetic interference) and crosstalk can be greatly reduced, which enables the high performance of data transmission between different devices. While UTP cable has no shielding. It is designed to cancel electromagnetic interference through the way the pairs are twisted inside the cable. If the Ethernet cable runs in the environment where the interference or crosstalk is not the main concern, it is suggested to choose UTP cables which are lower in cost. But if the environment is full of powerful magnetic fields which may have an influence on the performance of network, STP cable is absolutely the optimal choice. To have a better understanding of the difference between UTP cable and STP cable, here is figure of the inner structure of UTP cable and STP cable.

the inner structure of UTP cable and STP cable

Length and Color

When choosing Ether cable for your network, you also need to consider length and color. Ethernet cable comes in standard lengths such as 1, 3, 5, 7, and 10 meter. Longer lengths are available, such as bulk Cat5e cable 305m. The distance between your various network devices and your network switch or router will determine the length you need. In addition, Ethernet cable is designed in all sorts of colors, such as blue, gray, red and some other color. This decision can be based purely on your individual taste and preference.

Conclusion

There is no doubt that choosing the right Ethernet cable can make your network work at a high performance level. I hope this article can help you know more about Ethernet cable and make the right choice for your network application. There are different types of Ethernet cables available in FS.COM, such as UTP Cat5e bulk cable, STP Cat6 bulk cable and so on. Also, we provide different types of RJ45 couplers which can be a convenient way to combine two short Ethernet cables into a longer one, such as Cat6 coupler and Cat5e coupler. If you want to know more details, please visit our site or contact us.

Choose A Suitable Type of Cable Tie For Your Application

When talking about cable tie, many people may think it’s just a strip for bundling cables and there is nothing special about it. But the fact is that if you want to make your messy cables well-organized, cable tie can offer an easy and cost-effective solution for your cable management. On the market, there are various types of cable ties with different colors and sizes, which are designed for different applications. Choosing a suitable type of cable tie can greatly improve your working efficiency. Therefore, this article is going to introduce four types of cable ties, which aims to help you know more about cable ties and make a suitable choice for your application.

Self-Locking Nylon Cable Tie

Self-locking nylon cable tie is made of nylon which is a kind of material with good reliability, high durability and low friction coefficient. From the figure below, we can find that it has a locking design. When using it for self-locking connection, you just need to insert the flexible tail into the head hole, which is constructed precisely for easy and fast attachment. Then the cables will be locked firmly. In addition, this type of cable tie is available in a variety of colors for unique identification purposes, as shown in the following figure.

Self-Locking Nylon Cable Ties

ID Marker Cable Tie

ID marker cable tie is also made of nylon which is a kind of polyamide material for light weight and flexibility. There is an outside flag design—a rectangular labeling area, on its head, which allows users to imprint or write some information related to the cables on it. This can save a lot of time for the identification of cables. Structured with a self-locking mechanism, the using way of ID marker cable tie is the same with that of Self-Locking nylon cable tie, which is easy to operate and can realize a quick lock on the cables. Besides, this type of cable tie can also be found with different colors for easy identification of wires. To have a better understanding of the structure of ID marker cable tie, here is a figure for you.

ID Marker Cable Ties

Back to Back Velcro Cable Tie

Back to back velcro cable tie, also referred to as hook and loop cable tie, is made of a kind of self-attaching hook and loop material, which is perfect for controlling cables. This material has two sides—hook side and loop side. The hook side is molded, while the loop side is soft knitted. It is very easy to use that you just need to put hook side and loop side together or pull these two sides apart. This type of cable tie is characterized by high cost effectiveness because it can be reused for many times. What’s more, it can be cut according to the desired length which is really convenient to use. Here is a figure of back to back velcro cable tie which can help you to learn about its construction.

Back to Back Velcro Cable Tie

There is a special type of hook and loop cable tie that is necessary to be introduced to you—T type magnetic velcro cable tie. It is durable and reusable. We can learn from the figure below that the design of T type magnetic velcro cable tie is a little different from that of back to back velcro cable tie. Instead, it is similar to the nylon cable tie with self-locking design. Therefore, this type of cable tie combines the using way of velcro cable tie and self-locking cable tie, which just needs to pass the tail into the head hole, then the hook side and loop side will naturally stick together, which is flexible and convenient.

T Type Magnetic Velcro Cable Tie

Conclusion

Although cable ties look inconspicuous, the importance of these cheap components can not be ignored. It is not difficult to find that cable ties are very useful for neat and tidy cable management and is greatly favored by data center managers. With a variety of cable ties on the market, it is necessary to choose a suitable type of cable tie according to different applications. FS.COM provides the cable ties mentioned above and some other types, such as stainless steel zip ties. If you want to know more details, please visit our site.

Introduction to Cable Manager

The trend for high density connectivity in data centers makes cabling systems more and more complicated, which also brings the difficulty to cable management. There is no doubt that improper cable management can result in performance issues, such as data transmission errors, and even system downtime. Therefore, it is necessary to find effective tools to make tidy cabling. Fortunately, cable manager, or cable management panel, appears to be a great option. This article will introduce the advantages of cable manager and some common types of cable managers to you, which would be very useful for you to select the most suitable cable manager for your network.

Advantages of Cable Manager

Before we move to different types of cable managers, let’s have a look at the advantages of cable manager. First, with the use of cable manager, cables can be installed properly, which can avoid the risk of over bending. Second, Electromagnetic Interference (EMI) can be reduced to greatly improve network performance. Third, cables are organized tidily which is good for airflow. Fourth, the cost is affordable, which is a necessary investment to avoid unknown loss caused by cable mess in the future.

Common Types of Cable Managers

There are different types of cable managers which are classified by different standards, such as cabling direction, style, structure and material.

Horizontal Cable Manager vs. Vertical Cable Manager

There are horizontal and vertical cable managers for different cabling directions. Horizontal cable manager is able to make proper and neat routing of the patch cables between equipment in racks. While before using it, the rack height and supported cable density must be determined. As for vertical cable manager, it is designed to manage patch cables in vertical space. When using vertical cable manager with angled patch panel, the cables are allowed to directly enter into vertical cable manager which eliminates the need for horizontal cable manager. This can greatly save rack space for other active equipment. No matter which type you choose, remember to leave some space in the cable manager for future growth and cabling demands. Here is a figure that shows the appearances of horizontal cable manager panel and vertical cable manager.

horizontal cable manager panel and vertical cable manager

Finger Duct Cable Manager vs. D-Ring Cable Manager

Finger duct cable manager offers a series of fingers on either side as well as pass-through holes at the beck. The flexible fingers allow easy installation and removal of cables; the holes can help to reduce the cable stress. From an aesthetic point of view, when mounted to the rack, finger duct cable manager can be used as a cover to create a clean look. As for D-ring cable manager, it can help to protect the cables and route large amounts of cables, avoiding cable strain. Being more flexible, those D-rings are allowed to detach and use separately as well as combine into other devices freely. If you want to know the structural differences of these two types of cable managers, you can learn it from the following figure.

finger duct cable manager and D-ring cable manager

Single Sided Cable Manager vs. Dual Sided Cable Manager

Cable manager can be classified into single sided and dual sided types. Single sided manager provides a convenient cable run between equipment and racks, while dual sided manager supports patch panels by keeping different cables separate for better distinction. To better know these two types of cable managers, here offers a figure about the structure of single sided manager and dual sided manager.

single sided manager and dual sided manager

Plastic Cable Manager vs. Metal Cable Manager

Cable manager can be made of plastic, metal or semimetal. As plastic and metal are the two most common materials for making cable manager, the following will mainly introduce plastic and metal cable manager. Generally, plastic cable manager is definitely lighter in weight for easier installation. However, as time goes by, it will lose the shape, discolor and even degrade. While metal cable manager is more solid and can provide a stronger and safer cabling environment.

Conclusion

Cable manager is really useful for clean and tidy cable management and it is now widely used in data centers. If you want a higher performance of your network, a cable manager is absolutely needed. FS.COM provides different kinds of cable managers, such as, 1U finger duct cable manager, single sided vertical cable manager, metal horizontal cable manager, etc. If you want to know more details, please visit our site.

Know More About Patch Panels

There is no doubt that patch panels are the important elements in cabling systems. No matter how big or how small your business or home network is, you can’t make your cabling system tidy without the use of patch panels. Serving as the nerve center of the cabling network, copper patch panel allows you to terminate cable elements and allows the signal to be connected to the intended destination. This article will guide you to know more about this crucial component.

Overview of Patch Panel

A patch panel is one panel essentially with an array of ports on it. Each port connects, via a patch cable, to another port located elsewhere in your building. If you want to set up a wired network that includes multiple wall ports in various rooms, a patch panel in a central location can provide a simple, neat and easy-to-manage solution.

Patch panel works as a mounted hardware assembly that contains multiple network ports to connect and manage incoming and outgoing lines. In the application of LAN, patch panels can realize the connection between different computers or computers and outside lines. In addition, those lines allow LANs to connect with wide area networks (WANs) or the Internet. With the use of a patch panel, you can simply plug and unplug the appropriate patch cords to arrange circuits.

Patch panel is widely used in the telecommunications section of a building, which makes telecommunications networks managing easier. As the major link, a patch panel collects data and routes it to the intended destination. If a malfunction of a patch panel occurs, the entire system may fail, which explains how crucial it is.

Ports Are Very Crucial to the Patch Panel

Ports are central parts of patch panels because they provide physical entry and exit points for data. Most patch panels have either 24 or 48 ports. And some panels can include 96 ports or more. The number of ports on a panel is not subject to physical limit other than the room to place them. Here is a figure of 48 port Cat5e patch panel.

48 port Cat5e patch panel

Copper or Fiber Patch Panels

Patch panels can be used in fiber and copper cabling systems. So is there any difference between these two types of patch panels?

Copper patch panels are structured with 8-pin modular ports on one side and the 110-insulation displacement connector block on the other side. Wires comes into one side and are routed into intended destination from the other side. For the copper patch panel, each pair of wires has an independent port. While fiber patch panels are structured with two ports for a pair of wires. One port is used for transmitting signal and the other is used for receiving signal.

From the view of cost, copper patch panel is cheaper than fiber patch panel. While fiber patch panels are a lot easier to install and tend to be faster than copper patch panels, but this does not downplay the role played by the latter. The main function of a patch panel is to realize the connection, allocation and scheduling of cable links easily. No matter which type of patch panels you choose, they must be used according to practical situations.

Conclusion

Copper patch panel, as a kind of flexible and effective copper cable management tool, gains popularity in data center applications. Today, various types of copper patch panels can be found on the market. FS.COM provides different kinds of copper patch panels, such as 24 port Cat5e patch panel, 24 port Cat6 patch panel, 48 port Cat6 patch panel, etc. If you want to know more details, please visit our site or contact us via sales@fs.com.

Unsuitable Length of Ethernet Cable In Your Application?

Sometimes we may encounter the situation where the length of Ethernet cable bought in store is not suitable for the application. Is there an cost-effective way to solve this problem? Terminating the cable with RJ45 connector or using a RJ45 coupler to connect two cables by yourself can be a good option. This passage will introduce these two ways to solve such awkward problem.

Terminate Ethernet Cable With RJ45 Connector
Overview of RJ45 Connector

Before we come to the termination process, let’s have a brief overview of RJ45 connector. The letter “RJ” represents “registered jack”, which is a standardized physical network interface for connecting telecommunication or data equipment. RJ45 connector features eight positions and eight contact pins (8P8C). Material of the connector often uses plastic which makes it look transparent, thus the connector can also be called crystal connector (shown as the figure below). RJ45 connector is the most common twisted-pair connector for Ethernet cables.

RJ45 connector

Necessary Tools for Termination

Using special tools for termination is very important. You should not cut the cable with other unprofessional tools since it may cause damage and increase signal loss. Jacket cutter or wire stripper is needed to safely cut the jacket off and not hurt the inner wires. Cable crimping tool is necessary for crimping the RJ45 connector onto the wire to make a compact connection. Wire cutter is used to neatly cut the cable ends. Ethernet testing tool is important for the final check of the cable when termination is complete.

Steps of Termination Process

After everything is prepared, you can start terminating the Ethernet cable. Just follow the steps one by one, and the process can be done within several minutes.

Step one. Trim the end of the Ethernet cable with a crimping tool. Strip off about one inch of the jacket, leaving the twisted pairs outside.

Step two. Separate the 4 twisted wire pairs from each other, and then unwind each pair. Flatten the 8 individual wires as much as possible to make preparation for proper individual insertion into the connector.

Step three. Make clear on which standard you are based, then carefully place the wires in order according to that standard.

Step four. Hold the RJ45 connector and carefully insert the prepared wires into the connector, pushing them through the connector until the wire ends come out of the connector’s pin side. Make sure the color order is correct. If not, remove the wires from the connector and do it again.

Step five. Carefully cut the wire ends using crimping tool. Make sure the ends are as flush with the connector’s surface as possible to ensure a good plug-in connection.

If you have experience to install or maintain cables in LANs, you may know how important to terminate Cat5e, Cat6 or Cat6a bulk Ethernet cables with RJ45 connectors. Mastering this skill sometimes can save time as well as money in Ethernet cable installations.

Use a RJ45 Coupler

A RJ45 coupler, or inline coupler, is a small device with two female RJ45 jacks that joins two wires with Ethernet plugs together (shown as the figure below). Inline couplers do not provide any amplification or signal boost, and can cause attenuation and signal degradation unless they are of high quality. The primary use for a RJ45 coupler is to turn two short Ethernet computer networking cables into one long cable. When processing this, the RJ45 couplers need to be built to carry two cables with the same bandwidth in the network. This can be a convenient way to join two RJ45-terminated cables together to form one long cable.

RJ45 coupler

Conclusion

Learning the skill of Ethernet cable termination or connecting two cables with RJ45 couple efficiently solves the problem of unsuitable cable length. In this way, Ethernet cables can be more flexible to suit different applications. FS.COM provides the related copper products mentioned in the article, such as Cat5e cable 305m, Cat5e coupler, Cat6 coupler, RJ45 to RJ45 connector, etc. If you want to know more details, please visit our site or contact us via sales@fs.com.

Difference Between Cat6 and Cat7

Since the Ethernet cable is characterized with the advantages, such as affordable price, fast transmission speed and good reliability, it becomes more and more popular with people. As technology continues to progress, Ethernet cable also has been improved over time to meet the increasing demand of bandwidth. Cat6 and Cat7 are two kinds of Ethernet cables for 10G Ethernet applications. Do you know the differences between them? Now, this passage will focus on the comparison between Cat6 and Cat7 from five aspects: frequency, transmission distance, wiring, cost and lifespan. First, let’s go to the overview of Cat6 and Cat7.

Overview of Cat6 and Cat7

As the sixth generation of twisted pair Ethernet cable, Cat6 contains four pairs of copper wire and utilizes all of these pairs for signaling in order to obtain the higher level of performance—supporting 10G Ethernet. In addition, it is backward compatible with the Cat3, Cat5 and Cat5e cable standards. With even more stricter specifications for crosstalk and system noise, Cat7 is designed to allow 10G Ethernet over longer distance. It also contains four twisted copper wire pairs, just like the earlier standards. And Cat7 is backward compatible with Cat5e and Cat6. Here is a figure of Cat6 cable reel and Cat7 cable reel.

Cat6 cable reel and Cat7 cable reel

Difference Between Cat6 and Cat7

It is obvious that Cat7 greatly improves the capacity and reliability of Cat6. So what is the difference between Cat6 and Cat7? This part will focus on five aspects—frequency, transmission distance, wiring, cost and lifespan.

Frequency

Cat6 can perform at a frequency of up to 250 MHz and works fine for normal speeds—10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T, and 10GBASE-T standards. While the frequency of Cat7 is higher and up to 600 MHz, which is 2.4 times as fast as Cat6. And this makes Cat7 suitable for high-speed data rate transmission.

Transmission Distance

Cat6 can reach 100 meters for slower network speeds (up to 1,000 Mbps) and higher network speeds over short transmission distance—it can achieve only 55 meters at the speed of 10 Gbps and 33 meters in high crosstalk conditions. While Cat7 can operate at the speed of 10 Gbps with transmission distance up to 100 meters.

Wiring

Cat6 is available in both STP (Shielded Twisted Pair) forms and UTP (Unshielded Twisted Pair) forms. While Cat7 uses Screen Shielded twisted wire that not only reduces the chances of crosstalk, but also reduces the noise and enhances performance.

Cost

Cat7 costs more than Cat6. Take Fiberstore’s cables as an example, 100m Cat6 cable is 54.00 US$, while 100m Cat7 cable is 200.00 US$. The more cables you purchase, the bigger the price difference will be. Therefore, if your network needs 10 Gbps, maybe Cat6 is a more cost-effective choice.

Lifespan

Cat6 has an estimated lifespan of ten years. While for Cat7, shielding has been added for individual wire pairs and the cable as a whole. Because of this shielding, Cat7 is thicker, more bulky, and more difficult to bend. Cat7 is regarded as the most durable cable and has a longer lifespan of fifteen years than Cat 6.

Conclusion

Careful planning and product selection will be the key to a successful installation. Transmission speed, distance, cost and lifespan are the important factors that you should consider when choosing a transmission media. For 10G Ethernet applications, both Cat6 and Cat7 can be used. However, Cat7 is really high in cost when providing wider bandwidth with longer transmission distance. So you have to think carefully before making a decision. When it comes to make a choice between Cat6 and Cat7, I hope this passage can be helpful for you.