Can I Use Cat5e Patch Cable With Cat6 Patch Panel?

As a key component of copper cabling system, copper patch panel is popular with people. And there are Cat5e patch panels and Cat6 patch panels available on the market. It is not difficult to understand that Cat5e patch panel is used with Cat5e patch cable, while Cat6 patch panel is used with Cat6 patch cable jointly. But can I use Cat5e patch cable with Cat6 patch panel or Cat6 patch cable with Cat5e patch panel? This article will tell you the answer.

Overview of Cat5e and Cat6 Patch panel

First, let’s have a brief overview of Cat5e patch panel and Cat6 patch panel. Cat5e patch panel is compliant with TIA/EIA 568 industry specifications and is used for high speed LAN transmission. In addition, Cat5e patch panels are available in 6-port and 8-port module groupings, in 8, 12, 24, and 48-port sizes. The high density panel design can be mounted to standard racks or cabinets, accommodate top, bottom or side cable entry, and also save rack space. While Cat6 patch panel is specially designed for 1G Ethernet applications. It also meets the TIA/EIA 568 industry specification and each patch panel terminates with standard 110 termination tools on the rear, which allows quick installations. Cat6 patch panel on the market covers 12, 24, 48, and 96-port configurations.

Cat5e and Cat6 patch panel

Can I Use Cat5e Patch Cable With Cat6 Patch Panel?

In fact, there isn’t much difference between these two types of patch panels. What matters is the difference of wire gauge specified between Cat5e and Cat6 patch cables. It’s well known that both Cat5e and Cat6 patch cable contain four twisted pairs of copper wires, but Cat6 patch cable is thicker than Cat5e. This is because there is a longitudinal separator inside Cat6 patch cable which isolates each of the four pairs of twisted wire from the others, reducing crosstalk and allowing for better signal. And another reason is that Cat6 patch cable utilizes copper conductor which has larger diameter than that of Cat5e patch cable. So you may ask, if I use Cat5e patch cable with Cat6 patch panel, will it be too loose? Slightly Yes, but electrically it will still make contact and work well.

Can I Use Cat6 Patch Cable With Cat5e Patch Panel?

Sometimes you may also encounter the situation where you want to use Cat6 pacth cable with Cat5e patch panel. The content above has mentioned that Cat6 patch cable is thicker than Cat5e patch cable. In spite of the size difference between them, the fact is that Cat6 patch cable is backward compatible with Cat5e patch cable. Therefore, you can feel free to use Cat6 patch cable with Cat5e patch panel.

Note

When plugging Cat5e patch cable on a Cat6 patch panel, the Cat5e patch cable is small enough that it is possible to get what looks like a good connection. However, the contact is not actually good or the plug is not in the right place. While plugging Cat6 patch cable on a Cat5e patch panel, the larger wire may end up bending or even breaking the port. Therefore, in both cases, it is necessary to install and test each connection carefully to make system work fine.

Conclusion

In theory, doing like these is not recommended. Using Cat5e patch cable with Cat5e patch panel or Cat6 patch cable with Cat6 patch panel will get the best performance. FS.COM provides both high-density Cat5e patch panels for Fast Ethernet applications and Cat6 patch panels for 1G/10G Ethernet applications, such as 24 port Cat5e patch panel, 48 port Cat5e patch panel, 24 port Cat6 patch panel, 48 port Cat6 patch panel, etc. In addition, Cat5e shielded patch panel, Cat5e unshielded patch panel, Cat6 shielded patch panel and Cat6 unshielded patch panel are available. If you want to know more details, please visit our site or contact us via sales@fs.com.

All About STP Cable

We know that EMI (electromagnetic interference) is a disturbance in twisted pair cables. It affects the performance of an electrical circuit by electromagnetic induction, electrostatic coupling, or conduction. The primary way to combat EMI in cables is through the use of shielding. The shielding can act on EMI in two ways: first, it can reflect the energy; second, it can prevent the noise and conduct it to ground. With the help of cable shielding, cables can be immune to the disturbance and keep a stable connection. And this article will present some knowledge about STP (shielded twisted pair) cable.

Overview of STP Cable

First of all, let’s have a quick overview of STP cable. As the name suggests, STP cable has a metal shield around each twisted pair which is composed of copper tape, a layer of conducting polymer or a braid (made of copper or aluminum mostly). And the shield can be applied to each pair of the cable or to all pairs together. Typically, STP cable is more expensive than UTP (unshielded twisted pair) cable. And due to the fragile and rigid shield of STP cable, it is necessary to pay much attention to the installation and maintenance of STP cable.

Types of Shields

There are mainly two types of shields: braided shield and foiled shield. Braided shield is made up of woven mesh of bare or tinned copper wires. The braid makes it much easier for cable termination by crimping or soldering when attaching a connector. However, braided shield does not provide 100% coverage. It typically provides 70% to 95% coverage according to the tightness of weave. But as a matter of fact, 70% coverage is always sufficient if cables are fixed. Another shielding is foiled shield. This type of shielding uses a thin layer of aluminum. Because it is thin, it is harder to work with, especially when applying a connector. It provides 100% coverage for the conductors it surrounds.

As copper has higher conductivity than aluminum and the braid has more bulk for conducting noise, the braid is more effective as a shield. If the environment is extremely noisy, a cable may use multiple layers of shielding with both the braided and foil designs. Here is figure of braided shield, foiled shield and braided/foiled shield, from which you can have a better understanding of inner structure of these three types of shields.

braided shield, foiled shield and braided foiled shield

Different Constructions of Shielding

When you plan to buy shielded 100m cat6 cable on store, you may have to make a choice between different construction of shielding. And here are are some commonly used shielding constructions:

1) Individual Shield

U/FTP is the typical individual shielding using aluminum foil. This kind of construction has one shield for each twisted pair or quad above the conductor and insulation. Individual shield especially protects neighboring pairs from crosstalk.

2) Overall Shield

F/UTP, S/UTP, and SF/UTP are overall shielding with different shield materials. Overall shield refers to the entire coverage around the whole cable. This type of shielding helps prevent EMI from entering or exiting the cable.

3) Individual and Overall Shield

F/FTP, S/FTP, and SF/FTP are individual and overall shield. This type of construction has both layers of shielding. And its immunity to EMI disturbance is greatly improved.

Meanings of the abbreviated letters:

U = unshielded

F = foiled shielding

S = braided shielding

TP = twisted pair

Applications

Power cables are constructed with shielding to be electromagnetic compatible (EMC) to minimize noise generation, which affects many other systems like radio and data communication. Bulk Ethernet cables are shielded to prevent the effects on the data transmitted from EMI. To further prevent cross talk and coupling, some bulk Ethernet cables are also paired and individually shielded. In some applications, such as those needing servo cables, double or even triple, shielding is required around individual conductors, around twisted pairs, and around the entire cable. By the way, if you use shielded cat6 cable for your network, the cat6 patch panel you choose must be shielded, too.

Conclusion

Adopting twisted pair cable shielding is an effective method to prevent EMI from interfering signal transmission. For the purpose of providing a reliable connection between electronic devices, choosing a proper shielded twisted pair cable is essential. FS.COM provides various types of shielded cables, such as FTP cat5e cable 305m, SFTP 100m cat6 cable, SFTP 1000 feet cat6 cable. If you want to know more details, please visit our site.