Category 5 cable
Category 5 cable (Cat 5) is a twisted pair cable for carrying signals. This type of cable is used in structured cabling for computer networks such as Ethernet. The cable standard provides performance of up to 100 MHz and is suitable for 10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX (Fast Ethernet), and 1000BASE-T (Gigabit Ethernet). Cat 5 is also used to carry other signals such as telephony and video.
The cable is commonly connected using punch-down blocks and modular connectors. Most Category 5 cables are unshielded, relying on the balanced line twisted pair design and differential signaling for noise rejection.
Category 5 has been superseded by the Category 5e (enhanced) specification.
The specification for Category 5 cable was defined in ANSI/TIA/EIA-568-A, with clarification in TSB-95. These documents specify performance characteristics and test requirements for frequencies up to 100 MHz. Cable types, connector types and cabling topologies are defined by TIA/EIA-568-B. Nearly always, 8P8C modular connectors, often referred to as RJ45, are used for connecting category 5 cable. The cable is terminated in either the T568A scheme or the T568B scheme. The two schemes work equally well and may be mixed in an installation so long as the same scheme is used on both ends of each cable.
Each of the four pairs in a Cat 5 cable has differing precise number of twists per metre to minimize crosstalk between the pairs. Although cable assemblies containing 4 pairs are common, Category 5 is not limited to 4 pairs. Backbone applications involve using up to 100 pairs. This use of balanced lines helps preserve a high signal-to-noise ratio despite interference from both external sources and crosstalk from other pairs.
The cable is available in both stranded and solid conductor forms. The stranded form is more flexible and withstands more bending without breaking. Permanent wiring (for example, the wiring inside the wall that connects a wall socket to a central patch panel) is solid-core, while patch cables (for example, the movable cable that plugs into the wall socket on one end and a computer on the other) are stranded.
The specific category of cable in use can be identified by the printing on the side of the cable.
Maximum cable segment length
The maximum length for a cable segment is 100 m per TIA/EIA 568-5-A. If longer runs are required, the use of active hardware such as a repeater or switch is necessary. The specifications for 10BASE-T networking specify a 100 metre length between active devices. This allows for 90 metres of solid-core permanent wiring, two connectors and two stranded patch cables of 5 metres, one at each end.
Category 5 vs. 5e
The category 5e specification improves upon the category 5 specification by tightening some crosstalk specifications and introducing new crosstalk specifications that were not present in the original category 5 specification. The bandwidth of category 5 and 5e is the same – 100 MHz.
This type of cable is used in structured cabling for computer networks such as Ethernet over twisted pair. The cable standard provides performance of up to 100 MHz and is suitable for 10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX (Fast Ethernet), and 1000BASE-T (Gigabit Ethernet). 10BASE-T and 100BASE-TX Ethernet connections require two wire pairs. 1000BASE-T Ethernet connections require four wire pairs. Through the use of power over Ethernet (PoE), up to 25 watts of power can be carried over the cable in addition to Ethernet data.
Cat 5 is also used to carry other signals such as telephony and video. In some cases, multiple signals can be carried on a single cable; Cat 5 can carry two conventional telephone lines as well as 100BASE-TX in a single cable. The USOC/RJ-61 wiring standard may be used in multi-line telephone connections.
|Characteristic impedance @ 100 MHz||100||± 15||Ω|||
|Nominal characteristic impedance @ 100 MHz||100||± 5||Ω|||
|DC-Loop resistance||≤ 0.188||Ω/m|||
|Delay skew < 100 MHz||< 0.20||ns/m|||
|Capacitance at 800 Hz||52||pF/m|||
|Corner frequency[dubious ]||≤ 57||kHz|||
|Max tensile load, during installation||100||N|||
|Wire diameter||AWG-24 (0.51054 mm ; 0.205 mm2)|||
|Maximum current per conductor||0.577||A|||
|Temperature operating||-55 to +60||°C|||
|Maximum operating voltage
(PoE uses max 57 V DC)
|FEP||Teflon/fluorinated ethylene propylene|
|FFEP||Foamed Teflon/fluorinated ethylene propylene|
Since 1995, all UTP cables have been required to be manufactured with solid-conductor twisted pairs of no less than 24 American Wire Gauge (AWG) and no more than 22 AWG. This standard has been retained with the 2009 revision of ANSI TIA/EIA 568.
Individual twist lengths
|Pair color||[cm] per turn||Turns per [m]|
|CMP||Communications Plenum||CSA FT6 or NFPA 262 (UL 910)|
|CMR||Communications Riser||UL 1666|
|CMG||Communications General purpose||CSA FT4|
|CM||Communications||UL 1685 (UL 1581, Sec. 1160) Vertical-Tray|
|CMX||Communications Residential||UL 1581, Sec. 1080 (VW-1)|
- CMR (Communications Riser), insulated with high-density polyolefin and jacketed with low-smoke polyvinyl chloride (PVC).
- CMP (Communications Plenum), insulated with fluorinated ethylene propylene (FEP) and polyethylene (PE) and jacketed with low-smoke polyvinyl chloride (PVC), due to better flame test ratings.
- CM (Communications) is insulated with high-density polyolefin, but not jacketed with PVC and therefore is the lowest of the three in flame resistance.
Any cable that contains air spaces can breathe in moisture, especially if the cable runs between indoor and outdoor spaces. Warm moist air can cause condensation inside the colder parts of the cable outdoors. It may be necessary to take precautions such as sealing the ends of the cables. Some cables are suitable for "direct burial", but this usually requires that the cable be gel filled in order to hinder moisture migration into the cable.
When using a cable for a tower, attention must be given to vertical cable runs that may channel water into sensitive indoor equipment. This can often be solved by adding a drip-loop at the bottom of the run of cable.
Plenum-rated cables are slower to burn and produce less smoke than cables using a mantle of materials like PVC. This also affects legal requirements for a fire sprinkler system. That is if a plenum-rated cable is used, sprinkler requirement may be eliminated.
Shielded cables (FTP/STP) are useful for environments where proximity to RF equipment may introduce electromagnetic interference, and can also be used where eavesdropping likelihood should be minimized.
- American wire gauge (AWG)
- Audio over Ethernet (AoE)
- Ethernet over twisted pair (10/100/1000BASE-T)
- Power over Ethernet (PoE)
- "Voice and Data Cabling & Wiring Installations". Retrieved 2013-05-12.
- "ANSI/TIA/EIA-568-B.1-2001 Approved: April 12, 2001 ; Commercial Building Telecommunications Cabling Standard Part 1: General Requirements". 090917 nag.ru
- "Additional Transmission Performance Guidelines for 4-pair 100 v Category 5 Cabling". Retrieved 2013-05-12.
- As noted in ANSI/TIA/EIA-568-B-2 standard for backbone applications
- "Ethernet Cable Identification and Use". Donutey. Retrieved 2011-04-01.
- "Selecting coax and twisted-pair cable". Electronic Products.
- "Category 5". Retrieved 2013-05-12.
- "The Evolution of Copper Cabling Systems from Cat5 to Cat5e to Cat6". Panduit. 2004-02-27. Retrieved 2013-05-12.
- UTP technology. Extron Electronics. 2001. Retrieved 2013-05-12.
- "CAT5e Cable Wiring Schemes". B&B Electronics. Archived from the original on 2012-10-05.
- IEEE Std 802.3-2008. Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. 2008. Table 13-1
- "Horizontal Cabling". The Network Encyclopedia. Retrieved 2013-05-12.
- UNDERSTANDING CAT - 5 CABLES. Satelliete & Cable TV. Retrieved 2013-01-05
- Cat5 Spec, cat6 specs, cat7 spec - Definitions, Comparison, Specifications. TEC Datawire. Retrieved 2013-01-05
- Transmitting video over CAT5 cable. EE Times. 2005-06-08. Retrieved 2013-12-07
- "Hack your House: Run both ethernet and phone over existing Cat-5 cable". Retrieved 2013.
- "HDBaseT Alliance Shows the Future of Connected Home Entertainment at CES 2013". News release. January 9, 2013. Retrieved June 5, 2013.
- "SuperCat OUTDOOR CAT 5e U/UTP". Archived from the original on 2012-03-16.
- "Transmission Line Zo".
- "Wire Gauge and Current Limits Including Skin Depth and Strength". PowerStream. Retrieved 2013-05-12.
- IEEE 802.3at-2009 Table 33-11
- "Copper Data Cables". p. 6. Archived from the original on 2006-06-25.
- "ANSI/TIA/EIA-568-B.2-2001, Commercial Building Telecommunications Cabling Standard" (PDF). p. 6 ¶4.3.2.
- "Technical Information" (PDF). Belden Inc. p. 22.20. Archived from the original on 2012-03-03.
- "CSA Flame Test Ratings". Retrieved 2013-05-12.
- "CAT5e CMR/CMX mean it's uv rated?". Retrieved 090126. [self-published source?]
- "A dumb mistake a green WISP operator once made.". Retrieved 090126. [self-published source?]
- "What are the differences between PVC, riser and plenum-rated cables?". Retrieved 090126. [self-published source?]