Ethernet Patch Cables, Bulk Cable, Patch Panels, Keystone Jacks, Modular Plugs, and Tools

Overview

All About Ethernet Patch Cables

At LANshack, we sell more varieties of patch cables than any one. Patch cables are available in Premium Custom and in stock varieties.

Premium Custom Patch Cables

Our line of QuickTreX® custom patch cables are made to order and are built in the USA by highly trained technicians. They are available in any length and all cable types. They are constructed with premium components and are individually tested to guarantee top performance for critical networks. These cables come individually labeled with the unique serial number and part number for easy identification.


In Stock Patch Cables

Our line of stock patch cables are ready to ship same day, are offered in most color options, and all standard lengths. These cables are great quality and provide solid performance. They cater perfectly to those who need to finely balance budget and performance.


Booted vs. Non-Booted

Traditionally, booted cables were bulky and hard to manage verses the non-booted variety. However all of our custom booted cables have flush fitting boots with easy release tabs thereby eliminating all of the drawbacks of booted cables. Therefore we highly recommend booted cables for the extra strain relief they provide at the connector.


Stranded vs. Solid Conductors

Generally speaking, patch cables utilize stranded conductor cable for the extra flexibility that they provide. Therefore most of our patch cables are made with stranded conductor cable. Due to the fact that plenum rated cable is only available in the solid conductor variety, our plenum custom cables utilize solid conductor cable. There is a slight tradeoff in flexibility however plenum rated cables can be installed in plenum spaces.


Why Use Plenum Rated Cables

Building codes mandate that any material that occupies a plenum space must be “plenum rated”. A plenum is any space that is utilized to send or receive air from heating or air conditioner units. In most commercial buildings the hung ceiling is used as a return air plenum to circulate the air back to the heating or air conditioning units. Another example of a plenum space would be a raised computer floor. So if your cable will run through a plenum space, the cable must be Plenum Rated.


Cat 6A Cabling

If you plan on running 10-Gigabit Ethernet, you will need the extra bandwidth provided by Cat 6A cabling. One of the key factors of Cat 6A cabling is to keep noise to a minimum. Noise can come from several different types of sources. With Cat 6A, one of the critical considerations is ANEXT which is the noise coming from an adjacent cable. This is why we recommend Shielded Cat 6A cabling


Why Use Shielded Cabling

Shielded cabling wards off unwanted signals or other noise. Keeping interference out will in theory make your data run faster. If your cabling is unshielded, you may still benefit from shielded patch cables (at the patch panel) since much of the noise can come from an adjacent patch cable.  And as stated earlier, we recommend Shielded c able for Cat 6A since the low tolerance for noise is a strong factor.


When to Switch to Fiber

UTP and STP cables have a distance limitation of 100 meters which is about 328 feet. If your run is over 328 feet than you must switch to fiber optic cabling. Fiber Optic cabling has much higher distance limitations and is immune to noise and interference. We recommend a minimum OM2 fiber. We sell custom made ready to pull fiber assemblies that are easy to install.


Bulk Ethernet Cable


We offer a full spectrum of Bulk Ethernet cable which somes in 1000 foot rolls.  Our Bulk Ethernet cable includes the folling varieties: Category 5E (Enhanced), Category 6, Category 6E (Enhanced), Category 6A (Augmented), Cat 7A and Cat 8 LAN cable.  All Category varieties are offered in Unshieled (UTP) Riser Rated (CMR) and Plenum Rated (CMP), Shielded (FTP) Riser Rated (CMR), Shieled (FTP) Plenum Rated (CMP), and Direct Burial Shielded and Unshielded.  These varieties are also offered in both Solid Conductor and Stranded Conductor.  

Our bulk cable exceeds the standards of ANSI/EIA/TIA 568A/B. This cable is used on vertical cables, horizontal cables, backbone cables, patch cords, and connecting work areas.  They perform all application standards of networks such as 10BaseT, Fast Ethernet, 100Vg-AnyLAN, Token ring, TP-PMD, 100Mbs CDDI, ISDN, ATM155, ATM622, Gigabit Ethernet and a variety of MHz 100MHz.
Ethernet Cable Basics Category 5e cable is an enhanced version of Category 5 that adheres to more stringent standards. It is capable of transmitting data at speeds of up to 1000 Mbps (1 Gigabit per second).

Category 6 Cable - Category 6 cable was designed to perform at frequencies of up to 250 MHz and offers higher performance for better transmission of data at speeds up to 1000 Mbps (see comparison chart below). Some properly installed Category 6 cable will also support 10 Gigabit speeds, but likely with limitations on length (look for our upcoming Category 6A / 10 Gig tutorial).

Augmented Category 6 (6A) Category 6A cable is the latest twisted-pair cable type defined in February 2008 under the newest version of the TIA 568-B standard (568-B.2-10). Category 6A operates at frequencies of up to 500 MHz and can support transmission speeds at 10 Gigabits per second (Gbps).

UTP (Unshielded Twisted Pair) - Used primarily for data transmission in local area networks (LANs), UTP network cable is a 4-pair, 100-ohm cable that consists of 4 unshielded twisted pairs surrounded by an outer jacket. Each pair is wound together for the purposes of canceling out noise that can interfere with the signal. UTP cabling systems are the most commonly deployed cable type in the U.S.


Solid vs. Stranded Cable : 

Solid-conductor cable is designed for backbone and horizontal cable runs. Use it for runs between two wiring closets or from the wiring closet to a wallplate. Solid cable shouldn’t be bent, flexed, or twisted repeatedly. Its attenuation is lower than that of stranded-conductor cable.

Stranded cable is for use in shorter runs between network interface cards (NICs) and wallplates or between concentrators and patch panels, hubs, and other rackmounted equipment. Stranded-conductor cable is much more flexible than solid-core cable. However, attenuation is higher in stranded-conductor cable, so the total length of stranded cable in your system should be kept to a minimum to reduce signal degradation.

Patch Panels

A Patch Panel is a series of RJ45 jacks condensed onto a single panel. Common panel configurations include 12, 24, 48, and 96 ports. Patch panels are typically deployed where horizontal cables converge, and are used to interconnect or crossconnect links to a network switch or hub.

We offer a full variety patch panels including Cat5, 6, and 6A in shielded and unshielded.  We also offer blank patch panels so you can make your own Cat8 patch panels or customize your network installation by mixing different categories of cable or incorporate fiber or coax into you panel. RJ45 Keystone Jacks RJ45 Keystone Jacks. 

RJ45 Keystone Jacks

An RJ45 Keystone jack is an 8-conductor compact modular jack used to terminate UTP data cable.  This is the female connector and designed to accept modular plugs.   Keystone jacks are engineered to maintain specific Category 5, 5e, 6, 6e, 6A, 7, or 8 performance and therefor must match the category of cable your are terminating.  They are used in blank patch panels or keystone wallplates.  We offer a full range of premium keystone jacks which are all TAA compliant and made to perform to the highest of standards. 


Modular Plugs

Modular plugs are the male end of Ethernet runs or cables.   Modular plugs are typically terminated using a RJ45 modular crimper and you must follow the same rules as keystone jacks by matching the modular plug to the cable being terminated.

Datacom Tools  

Network cable installations require multiple tools for terminating or connectorizing different cabling with different connectors.  Below is a brief description of typical tools used. 

RJ45 Modular Crimper - used for terminating modular plugs.  
Impact Termination Tool - used for terminating RJ45 keystone jacks.  This tool is designed to punch down each conductor into a keystone jack. 
Wire Stripper - used to strip the outer jacket of Ethernet or coaxial cable.
Cable Cutter- used to create a clean cut prior to terminating Ethernet or coaxial cable.  


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videos

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