Future proofing and the NEC

kwired

Electron manager
Location
NE Nebraska
It depends on whether or not the home owner uses a SAN / NAS, and any other high-bandwidth applications.
If you work from home you maybe have higher needs. or even if you have a lot of users maybe those needs start to increase.

I don't have new enough computer to even be able to keep up with potential demands of some the high bandwith applications, it wasn't even top of the line processor available at the time when it was new, just somewhere in the middle of what was typically available I'd guess.
 

tortuga

Senior Member
Location
Oregon
Occupation
Electrical Design
I wonder how much those cable 'categories' are marketing puff and sales fluff.
A look back a 'future proofing', our house was built in '71, it has a big living room with vaulted ceilings.
It was wired with 6 pair cat3 in a typical POTS layout, room to room, no home runs.
4 Years ago we got a Roku it was great but it kept cutting out on wireless.
So I all of a sudden needed a Ethernet jack in a hard to get to part of the livingroom , with vaulted celings and no basement under.
I terminated a cat5e jack on 4 pairs of the old cat 3 wires and still had 2 pairs for the old landline jack.
Everyone told me ' you cant use cat3 for data'
1971 Cat3 cable as ethernet been streaming lots of netflicks. 20171224_122711.jpg
 

mikeames

Senior Member
Location
Germantown MD
Occupation
Teacher - Master Electrician - 2017 NEC
I wonder how much those cable 'categories' are marketing puff and sales fluff.
A look back a 'future proofing', our house was built in '71, it has a big living room with vaulted ceilings.
It was wired with 6 pair cat3 in a typical POTS layout, room to room, no home runs.
4 Years ago we got a Roku it was great but it kept cutting out on wireless.
So I all of a sudden needed a Ethernet jack in a hard to get to part of the livingroom , with vaulted celings and no basement under.
I terminated a cat5e jack on 4 pairs of the old cat 3 wires and still had 2 pairs for the old landline jack.
Everyone told me ' you cant use cat3 for data'
1971 Cat3 cable as ethernet been streaming lots of netflicks. View attachment 2554732
You can do it but the packet loss and through put will be very very low and may not work well with streaming. With CAT5 you need to maintain no greater than .5 of untwisted cable. That usually will happen in the connector. If you have more than 1/2" it will work but it wont be CAT5. Same is true with 6 but distance is shorter. CAT7 don't have a spec and I have read that obtaining a CAT 7 with manual termination is not feasible.

I am sure most on here are aware that just because you have a CAT rated cable, does not mean you will have that speed. You can def use CAT 3 for ethernet. It only needs 2 pairs. I have seen office cables that were ran over by a chair so that the pairs were exposed and split for 3 inches similar to image above. It still worked. Throughput sucked. So obviously it can work, but that's where the proper wireless will far outperform a barely functional wired.

Aside form wanting the fastest file transfers to a home NAS 5e would be sufficient for most applications. IN the future "I guess" my own "opinion/ Guess" is you may see HDMI over tcp/IP. Instead of running HDMI through walls, its all distributed over the network. This takes a very robust network. I just built a house and put 6A shielded in. After buying it I questioned myself if I made a mistake. Its thicker and harder to terminate. More expensive and labor intensive all around. Shielded connectors, shielded patch, etc... It will give you 10GB up to 100m. My NAS had 10GB ports and so does my switch. I have no need for it now. Perhaps it will be wasted money. It is fast with file transfers. I have not distributed HDMI over it yet but I may in the future.
 

hbiss

EC, Westchester, New York NEC: 2014
Location
Hawthorne, New York NEC: 2014
Occupation
EC
I wonder how much those cable 'categories' are marketing puff and sales fluff.
A look back a 'future proofing', our house was built in '71, it has a big living room with vaulted ceilings.
It was wired with 6 pair cat3 in a typical POTS layout, room to room, no home runs.
4 Years ago we got a Roku it was great but it kept cutting out on wireless.
So I all of a sudden needed a Ethernet jack in a hard to get to part of the livingroom , with vaulted celings and no basement under.
I terminated a cat5e jack on 4 pairs of the old cat 3 wires and still had 2 pairs for the old landline jack.
Everyone told me ' you cant use cat3 for data'
1971 Cat3 cable as ethernet been streaming lots of netflicks. View attachment 2554732
Cat3 was the original data ethernet cable. It will work fine as long as you aren't too demanding like for just internet access.

What you have is 6 pair cable and for data you can't have all that stripped. Jacket needs to be right tight to the jack. Also, what color code are you using? I see the white/blue pair not used. Follow the 568B color code on the jack and on the other end.

At the jack, fold the white blue and blue white out like a 'T" right at the stripped jacket end, punch them down, then do the white/oranges etc.

Fix that and I bet it will work even better!

-Hal
 

paulengr

Senior Member
Lots of myths on here. To begin with the Ethernet standard starts at 10 Mbos then 100 then 1 gigabit, and currently tops out at 10 gigabit. That’s for copper. Fiber starts at 100 and stops at 1 gigabit unless we side step Ethernet and go to another format or use CWDM.

With 10 megabit you can do half duplex and only need two wires but throughput is limited to around 3 Mbps. That’s why we used to use “thin” (coaxial cable) Ethernet back in the day, and it survives CAT 3 cable that was never intended for data (PBX phone system cable). Moving up to 100 Mbps using signaling formats they fit all the data into around 30 MHz. CAT 5E is rated 100 MHz and 6 is rated 250 MHz. CAT 7 (both versions) go a little higher but I’m getting ahead here. The other big change with 100 Mbps is full duplex. So in this case we use two pairs and do a full 100 Mbps in both directions with no collisions so we get full speed. 1000 Mbps still uses the exact same bandwidth but expands to 2 pairs in each direction and uses an even more complicated signal format so it still fits in 30 MHz. So guess what the CAT 6 does for you? Nothing because nothing supports the increased bandwidth.

Going to 10 gigabit copper currently they either just abuse CAT 5E and live with 10 m distance instead of the full 100 m or go to fiber. Theoretically CAT 7 works but there are two competing connectors, as mentioned it’s almost impossible to terminate in the field, and chop set support is an issue. The alternative is multiple Ethernet runs with bonding (multiple streams in software).

TIA 568 allows 0.5” (13 mm) of untwisted cable in 5E, 6, and 6A standards.

In practice though errors either almost never exist or the cable is rotten with almost no in betweens. Ethernet has a notch at 60 Hz so it is almost immune to power.
 

Coppersmith

Senior Member
Location
Tampa, FL, USA
Occupation
Electrical Contractor
(TL;DR: EC does data wiring for the first time and hopes he didn't do the client a disservice.)

I know very little about data wiring and reading this thread has proven that. I have avoided doing data wiring jobs in the past, but recently I was doing a job and the client wanted to add CAT6 runs from three bedrooms and a living room to a closet where he had his modem and router. I accepted and hoped I could figure it out.

I know how to run wire through an attic and down a wall to a cut-in box. I pulled in CAT6A cable. I let it sit on top of the joists so it likely crossed a bunch of Romex at less than 90 degrees. From my reading here, that was probably a bad idea. Should I have elevated it?

I went to the store looking for a connector/tool system to terminate the cables. I found female CAT6 connectors with punch down connections on the back. The connectors snapped into one gang wall plates. The wall plates had spaces for 1, 2, 3, and 6 connectors. The punch down connections were color-coded so this seemed doable. Upon reading the instructions I find the connector can be wired two different ways: a residential way and a commercial way. I choose the residential way.

I terminate the cables and carefully check that I didn't miswire. (I correct one miswiring mistake.) It looks messy. Nothing is supporting the cable. The tiny wires look like they could get pulled out easily. I leave plenty of slack in the wall. I attach the connectors to the plates and the plates to the box. The closet plate has six holes but only four connectors. I suppose I could have stuck two more connectors in there and called them spare, but they are expensive. Instead, I run one strip of white phase tape across the plate (and under the back) and cover the two remaining holes.

Now I realize that I have no way to check my work. I don't want to say I'm done and have the client call me up and say it doesn't work. I go to the store looking for a tester. I find a $30 phone/data cable tester and return. All cables test correct. I don't know if the way I did this will support CAT6 speeds, but the cables work. Now I'm thinking I have a new service I can offer. This data wiring isn't so bad.

So did I do it right or did I do my client a disservice?
 

mikeames

Senior Member
Location
Germantown MD
Occupation
Teacher - Master Electrician - 2017 NEC
(TL;DR: EC does data wiring for the first time and hopes he didn't do the client a disservice.)

I know very little about data wiring and reading this thread has proven that. I have avoided doing data wiring jobs in the past, but recently I was doing a job and the client wanted to add CAT6 runs from three bedrooms and a living room to a closet where he had his modem and router. I accepted and hoped I could figure it out.

I know how to run wire through an attic and down a wall to a cut-in box. I pulled in CAT6A cable. I let it sit on top of the joists so it likely crossed a bunch of Romex at less than 90 degrees. From my reading here, that was probably a bad idea. Should I have elevated it?

I went to the store looking for a connector/tool system to terminate the cables. I found female CAT6 connectors with punch down connections on the back. The connectors snapped into one gang wall plates. The wall plates had spaces for 1, 2, 3, and 6 connectors. The punch down connections were color-coded so this seemed doable. Upon reading the instructions I find the connector can be wired two different ways: a residential way and a commercial way. I choose the residential way.

I terminate the cables and carefully check that I didn't miswire. (I correct one miswiring mistake.) It looks messy. Nothing is supporting the cable. The tiny wires look like they could get pulled out easily. I leave plenty of slack in the wall. I attach the connectors to the plates and the plates to the box. The closet plate has six holes but only four connectors. I suppose I could have stuck two more connectors in there and called them spare, but they are expensive. Instead, I run one strip of white phase tape across the plate (and under the back) and cover the two remaining holes.

Now I realize that I have no way to check my work. I don't want to say I'm done and have the client call me up and say it doesn't work. I go to the store looking for a tester. I find a $30 phone/data cable tester and return. All cables test correct. I don't know if the way I did this will support CAT6 speeds, but the cables work. Now I'm thinking I have a new service I can offer. This data wiring isn't so bad.

So did I do it right or did I do my client a disservice?
You probably did fine. If you truly used 6A then you need 6A connectors. Ill use the term "RJ-45" even though some have issues with that. The 6A wont fit standard RJ-45 ends. If you did that and your pairs toned out ok its probably fine. The next test would test speed. Use a tester like Flukes Cable IQ https://www.fluke.com/en-us/product/network-cable-testers/copper/ciq-100 OR you can use two computers with Iperf. That will tell you if your getting the speed you should for the respective cable type. Lifting the cable off power is preferable, but in an average residential setting often unnoticeable. Instead of tape they make plates with the appropriate number of openings. That's what the customer is most likely to notice. Why did you pull 6A instead of just 6?
 

kwired

Electron manager
Location
NE Nebraska
I wonder how much those cable 'categories' are marketing puff and sales fluff.
A look back a 'future proofing', our house was built in '71, it has a big living room with vaulted ceilings.
It was wired with 6 pair cat3 in a typical POTS layout, room to room, no home runs.
4 Years ago we got a Roku it was great but it kept cutting out on wireless.
So I all of a sudden needed a Ethernet jack in a hard to get to part of the livingroom , with vaulted celings and no basement under.
I terminated a cat5e jack on 4 pairs of the old cat 3 wires and still had 2 pairs for the old landline jack.
Everyone told me ' you cant use cat3 for data'
1971 Cat3 cable as ethernet been streaming lots of netflicks. View attachment 2554732
But did you ever do any kind of testing to see what max speed you could get out of it? And not just by testing via speedtest.net or similar but actual max speed ability of the cable before there is any losses or errors?

Even to get what Cat 5 or 6 cables boast they can provide you have certain installation criteria that if you don't follow can give lower speeds before developing losses/errors
 

hbiss

EC, Westchester, New York NEC: 2014
Location
Hawthorne, New York NEC: 2014
Occupation
EC
Ethernet back in the day, and it survives CAT 3 cable that was never intended for data (PBX phone system cable).
I disagree.

Cat 3 was widely used in computer networking in the early 1990s for 10BASE-T Ethernet and, to a lesser extent, for 100BaseVG Ethernet, Token Ring and 100BASE-T4. The original Power over Ethernet 802.3af specification supports the use of Cat 3 cable, but the later 802.3at Type 2 high-power variation does not.
I would be using old CAT3 to retrofit IP phones, but the only problem is the way it was installed with punch down blocks, etc.

-Hal
 

hbiss

EC, Westchester, New York NEC: 2014
Location
Hawthorne, New York NEC: 2014
Occupation
EC
I find the connector can be wired two different ways: a residential way and a commercial way. I choose the residential way.
:LOL: There's so much misinformation out there it's laughable. Probably all because of YouTube IT experts morons. Look up 568A and 568B (that's what the A and B stand for.) Nothing to do with residential or commercial. 568A just makes the color code and pin-outs compatible with phone wiring. In actuality, it doesn't matter which one you use as long as you do the same thing on both ends.

-Hal
 

hbiss

EC, Westchester, New York NEC: 2014
Location
Hawthorne, New York NEC: 2014
Occupation
EC
But did you ever do any kind of testing to see what max speed you could get out of it? And not just by testing via speedtest.net or similar but actual max speed ability of the cable before there is any losses or errors?

Even to get what Cat 5 or 6 cables boast they can provide you have certain installation criteria that if you don't follow can give lower speeds before developing losses/errors
In all my years I never certified my cable installations. First, a certifier costs big money, second, I was never asked to and third what difference would it make? 100% of my customers only used it for internet and general office applications (shuffling files around).

I found that anybody I came across that did spec certification had some IT wienie advising them and the purpose was to make sure they were getting their money's worth. Not that they had demanding requirements.

-Hal
 

Coppersmith

Senior Member
Location
Tampa, FL, USA
Occupation
Electrical Contractor
Why did you pull 6A instead of just 6?
I'm driving down the highway a couple of years ago and notice a bright yellow spool of wire on the side of the road. Must have fell off a truck. I pull over. I'm thinking it's Romex, but it turns out to be CAT6A. It's been just sitting in inventory waiting to be used.
 

kwired

Electron manager
Location
NE Nebraska
In all my years I never certified my cable installations. First, a certifier costs big money, second, I was never asked to and third what difference would it make? 100% of my customers only used it for internet and general office applications (shuffling files around).

I found that anybody I came across that did spec certification had some IT wienie advising them and the purpose was to make sure they were getting their money's worth. Not that they had demanding requirements.

-Hal
My point was any 4 pairs of conductors might work even if not all in same cable, but doesn't mean you will be able to use at the upper end speeds that cat 5 or 6 will be rated to work at. Twisting of pairs like his cat 3 cable has is a start in the right direction at improving speed capabilities. short distances you maybe get away with more than with longer distances also.
 

kwired

Electron manager
Location
NE Nebraska
My point is that rarely will anybody actually use the maximum speed that even a CAT5e cable is rated for.

-Hal
I think I also tried to say that earlier in the thread and is part of reason why the CAT 3 cable happened to work out.

Nothing magically different about the conductors themselves, just the design of the cable happens to help lessen outside influences that may not let it operate at as high of speed data transmission. Twisted pairs, varying twist rate amongst the pairs...then installation factors like too sharp of bends can lessen max data transmission abilities.
 

Coppersmith

Senior Member
Location
Tampa, FL, USA
Occupation
Electrical Contractor
Why does the bending radius effect the speed? Do some of the electrons go flying out of the wire cause the curves too tight? They are moving fast.
 

kwired

Electron manager
Location
NE Nebraska
Why does the bending radius effect the speed? Do some of the electrons go flying out of the wire cause the curves too tight? They are moving fast.
No expert here, but sure it has to do with the high rate speeds that aren't the same as having a high frequency sine wave. It won't exacty effect "current" from flowing in the conductor, but can create problems with losing data bits at those higher speeds. I remember some training on how to install these cables, you don't even want them pinched too tight in a clamp or other securing device in order to get the most speed out of them. Also don't pull through an LB and pull them extremely tight, better yet was to not use conduit bodies at all and make longer radius bends- in a pull box if necessary.

at the very least such pinching and tight bending distorts the rate of twist to the pairs within the cable, which supposedly is selected for optimum performance.
 
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