Can Category 6A cabling be installed in the same pathway as CAT 5e and CAT 6 cabling?
Category 6A cabling may be placed unbundled or in adjacent bundles within the same pathway as Category 5e and Category 6 cabling without adversely affecting application performance. Category 5e, 6 and 6A cables may also be placed in the same pathway as optical fiber and both RG-6 and RG-11 coaxial cabling. For additional information of this topic, see TIA TSB-190 Guidelines on Shared Pathways and Shared Sheaths.
What is the voltage rating for Superior Essex copper communications cables?
Copper Premises and Outside Plant (OSP) cables from Superior Essex have a 300 volt working voltage capability when used in communication circuit applications.
Communications cables, commonly referred to as low voltage cables, are not required to be marked with a voltage rating or listed as such by any listing or testing organization.
Although not marked, our copper premises products have a 300-volt rating meeting the requirements of UL Standard 444, which states that wires listed as CMR or CMP are qualified for a 300-volt rating.
In OSP cables, the voltage capability is purposefully omitted from the cable jacket, replaced with a telephone handset to avoid confusion in the field with high voltage power cables.
The working capability of traditional 300-volt applies to OSP copper telecommunications cables manufactured in compliance to specifications including PE-39, PE-89, PE-86, Telcordia GR-421-CORE and GR-492-CORE as well as newer EnduraGain™ OSP Category 5, 5e, 6 and 6A designs.
The outside temperature in my area is just below freezing. Is it OK to go ahead and install copper cables?
Whenever possible, install premises copper cabling at temperatures above freezing. The minimum recommended temperature for installing copper premises cables is -0º C (32º F). At lower temperatures the insulation and jacketing materials may stiffen, become brittle and crack. Wind chill must be considered.
Should it be necessary to install in temperatures below 32F, adhere to the following best practice guidelines.
- Prior to installation, warm cables in a heated building a minimum of 24 – 48 hours.
- Remove only the amount of cable which can be installed within 3 – 4 hours.
- Return cables that were not installed within 4 hours to the heated building for “re-warming”.
- To avoid cracking of the jacket, service coils should measure a minimum of 10 inches.
- Avoid terminating cables until the building is enclosed (and heated).
Ignoring these “best practice” recommendations may result in stressing/cracking or kinking of the cable jacket, compromised electrical characteristics, and will void the manufacturers’ warranty.
What determines if the space above a suspended (drop) ceiling is a plenum?
A plenum ceiling is one that uses the space between the top of the suspended ceiling and the bottom of the floor above to handle air for ventilation. All suspended ceilings are not plenums; some may use HVAC ductwork to move air to returns and diffusers located in the ceiling tiles (a ‘dead’ ceiling). Consult the local code authority to confirm that a suspended ceiling is a plenum. The NEC requires the use of plenum-rated cable (or cable in EMT, rigid or intermediate metal conduit) for plenum spaces but permits general purpose-rated cable in non-air handling ceilings and walls.
However, this requirement may be superseded by local codes; for example, conduit may be required even with plenum cable. Know the local code before installing, or even ordering, the cable.
What is the minimum bend radius for Superior Essex coaxial cables?
There is a simple formula to help determine the minimum bend radius: multiply the cable Outer Diameter (OD) times 10 to obtain the minimum bend radius.
Can I install copper cables in an area where they will be exposed to chemicals?
Chemicals can degrade the cable jacket material, depending on both the jacket material and the chemical. Before choosing a cable with a standard jacket material in areas where chemicals are present, contact Superior Essex at 800.551.8948 for alternative jacketing options that are resistant to the specific chemical(s) in question.
For example, a jacket made of PVDF (fluoropolymer) or nylon (polyamide) will impart specific resistance to a number of classes of chemical compounds compared to standard materials of which cables are typically made.
What are the consequences of painting over indoor copper CAT 5e or CAT 6 cables
Avoid painting over any indoor telecom products. When you must paint near telecom product, remember: the jacketing materials are "porous" and have little resistance to moisture; the paint could alter the flame and/or smoke characteristics of the cable; painting over them would likely obscure the flame rating designations, which are required to be printed on the jacket; and painting the cable voids the product warranty.
We have UTP cable (CAT 5e) running horizontally with MC power cable in the same cable tray. In some areas the cables touch. What is the required distance of separation (if any) for these cables?
Briefly, Article 800.52 (A)(2) of the 2002 NEC code states "Communications wires and cables shall be separated at least 50 mm (2") from conductors of any electric light, power, Class 1, non-power limited fire alarm, or medium power network-powered broadband communications circuits." There are two exceptions 1) the use of specially designed and rated raceway having separate channels where "all the communications circuits are encased..." and 2) where the cables are "separated by a continuous and firmly fixed nonconductor, such as porcelain tubes or flexible tubing, in addition to the insulation on the wire." In addition to the NEC code, your installation may be subject to state, county and local codes and ordinance.
What do the acronyms TIA, EIA, and ANSI signify?
TIA is the Telecommunications Industry Association and represents the Communications sector of the Electronics Industries Alliance (EIA). TIA is accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). TIA sponsored committees prepare and write many of the standards addressing performance and compatibility testing.
Is Category 5 still recognized by TIA/EIA?
Yes and No. TIA/EIA is probably the most recognized committee that publishes commercial building and residential telecommunications cabling standards. In July 2001, the committee ratified TIA/EIA 568-B which replaced TIA/EIA 568-A. 568-B includes recommended electricals for Category 5 in an informative annex, but does not mandate conformance. Standards aside, because Category 5 does not support Gigabit Ethernet, it is not a reasonable solution to a commercial cabling application.
Should cable slack be included in installations?
Yes; slack may be necessary to accommodate future cabling system changes. The recommended amount of slack is 10 feet, regardless of media, for the telecommunications closet. At the outlet, the recommended optical fiber slack is three feet, while one foot is recommended for twisted-pair cables.
Does SUPERIOR ESSEX offer a basic link and/or a full channel warranty with numerous connectivity manufacturers?
Yes; SUPERIOR ESSEX offers lifetime warranties for both. Please visit the Warranties section of this website for details, including participating manufacturers.
Does SUPERIOR ESSEX offer extended premises voice and outside plant cable warranties?
Yes; SUPERIOR ESSEX offers the Campus Warranty Program- your assurance that the entire campus cabling infrastructure will work as designed, well into the future. Please visit the Warranties section of this website for complete details.
Are channels utilizing SUPERIOR ESSEX cable with connectivity hardware verified by a third party nationally recognized testing laboratory (NRTL)?
Yes. SUPERIOR ESSEX's inclusion in the Graybar VIP 1000 and 2000 programs as well as our being the inaugural member of the ETL (a NRTL) channel verification program exhibits electrical conformance to industry specification.
What is the maximum recommended pulling tension for a 4/24 horizontal cable design?
The maximum recommended pulling tension for 4/24 horizontal cables is 25 LBF and is based on the tensile strength of the copper conductors. Use of excessive force during installation may deteriorate transmission performance.
What is insertion loss?
More commonly referred to as attenuation, insertion loss is the loss of signal power between two points. Items that lead to signal loss are excessive cable length, temperature, humidity, and excess return loss.
What is return loss?
Return loss is the ratio of signal power transmitted into a system to the power reflected. An echo best describes return loss. Changes in or mismatched impedance causes signal reflection.
Please explain the difference between your two Category 5e cables, Cobra and Marathon LAN.
Cobra's stringent electrical characteristics that far exceed industry specifications ensure this product is the performance leader in its class. With enough headroom to greatly exceed TIA/EIA 568-C specifications, Cobra cable is ideal for installations that require true "future proofing".
Marathon LAN offers an exceptional value for jobs which require Category 5e compliance at a cost-effective price.
What is the QuickCount marking system?
QuickCount is hailed by customers as a major time and money saver as it counts down the remaining cable from 1000 to 0 feet.
I notice that Superior Essex lists band marking, longitudinal striping, and ColorTip Identification as different methods for positively identifying pair conductors. But, how are these features different?
Band marking, longitudinal striping and Super Essex ColorTip Identification are all methods by which the conductors making up a pair may be positively identified.
Band marking consists of banding each insulated conductor with the color of the mating conductor. (In the blue/white pair, the blue conductor would have white bands and the white conductor would have blue bands.)
Longitudinal Striping consists of striping the length of the tip conductor with the color of its mating conductor. (In a blue/white pair, the white conductor would have a blue stripe.)
ColorTip is a unique method of pair identification where the pair colors are identified by using a primary color, matched with a pastel shade. (In the blue/white pair, the pairs are distinguished by bright blue matched with a pastel blue shade.) One advantage of this method is the ability to maintain pair integrity in low light environments.
What is the "temperature rating" of indoor copper premises cabling?
SUPERIOR ESSEX manufactures several types of indoor premises copper cables, for temperature ratings please see Technical Guide TG29 on our website.
What are the recommended minimum bend radii when installing indoor copper premise cabling?
The recommended minimum bend radii for unshielded horizontal cables (6 pair or smaller) is 4 times the cable diameter.
The recommended minimum bend radii for unshielded backbone cables (greater than 6 pair) is 10 times the cable diameter. The recommended minimum bend radii for shielded backbone cables (Riser cable- type ArxM) is 12 times the cable diameter.
Is Copper Premises Cabling "Voltage Rated"?
Although not marked, SUPERIOR ESSEX copper premises products have a 300-volt rating. Per UL Standard 444, cables listed as CM, CMR or CMP are qualified for a 300-volt rating.
How do NEXT and PS NEXT differ?
NEXT loss is a measure of the unwanted signal coupling from a transmitter at the near-end into neighboring pairs measured at the near-end. Faintly hearing the neighbor's conversation during your own telephone call is an example of crosstalk. In a LAN, NEXT occurs when a strong signal on one pair is picked up by an adjacent pair.
Early LAN protocols only utilized two pairs essentially rendering the other two dormant. Because NEXT is measured by one pair's effect onto one other pair, the NEXT measurement was adequate. Now, protocols such as Gigabit Ethernet utilize all four pairs in full duplex transmission. PS NEXT addresses this by measuring the individual NEXT effects on any one pair by the other three pairs when all pairs are operating simultaneously.
What is propagation delay?
Propagation delay measures the time required for a signal to propagate from one end of the circuit or pair to the other. Delay is the principal reason for distance limitations for structured cabling.
Propagation delay skew is the propagation delay difference between the slowest and fastest cable pair. Skew is important because again, Gigabit Ethernet uses all four pairs in a cable. The packet of information may be sent over multiple pairs; thus, if one pair is significantly slower than the others, it may be impossible to recombine the original signal.
What is the importance of BER (Bit-Error-Rate)?
Bit-Error-Rate (BER) is the ratio of incorrectly transmitted bits to all transmitted bits, over a given time period, from one active device to another. In BER testing, real sample data is transmitted over the appropriate protocol (e.g., 100BASE-T, 10GBASE-T, etc.). The BER test will show the true real-world performance of the network, inclusive of the active components. In contrast, the standard electrical tests performed on the permanent link or channel will provide performance values for the cable and passive components, exclusive of the active equipment. The parameters included in standard permanent link or channel tests include Near-End Crosstalk, Attenuation, Return Loss, Delay, etc.
The advantage of the bit error rate test is that it will show how well your cable network really performs in combination with your active equipment. It is not unusual for a marginally passing cable network to exhibit bit errors when used in combination with lower quality active equipment. The electrical margin built into better performing cable and connectivity products helps overcome such factors.
What is a plenum?
In addition to being a cable flammability rating, a plenum is a compartment or chamber to which one or more air ducts are connected and that forms par of the air distribution system (i.e. often the space above the drop ceiling).
What is a riser?
In addition to being a cable flammability rating, a riser is the pathway for indoor cables that pass between floors. It is normally a vertical shaft or space.
My upcoming project mandates that I use RoHS compliant cables. Are cables manufactured by Superior Essex RoHS compliant; do you have supporting documentation; and where can I find it?
Yes, Superior Essex manufactures RoHS (Restriction of Hazardous Substances) compliant products. These cables can be easily identified by the appearance of a RoHS logo located near the standards compliance box of our print and online product specification sheets. (Keep in mind that the most current information is available online.)
The Restriction on Hazardous Substances (RoHS) and Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) directives are aimed at reducing the hazardous materials content in electronic products as well as increasing the recycling efforts for these products and became effective July 1, 2006. RoHS specifically bans or restricts the use of lead, cadmium, mercury, hexavalent chromium, polybrominated biphenyls (PBB) and polybrominated biphenyl ethers (PBDE).
General information on RoHS compliance is available on our Web at RoHS Compliance as well as on the RoHS website.
To obtain a stand-alone documents for a specific part number(s), contact your inside sales manager. He or she can provide the documentation.
When installing Augmented CAT 6 designs, what is the recommended minimum bend radius?
The minimum recommended bend radius for Augmented CAT 6 designs is 4 times the cable outer diameter (OD).