Brander Alarm & Electric, Inc.


We can handle all of your cabling needs

We do all network, telecommunications and security cabling.

Definitions + Information
Category 5 Cable (UTP) (Unshielded Twisted Pair) A multipair (usually 4 pair) high performance cable that consists of twisted pair conductors, used mainly for data transmission. Note: The twisting of the pairs gives the cable a certain amount of immunity from the infiltration of unwanted interference. category-5 UTP cabling systems are by far, the most common (compared to SCTP) in the United States. Basic cat 5 cable was designed for characteristics of up to 100 MHz. Category 5 cable is typically used for Ethernet networks running at 10 or 100 Mbps.
Category 5 E Cable (enhanced) Same as Category 5, except that it is made to somewhat more stringent standards. The Category 5 E standard is now officially part of the 568A standard. Category 5 E is recommended for all new installations, and was designed for transmission speeds of up to 1 gigabit per second (Gigabit Ethernet).
Category 6 Same as Category 5 E, except that it is made to a higher standard. The Category 6 standard is now officially part of the 568A standard.
Category 7 Same as Category 6, except that it is made to a higher standard. The Category 7 standard is still in the works (as of this writing) and is not yet part of the 568A standard. One major difference with category 7's construction (as compared with category 5, 5 E, and 6) is that all 4 pairs are individually shielded, and an overall shield enwraps all four pairs. Category 7 will use an entirely new connector (other than the familiar RJ-45).
Category 5 Cable (SCTP) (Screened Twisted Pair) Same as above, except that the twisted pairs are given additional protection from unwanted interference by an overall shield. There is some controversy concerning which is the better system (UTP or SCTP). Category 5 SCTP cabling systems require all components to maintain the shield, and are used almost exclusively in European countries.
Category 5E, RJ45 jack
(Work Area Outlet)
An 8 conductor, compact, modular, female jack that is used to terminate category-5E cable at the user (or other) location. The jack is specifically engineered to maintain the performance of cat 5E cabling.
Category 5E Patch Panel A Category 5E Patch Panel is basically just a series of many category-5E jacks, condensed onto a single panel. Common panel configurations are 12, 24, 48, and 96 ports. Patch panels are typically used where all of the horizontal cable sections meet, and are used to connect the segments to the Network Hub.
Category 5E Patch Cable A Category 5E Patch Cable consists a length of cat 5E cable with an RJ-45 male connector, crimped onto each end. The cable assembly is used to provide connectivity between any two category-5E female outlets (jacks). The two most common are from hub to patch panel, and work area outlet (jack) to the computer.
EIA/TIA 568A Standard This standard was published in July of 1991. The purpose of EIA/TIA 568A, was to create a multiproduct, multivendor, standard for connectivity. Prior to the adoption of this standard, many "proprietary" cabling systems existed. This was very bad for the consumer. Among other things, the standard set the minimum requirements for category 5E cable and hardware. The 568 "standard" is not to be confused with 568A or 568B wiring schemes, which are themselves, part of the "568A standard".
568A and 568B Wiring Schemes When we refer to a jack or a patch panel's wiring connection, we refer to either the 568A, or 568B wiring scheme, which dictates the pin assignments to the pairs of cat 5E cable. It is very important to note that there is no difference, whatsoever, between the two wiring schemes, in connectivity or performance when connected form one modular  device to another (jack to Patch panel, RJ-45 to RJ-45, etc.), so long as they (the two  devices) are wired for the same scheme (A or B). The only time when one scheme has an advantage over the other, is when one end of a segment is connected to a modular  device, and the other end to a punch block. In which case, the 568A has the advantage of having a more natural progression of pairs at the punch block side. More on 568 A&B later on.
Four Pairs
Pair 1: White / Blue Pair 3: White / Green
Pair 2: White / Orange Pair 4: White / Brown
Wiremap This is the most basic test that can be performed on a category-5E segment. Wiremap tests for the basic continuity between the two  devices. In 568A or B, all eight pins of each  device should be wired straight through (1 to 1, 2 to 2, 3 to 3, etc.). A wiremap (continuity) test, should also test for absence of shorts, grounding, and external voltage.
Crosstalk Crosstalk is the "bleeding" of signals carried by one pair, onto another pair through the electrical process of induction (wires need not make contact, signals transferred magnetically). This is an unwanted effect, that can cause slow transfer, or completely inhibit the transfer of data signals over the cable segment. The purpose of the wire twists, in category 5E cable is to significantly reduce the crosstalk, and it's effects. Two types are: NEXT (Near End Crosstalk), and FEXT (Far End Crosstalk). Fiber Optic cable is the only medium that is 100% immune to the effects of crosstalk.
Ambient Noise or Electromagnetic Interference (EMI) Similar to crosstalk, in that it is an unwanted signal that is induced into the cable. The difference is that ambient noise (or EMI) is typically induced from a source that is external to the cable. This could be an electrical cable or  device, or even an adjacent category 5E cable.
Attenuation Attenuation is the loss of signal in a cable segment due to the resistance of the wire plus other electrical factors that cause additional resistance (Impedance and Capacitance for example). A longer cable length, poor connections, bad insulation, a high level of crosstalk, or ambient noise, will all increase the total level of attenuation. The 568A standard, specifies the maximum amount of attenuation that is acceptable in a category-5E cable segment.