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Copper Communication Cables 

Communications cable technology continues to change rapidly as the use of high-speed networks is continues to expand. Cablofil® wire mesh cable tray is the ideal support for copper communication cables (coaxial cables and twisted pairs). Cablofil wire mesh cable tray has been thoroughly tested to ensure the performance of copper communication cables are maintained for years to come.

 

Twisted Pair Cable Performance Testing in Cablofil Wire Mesh Tray

Cablofil® had its cable trays tested by the Intertek Testing Services laboratory, a division of ETL, a world leader in test, inspection and certification services.  Below is a summary of the test results.  For a copy of the complete test click here 

Objective: To obtain a detailed understanding of the short and long-term effects of using Cablofil® for Cat 5e and Cat 6 cables compared with a flat-bottomed cable tray.


Test Method:

Both the Cablofil wire mesh and solid bottom tray, were set up in a flat, horizontal position and a single cable looped the length of the tray.    A flat lexan plate was set on the cable and weights placed upon the lexan equal to the weight of 40 cables deep (8”).  All twisted pair test parameters for the cable (NEXT, FEXT, Attenuation, Return loss, etc) were measured in each tray.  Cablofil wire mesh tray was equal or better than solid bottom tray.  The primary parameter of measuring overall cable performance is Return Loss.  Below is the results of the return loss testing. 



Conclusion

The test results show that for a Category 5e or Category 6 cable subjected to a load of 40 cables high (8” fill), the cables met the requirements for certification(Limit) and there was no significant difference in performance. In some cases Cablofil wire mesh performed better than solid bottom tray.

Cablofil Tray

Regular Flat Surface

 

 

BUT WHAT ABOUT WHEN THE CABLES GET OLD?

 

The above tests were duplicated while the cable management system and cables were subject to an artificial aging chamber. This aging chamber heated and cooled the cables to simulate 15 years of use. Results show all cables still met certification requirements after the 15 years of simulated use.  Click here to see the details in the complete test report.

 

General Cable Construction and Performance Information

Category

Frequency

Cat 3

16 MHz

Cat 4

20 MHz

Cat 5

100 MHz

Cat 6

250 MHz

Cat 7

600 MHz

A category characterizes the performance level of a component alone: a cable, a connector or a lead. For example, a cable will be stamped "cat. 6" if it passes the tests required for category 6 approval.

 

Category

Frequency

A

100 kHz

B

1 MHz

C

16 MHz

D

100 MHz

E

250 MHz

F

600 MHz

A class characterizes the performance level of a link formed from several components (for example, cable + connector). The class is therefore not used to characterize a component but to define the performance level of an installation.

When compelling specifications, the desired application class should be indicated, as well as the category of components to be installed.

Twisted Pair

This type of cable is most widespread in telephony and computer applications in local area networks. The pairs, consisting of 2 copper wires twisted together, are insulated from each other by plastic and enclosed in a sheath.

UTP - Unshielded Twisted Pair: unshielded twisted pairs in an unscreened sheath. The most widespread throughout the world and the cheapest.

FTP - Foiled Twisted Pair: twisted pairs in a screened sheath. Used mostly in some parts of Europe.
S/FTP or S-STP - Screened Shielded Twisted Pair: shielded twisted pairs in a screened sheath. Mainly used in Germany.

To provide efficient protection against electromagnetic disturbance, the screening of FTP and S/FTP cables must be connected to earth at both ends.

Coaxial cable
Low-cost and easy to handle, screened coaxial cables are used in computer applications, in industry and instrumentation to transmit fast digital signals at low level.
 

Protective sheath

Metal Braid

Dielectric

Copper Core