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Pop Quiz: March 2006

Test your knowledge of category wiring.

TRUE OR FALSE
  1. If your project requires Gigabit Ethernet capability, your network should be wired with Cat6 cable.
  2. Cat1 cable is no longer used today.
  3. Cat5 and Cat5e cable have the same bandwidth characteristics.
  4. Cat7 cabling isn't yet defined.
  5. Currently, there's no category cable capable of supporting the transmission of broadband video.

ANSWERS

1. TRUE. Although the Gigabit Ethernet standard was written to work over an installed base of Cat5/5e, researchers at New Holland, PA-based cable manufacturer Berk-Tek have proven significant performance advantages using Cat6 cabling in 1,000BaseT applications.

2. FALSE. Cat1 is common telephone cabling, and is still used in many residential applications.

3. TRUE. Both are rated to 100 MHz and have a 100-ohm impedance rating. However, Cat5e is superior in all other performance characteristics, including capacitance, frequency, resistance, attenuation, and near-end crosstalk. It's also fully backward-compatible with all Cat5 installations, so upgrading is fairly straightforward.

4. FALSE. A definition for Cat7/Class F systems and components was actually defined with the approval of Edition 2 of ISO/IEC 11801, IEC 61076-3-104, and IEC 60603-7-7 several years ago.

5. FALSE. Some Cat7 cable manufacturers claim bandwidth capability of up to 1 GHz. With this type of cabling, AV signals and data networks can conceivably exist on a single channel of Class F cable.

Sources: PR Manufacturing, Siemon, Cabling Networking Systems, www.lanshack.com



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