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76 posts

Master Geek


Topic # 80184 28-Mar-2011 14:58
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Due to the earthquake, we've had to move our business operations to a new building. We don't have much money to spend so we're doing the fit out ourselves instead of getting contractors.

I've got to do the IT stuff which means wiring up the entire building (about 200 ethernet ports required).

My question is is there any major difference between UTP and STP cable in terms of real world performance? I'll be trunking the cable in a lot of places but avoiding power wherever possible.

I figure it's worth doing it all in CAT6 since the price difference is minimal.

I'd also like to move towards VoIP for telephony if that makes any difference.

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  Reply # 452791 28-Mar-2011 15:22
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Unless you need STP for some reason (running it somewhere that's "noisey", electrical-wise), you should be fine with UTP. STP just costs more, really. :)

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  Reply # 452831 28-Mar-2011 17:15
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Unshielded is way cheaper, also Cat5e vs Cat6:

Cat5e is usually way way cheaper than Cat6.

Both do 1GbE, Cat6 is rated for 10GbE but you ain't gonna need it.


 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 452836 28-Mar-2011 17:24
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cat5e will run at 1gbit upto about 55-60m and if it is terminated correctly.
the price difference between cat5e and cat6 has become relatively negligible over the years im not sure what the difference is on retail price but i know trade is about 10-20c more per meter for general's cat6 



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  Reply # 452838 28-Mar-2011 17:31
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I'd like to get gigabit speeds at some of our 80m runs if I can. My most recent quote has a 305m reel of UTP CAT5e for $108 and CAT6 for $115. I'm sure I can get better prices than that, but the difference is pretty minimal.

From what I've seen online, there is no real need for STP unless you are worried about your data being sniffed or you are running with power cables etc.

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  Reply # 452850 28-Mar-2011 18:12
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You have to remember though with cat6 you'll need more expensive keystones and patch panels.

But tbh for the few dollars more compared to the many hours of your time its worth it IMO. 





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  Reply # 452855 28-Mar-2011 18:26
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You need cat 6_a_ for 10gig ethernet, cat6 is a pain in the a.. to terminate.




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  Reply # 452884 28-Mar-2011 19:27
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stp or ftp is only really used in high noise/interference situtions ie industrial power, radio transmission etc normal domestic/commerical power won't interfere. as long as utp's are mechanically protected(flexible conduit or something simliar) from the power you will be fine

cat6 will scan to 10g upto 55-60m depending on quality of termination etc. you cant really verify the integrity of any permanent link without scanning it with a fluke dtx or similar tester though.

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  Reply # 453020 29-Mar-2011 08:15
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Just to clarify a couple of comments in the above, cat5e is rated for GigE right out to the full channel length (90m + patch leads), as with any cable only expect it to do what it is designed to do if installed as per the standard, that applies to both Cat5e and Cat6.

I would avoid using STP or FTP unless you have a real need, ie high industrial noise environments, which are better dealt with by chosing a correct cable path, high RF environment, paranoid military type employers etc.

Now days Cat6 is only marginally dearer than cat5e, its the installation of the cables that cost the $ which is pretty much the same for either cat5e or cat6. In a $7k job the cable patch panels and keystones probably amount to 35% of the job (in cat6) and 25% in cat5e.

For common domestic or SME I still see cat5e having a place, its easier to install (read fits more easily in smaller construction spaces), and marginally cheaper. However for anything else (business or demanding domestic) cat6 makes good sense. The cable itself is simply more robust, both in mechanical construction (the central spine seperator helps maintain cable spacing and cable lay both of which help return loss and cross talk issues, it typically has larger gauge copper that helps with overal attenuation on longer runs, further it has higher twist rate to assist twith return loss and crosstalk and noise rejection) which all naturally improve electrical performance.

As for ease of termination of cat6 to cat5e, after the first 200 terminations you dont notice it, ie leave that to the installer to worry about.

Finally unless you ship massive files about or are a data centre give cat6a a miss at this time, and further to that cat6 will do 10GigE out to around 35-50m depending on how its installed and brand of connectors/cable etc

Cyril



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  Reply # 453052 29-Mar-2011 10:11
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Thanks for the replies.

I'll go with UTP CAT6. The installation will be done by me or by others under my supervision as the GM needs to save as much money as possible on the fit-out. This is because the move is sudden and unplanned due to the earthquake. The company hasn't budgeted for this move.

Does anyone have any further tips regarding the installation? I know I need to avoid power cables where possible. I should use conduit or some method other than cable ties to band cables together in trunks. I've heard that using insulation tape to band them together can also work.

Is there some test equipment I should try to obtain to assist? I've got a fluke tone and probe kit already as well as punch tools for the terminations etc.

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  Reply # 453193 29-Mar-2011 16:36
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If it is earthquake related stuff causing the move, I would expect insurance to be covering the lot?




Richard rich.ms



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  Reply # 453209 29-Mar-2011 17:42
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They'd only cover a bit of it .. in 3 - 6 months time. We're going from 4 sites pre-quake to 5 now and then down to 1 after this fit out. They'd only cover the costs of relocating the part of the business no longer able to operate in its building. Also, we're a manufacturer and without stock going out the door we don't have money coming in.

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  Reply # 453242 29-Mar-2011 19:47
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Does anyone have any further tips regarding the installation? I know I need to avoid power cables where possible. I should use conduit or some method other than cable ties to band cables together in trunks. I've heard that using insulation tape to band them together can also work.


By the standard Cat6 should be bundled using velcro tape (wholesalers have big reels of it) and in ceiling cavites or in high warehouse type ceilings use caternery wire and velcro the bundles to that. There are rules regarding how many cables per bundle and caternary length and sag etc etc. PM me if you want more detail.

Cyril

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  Reply # 453541 30-Mar-2011 17:18
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PhantomNZ: Thanks for the replies.

I'll go with UTP CAT6. The installation will be done by me or by others under my supervision as the GM needs to save as much money as possible on the fit-out. This is because the move is sudden and unplanned due to the earthquake. The company hasn't budgeted for this move.

Does anyone have any further tips regarding the installation? I know I need to avoid power cables where possible. I should use conduit or some method other than cable ties to band cables together in trunks. I've heard that using insulation tape to band them together can also work.

Is there some test equipment I should try to obtain to assist? I've got a fluke tone and probe kit already as well as punch tools for the terminations etc.


Velcro is cheap and often better than cable ties for the usual data cable requirements and a lot simpler than conduit, although conduit still be useful for putting through firewalls etc. If you do go through firewalls then get firestops etc done properly. Use only the T-568A wiring, and allow enough slack at the patch panel (but not coiled up) to fix any mistakes that turn up later, eg so that you can move the panel further down in the cabinet.

Another tip is to run the cable together with catenary wire pre-bundled and tied if you need to hang it, then you can just support the catenary, instead of spending ages tying cable looms to something after its laid. Remember not to stand on the cables or kink/twist them, because they do tend to coil up into a tangled mess. You can avoid some of the twist by running the bundle directly from a bunch of boxes or by using a figure-8 to manage bundled cable until you can tie and pull it into the cable pathway.

I would suggest getting a cheap wiremap tester that gives a result for all the 8 individual wires. Check that all connections are fully punched in, and wont be subject to cable movement.




Qualified in business, certified in fibre, stuck in copper, have to keep going  ^_^

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