Ethernet networking has evolved greatly over the last years. Bandwidth hungry applications like video streaming, teleconferencing, online gaming e.t.c have increased the demand for higher data rates. The most important Ethernet versions, 100Base-TX (fast Ethernet=100 Mbps data rate), 1000Base-T (Gigabit Ethernet= 1 Gbps data rate) and 10Gbase-T (10 Gigabit Ethernet=10 Gbps data rate) use from Cat.5 to Cat.6e patch cords, patch panels, outlets, RJ45 jacks and couplers.
distributes the Ethernet signals to office, home or campus users. It consists of the horizontal cabling, the building backbone and the campus backbone. The cable to connect the floor distributors to the building distributor following a star topology is called building backbone. The horizontal cabling runs from the floor distributor to the outlets. The main transmission medium are twisted pair cables which can be terminated on a patch panel. The same structrure can be used for telephony but RJ11 jacks must be used instead of RJ45 jacks. "Cat" stands for category and indicates the data rate an Ethernet component, such as patch cords or patch panels, can support. For instance Cat.6A are suitable for 10 Gigabit Ethernet while Cat.5e up to Gigabit (1 Gbps) Ethernet. In order to ensure the maximum possible data rate, all copper wiring components must be of the same and the highest possible transmission category.
Ethernet networks are based on twisted pair cables which are terminated on RJ45 plugs (hence the term patch cord). Shielded or unshielded twisted pair cables are cables which have their conductors twisted together to avoid the effects of electromagnetic interference and crosstalk, the interference between two neighbouring channels.
Twisted pair cables
are categorized according to their shielding to
- S/FTP: Braid cable screening, foil pair shielding
- F/UTP: Foil cable screening, unshielded pair
- SF/UTP: Braid and foil cable screening, unshielded pair
- U/UTP: Both cable screening and pair unshielded
Alfaphonet offers the Cat.7 FTP patch cord
made from LSZH (Low Smoke Zero Halogen) material which produces low smoke and no harmful fumes during burning. It allows 10 Gigabit Ethernet over 100m or copper wiring
Data outlets can be used as termination or distribution points in structured cabling.They differ from electrical outlets because they have embedded RJ45 jacks
or couplers, in order to accept patch cords.
AMJ45 and UMJ45 series are shielded and unshielded consecutively, with Cat.6A, Cat.6 or Cat.5e transmission performance category. They also have overbend protection; a system which allows the connection of RJ11 connectors without the need for additional installation kits.
There is also the option of modular outlets, i.e faceplate without RJ45 jacks or couplers.
are panels which house cable connections. They can support from 16 to 48 jacks/couplers, shielded or unshielded, of 6A, 6, 5e transmission category.
The standard category, which includes patch panels with printed circuits inside them, offers solutions for small networks like mini distributors. They are devices that have one input and 6 or 12 outputs for shielded or unshielded twisted pair cables and are used to distribute the data signals along a home or a small office network.
The modular category includes empty panels and distributors in which up to 48 RJ45 jacks
and couplers can be placed.
RJ45 jacks and couplers
Jacks and couplers are shielded or unshielded components which can be mounted in data outlets or patch panels. They are 10 Gigabit Ethernet compliant (in case of Cat.6A) and suitable for Power Over Ethernet (PoE), which enables Cat.5, or higher, patch cords to transmit both data signals and electrical power.