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Installation Process of the Cat6 Ethernet Cable

Prepare better, install effortlessly. That is the mantra of all good ethernet cable installers. This is true for the Cat6 ethernet cable as well. As you probably know, it comes in two different variants known as Cat6 plenum and riser. Both types of 1000 ft cables are installed in different places and therefore require different maneuvers and techniques to run smoothly. Moreover, because the plenum ethernet cable and the riser are made from different materials, the ease (or difficulties) of installing both cables is also different.

Read on to find out more about the installation process of the Cat6 ethernet cable and both of its types.

Know Your Cat6

It is important that before you even begin installing the Cat6 LAN cable, you need to plan how and where you are going to run it. To do so, you will start by first understanding your Cat6 cable. It is the 6th category of ethernet cables and features 4 twisted pairs of conductors. The conductors could be made from pure copper or copper-clad aluminum. It depends on what you decide to get. Pure copper cable is easier to install though.

The 4 twisted pairs of conductors have a 23 AWG diameter which is important to remember for when you will be terminating the cables.

Preparing for the Installation

Once you know the important and subtle specifications of your ethernet cable, you will start preparing for the installation. This includes making a plan for where you will be running the cables. This step is particularly important because you will cut the cable on the basis of this plan. So be sure to plan well. And as we say in networking, measure twice, cut once. If your measurements are accurate, you will not waste the cable by cutting it at inappropriate lengths.

The key to a well-planned Cat6 LAN network is sketching your future network. You will do so by actually sketching your entire network on paper in advance. Give special attention to where the connectors will go.

Once you have sketched your entire network, you will measure the total length of the cable and you will cut it at the appropriate lengths.

After the cable’s been cut, it’s time to run it. Running it is far easier if you have a bare copper cable. It is relatively trickier with CCA cables. Shielded cables are also trickier to run as compared to unshielded ones because of their additional thickness. But it is vital in keeping the crosstalk levels at a minimum.

Installing the Plenum Ethernet Cable

The Cat6 plenum ethernet cable is run in indoor open spaces as well as outdoors. In indoor runs, the cable is installed horizontal spaces on raised floors and above dropped ceilings. It is also run in HVAC (heating, ventilation, air conditioning) ducts.

Because it is made from LSZH (low smoke zero halogens) materials, it neither emits toxic smoke nor catches flame. That is why it is safe and easy to run the cable in indoor spaces with freely circulating air.

Installing the Cat6 Riser Cable

Cat6 riser cable is run in indoor vertical spaces. These spaces are enclosed and run vertically. Because the riser jackets of the cable tend to emit toxic smoke in case of fire events, they must be installed in enclosed spaces. Nonetheless, note that the riser Cat6 cable is a durable and highly reliable solution that does not easily catch flame. It is in fact coated with a fire-retardant powder that ensures maximum resistance against heat.

You will run this cable in spaces such as the space between floors, inside walls, and elevator shafts.

Minimizing Crosstalk

Crosstalk is a major problem that you will need to take care of while installing the Cat6 cable 1000ft. Also known as electromagnetic interference, crosstalk is caused due to the signals being emitted from other multiple cables running in parallel to each other.

The best way to minimize crosstalk while installing the bulk Cat6 cables is to get shielded ones. STP cables are best equipped to fend off stray signals in a network.

Another way of minimizing EMI is to avoid running too many unshielded cables in parallel to one another. Even if you do run multiple cables in parallel, be sure to keep an appropriate distance between them. You can use velcro ties to tie them together with an appropriate strength.

How to Protect the Cables

Protecting the cables is another issue that you will face. When installing the Cat6 ethernet cable, be sure to use the right one for the right application. Using the right cable will do more than half the job. For instance, if you are installing the cable outdoors, use a Cat6 cable with an LLDPE jacket for direct burial. A plenum or riser Cat6 will be fine for non-underground outdoor purposes.

In the same manner, use plenum cables for plenum spaces and riser cables for risers. You can also use the plenum in riser spaces but never use the riser in plenums because it is against fire safety regulations.

Terminating the Cat6 Ethernet Cable

Once you have installed the Cat6 ethernet cable in all the designated spaces, it is time to terminate it. Cat6 cable features 23 AWG twisted pair conductors which can be terminated in RJ45 connectors and keystone jacks. You can use either of the EIA/TIA 568 A or B wiring protocols.

There are multiple types of connectors and jacks, most of which are quite easy to terminate into such as the toolless ones.

Bottom Line

In short, installing the Cat6 ethernet cable bulk can be divided into three stages. Planning, running the cable, and terminating. Once you terminate the cables, be sure to check if all connections work fine.

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