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Cat5e Cable Recommendation

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 
We will be starting a remodeling project soon. One of the items on the list is to "hard wire" the HTS (blue-ray player, AppleTV, etc) to the router so we don't have to use WiFi for those devices. Being as the ceiling and one of the walls will be open during the remodeling, now would be a good time to drop cable. The run will be under 100' so the idea is to run a Cat5e cable from the "computer room" to the family room. Terminating both ends of the cable with a wall plate keystone jack and then connecting the one end with a patch cable to the router and the other end to a 5-port gigabit switch with another patch cable. Someone mentioned to me that Belden makes excellent Cat5e solid core cable. But going to their website, they have lots of listings for the cable that all sound like they are the same thing. So obviously I'm a bit confused. I know I want solid core Cat5e but can anyone give me a specific part number or specs that I need to look for/ask for? My wiring is about as simple as it comes but I only have one chance to do this right. I've thought about Cat6 but cost is a factor here.
post #2 of 28
A 100' spool of in-wall rated, solid (not stranded) cat5e is what you want. For one run of that length I wouldn't be concerned about brand or anything else. Home Depot or any big box hardware store should have small spools of that length. You just don't want the stranded cable...

Jeff
post #3 of 28
Thread Starter 
That's what I was hoping for. Because of the length (it will probably be more like 50' when installed) I was hoping that brand didn't matter. Already was set on solid core, in-wall. Thanks.
post #4 of 28
Also consider cable for a wireless access point, if the walls are open, and you have the extra cable.
post #5 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Neurorad View Post

Also consider cable for a wireless access point, if the walls are open, and you have the extra cable.

Wireless right now is just fine. I'm concerned that after the remodeling of the kitchen, which shares a wall with the family room where the HTS will be, that the double oven (which will be installed directly opposite the HTS) will produce interference.
post #6 of 28
Just a suggestion for future proofing. Just leave the cable unterminated, and take pics for future reference, so you can find it easily behind drywall.
post #7 of 28
I hope you're wiring for speakers, too, including subwoofer.
post #8 of 28
Thread Starter 
Nope. Speaker setup is just fine. I just want to bring a wired internet connection to that room. I will install a cable pull next to the Cat-5e, just in case.
post #9 of 28
If you're buying a box of category cable, run a second (or third) cable. You can use it as a pull string, if nothing else, but the best reason is for a backup, in case a nail is driven through the first. What other cable will you be pulling with your string, other than another category cable? I guess, maybe, fiber.

If you're buying a premade, terminated cable, then I understand why you want 1.
post #10 of 28
Thread Starter 
^^^ good idea about using a second Cat-5e cable as a "pull string". If I do that, I'll probably never have to use it. But if I don't...... wink.gif
post #11 of 28
Yes, Belden makes excellent CAT 5E cable. I used it's Media Twist version in which each pair is bonded together, supposed to be better. I was able to wire my home with leftovers ( lol ) from work. That stuff is damn expensive.
post #12 of 28
Do most guys buy the cable locally? I've looked on Monoprice, but the shipping can be killer. But Home Depot and such are significantly more expensive per roll. I haven't checked the math to see which is cheaper, but was just curious smile.gif
post #13 of 28
You'll need to check the math, to see which is cheaper. Keep in mind that cheaper is rarely better, for many people.

Easy to return unused boxes locally, if doing a pre-wire.
post #14 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by NickTheGreat View Post

Do most guys buy the cable locally?
If I am doing commercial work I go with Belden. For home, I buy what is at Home Depot.
post #15 of 28
I've used any number of CAT-X cables from purchases on Amazon to Monoprice to my local distributor and Home Depot. Every now and then I'll end up with a cheap roll where you can't tell the colors apart easily, but otherwise, every single cable I've used has performed perfectly and met the needs and expectations of my clients. Monoprice is really nice if you need lots of runs and want different colors. ie: Blue for network, Yellow for Phone, Green for A/V, etc. I've recently been using Genesis cable, which I must say has not performed one bit better than anything else I've ever used. wink.gif Cat-X cabling is pretty solid to go with across the board.
post #16 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by AV_Integrated View Post

Cat-X cabling is pretty solid to go with across the board.
History doesn't agree. Under gauge wire from China has been a significant problem, as has cable that doesn't meet flamability standards, and copper coated aluminum wire sold as solid copper. That said, cable from a reliable supplier, like your local big box store or monoprice should be OK. When buying from other sources, the old saying applies: caveat emptor (buyer beware for those of you who weren't forced to learn Latin).
post #17 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Colm View Post

History doesn't agree. Under gauge wire from China has been a significant problem, as has cable that doesn't meet flamability standards, and copper coated aluminum wire sold as solid copper. That said, cable from a reliable supplier, like your local big box store or monoprice should be OK. When buying from other sources, the old saying applies: caveat emptor (buyer beware for those of you who weren't forced to learn Latin).
Sorry - yeah... Should have added 'from reputable suppliers' - Amazon and eBay not qualifying as such, or at the very least let the buyer beware there! smile.gif
post #18 of 28
I've been doing some searching and it's really hard to tell the difference between various cables. For instance, this one on Amazon is $50/1000 ft vs Monoprice which sells for $80/1000 ft. Any reason I should buy one over the other?

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Cat5e-1000ft-Cable-Solid-Ethernet/dp/B007IIYWE2/ref=sr_1_24?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1376420649&sr=1-24&keywords=cat5e+cable+1000ft
Monoprice: http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=102&cp_id=10233&cs_id=1023303&p_id=877&seq=1&format=2

Thanks!
Scott
post #19 of 28
The Amazon cable is copper coated aluminum (CCA). The monoprice cable is solid copper.
post #20 of 28
Even with shipping, Monoprice is pretty cheap.

Go to Home Depot and/or Lowes, and see how the cost compares. Look for Genesis/Honeywell, Coleman/CCI, Southwire, Cerrowire, General Cable, and Belden.

You want solid, UTP. Does not need to be Riser or Plenum rated, for a residential install, but either will be fine if that's all you find locally. Does not need to be UV rated, unless outdoors. Made in the USA is a bonus, IMHO - look on the box.
post #21 of 28
So I got the Monoprice 20% off cable email coupon, and decided this was as good a time as any to order.

I was going to order Cat6, but then was looking at the solid stuff, but it's not rated as "in-wall." The only "in-wall" is the stranded. confused.gif
post #22 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by NickTheGreat View Post

So I got the Monoprice 20% off cable email coupon, and decided this was as good a time as any to order.

I was going to order Cat6, but then was looking at the solid stuff, but it's not rated as "in-wall." The only "in-wall" is the stranded. confused.gif

Check with your city building department. In wall rated (CL2) cable is not always required in residential work. I would not go with CAT5 these days. CAT6 is not that much more in cost but is a lot more future proof than CAT5. This is not a place to pinch pennies.
post #23 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by NickTheGreat View Post

So I got the Monoprice 20% off cable email coupon, and decided this was as good a time as any to order. I was going to order Cat6, but then was looking at the solid stuff, but it's not rated as "in-wall." The only "in-wall" is the stranded. confused.gif

It should all be in-wall rated (the bulk spools). You'll see it listed as "riser" (CMR) rated. But yeah, they really should be consistent. The cat6 spools all say that.
post #24 of 28
I've heard there's no significant difference between Cat 5e and Cat 6 - is that true? Why is Cat 6 more future proof?

Thanks,
Scott
post #25 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by jautor View Post

It should all be in-wall rated (the bulk spools). You'll see it listed as "riser" (CMR) rated. But yeah, they really should be consistent. The cat6 spools all say that.

Great, Thanks! I saw the riser denotation, and plenum stuff, but the in-wall was all stranded. But further reading makes more sense.

The 20% coupon will cover some of the shipping, so I've got that going for me smile.gif
post #26 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by smenzer View Post

I've heard there's no significant difference between Cat 5e and Cat 6 - is that true? Why is Cat 6 more future proof?

There is a significant difference if and when you need to run digital signals at rates higher than 1Gbs, as the signalling needed to carry 10Gbs traffic requires higher bandwidth.

Now, whether or not we'll need that support in future residential networking and A/V purposes, or if Cat5e would be sufficient at the relatively short cable lengths in our homes, can be debated. But with the cost of cat6 cables so close to cat5e these days, there's very little reason not to install the more-capable cat6 wire.

There are tons of homes with cat5e installed, and very few with cat6 - so we can expect consumer-grade products to be developed with cat5e in mind.

But nothing is as future-proof as an empty conduit. biggrin.gif

Jeff
post #27 of 28
When I terminate the cables, should I use 568A or 568B standards? The internet seems to have mixed opinions on what is "standard" these days. Note that there is no pre-existing wiring in my house to conform to.

Thanks!
Scott
post #28 of 28
T568A or T568B makes no difference electrically as long as you terminate both ends of a given cable the same way.

CM, CMX, CMR, CMP rated cable is all fine for residential.
Edited by Colm - 8/17/13 at 10:19am
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