Ethernet (Patched) Cat5 Cables
Cabling has changed dramatically over the past decade. Take for example the simple network cable. What was once a single solid wire (solid Ethernet cable), is now 4 pairs of 8 twisted cables. The greatest advantage of twisting is the reduced crosstalk. Now, with Ethernet (patched), life has become a lot easier. Cat5e Scheme.
Cat5 cables are Ethernet cables categorized in the 5th category – quite a mouthful. These cables are readily and cheaply produced, are rigid and are an affordable choice, especially when transmitting signals over long distances. These 5th category cables usually contain 4 pairs of 8 twisted (or even shielded) cables.
Unshielded Cat5 cables are the usual preference of most people. They are reliable, cheap and the twisting cables running in it helpsthrough them help reduce cross talk. However, the shielded variety available in these cable types helps reduce this cross talk further. Shielded Cat5 cables are usually used where a relatively high signal-to-noise ratio is required.
What is a Patched Cable
A patched cable is a special type of cable that is usually used in the transmission of a signal from one device to another. The primary aim of a patch cable is exactly as its name states; patching. Although this may seem a little complicated at first, you have seen these patches cables before.
The cable on the right is a great example of a patch cable. In the case of the patched Ethernet cable on the left, it could be used to connect a computer with a central hub.
These cables are rarely more than a few meters long as they are usually used for short distance signal transmission.
If you remember the cable that connects you your speakers to your computer (the green RCA cable), that is also known as a patch cable. All it does is connect the speakers to the device (computer).
Where are Patched Cat5 Ethernet Cables Used?
The biggest use of Patched Ethernet Cables is in networking where they make maintenance, network segmenting and testing incredibly easy.
If you want to test the networking capabilities of a large network, you wouldn’t drag 30 wires across a single room would you?
The simple way is to have the immovable parts of the system (server, wall brackets, etc.) connected to a patch panel.
Then, all you would have to do is connect the patch cable and test the network. It is a whole lot simpler than cable clusters. Furthermore, you would not have to tag the cables as well asand they would be identified identifiable by their panel port number.
Patched Ethernet cables are heavily used in hotels. A patched cable is usually given to guests so they can connect their laptop or the hotel’s computer (complimentary internet) to the internet service (complimentary internet). Not only is cable and IP management simple for the hotel, it makes life a lot easier for the guest too.
Considering their affordability, a hotel is one of the most common places you will see Patched Cat5 Ethernet Cables.
Patched Cat5 Ethernet Cables vs. Un-patched Cat5 Ethernet Cables
When you read the term “patched” Ethernet cables, you may probably think that there are un-patched variants as well. Lucky for you, there is. Besides their use, the primary differences between patched and un-patched Ethernet cables are their flexibility and length.
Take a normal Ethernet cable and try bending it. You will notice that it does not bend much. It springs back to its original shape very quickly. If you bend it too much, the cord material will deform. However, a patched Ethernet cable has a greater degree of flexibility and can retain its shape. This makes them optimal for their uses, especially in hotels.
Patched Ethernet cables are not very long either. The shortest cables you can buy are usually 8cm in length, with the longest cables usually being up to 6 meters in length. Not only does this reduce the thickness of the cable, it reduces the cost of the cable too. Un-patched cables are usually more costly per meter due to the thickness of the cables.
Reasons to Buy/Use Patched Cat5 Ethernet Cables
One of the most often asked questionsA frequently asked question is why should anyone should purchase patched cat5 Ethernet cables. ? To keep this simple, there are 3 primary reasons why anyone would want to buy/use patched cat5 Ethernet cables.
1 - Affordability
Considering the reduced length and thickness, patched Cat5 Ethernet cables can be bought for a relatively cheap price. Although their use may be limited to simple “patch-in” networking, they are highly efficient at what they do.
2 - Cable Management
Having hundreds of long cables running through your office is not aesthetically pleasing nor is it financially sound. This is especially true when new computers have to be added. With patched Cat5 Ethernet cables, all you have to do is connect the wire into the patch panel (or patch wall panel) and voila!
You will never have need to lay down new wires, as everything will have beenbe done beforehand. All you will have to do is connect the wire.
3 - Maintenance
When that time of the year comes when you have to perform maintenance on your entire system, you will be glad that you decided to buy patched cat5 Ethernet cables. All you have to do is pull any unused or worn-out patched cat5 Ethernet cables and replace them. This is much simpler than replacing huge lengths of wires.
When, and if, you decide to upgrade your network or part of it, the patch panels you bought alongside the patched cat5 Ethernet cables will be a literal Godsend. Trace the wires that need to be upgraded, and change them. It is literally that simple.
When something goes wrong in your network, tracing cables back to their hub ports can be a real hassle. You possibly have to go through possibly hundreds of different wires, tracing their tags just to take one out.
In conclusion, most advanced networks use patched Cat5 Ethernet cables. Not only are they relatively cheap, they make cable management, troubleshooting, maintenance and future expandability problem-free. If you are looking for a great yet affordable networking solution, patched Cat5 Ethernet cables are the solution.