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Category 1 cable?
#446986 09/14/07 01:07 PM
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What is the purpose of the category 1 cable sold by some cable manufacturers? General Cable has such a product sold as "switchboard cable", and ADC Krone has a similar product. See the catalog here:

https://www.adc.com/Library/Literature/102094AE_04.pdf

Is this basically a cheaper alternative to category 3 cable for voice-only applications? I notice that the category 1 cable weighs a little less than category 3 does, which probably makes it cheaper. ADC Krone's category 1 cable says it has a minimum of 2 twists per foot, and they specify it as being suitable for 4 megabit token-ring, which means it probably meets category 2 specifications. (Anyone still make category 2 cable?)

Incidentally, I first saw category 1 cable at my mom's house, which was built in 1995. It was made by Superior Essex and says "Cat 1" right on the jacket. Superior Essex apparently no longer makes such a product. I'm fairly certain the builder found a roll of this in a dumpster somewhere..

Finally, what of the FCC mandate that telephone wiring be done with category 3 cable? I know this isn't being enforced and you can still go to Lowe's and buy a 500' roll of quad cable made by "Bellsouth". I haven't bought any to strip it back and see if it's at least twisted pair but it doesn't appear to be nor does it say it is on the jacket.

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Re: Category 1 cable?
#446987 09/14/07 01:18 PM
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as far as I can tell Cat 1 would be straight analog dial tone. The orginal Cat 3 would have been used as the first networking cable for 10 base T and token ring networks. I would never pull quad or JKT cable in a current job even if its a house. The old quad cable is about as useless as it gets. The FCC can mandate what they want but there will still be electricians doing our job and pulling this old and outdated cable because they either have it in there truck or its just cheaper and they can make a better margin on it.


Burgie13

www.bdtelecom.net

"Don't believe anything that you hear and only half of what you see"
Re: Category 1 cable?
#446988 09/14/07 01:41 PM
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Most cable manufacturers are describing quad cable as "alarm" cable. They don't even mention the word "telephone" anywhere on the spec sheet.

10baseT predates Cat 3 by a couple of years at least (IIRC, 10baseT was available in 1988/89, the first mention of category 3 cable on USENET was in 1992), so the earliest 10baseT networks were running on standard multipair telephone cable. 10baseT was designed to work with the then-common twisted pair telephone cable, in fact.

The manual for my first 10baseT card simply specified to use cable with a minimum of 2 twists per foot.

Re: Category 1 cable?
#446989 09/14/07 01:44 PM
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Incidentally I think a lot of electricians look at 22AWG quad as being better than 24AWG 2-pair cat3. After all, bigger is better. I'd expect the 22AWG quad to cost more.

Re: Category 1 cable?
#446990 09/15/07 11:28 AM
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Well, most OSP cable is category nothing...it does not have many twists per foot. That category 1 cable is probably used within the C.O.


Jeff Moss

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Re: Category 1 cable?
#446991 09/15/07 09:09 PM
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Those Cat1 pix look just like plain old 25-pair key system cables. I think Cat-nuthin should refer to Quad, and Cat1 to anything that has twisted pairs at a minimum.


Arthur P. Bloom
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Re: Category 1 cable?
#446992 09/16/07 04:28 AM
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I had always heard that Quad (no twists) was CAT 1 and the stuff with a few twists was CAT 2.

But who knows? Remember when Anixter started their own system - "Level 5" cable.

Manufacturers sometimes get a little loose with their descriptions.

Sam


"Where are we going and why are we in this hand basket?"
Re: Category 1 cable?
#446993 09/16/07 07:33 AM
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I have seen cable from a variety of manufacturers. I remember the Nordx Cat 3 cable as being twisted as much as at Cat 5/Cat 5e cable. Most Cat 3 cable is not twisted very much though. It makes it harder to work with, especially on 25 pairs and up.


Jeff Moss

Moss Communications
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Re: Category 1 cable?
#446994 09/16/07 09:16 AM
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Jeff, sometimes in the manufacturing process, if the twisted pairs don't meet, say CAT5e criteria, but does meet CAT 3, the manufacturers will use these pairs in a CAT 3 jacket.

Re: Category 1 cable?
#446995 09/17/07 06:38 AM
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A similar principle to that which has been used for some electronic components for years. You could, for example, buy a BC108 transistor in BC108A, BC108B, and BC108C versions, the only difference being the minimum guaranteed gain figure.

They all came off the same production line, but post-manufacture testing of achievable gain just determined whether they were stamped A, B, or C.

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