Different Types of Bare Copper Cables & Their Uses

Ethernet cables which have pure copper conductors are superior to those having copper-clad aluminum conductors. A cable with pure copper conductors is also called bare copper cable and solid copper cable. There are different types of bare copper ethernet cables available in the market but let’s first explore what makes bare copper cables superior to CCA cables.

Bare Copper Cables - Superior Connectivity

Bare copper cables are superior to CCA cables as the former has less attenuation (loss of signal strength) over longer distances. When an ethernet cable suffers from less attenuation, it keeps the signal strength, and more data packets are transferred from one device to another. Another great feature of bare copper ethernet cable is that it suffers from less DC resistance. It means a pure copper ethernet cable -- for instance, Cat6 cable bulk bare copper -- transfer more energy into signals and less into waste. The third and the most important characteristic of a pure copper cable is that it has strong resistance against crosstalk and EMIa. Thus, your signal is not messed up by aforesaid elements and you enjoy optimum connectivity. Now that you have learned all about the superiority of pure copper cables over CCA cables, let’s dig a bit deeper and explore different types of pure copper cables.

Cat5e Bare Copper Cable

Cat5e bare copper cable is available in two variants: Cat5e plenum and Cat5e riser. As far as data rates are concerned, they remained the same for both variants. The maximum data rate rendered by Cat5e plenum and riser bare copper is 1 Gbps up to a distance of 50 meters of 164 feet. Likewise, the minimum data transfer rate rendered by Cat5e plenum and riser bare copper is 100 Mbps up to a distance of 100 meters or 328 feet. The Cat5e bare copper ethernet cable comes with a bandwidth capacity of 350 MHz. The number of pure copper conductors in Cat5e cable is 8 which are tightly bundled together in 4 twisted pairs and each pair is separated from the rest of the three through insulation. The insulation prevents crosstalk and EMI. The cable runs 24 AWG. For installation in the plenum areas of the buildings, you’ll need a Cat5e plenum and for installation in riser areas, you will need a Cat5e riser. Due to superior jacket material, you can use plenum in place of riser but it can’t be otherwise. Both plenum and riser have fire-retardant properties. It means they halt fire progression and are UV-resistant as well. Plenum variant -- during the burning phase -- emits no toxicity (smoke and perilous gases) at all whereas riser emits very little smoke and no dangerous gases. The thick plenum and riser jackets also provide top-notch protection against crosstalk and EMI. You can identify the plenum jacket from CMP marking on the outer jacket and riser jacket from CMR marking.

Cat6 Bare Copper Cable

The Cat6 cable bulk bare copper cable is also available in plenum and riser jackets. It means they halt fire progression, is UV-resistant, and emit no toxicity. However, the data transfer rates of Cat6 cable bulk bare copper cable are different from the Cat5e bare copper cable. The Cat6 pure copper provides data transfer rates that are ten times higher than Cat5e. The minimum data transfer rate for Cat6 cable bulk bare copper stands at  1 Gbps up to a distance of 100 meters or 328 feet whereas the maximum data transfer for the same cable stands at 10 Gbps up to a distance of 164 feet or 50 meters. Likewise, the bandwidth capacity of the Cat6 ethernet cable is higher than that of Cat5e as it stands at 550 MHz. Another difference between the Cat6 bare copper and Cat5e bare copper is that the former runs 23 AWG whereas the latter runs 24 AWG.

Cat6a Bare Copper Cable

The Cat6a bare copper cable is an augmented 6th category/generation cable that has been designed to maintain lightning-fast data transfer rate of 10 Gbps up to a distance of 328 feet or 100 meters. The cable also has an augmented bandwidth capacity of 750 MHz that is way higher than the previous two bare copper ethernet cables. The cable is also available in plenum and riser jackets. The characteristics of jackets of the Cat6a plenum and Cat6a are exactly the same as that of the previous two, i-e fire-retardant, halts fire progression, emits no toxicity at all, and are UV resistant, too. The Cat6a bare copper cable runs 23 AWG. Numbers of pure copper conductors in Cat6a cable are also 8 and they are tightly bundled in 4 twisted pairs to keep crosstalk and EMI at bay. Here at NewYork Cables, we manufacture bare copper cables that exceed all industry standards by a wide margin.