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Ethernet cables come in a wide array of jackets such as plenum cable jackets, riser cable jackets, and PVC cable jackets. For a novice, it is extremely difficult to differentiate one from the rest of the others. Besides technical, there are some legal aspects of the jacket ratings too. We’ll discuss these aspects in later chapters.
Let’s first explore jackets and their features.
Plenum Cable Jacket
The jacket for the plenum cable is characterized as CMP-rated where CMP stands for Communications Multipurpose Cable Plenum. The first thing that distinguishes this jacket from the rest is that it is the highest rating for ethernet cables’ jackets as per standards set by the governing body.
The cable is made from the finest quality polyvinyl chloride that awards the plenum cable jacket UV-resistant and fire-retardant properties. This cable halts fire progression while releasing no toxicity during the burning phase. As the jacket is extremely thick, it prevents external factors from messing with your signal, and thus, optimum performance is guaranteed. Such is the quality of the jacket of the plenum cable that it can be used in riser and outdoor spaces, too.
At present, the following cables are available in the plenum jacket:
- Cat5e Plenum Cable
- Cat6 Plenum Cable
- Cat6a Plenum Cable
- Cat7 Plenum Cable
All the aforesaid ethernet cables have one thing in common that is their plenum-rated or CMP-rated jacket. They differ in data speeds and frequencies. For instance, the maximum data transfer speed of the Cat5e plenum cable is 1 Gbps with a bandwidth capacity of 350 MHz whereas the maximum data transfer speed of the Cat6 plenum cable is 10 Gbps with a bandwidth capacity of 550 MHz. When compared to other variants, plenum cables are on the expensive side for obvious reasons.
Riser Cable Jacket
The jacket of the riser cable is CMR where CMR stands for Communications Multipurpose Cable Riser. It is the second-best rating for the ethernet cables’ jackets and just like its plenum counterparts, the riser cable, too, is UV-resistant and fire-resistant. Taking hints from the title, you are right to assume that the riser cable finds its usage in the riser or vertical spaces of the buildings. The cable halts fire progression and releases very low smoke and no toxic element.
At present, riser cable is available in the following variant:
- Cat5e Riser Cable
- Cat6 Riser Cable
- Cat6a Riser Cable
- Cat7 Riser Cable
All the aforesaid variants of the riser cable have one thing in common: the outer jacket. As far as other elements are concerned, for instance, data transfer rates and bandwidth capacity, they differ vastly. Riser cables can be used in outdoor spaces; however, it can’t be reversed. As the jacket of the riser-rated cables is thick, it prevents external factors, such as crosstalk and EMI, from messing with your signal and you get top-notch connectivity. This cable is relatively cheaper than the plenum cables but is considerably expensive than the PVC cable.
PVC Cable Jacket
PVC cables are meant for installation in the outdoor spaces and these cables carried a PVC-rated outer jacket. The jacket of the PVC cable renders top-notch protection against outer elements such as sunlight and perilous chemicals. The PVC cable is available in the following variants:
- Cat5e PVC Cable
- Cat6 PVC Cable
- Cat6a PVC Cable
- Cat7 PVC Cable
As is the case with riser cable and plenum cable, all the aforesaid variants have one thing in common: jacket material. Data transfer speed and bandwidth capacity differ as per category or the generation of the cable.
Another, type of cable is direct burial cable. This cable is meant for installation in underground spaces. This cable has a jacket that is rated as CMX.
If you are mulling over buying the best ethernet cables, look no further as New York Cables has got your back. We are the best in the business as our cables exceed all industry standards and come with same-day and free shipping (terms and conditions applied).
|Cable Jacket||Plenum, Riser & PVC||Plenum, Riser & PVC||Plenum & Riser|
|Wire Gauge||24-AWG||23-AWG||23-AWG Highly Twisted|
|Frequencies||350 MHZ||550 MHZ||750 MHZ|
|Installation Temp||0°C to 60°C||0°C to 60°C||0°C to 60°C|
|Pairs||4 Twisted Pairs||4 Twisted Pairs||4 Twisted Pairs|
|Package||Easy Pull Box||Easy Pull Box||Wood Spool|
|Colors||Black, Blue, White, Red, Green, Yellow||Black, Blue, White, Red, Green, Yellow||Black, Blue, White, Red, Green, Yellow|
|Standard Compliance||ETL, FCC, CE, CSA, ISO/IES, RoHS||FCC, CE, CSA, ISO/IES, RoHS||ETL, FCC, CE, CSA, ISO/IES, RoHS|