Author Topic: Where on the official standards it says CAT cables must be pure copper?  (Read 726 times)

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Offline JonnyV

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I read on many websites that for a CAT cable to be considered standard, it has to be made of pure copper, and that CCA can't be called "standard cables"

But I've been looking around and didn't find any proof that it has to be made of pure copper (But I don't have access to the actual standards)

So is it true that CAT can be called "standard cat" only if it's made out of pure copper?
 

Online TimFox

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Re: Where on the official standards it says CAT cables must be pure copper?
« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2022, 02:57:47 pm »
I do not have the standards, but using "pure" (i.e., OFHC or OFE) expensive copper instead of ETP or other alloys is not an "audiophool" delusion.  OFHC will handle far more flexing and bending before mechanical failure than the other alloys.  The old informal test for OFHC was to take a flat piece, roughly 1/8 in or 3 mm thick, and clamp it in a vise, then use a pliers to bend it back and forth until fracture.
 
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Offline ejeffrey

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Re: Where on the official standards it says CAT cables must be pure copper?
« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2022, 04:32:15 pm »
Pure copper also has lower DCR which is important for PoE.
 
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Offline Alti

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Re: Where on the official standards it says CAT cables must be pure copper?
« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2022, 05:29:20 pm »
I read on many websites that for a CAT cable to be considered standard

There is no such thing as "CAT cable". Take a look at IEC 61156 that defines electrical properties of various "Multicore and symmetrical pair/quad cables for digital communications". The "Category 5e cable" is most likely what "many websites" refer to. This is the most popular version, defined in part 5 of the standard. There it specifies sizes, colour coding, transfer impedances at various frequencies, delay propagation, crosstalk, etc.
Of course there is also a section 2.2.3 Conductor.

Quote from: IEC 61156-5, section 2.2.3 Conductor
The conductor shall be a solid annealed copper conductor, (..)

Can a Category 5e cable with gold conductors exist? Nope, has to be annealed copper.
Can nude virgins make Category 5e cable from pure silver? Nope, has to be annealed copper.
Can you make Category 5e cable from superoverconducting unobtanium being in compliance with IEC 61156-5? Nope, annealed copper only.

So the question was: can you make a Category 5e cable from pure chinesium? Wait, let me think..

Of course IEC standards are quite expensive but the excerpts and previews are easily available.

 
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Offline JonnyV

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Re: Where on the official standards it says CAT cables must be pure copper?
« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2022, 08:47:12 pm »
Thanks everyone!

I read on many websites that for a CAT cable to be considered standard

There is no such thing as "CAT cable". Take a look at IEC 61156 that defines electrical properties of various "Multicore and symmetrical pair/quad cables for digital communications". The "Category 5e cable" is most likely what "many websites" refer to. This is the most popular version, defined in part 5 of the standard. There it specifies sizes, colour coding, transfer impedances at various frequencies, delay propagation, crosstalk, etc.
Of course there is also a section 2.2.3 Conductor.

Quote from: IEC 61156-5, section 2.2.3 Conductor
The conductor shall be a solid annealed copper conductor, (..)

Can a Category 5e cable with gold conductors exist? Nope, has to be annealed copper.
Can nude virgins make Category 5e cable from pure silver? Nope, has to be annealed copper.
Can you make Category 5e cable from superoverconducting unobtanium being in compliance with IEC 61156-5? Nope, annealed copper only.

So the question was: can you make a Category 5e cable from pure chinesium? Wait, let me think..

Of course IEC standards are quite expensive but the excerpts and previews are easily available.



Wow that was the closest to what I'm looking for!

One of the websites I am talking about is this: https://www.copper.org/about/pressreleases/2011/pr2011_Mar_4.html

Quote:

The Telecommunications Industry Association's TIA 568C.2 specification (Section 5.3) requires compliance to ANSI/ICEA S-90-661-2006 and ANSI/ICEA S-102-732 which both include the following language: "Solid conductors shall consist of commercially pure, annealed, bare copper …"

But never found the sources for the written above.
So according to them, the TIA standard also define pure copper for CAT cables.

But now you confused me even more, because you said there is no such thing as CAT cable, so what it's all about?
« Last Edit: January 22, 2022, 09:10:06 pm by JonnyV »
 

Offline Alti

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Re: Where on the official standards it says CAT cables must be pure copper?
« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2022, 09:10:15 pm »
One of the websites I am talking about is this: https://www.copper.org/about/pressreleases/2011/pr2011_Mar_4.html
So according to them, the TIA standard also define pure copper for CAT cables.
But now you confused me even more, because you said there is no such thing as CAT cable, so what it's all about?

The website you linked has not referenced anything like "CAT cable". Am I blind? Please give a reference to a relevant standard that defines this term.

Till then we can safely assume you made that "CAT cable" up or this term is a generic term that everyone interprets in a personal way. In such cases I cannot comment on that.
 
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Offline JonnyV

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Re: Where on the official standards it says CAT cables must be pure copper?
« Reply #6 on: January 22, 2022, 09:15:12 pm »
One of the websites I am talking about is this: https://www.copper.org/about/pressreleases/2011/pr2011_Mar_4.html
So according to them, the TIA standard also define pure copper for CAT cables.
But now you confused me even more, because you said there is no such thing as CAT cable, so what it's all about?

The website you linked has not referenced anything like "CAT cable". Am I blind? Please give a reference to a relevant standard that defines this term.

Till then we can safely assume you made that "CAT cable" up or this term is a generic term that everyone interprets in a personal way. In such cases I cannot comment on that.

Haha I am not an expert so I might also be saying things that's aren't relevant/out of context. I was asking this question because a store I bought a cable from is selling a CAT6 cable, and at the bottom of the product page it says: Approved for the following standards: CAT6 , ISO11801 , ITA/EIA568

And then you find out it's a CCA cable and not pure copper. So I wonder if it's possible that a CAT6 cable is "Approved for the following standards: CAT6 , ISO11801 , ITA/EIA568", yet is still CCA and not pure copper
 

Offline MrMobodies

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Re: Where on the official standards it says CAT cables must be pure copper?
« Reply #7 on: January 22, 2022, 10:33:18 pm »
I did some cabling work about 8 years ago in an office that was merging. Over twenty cables, trunking and sockets. I wanted to order my from supplier but they wanted it done quickly within a couple of days so they took me round the corner somewhere in London and not only were they way overpriced I had difficulty. The wires would just snap, they didn't feel right, very soft and I was wondering what was wrong with me, am I doing this a bit to rough and tight but on further inspection just using the punch down tool lightly would cause the wires to snap. I took it back to the shop the next day not fit for purpose/poor quality and was refunded.

Yes it did say CCA all over the box unabbrievated  with a bunch of other standards on it.

Many of the shops there were selling this stuff but I found another brand down the the corner that looked a bit more stronger and also stated CCA on it with some other words I've not seen before on them like "snagless". As I cabling up I noticed they could easily flop a bit not as much as the other and show stress on the pvc (couldn't find low smoke cable in the area). It was a bit easier to crimp but didn't snap. A few wires on some of the cables didn't work despite checking again and again but found it was easier to just run another length.

After I was finished and came back home it was about 2 am, I was proud of the work and trunking in such a short amount of time and that included stopping the cabling when helping others do other stuff with the moving. When I was looking at the pictures I took, wondering what does CCA mean't on the box with all these other standards I went bezerk, I went back there to warn them with some documents I think one of them was from a site called Belden about the standards referencing that it must be copper which also warned of CCA cables and insisted I replace the cables which ordered from my supplier and rewired the whole thing. Now on rewiring, it was so easy crimping it down, it all worked, none of the cables or individual wires failed so less messing about.

I thought that stuff could make someone look like bad at their job.

It certainly was an embarrassment for me when they didn't believe me at first with the first box until they had go themselves

That was for my first encounter with CCA.

Some years after I was given a bunch new and used long length cables with moulded cat5e connectors and put the new one behind a cabinet to reach a printer. Weeks later it would intermittently work despite there being no movement or stress on the cable. I opened it up and surprise surprise it was CCA where it flopped over flame but no CCA writing on the jacket. I was also sold some convincing counterfeit patch cables where I noticed packet loss on the switch and where the ports would just intermittently down power and this happened after I replaced some old cables to tidy up a cabinet until I opened one up to discover that was was CCA.

Now when I see it or suspect a used cable of being CCA, I don't hesitate to cut them open to check/test under a flame and if it is I just chuck it in the bin. 
More like a time waster of a cable.

I could have done without all the grief and misery that cable has put me under.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2022, 10:38:20 pm by MrMobodies »
 

Offline Alti

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Re: Where on the official standards it says CAT cables must be pure copper?
« Reply #8 on: January 22, 2022, 10:34:10 pm »
a store I bought a cable from is selling a CAT6 cable, and at the bottom of the product page it says: Approved for the following standards: CAT6 , ISO11801 , ITA/EIA568 And then you find out it's a CCA cable and not pure copper.
Well, shit happens. I think you are not the only one left with this CCA.

Anyway, the IEC 110801 is "Generic cabling for customer premises" and spans from the subject of fibre optics down to telephone lines. But it does not define each and every detail of cable construction. Instead it defines link classes and references various standards, among them the IEC 61156-5 which defines Category 5e cable requirements, and also Category 6 that you bought did not buy.

As for ITA/EIA568 or compliance with other national or local standards - even if these define this DOG6 may have conductors made out of paper - irrelevant. If a product is compliant with listed standards, it has to be compliant with each one of them. Including IEC 110801.

Haha I am not an expert
Neither am I.
What I know is that if a standard specifies the material this is supposed to be made of then you cannot substitute the material with something else and call it compliant with the same standard. One could of course create a generic standard that leaves the decision about the conductor composition to the manufacturer, as long as it meets all requirements (attenuation, crosstalk, loop resistance,etc). But this is not the case with IEC 61156 where the material is specified. Not gold, not silver, not aluminium. Copper.
 
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Offline JonnyV

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Re: Where on the official standards it says CAT cables must be pure copper?
« Reply #9 on: January 23, 2022, 05:40:53 am »
a store I bought a cable from is selling a CAT6 cable, and at the bottom of the product page it says: Approved for the following standards: CAT6 , ISO11801 , ITA/EIA568 And then you find out it's a CCA cable and not pure copper.
Well, shit happens. I think you are not the only one left with this CCA.

Anyway, the IEC 110801 is "Generic cabling for customer premises" and spans from the subject of fibre optics down to telephone lines. But it does not define each and every detail of cable construction. Instead it defines link classes and references various standards, among them the IEC 61156-5 which defines Category 5e cable requirements, and also Category 6 that you bought did not buy.

As for ITA/EIA568 or compliance with other national or local standards - even if these define this DOG6 may have conductors made out of paper - irrelevant. If a product is compliant with listed standards, it has to be compliant with each one of them. Including IEC 110801.

Haha I am not an expert
Neither am I.
What I know is that if a standard specifies the material this is supposed to be made of then you cannot substitute the material with something else and call it compliant with the same standard. One could of course create a generic standard that leaves the decision about the conductor composition to the manufacturer, as long as it meets all requirements (attenuation, crosstalk, loop resistance,etc). But this is not the case with IEC 61156 where the material is specified. Not gold, not silver, not aluminium. Copper.

So according to what you say, the IEC-11801 has a reference somewhere to IEC-61156, which specifies the material as copper? Or I missed something?

Also, from Wikipedia (I know, it's not the standard itself), it says about IEC 110801:
The standard defines several link/channel classes and cabling categories of twisted-pair copper interconnects, which differ in the maximum frequency for which a certain channel performance is required

So it confirms what you say: that somewhere in IEC-11801 there's a link to IEC-61156, so if the store says it complies with IEC-11801, it must be made out of copper? (Because of this link).

Although I couldn't find this link/mention in the previews of IEC-11801
« Last Edit: January 23, 2022, 05:42:35 am by JonnyV »
 
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Offline Alti

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Re: Where on the official standards it says CAT cables must be pure copper?
« Reply #10 on: January 24, 2022, 11:01:10 am »
Although I couldn't find this link/mention in the previews of IEC-11801
Here you have an IEC 11801-1 preview of the 2017 version. Of course is the preview, just the informative part is freely available. And even if you had all the standard, this is of no use in our case because, as stated:

Quote from: 1: Scope
NOTE This document does not contain specific conformance requirements. The cabling design documents supported by ISO/IEC 11801-1 incorporate the requirements of this document as part of their individual conformance requirements.

So you won't find conductor design details here and for specific terms you need to refer to standards that define these specific terms.

BTW, there is an updated 2020 revision of IEC 61156-5 but I cannot find a more descriptive preview. Click on History there to see there were several updates since 2002 version.

Quote from: Abstract
IEC 61156-5:2020 describes the cables intended primarily for horizontal floor wiring as defined in ISO/IEC 11801. It covers cable designs comprising individually screened, common screened and unscreened pairs or quads.
 

Offline Alti

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Re: Where on the official standards it says CAT cables must be pure copper?
« Reply #11 on: January 24, 2022, 02:40:50 pm »
Nice source of previews from ITEH.

Extended preview of most recent IEC 61156-5:2020 (click preview).

Anyway, the Conductor chapter:
Quote from: IEC 61156-5:2020, 5.2.1 Conductor
The conductor shall be a solid annealed copper conductor, in accordance with IEC 61156-1:2007, 5.2.1 and should have a nominal diameter between 0,4 mm and 0,65 mm. A conductor diameter of up to 0,8 mm may be used.

If you want to go deeper into IEC 61156-1:2007, extended preview.

And Conductor chapter from above preview (complete):
Quote from: 61156-1:2007, 5.2.1 Conductor
The conductor shall consist of annealed copper, uniform in quality and free from defects. The properties of the copper shall be in accordance with IEC 60028.
The conductor may be either solid or stranded. The solid conductor shall be circular in
section and may be plain or metal-coated. The solid conductor shall be drawn in one piece.
Joints in the solid conductor are permitted, provided that the breaking strength of a joint is
not less than 85 % of the breaking strength of the unjointed solid conductor.
The stranded conductor shall consist of strands circular in section and assembled without
insulation between them by concentric stranding or bunched.
NOTE A bunched strand is not recommended for insulation displacement connection (IDC) application.
The individual strands of the conductor may be plain or metal-coated.
Joints in individual strands are permitted provided that the tensile strength of a joint is not
less than 85 % of the breaking strength of the unjointed individual strand. Joints in the
complete stranded conductor are not permitted unless allowed and specified in the relevant
detail specification.
The conductor of the work area and equipment cables may consist of one or more elements of
thin copper or copper alloy tape which shall be applied spirally over a fibrous thread. Joints in
the complete element are not permitted.

I leave it up to others to go deeper into IEC 60028 details of what copper conductor means in this context. But I bet my bottom dollar there is no chinesium in it.
 


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