Do Not Look Down Upon Cable Tie

It goes without saying that cable management is an essential step for the whole cabling system. When carrying on cable management, there is a small component—cable tie, which is easily ignored by many people. As a matter of fact, the role of cable tie in cable management is as important as that of Phillips screwdriver in tool bag. The figure below shows the neat and tidy cabling system with the use of cable ties. So do not look down upon cable tie. This article will guide you to know more about cable tie from its applications, advantages as well as factors to consider when choosing cable ties.

cable ties

Application

Because cable tie is low in cost and easy to use, it has been used in a wide range of applications. Followings are five common applications of cable tie.

Application one: Cable tie can be used to bundle cables firmly. You can make minute adjustments on the cable tie to realize bundling cables with different sizes.

Application two: Cable tie can be used to organize cable bundles. In addition, cable tie with an outside flag design is helpful to separate and identify different cables.

Application three: Cable tie can be used as clip for holding cables, tubing and hoses. And cable tie can do this well in limited space.

Application four: Cable tie made of special material with high performance can be used in hash environment where cables have to be exposed to high temperature, UV rays, rain, salt water and so on.

Application five: Cable tie can also be used in household applications, such as placing and fixing tools in the garage.

Advantages

Cable tie obtains several advantages that help to achieve successful cable management.

Avoid injury: Keeping bundled cables affixed to server racks or hangers helps data center managers avoid being hurt like tripping, which would cause body injury.

Protect cables: Cable tie can protect cables from damage caused by excessive tension, keep the shape of cables, and guarantee the high performance of network.

Save money: Cable tie is low in cost which can save money for other investments on the cabling system.

Identify cables easily: With all the cables organized neatly, data center managers can identify and manage cables easily.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Cable Ties

There are various types of cable ties available on the market, such as plastic cable tie, velcro cable tie, nylon cable tie, stainless steel zip tie and so on. And different types are designed to meet different requirements in the application. Therefore, it is necessary to take some factors into consideration when choosing cable ties.

Material: Cable ties are available in different materials with their own specific properties. In addition, the selection of material is directly related to the environment where cables runs. Cable ties made of some materials can be used in outdoor environment while others can be only used indoor.

Design: Cable ties have different designs of construction, such as self-locking, ID marker and so on. They can provide a convenient using way to satisfy different needs.

Length: The length of cable tie length should be longer than the diameter of the cable bundle. It cannot be too long or too short.

Conclusion

Although cable ties look inconspicuous, the importance of these cheap components can not be looked down upon. It can do an amazing job for making messy cables well-organized. Thus, it is greatly favored by data center managers. I hope this article can help you have a better understanding of cable ties and choose the suitable type of cable tie for your application. FS.COM provides the cable ties mentioned above and some other products for cable management, such as cable management panel. If you want to know more details, please visit our site.

UTP Cable vs. STP Cable

It is well known that twisted pair cable consists of a pair of insulated wires twisted together, which is widely used for Ethernet cable. In general, there are several types of twisted pair cables, such as, UTP (unshielded twisted pair) cable, STP (shielded twisted pair) cable, SSTP (screened shielded twisted pair) and FTP (foil twisted pair). Among these cables, UTP and STP are the two most commonly used cables which occupy the majority of the market. Are you familiar with UTP cable and STP cable? What is the difference between UTP and STP cables? Which one is better? If you don’t have enough knowledge of these two kinds of cables, you may feel confused when you plan to buy bulk Ethernet cables. As it is necessary to make a choice between UTP and STP cables for deploying the network, this article is going to introduce these two kinds of twisted pair cables in details, seeking the answer.

What Is UTP Cable?

From its name, it is easy to learn that UTP cable has no shielding. Considering that the shielding feature is mainly designed to reduce Electromagnetic Interference (EMI), does the UTP cable have this function if put into use? In fact, UTP cable reduces the interference directly through the twisted pairs inside the cable. Furthermore, without shielding, UTP cable is thinner, lighter, more flexible and more durable than STP cable, which makes cable installation easier, especially in limited space. In addition, not relying on an outer shield, less money will be spent on the maintenance of UTP cable, which is beneficial to save the investment on installation and maintenance. To better understand the inner structure of UTP cable, here is a figure for you.

UTP Cable

What Is STP Cable?

STP cable has a metal shield around each twisted pair which is composed of copper tape, a layer of conducting polymer or a braid (made of copper or aluminum mostly). The shield can be applied to each pair of the cable or to all pairs together. With the shield, EMI can be greatly reduced, which enables the high performance of data transmission between different devices. Also, the crosstalk can be efficiently prevented by the shield, which exists among the wires inside the cable. However, the shield of STP cable is quite fragile and rigid. If the shield suffers damage, the cabling system is likely to be affected by interference. Therefore, it is necessary to pay much attention to the installation and maintenance of STP cable. You can learn more about the structure of STP cable from the figure below.

STP Cable

Applications

Due to different characteristics, the two kinds of cables are used in different environment.

STP cables are often used in high EMI environment where interference is a risk. For example, airports, hospitals and factories usually have lots of machines that can produce interference, so it would be more beneficial to apply STP cables. And STP cables are also useful when cables are surrounded by fluorescent lights, microwave ovens, powerful motors and other equipment with larger electromagnetic interference.

UTP cables are typically used in offices and homes. If the interference or crosstalk is not the main concern, it is suggested to choose UTP cables which are lower in cost. But if the environment is full of powerful magnetic fields which may have an influence on the performance of network, STP cables are absolutely the optimal choice.

Conclusion

After discussion, we can learn that UTP cable is cheaper, easier to install and more suitable for environment with low EMI; while STP has a stronger ability for anti-interference and needs careful maintenance. If the place you deploy network has high EMI, STP cable is highly recommended; if the EMI is not a risk, you are suggested to choose UTP cable which is lower in cost. I hope this article can help you choose the suitable Ethernet cable. There are different types of Ethernet cables available in FS.COM, such as UTP bulk cat5e cable, STP bulk cat6 cable, UTP cat6a bulk cable, STP cat7 bulk cable and so on. If you want to know more details, please visit our site or contact us.

Three Main Types of Cable Ties

As we all know, proper cable management is a critical step to make the whole cabling system work smoothly. As necessary components to manage the cable and ensure the system work, racks, frames or panels can be frequently found in the data centers. While there is another small but useful tool—cable tie. It is very easy to be forgotten, but actually it plays an important role in cable management. So how much do you know about cable tie? What’s the function of the cable tie? Is it just strip for holding cables? To better understand the cable tie, this article will introduce the basic knowledge of the cable tie and three main types of cable ties.

Overview of Cable Tie

Before we come to three main types of cable ties, let’s have a brief overview of cable tie. Cable tie, also known as zip tie, wire tie, is designed to quickly fix wire bundles and components without slipping. Because it is low in cost and easy to use, cable tie is commonly used for managing wiring applications.

Three Main Types of Cable Ties

There are three main types of cable ties available on the market, which are made of different materials—nylon, stainless steel and velcro.

Nylon Cable Tie

Nylon cable tie is characterized by proper hardness, high temperature resistance, high toughness, high abrasion resistance, light weight, good flexibility, low cost and so on. It is a kind of common cable tie which can even be found in our daily life. For example, it is often used for bundling in home cabling. However, the environment must be paid much attention to when using nylon cable ties. They should be stored in cool dry areas and protected from direct sunlight. In this way, the performance level of nylon cable tie can be improved. Here is a figure of nylon cable ties used for cabling system, from which we can find that nylon cable ties help a lot to make the cables well-organized.

nylon cable ties

Stainless Steel Cable Tie

Stainless steel cable tie, also referred to as heavy duty zip tie, is made of high-quality stainless steel material which is much stronger and can make tensile strength reach 400 pounds or more. This kind of cable tie is characterized by high strength, high temperature resistance and anti-corrosion, which is a good option for applications in harsh environment. The using way of stainless steel cable ties is different from using other types of cable ties. You just need to pass the stainless steel end through its self-locking mechanism which is designed to provide firm locking for the cables. The following figure shows the structure of stainless steel cable tie.

stainless steel cable ties

Velcro Cable Tie

Velcro cable tie, also called hook and loop cable tie, is made from soft hook and loop material. It can adjust tightness and can also be reused for many times—the opening and closing operation can reach 10,000 times. Characterized by reusability, high reliability and aesthetics, velcro cable tie is more and more popular with data center managers. When it comes to using way, velcro cable tie is very easy to use for quickly fixing wire bundles and components. In simple words, when putting the hook side and loop side together, there will be natural sticky force; when pulling them with a force, the two sides will naturally separate. What’s more, velcro cable tie is available in a variety of sizes, styles and colors. Here is figure showing several rolls of velcro cable ties with different colors.

velcro cable ties

Conclusion

As a cost-effective tool for cable management, cable tie is useful to make messy cables well-organized, which can enable higher performance of the whole cabling system. Therefore, it becomes more and more popular in high-density cabling systems. If you want proper cable management and normal cabling system, you are suggested to choose one of the most suitable type of cable tie for your cabling system according to the information of three main cable ties mentioned above. By the way, nylon cable tie, stainless steel zip tie and velcro cable tie, these three main types cable ties mentioned above are available on the market. FS.COM provides different configuration types of cable ties, such as self-Locking Nylon Cable Tie, ID Marker Cable Tie, T Type Velcro Cable Tie, etc. If you want to know more details, please visit our site.

Things You Have to Know About RJ45

We have been used to learning about everything happening around the world without going outdoors. But have you ever noticed the Ethernet cable plugged into your computer? Or to put it specifically, the crystal connector in your computer? That’s what we called RJ45 connector. It is a common component used to connect computers into Ethernet-based local area networks (LANs). This passage is going to focus on this simple connector.

Overview of RJ45 Connector

First, let’s make sense of what RJ45 is. The letter “RJ” represents “registered jack”, which is a standardized physical network interface for connecting telecommunication or data equipment. RJ45 connector features eight pins to which the wire strands of a cable interface electrically, and eight positions, spaced about 1mm apart, into which individual wires are inserted using special cable crimping tools. RJ45 connector, so-called 8P8C (Eight Position, Eight Contact), is the most common twisted-pair connector for Ethernet cables and networks.

RJ45 connector

Color Coding Diagram of RJ45 Connector

If you look at Ethernet cable connected to your computer carefully, you will find that it is color-coded. Color-coded wiring sequences exist as a cabling industry standard. When linking RJ45 connector to a cable, there are two wiring standards—the T568A and T568B, which define how the RJ45 pin-outs to arrange the individual eight wires. Here is a figure of T568A and T568B.

T568A and T568B

With regard to the two standards, there are two different connectivity forms. If both ends of the patch cords are wired on the basis of one standard, it is a straight through connection. If not, it is a crossover connection. Here is an illustration for the color code of RJ45 connectors when they are deployed in different connections.

Straight-Through Connections

No matter with the standard T-568A or T-568B, once the color order on one end is defined, so does the other end, which means the color order is same on both ends. Take T568A straight through connection for example. The color order of one modular plug is green/white, green, orange/white, blue, blue/white, orange, brown/white and brown. The color order of another modular plug must be corresponding with it (shown as the figure below).

T568A straight through connection

So does the standard T568B. Look at the figure below.

T568B straight through connection

Crossover Connections

This connection is different from the straight through one, for the color order is different on both ends. It’s no need to spend time remembering how many color orders there may be in this connection. Because you can get a crossover connection by wiring one end using T-568A standard and the other end using T-568B standard. Just like the figure below. Or remembering the color coding by simply switching the green set of wires in place with the orange set of wires. Put it in simple, switch the green (G) with the orange (O), and switch the green/white with the orange/white.

RJ45 crossover connection

Additional Information About RJ45 Coupler

After reading the above content, you may have a clear understanding on RJ45 connection. In this part, I want to introduce another useful component—RJ45 Coupler to you. Have you ever encountered such situation where your Ethernet cable is too short to contact your computer? At this time, RJ45 coupler can help you. An RJ45 coupler is a device with two female RJ45 jacks that joins two wires with Ethernet plugs together (shown as the figure below). The primary use for an RJ45 coupler is to turn two short Ethernet computer networking cables into one long cable. When processing this, the RJ45 couplers need to be built to carry two cables with the same bandwidth in the network. This can be a convenient way to make a long cable.

RJ45 coupler

Conclusion

As Ethernet systems provide flexible and effective ways to transmit signals. RJ45 connector, as a key part of Ethernet connectivity, are becoming more popular. Therefore, having a good command of knowledge about it is beneficial. FS.COM provides different types of RJ45 connectors and RJ45 Inline couplers, such as RJ45 to RJ45 coupler, Cat5e coupler, Cat6 keystone coupler and so on. If you want to know more details, please contact sales@fs.com.

Cat6 VS. Cat6a

As the data speed increases from Fast Ethernet to Gigabit Ethernet, cables for the network connection are also required to be improved. Cat6 and Cat6a are two kinds of copper cables for Gigabit Ethernet. Do you know which one you should use, Cat6 or Cat6a? Could these two types replace each other? Now this article will tell the difference from five aspects: crosstalk, thickness, transmission distance, cost and durability. First, let’s come to the overview of Cat6 and Cat6a cables.

Overview of Cat6 and Cat6a

Cat6 is a standardized twisted pair cable for Ethernet and it is backward compatible with the Cat3, Cat5 and Cat5e cable standards. In addition, Cat6 provides performance of up to 250 MHz and is suitable for 10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX (Fast Ethernet), 1000BASE-T/1000BASE-TX (Gigabit Ethernet), and 10GBASE-T (10-Gigabit Ethernet). Cat6a is the “Augmented” version of Cat6 and offers better performance. It is defined at frequencies up to 500MHz—twice than that of Cat6, and it is popular among 10G Ethernet applications. Here is a figure of Cat6 and Cat6a cable.

Cat6 vs. Cat6a

Comparison Between Cat6 and Cat6a

The name of Cat6a indicates that it was created to further improve on the performance of Cat6 for Ethernet cables. So what are the differences between them? This part will focus on the comparison between Cat6 and Cat6a cables from from four aspects: crosstalk, thickness, transmission distance and cost.

Crosstalk

We know that Cat6 features more stringent specifications for crosstalk and system noise, while Cat6a cable is stricter when it comes to shielding and protection against alien crosstalk. Crosstalk occurs when the signal from one cable leaks into another. This can distort the signal through the introduction of noise and force the network devices to work at a slower speed. Because of this, Cat6a cables would work better in situations where it is to be bundled with a lot of other cables.

Thickness

Another identifying characteristic of the Cat6a cable is its thickness. Cat6 looks just like the Cat5 and Cat5e cables that preceded it. Cat6 cable manufacturers had to come up with approaches to adjust to the stricter alien crosstalk shielding, thereby making it thicker with others adopting odd shapes. While Cat6a cable is slightly thicker than Cat6 cable.

Transmission Distance

Cat6 cable can reach 100 meters for slower network speeds (up to 1,000 Mbps) and higher network speeds over short distances. But it can support only 55 meters at the speed of 10Gbps and 33 meters in high crosstalk conditions. While Cat6a cables can support the distance over 100 meters at the speed of 10Gbps.

Cost

The cost of Cat6a is higher than that of Cat6. Take Fiberstore’s cables as an example, bulk Cat6 cable 1000ft(305m) is 130.00 US$, while bulk Cat6a cable 1000ft(305m) is 180.00 US$. The more cables you purchase, the bigger the price difference will be. And the price difference is not only caused by the cable. Other matched connection components should also be considered.

Durability

As mentioned above, Cat6a cable is thicker and heavier than Cat6 cable. Cable trays can not hold as many Cat6a cables as Cat6 cables. When laying cables on the trays, you should better not bend cables too much as this can damage the wiring and influence network performance. The minimum radius that a cable can be bent without damaging is called the bend radius. The lower the bend radius, the more you can bend the cable. As Cat6a cable is bulkier than Cat6, Cat6a cable has a larger bend radius than Cat6 cable.

Conclusion

From this article, you can make a clear identification of Cat6 and Cat6a cables. When you plan to purchase this copper cable, you need to consider their differences like crosstalk, thickness, transmission distance, cost and durability, etc. Hope you can choose the suitable cable and build a high performance network.