Computers and Technology

Ultimate Guide to Cat6a Cable Types and Specifications

Cat6a cable

Cat6a ethernet cable offers data transfer rates of 10Gbps over a distance of 100 meters with bandwidth capacities of 750MHz. The cable is available in 3 variants: Cat6a Riser Cable, Bulk Cat6a Plenum, and Cat6a PVC cable. In this article, you will learn about all three variants along with the cable’s specifications. So, let’s begin. 

Deciphering the term “Cat6a.”

The “Cat” in Cat6a stands for the category; “a” means augmented, whereas six means it is the 6 generation cable. 

Diving into specifications

The Cat6a ethernet cable delivers an astonishing speed of 10Gbps over a distance of 100 meters or 328 feet. The cable possesses a bandwidth capacity of 750MH, meaning it can maintain signal strength and avoid attenuation at a far wider length than its predecessor, i-e Cat6 ethernet cable. 

The cable meets the following standards: FCC, CE, CSA, ISO/IES, and is RoHS compliant. The dimensions of Cat6a Riser Cable are 11 × 15 × 15. Since it is a bulk cable, it comes in an easy pull box. The cable provides top-notch protection against alien-crosstalk, near-end crosstalk, and EMI.

Bulk Cat6a Plenum passes Fluke DXT-1800 Versiv Cable Analyzer and complies with ANSI/TIA standards. It is available in 23AWG conductors. The cable is ideal for usage in data centers. 

As far as conductors are concerned, just like Cat6 ethernet cable, it is available in pure copper conductors and copper-clad aluminum conductors. Customers usually prefer the pure copper conductors cables as they surpass CCA cables in every performance aspect. Its eight conductors (either made up from bare copper or CCA) are bundled together in 4 twisted pairs.

This cable can perform exceptionally in extremely harsh conditions in low temperatures as minus 25 degrees Celsius or as high temperatures as 120 degrees Celsius. As far as installation temperature is concerned, it falls within the range of 0 degrees Celsius to 60 degrees Celsius. Its 1000ft box weighs 41lbs. 

Following are the type of Cat6a ethernet cable:

Cat6a Plenum cable 

The Cat6a Plenum Cable is accompanied by CMP-rated jackets where CMP stands for Communication Multipurpose Cable, Plenum. Remember, CMP is the highest rating for the jacket material that TIA/EIA has laid out. Ethernet cables with these ratings are fire-resistant. It means if a blaze erupts, they halt fire progression and emit little smoke and nothing in terms of dangerous gases.

 As the name suggests, these cables are ideal for installation in the plenum spaces of the buildings. Plenum spaces are separate spaces in the buildings designed to facilitate air circulation, such as ventilation, air conditioning, and heating.

The risk of fire eruption in these areas is very high. Therefore you are only authorized to use plenum-rated cables in these areas. This thick coating of plenum cable provides excellent protection against crosstalk and EMI. 

Cat6a Riser Cable

The Cat6a riser cable is accompanied by riser-rated jackets, making them fit for installation in the riser or vertical spaces of the buildings. The jacket of Cat6a riser cable is also made up of fine quality polyvinyl chloride, but it is not as good as that of plenum cable.

The rest of the specifications for the Cat6a riser cable are the same as that of the plenum cable; the only thing that differentiates the two is jacket material. This thick coating of riser cable provides excellent protection against crosstalk and EMI. 

Cat6a PVC Cable

The PVC ratings for the jacket material are the lowest rating laid out by TIA/EIA. The cables with this rating are suitable for installation in outdoor spaces. The Cat6a PVC cable has the same data transfer rates and bandwidth capacities as the Cat6a plenum cable and Cat6a riser cable.

The only thing that differentiates it from the other two variants is the jacket ratings. However, the Cat6a PVC cable also provides excellent protection against crosstalk and reduces attenuation to the minimum level.

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