Tech Tip: Cat5e & Cat6 installation

“Category-5 enhanced” cable (or Cat5e) and cat6 are types of “Unshielded Twisted Pair” (or UTP) wire. In other words, there are 4 pairs or twisted wires. The magic of UTP is that the twists have noise immunity.


If you think about it, an antenna on your car or the back of stereo equipment is really just a short piece of wire that picks up radio-frequency (RF) signals. Any wire that we run could potentially be a really big antenna.

Before UTP developed, we used shielded cable to protect the signal on the wire from undesired RF signals. This shield could be an outside shield like we use for access card readers. Shielding is also seen in the case of Coaxial cable, like CableTV and satellite.


So here is the tech-tip:

In order to preserve the proper twisting and the “magic” of UTP, we must follow certain installation guidelines. These may vary from manufacturer, but the cable we use has the following ratings:

Ø       25lb maximum pulling tension – you can’t muscle it is.

Ø       Minimum 1” bend radius – you cant have the cable in a sharp bend when dressed or during the pull.

These tech tips are intended to provide insights to small nuances to help with many different products we offer. It is the small attention to detail that separates an outstanding job from an OK one. Although these apply primarily to technicians, they will help others gain insight to what the technicians do – in small doses