Ethernet Cable RJ45 Categories, Types, Performance & Pinout
Various cables are used for carrying Ethernet: current common types include Cat 5, 5e, Cat 6, 6a, 7 and Cat 8 and the RJ45 connector is widely used
There are many Ethernet cables that can be bought. Often these cables are supplied free with equipment that uses Ethernet connectivity in some way or another.
There are several different varieties and categories of Ethernet cable that can be obtained: speed variations, crossover cables, Cat 5, Cat 5e, Cat6, Cat 6a, Cat 7etc.
Cable Diagram & Pin Out
There are 8 color coded wires. These wires are twisted into 4 pairs of wires, each pair has a common color theme. One wire in the pair being a solid or primarily solid colored wire and the other being a primarily white wire with a colored stripe (Sometimes cheap cable doesn't have any color on the striped cable, the only way to tell is to check which other wire it is twisted around). Examples of the naming schemes used are Orange (alternatively Orange/White) for the solid-colored wire and White/Orange for the striped cable. The twists are extremely important. They are there to counteract noise and interference. It is important to wire according to a standard to get proper performance from the cable. The hardware expects the cable to have certain properties, a cable that does not fall within tolerance will cause errors and or failures. Besides, this maintains all your cables to the standards and makes it easy to find errors and cross-over cables.
The diagram above describes the various color coding and pin outs for the network cabling and the RJ45 modular connector. The T568B/T568B was chosen for the straight through cable and T568B/T568A for the cross-over cable. It is also possible to wire it the opposite way (i.e., straight through is a T568A). Your choice might be determined by the need to match existing wiring, jacks or personal preference, but you should maintain consistency.
The RJ45 end is an 8-position modular connector. There are a couple variations available. The primary variation you need to pay attention to is whether the connector is intended for braided or solid wire. For braided/stranded wires, the connector has contacts that actually pierce the wire. For solid wires, the connector has fingers which pierce the insulation and make contact with the wire by grasping it from both sides. The connector is the weak point in an Ethernet cable, choosing the wrong one will often cause grief later.
Ethernet Protocol Details
The following table lists various Ethernet protocol specifications and the appropriate cable type for the associated Ethernet LAN standard.
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