Cat5e + Gigabit Connection Rant!

Soldato
Joined
24 Apr 2006
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6,240
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SE England
Does cat5e need to be wrapped in cotton wool for it to sustain gigabit speeds or something?! :confused:

At the weekend I ran some cat5e out my window and down to the basement, messy and not permanent but I have some large files that I need to transfer. The gigabit speed lasted a couple of days before someone closed the window too hard and broke some of the wires in the cat cable.. connection reverted back to 100mbit. Not too surprising that was going to happen.

Today I ran 20m of cat5e yet again out the window which worked fine and my switch indicated a gigabit link. I then noticed that outside the cable was slightly tangled so I gently threw the cable down from from my bedroom window, untangled it and pulled it back up on the first existing wire.

Now guess what? After doing this I can now only get a 100mbit connection through the cable! The switch also takes a good 10 seconds to see any link instead of being instant.

This stuff is ridiculous! I don't think I am being that heavy handed with it.
 
Soldato
Joined
26 Apr 2004
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Milton Keynes
Could simply be your Cat5e 20m cable could barely connect at gigabit as it was/was struggling; as soon as anything affected the cable the sync speed dropped; CAT5e is only rated for 100mb (I think the highest I've ever seen officially rated was a 350mb connection), not gigabit connection after all. Cat6 has better shielding etc, which is one of the reasons it costs more!
 
Caporegime
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16 May 2003
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::1
Cat5e's perfectly capable of GigE. I'd suggest checking the cable (and switch, network cards at both ends et al) before throwing another one out the window.
 
Associate
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14 Apr 2008
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Manchester
We just deployed around 1.8km of Cat5E into an installation along with another 80 or so runs and they'll all do gigabit without problems - certified using a Fluke network analyser.

Either your cable isn't actually rated for Cat5e, it's damaged, or you're doing a shocking job of terminating the ends.
 
Associate
Joined
30 Apr 2009
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688
Either your cable isn't actually rated for Cat5e, it's damaged, or you're doing a shocking job of terminating the ends.

This - all the cable I was running GBe through at the last two places of work was Cat5e - if it's decent quality stuff it should happily run at Gb speeds.
 
Soldato
Joined
7 Sep 2008
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5,510
we use cat5e at work all the time and it definitely gigabit capable.

Look at your switch more closely.
 
Soldato
OP
Joined
24 Apr 2006
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Location
SE England
My switch seems fine it has been connected to my server for 4 days on a short run to my server using cat5e, the switch shows a solid gigabit connection is present and testing that same cable in all 8 ports on the switch shows the same result.

I think I have just been very unlucky with cable and that theme has been continuing tonight because I acquired some used cat6 cable which on inspection looked a little beaten up. You guessed it this is even worse than the last I cannot get any link with this cable at all, not even 100mb. None of which has been terminated by myself, all pre-made but second hand.

I will call it a day :D
 
Associate
Joined
30 Apr 2009
Posts
688
To be honest if you are making very long runs, it's best to treat it like fiber - treat it gently, avoid hard knocks and run everything as carefully as you can.

Internal/boggo cat5 should survive outside for a while really [it's not like it's wrapped in kitchen towel or owt else absorbent] but you have to be careful about slapping it against walls and dropping connectors from a great hieight - it's not heavy core stuff so it is pretty fragile when out of it's element IME.
 
Man of Honour
Joined
13 Oct 2006
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83,162
We have 2x 20-30m runs of cat5e here that manage gigabit fine - despite one of them being rather home made with a splice mid cable where it got damaged and running along mains cables much of the way.
 
Man of Honour
Joined
31 Jan 2004
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16,330
Location
Plymouth
Surprising how common cable problems are...I had a similar issue recently where I was seeing terrible problems after rejigging my network and using new cable...I presumed it was bad wireless bridging but the cause was simply the 3m cable from my PC to switch!
 
Soldato
Joined
7 Mar 2005
Posts
17,481
Is it STP or UTP cable? Shielded twisted pair has extra insulation between the wires and the outer covering of the cable.
 
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