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Cat 5 Cable to Cat 6


intelspeed
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The number indicates electrical qualities of the wire inside the cable.

It's impossible to 'upgrade' a CAT5 to a CAT6. You can, however, in most places just use CAT5 (or the more common CAT5E) in place of CAT6 so long as the cable lengths aren't too excessive.

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I believe the only difference between cat5 (or cat5e) and cat6 is the gauge of the wire in side the cable. Cat6 is one gauge smaller then cat5.

It is possible that things have changed over the years but back in 99 I took a "certification" class from Panduit. They were just starting to push Cat 6 to their customers so we got a little hands on with the new products and the wire. That being said, I'm not sure if the gauge of the wire was different but the distinct difference was the addition of a plastic core.

I hope that I can describe this correctly. The core served as a separator for the four pairs, think of a + that extends through the entire cable. It also twisted as it went down the length of the cable. That way you had the twist of each pair plus the twist of the core itself.

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The RJ45 connectors on cat 6 are different, the wires are seperated slightly different. Depending on what type of Cat 6 you buy it could have a flat plastic piece seperating the two pairs or it might not. The exterior shielding is thicker too. You can't really "upgrade" a Cat 5 to Cat 6, however you could use a Cat 5e in place of a Cat 6 without too many problems. Since Cat 5e is generally able to support up to 250MHz without to much attenuation to cause problems.

Why do you want to upgrade one anyway?

The cost between 5e and 6 are not the big.

Wow, three post in 5 minutes, lol.

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If there not to far apart physically you could just use a firewire cable like me.

I was thinking about using that as a cluster interconnect. The thing is that I don't think it works well when you want to connect up multiple machines which is kinda the whole point of the cluster.

Would be nice if it were possible though. FireWire offers some very decent speeds, and keeping the full network capability around for servicing the actual client has definite advantages.

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If there not to far apart physically you could just use a firewire cable like me.

I was thinking about using that as a cluster interconnect. The thing is that I don't think it works well when you want to connect up multiple machines which is kinda the whole point of the cluster.

Would be nice if it were possible though. FireWire offers some very decent speeds, and keeping the full network capability around for servicing the actual client has definite advantages.

I've only gotten firewire networking to work under XP, vista seems to lack that feature or maybe that was just the betas. And even then I only used it to copy large amounts of data across or output a video I was rendering to a mapped network drive. Also, it seems to kill your internet connection randomly when you use it.

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Yeah, its pretty cool, although you would have to do something funky with a old PC stuffed full of firewire cards for the full effect. In windows XP its just a case of using ICS on a machine with IEEE 1394 connections and a WAN connection. No idea about *nix but I know you can do similar with Mac hardware and a beret. Just need to tell the traffic where to go and it will work, eventually. In a fashion. (/me thinks back to the ad-hoc networks he's built in the past and shudders).

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  • 2 weeks later...
Hi, is it possible to make a cat 5 network cable into a cat 6?

Its prob a bit of a n00b question but any help would be appreciated.

Thanks :)

No. The main difference is the amount of impurities in the copper, there are other differences but it's related to shielding and some other crap, that is not really that important.

There is also CAT6a and CAT7 if you want something that can handle more data, but generally speaking if you need something that can handle more data then CAT5e you should be looking at fibre.

If you need backwards compatibility and high speeds then CAT6a is not expensive.

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