Category 5 cable, commonly referred to as cat 5, is a twisted pair cable for carrying signals. This type of cable is used in structured cabling for computer networks such as Ethernet. The cable is suitable for 10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX (Fast Ethernet), and 1000BASE-T (Gigabit Ethernet). Cat 5 is also used to carry other signals such as telephony and video. Most Category 5 cables are unshielded, relying on the twisted pair design for noise rejection. Some, however, are shielded. Category 5 has been superseded by the Category 5e specification structured cabling for computer networks such as Ethernet, and is also used to carry many other signals such as basic voice services, token ring, and ATM (at up to 155 Mbit/s, over short distances).
The specification for Category 5 cable was defined in ANSI/TIA/EIA-568-A, with clarification in TSB-95. These documents specified performance characteristics and test requirements for frequencies of up to 100 MHz.
Category 5 cable includes twisted pairs in a single cable jacket. This use of balanced lines helps preserve a high signal-to-noise ratio despite interference from both external sources and other pairs (this latter form of interference is called crosstalk). It is most commonly used for 100 Mbit/s networks, such as 100BASE-TX Ethernet, although IEEE 802.3ab defines standards for 1000BASE-T – Gigabit Ethernet over category 5 cable. Each of the four pairs in a Cat 5 cable has a differing precise number of twists per meter based on prime numbers to minimize crosstalk between the pairs. On average there are 6 twists per 5 centimeters. The pairs are made from 24 gauge (AWG) copper wires within the cables. Browse CAT5E Cable at cablesupply.com