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What is riser cable?

On a hunt for a riser cable but don’t which category is the best? Then, stop worrying anymore as we have got you covered. In this article, you are going to learn all about the riser cable. So, let’s begin!

It All Lies In The Jacket Rating

If you don’t have ample knowledge about ethernet cables, then you would have been wondering all these years that if features (like data transfer rates, bandwidth capacity, certifications, standards) of a certain category cable are exactly the same, then what actually sets riser apart from a plenum of a PVC cable? Well, then the answer to this riddle lies in the jacket material. 

All ethernet cables (be it Cat5e, Cat6, or Cat6a) comes with a jacket rating. These jacket ratings set different variants of the same category cables apart. The finest jacket rating for ethernet cable is CMP rating or plenum rating. 

The second-best rating for the ethernet jacket material is riser or CMR ratings. A cable that is accompanied by a riser-rated jacket (for instance Cat6 Riser Cable, Cat5e Riser Cable, or Cat6a Riser Cable) is a type of cable that has been specifically designed to be installed in high-risk riser or vertical areas of the buildings. 

You can identify a riser-rated cable from the “CMR” marking on the outer jacket. These cables have thermal properties; for instance, these cables halt fire progression and emit very low smoke (when they come in contact with a blaze). You can use these cables in outdoor installations too but it can’t be reversed. This jacket is UV resistant, too.  

Besides having these fire retardant properties, the thick riser-jacket also provides top-notch protection against crosstalk and electromagnetic interference. This protection within the riser cable begins from the insulation. 

Insulation is used to protect conductors/wires from coming into direct contact with each other. Insulation also prevents conductors from coming into direct contact with their immediate environment. This way, signal quality remains intact. Then, there is a spline — across separator — that runs in the middle of the cable and separates all four twisted pairs from each other. The purpose of the spline is very similar to that of insulation, i-e, to prevent crosstalk and cancel EMI. 

The riser ethernet cables that do not have any further extra layer of protection (except for insulation, spline, and CMR-rated jacket) are characterized as unshielded twisted pair (UTP) cables. 

On the other hand, the ethernet cables that have an extra layer or multiple layers of protection are called shielded twisted-pair cables (STP). When it comes to the pricing factor, STP cables are way more expensive than their UTP counterparts; however, the former performs better in harsh environments. 

Riser CCA and Riser Bare Copper? 

Conductors are another thing that sets the same category riser cables different from each other. For instance, Riser-Rated Cat6 CCA ethernet cables come will have conductors made from copper-clad aluminum whereas Riser-Rated Cat6 pure copper cable will have conductors made from solid copper (also known as bare copper). When it comes to performance, pure copper conductors are way ahead of CCA conductors. 

Data Transfer Rates & Bandwidth 

Each generation of riser cable differs in data transfer rates and bandwidth capacity too. Cat5e Riser Cable comes with data transfer rates of 100 Mbps up to a distance of 100 meters and 1Gbps up to a distance of 50 meters. 

Cat6a Riser Cable comes with data transfer rates of 10 Gbps up to a distance of 100 meters. With its 750MHz high bandwidth capacity, your signal remains super-intact throughout the course. 

Cat6 Riser Cable comes with data transfer rates of 10 Gbps and 1 Gbps up to a distance of 50 meters and 100 meters, respectively. As this cable also comes with a bandwidth capacity of 550 MHz, it means you enjoy a superior signal strength. 

These are all the main things that you should know about the riser-rated ethernet cables. And if you are on a hunt to buy the best riser-rated ethernet cable, then look no further as we have got your back. Not only do our ethernet cables exceed all industry standards, but they also come at market competitive prices. The cherry on the top? We offer free shipping across the USA on orders worth $100 or more. 


Author : Frank Tyger

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