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A short introduction to Category 8 Ethernet Patch Cables

Here at CableWholesale, our aim is to provide you with the newest industry advancements and standards so that you can stay up to date with the latest technology. Today we will focus on the new and improved Ethernet network cabling standard, Category 8. Category 8 is similar to previous standards Cat5e, Cat6, and Cat6a in that they use the same RJ45 connector and are fully backward compatible. The internal features of Cat8 and performance attributes are what set this new cable apart from the others.

Category 8 supports bandwidth up to 2000 MHz and internet speeds up to 40 Gbps at distances up to 30 meters. If you need a longer run, it can still achieve data speeds of 10Gbps up to 100 meters. Another unique characteristic within Category 8 cables is that there is no unshielded version of these cables. They are all shielded. The shielding within the cable helps create a high-frequency rating, which in return provides better performance speed.

We know everyone wants to wire their home with the fastest and best ethernet cable available. This newest Category 8 fits that bill, but its true intended use is in server racks and data centers. They will still work, but are not really intended for the home or office use. As technology advances, the demand for increased data speeds will continue to grow and manufacturers will continue to develop solutions that can support those higher speeds.

Some of you may be wondering how we went from Cat6a to Cat8 and completely skipped over Cat7. As far as TIA (Telecommunications Industry Association) standards go, approved ethernet specifications are Cat5e, Cat6, Cat6a, and Cat8. You may find cables on the market that have names like Cat6e, Cat6x, Cat7, and others. Please note that these are not approved standards for Ethernet cable by the TIA. If you see cabling for sale labeled as Category 7, it is likely based on The European ISO standard of Class F. This standard is not recognized by the TIA/EIA, nor do any manufacturers support it on their Ethernet equipment. If you buy ethernet cable that is not an approved standard of EIA/TIA, it cannot be guaranteed exactly what you are buying.

Check out our Ethernet cable comparison chart below to see how Cat8 stacks up against its predecessors:

Ethernet Cable Comparison Chart

UPS – The Basics of Uninterruptible Power Supplies

Now that Zach has explained UPS basics and given you a walkthrough on models we carry, we thought you might be interested in more details on disruptions, types of UPS, and how to select the correct size for your application.

 

Common Electrical disruptions a UPS is designed to mitigate.

Surge: An intense but brief spike in electricity. Typically caused by lightning strikes or anomalies in the power grid when power is restored after a blackout. Surges can damage or destroy electronics

Blackout: A power outage that could last anywhere from seconds to days. Blackouts are most commonly caused by severe weather, utility power shortages, and power grid failures.

Brownout: Drops in voltage for an extended period of time whether it be intentional or unintentional. Power companies may lower voltage to avoid a total blackout condition.

Voltage Sags: A sag is another type of under voltage, but is sudden and brief in time.

Over Voltage: A higher than normal amount of incoming voltage. It lasts longer than a surge, but the increase in voltage is not high enough to be considered a surge or spike.

Line Noise: Can disrupt or degrade the performance of a circuit by injecting abnormalities into a system. Line noise is often referred to as frequency noise.

Frequency Variation: Can occur when using generators and power frequency fluctuates more than desired. This is not a common problem when power supplies are stable.

Harmonic Distortion: Is a departure from the ideal electrical signal on a given power source.

 

What kind of UPS devices are out there?

There are three types of UPS devices on the market today: Standby, Line-interactive, and Double Conversion. Each type offers protection for your equipment from electrical anomalies. Based on the type of electric anomalies in your area, you can more confidently decide the correct type of UPS that suits your needs.

Standby UPS offers protection from the following power-related issues: surge in power, blackout, and brownout.

The standby UPS essentially stays in a standby mode unless it is needed. The inverter and battery do not supply any power unless the main source of power goes out. The main source of power comes from a utility or power line. The system has a transfer switch that automatically selects the backup power provided by the battery once the main source of power goes out.

Line-interactive UPS offers protection from the following power-related issues: surge, brownout, blackout, voltage sags, and over voltage.

This type of UPS uses automatic voltage regulation (AVR) to correct abnormal voltages without switching to battery. Regulating voltage by switching to battery drains your backup power and can cause batteries to wear prematurely. The UPS detects when the voltage crosses a preset low or high threshold and uses transformers to boost or lower the voltage by a set amount to return it to the acceptable range. They also provide Radio Frequency Interference (RFI) and Electromagnetic Interference (EMI) filtering.

Double Conversion UPS provides protection from all the power-related issues we first described: surge, brownout, blackout, voltage sags, over voltage, line noise, frequency variation, and harmonic distortion.

This type of system works by converting power from AC to DC power and then back to AC. The primary power path is the inverter versus the AC mains. Failure of the input AC does not cause activation of the transfer switch, because the input AC is the back-up source. It provides the highest level of protection because it isolates your equipment from raw utility power.

 

UPS type selection chart - large.
UPS type selection chart - small.

 

How big a UPS do you need?

When selecting the correct size of UPS, VA or volt-amps is the measurement that must be considered. Fortunately, the calculations are rather straight forward. First, one decides everything that will be plugged into the UPS for power backup. Once you have decided what is being plugged in, you then have to read some power labels and do a little simple math. You will need to know the maximum voltage (V) and amperage (A) for each device.

Our webmaster supplies a quick example:

Computer tower:115 volts x  10 amps = 1150VA
21.5 in. monitor: 115 volts x 1.5 amps = 172.5VA
21.5 in. monitor: 115 volts x 1.5 amps = 172.5VA

1495

This adds up to a total of 1495 volt-amps. If we were to provide the standard suggested cushion of 20%, our total would bump to 1794VA. We would be looking for 2000VA or higher.

 

But how long will it last?

In order to figure this out, we are going to need to collect some info and do some math. We will need to know the draw of the attached devices in watts and the UPS battery’s amp hour rating. The formula for a battery’s runtime is ( volts x amp hours ) / watts. This formula does not account for inverter loss. The industry standard formula does so roughly by reducing the standard 12 volts to 10. Below is the formula we will use for this exercise:

( ( 10 x AH ) / watts ) * 60 = minutes of run time

For this example we have determined that the Vesta Pro 2000 UPS is our best fit. The manual informs us that it contains two 9AH batteries which gives us 18AH. We know that our max draw by the computer is 700 watts, and for this example we’ll keep it simple and work with that number. We also know, by a little research, that each monitor draws 30 watts.

( ( 10 x 18 ) / 760 ) * 60 = 14 minutes

14

In reality it is unlikely that the computer is drawing a full load very often, but this gives us the worst case for our scenario.

Hopefully this has been helpful to you. And a small apology from the webmaster to his Theoretical Chem professor from uni for being fast and loose with the units. 😉

 

Products related to post

Vesta Pro 2000 UPS
Vesta Pro 1000 UPS
Vesta Pro 600 UPS

XP 600 Surge Strip UPS
XP 400 Surge Strip UPS
1U Rackmount UPS 1000VA/600W

Identifying your power cord

A commonly asked question of our tech support team is for help figuring out the power cable needed for a specific application. We are often met with confusion by the customer when we ask what type of connection they are looking for. NEMA 5-15P, C13, C7, and other terms are not widely known. We’ve put together some brief descriptions and pictures of power cables we carry at CableWholesale. We hope this will be a useful sheet to help people identify what kind of power cable they need:

Common Power Cords (NEMA 120V 15A)

  • NEMA 1-15P: Two-prong plug.
    NEMA 1-15P: Two-prong plug.

    • The Non-polarized version has two equal straight blades.
    • The Polarized version features 2 blades with one being wider.
  • NEMA 1-15R: Two-prong receptacle.
    NEMA 1-15R: Two-prong receptacle.

    • ‘receptacle’ connectors would have holes that would accept a plug with prongs to be inserted.
  • NEMA 5-15P: Three-prong plug.
    NEMA 5-15P: Three-prong plug.

    • Features 2 straight blades with a third round or U-shaped ground pin. The ground pin is longer than the two blades which ensures the device is grounded before the power is connected.
  • NEMA 5-15R: Three-prong receptacle.
    NEMA 5-15R: Three-prong receptacle.

    • This will be what you would typically see in your home (USA & Canada) as a power outlet or on the female end of a power extension cord. You would also see this as the receptacles on a surge strip.

Laptop

  • C7: Figure Eight.
    C7: Figure Eight.

    • Non-Polarized connector featuring a ‘figure 8’ shape with two holes.
    • Although we list as a notebook power cord, the C7 connection is used in many devices.
  • C7PW: Polarized connector.
    C7PW: Polarized connector.

    • Has basically the same shape as C7, but instead of rounded ‘figure 8’ style, one of the sides is flat, allowing the connector to only be inserted one way.
  • C5: Three-pin connector.
    C5: Three-pin connector.

    • Typically connects a laptop power brick to a wall outlet.
    • Polarized connector. The shape of the connector prevents shocks. Sometimes called a ‘Mickey Mouse’ cable due to the resemblance to a certain cartoon character’s silhouette. Also called “cloverleaf.”

Computer/Monitor

Server/Appliance

  • C19: Three-slot connector.
    C19: Three-slot connector.

    • Used in Enterprise-class servers and data center rack-mounted PDUs.
    • Rectangular with four rounded corners, and three staggered blades in the same orientation (horizontal).

Frequently Asked Questions About Ethernet Cables

If you don’t have too much experience with technology, all the various types of cables could lead to some major frustrations. Ethernet cables, for example, can seem simple to an engineer, but to the average person, they might be quite complicated to understand. Hopefully, these frequently asked questions can help you better understand Ethernet cables and how they work.

Q. What is the general purpose of Ethernet cables?
A. Ethernet cables connect technological devices together through a local area network. They are most commonly found attached to computers, routers, televisions, game consoles, and switches.

Q. What are the most popular types of Ethernet cables?
A. There are two industry standard cables that are widely used: Category 5e (Cat5e) and Category 6 (Cat6).

Q. What do Ethernet cables consist of?
A. Every type of Ethernet cable has an outer jacket containing four twisted pairs of wires. The twisting of the cable prevents any interference that would otherwise occur within the pairing.

Q. What are the benefits of using Cat6 Ethernet cables?
A. Cat6 Ethernet cable is backward compatible with other cables and uses the standardized twisted pair for connection. Although Cat5 and Cat5e are quality cables, Cat6 cables use more stringent specifications for crosstalk and system noise. These cables can also specify performance of up to 250 megahertz (MHz).

Q. How many times can the plugs be used?
A. The RJ45 plugs on the ends of Ethernet cables can be used between 1,000 and 2,000 insertions.

Q. What is the maximum length of a Cat6 cable?
A. The maximum allowed length for Cat6 runs is 328 feet. This length consists of 295 feet of solid cabling between the wall jack and the patch panel, and 16 additional feet of stranded patch cable between the two jacks and their attached devices.

This has been a brief explanation of the various types and aspects of Ethernet cables. If you want to learn more about Cat6 Ethernet cables, HDMI cables, or any additional information about connections, contact CableWholesale today!

How To Protect Your Data From Power Surges And Fires

The information you store on your tech devices can be put at risk by a number of common hazards. Fires and power surges can unexpectedly wipe out your data if you don’t have any backup files. Fortunately, there are precautions you can take to avoid these potential incidents.
Protecting your data from disaster

Power surges are known to happen when lightning strikes, but most often they occur when the electricity inside of the house is interrupted and then abruptly continued again.

Power surges are dangerous for your data because even so much as a fluctuation in 10 volts can cause functional problems in your tech devices. So you can imagine the damage when a power surge of an average 500 volts rips through your set up.

A surge protector keeps your technology safe from these electric monsters by diverting the excess voltage away from your devices. A surge protector may be a little bit on the expensive side, but ultimately it’s cheaper than the $10,000 that may result in insurance claims. Therefore, consider purchasing a power strip surge protector to keep your information and your devices safe.

Fire is another unfortunate and expensive way to lose your important information and data. There are up to 101 million American iPhone users, which means there are 101 million phone chargers out there in the United States. Among the most common causes of fires are frayed cords from these phone chargers as well as other cables such as lightning cables and HDMI cables. These frayed wires can cause sparks.

These sparks may result in small or large fires depending on their location and what’s around to fuel the flames. Not only does this put the lives of your loved ones at risk, but it also risks your data. Throw away old cords and replace them with new models to keep yourself and your family safe.

Finally, the best way you can protect your data and information is by keeping your files on a backup device. Having a backup of your information on a USB or on a hard drive will guarantee the safety of your information even in the event of a disaster.

However, be sure to keep not just one, but multiple backups in various places. This will keep your original files as well as your first backup files from both being destroyed in a fire.

What You Need To Know About HDMI Cables: The Basics

High-speed HDMI cables can come in a variety of lengths, there’s even a 100 ft HDMI cable out there, and a variety of other options to choose from. They have numerous benefits and the ability to get video resolutions from 480i (standard) all the way to 4k.

There are even HDMI to DVI cables for your computer and other devices, giving you the ability to use High-speed HDMI cables on your monitors and dramatically increase your home or office visual experience.

But how do you find the right cable?

Buying the right highspeed HDMI cable isn’t overly complicated or difficult. If it’s from a reputable vendor and the right length for your needs, then it should work just fine. You don’t need to spend a fortune on the cables either, which is why purchasing them from quality suppliers is always a good idea.

HDMI is an audio-video cable that can send the best image quality and the best sound quality over a single cable. Typically, there are four different types of HDMI cables used today. There is the standard, the standard with ethernet, high-speed, and high-speed with ethernet.

Standard cables are good for 720p and 1080i signals and devices, with the ability to handle 1080p in some cases, though not always. For 3D devices, you want an HDMI high-speed with Ethernet cable, as you’ll get the best performance. The HDMI cables with ethernet capabilities allow for data transmissions, and they’re often a good choice for offices and other professional settings.

Another great benefit of these cables? You don’t have to worry about different numbered versions of HDMI. To be honest we are not even permitted to mention the version numbers! 3D video, for instance, requires HDMI High-speed with Ethernet, and that might cause an issue with a receiver if you’re daisy-chaining between the 3D capable player and a 3D HDTV. But it won’t be an issue with the cables that you use to do it. It’ll be an issue with the hardware itself.

Brand names are, mostly, unimportant as well, though you should always pick a manufacturer that you can trust. A generic HDMI can be just as good as a more recognized brand, which is a bit unusual in the technology world.

If you have questions involving HDMI cables and which one is best for your needs, contact us via the three methods in the blue bar at the top of the page. We’ve got a large amount in stock and can help you pick the right one.

How To Spot A Counterfeit Apple Lightning Cable

Apple iPhones are one of the most popular phones in the world, and one of the oldest brands. Apple has released nine generations of the iPhone so far and stands as the second biggest smartphone vendor in the world in terms of shipment as of 2015.

But you have to be careful with those phones, more specifically their cables.

Lightning cables are the charging cords specific to Apple phones and products. They’re not compatible with most other devices and don’t allow many Apple products to use the more common android-styled charger and cords. Apple has discouraged anyone from using cell phone cables, not of Apple make, or non-Apple products in general for their cell phone cable accessories.

Thankfully they’re all USB cables or based on a similar design. You can plug them into anything USB based and charge them, Apple or not.

But, despite this exclusivity, there are counterfeit options available.

Counterfeit Lightning cables might seem like a good idea, they’re cheaper than purchasing from Apple, but they have issues. They sometimes stop working after a time period, as they’re not directly compatible. Your phone or device might reject them outright. Or it may even cause damage to the device’s battery.

This renders them useless, and a risk, and means you’re going to have to buy an Apple brand cable anyway, which means you spent more in the long run.

But how do you tell if you have a counterfeit cable? Here are some tips in figuring out if what you have is truly Apple made.

There are many ways of locating if the product is Apple made, the biggest being if it has the “Made for iPhone” sticker on it somewhere, or similar stickers for other devices. Keep in mind, however, that some companies will use this label despite it not being true, in which case you need to look at the cable itself.

You should look carefully at it to identify whether the cable is OEM, from Apple itself, or counterfeit. OEM cables are always high quality and made of premium materials, as have the guarantee of being MFi certified Lightning cables. Third-party knock-offs or counterfeit cables are going to have a poor build quality, and have signs of poor craftsmanship.

Apple itself has stated that some of the things to look for are:

  1. Make sure the Lightning connector is a one-piece design.
  2. Make sure the Lightning connector has a smooth finish.
  3. Make sure the contacts on the Lightning connector are rounded and smooth.
  4. Check for consistency in the white plastic boot’s width.
  5. Make sure the faceplate insert is gray or metallic.

These characteristics are key to ensuring you have the right cable for your phone or device. There are plenty of guides and images online of what a proper lightning cable should look like. Don’t take the risk, avoid cheap knock-offs and stick with Apple approved products like those you find here at CableWholesale.

Back to Basics: What Are Ethernet Cables? How do They Work?

You’ve likely heard the term Ethernet before, but have you ever stopped to think about how Ethernet cables actually work and why they’re still so widely used? If you haven’t, there’s no need to worry. This short guide will help you understand what Ethernet cables are and some of their most important applications. Keep reading to learn more!

What is an Ethernet cable?
Ethernet cables come in a few different categories, but they all serve the same purpose. They are one of the most popular network cables and typically serve as a stable connection to a building’s Internet service. You’ve almost certainly used these colorful cables before to connect a computer to the Internet. In an age where WiFi has been ingrained so fully into our lives, it’s hard to imagine why these network Ethernet cables would be necessary, but the stable connection they provide often surpasses the capabilities of WiFi.

What does an Ethernet cable look like?
Ethernet cables come in many sizes. These cables could easily run from a second story bedroom to a basement family room if necessary. An Ethernet cable may look similar to a phone cable, but the ends are typically larger and the cables themselves hold more material within.

Are there different types of Ethernet cables?
Yes! Cat5e network cables and Cat6 Ethernet cables are frequently used because they offer efficient, reliable bandwidth to support any normal household Internet connection. In addition, Ethernet cables are often categorized as either solid or stranded. Solid cables are used for infrastructures such as home runs between the wall socket and a panel in a media closet while stranded cables patch the device to our wall socket. Stranded are more flexible, offering a tighter bend radius which can be useful around the desk or in very short situations such as connecting ports from a punch down panel to a switch. If you’re looking for a basic and reliable cable, Cat6 and Cat5e network cables are a great starting point.

Wireless technologies like WiFi and Bluetooth have moved in where Ethernet once stood alone, but that certainly doesn’t mean we’ve reached the end of the Ethernet age. This connection is still important for desktop computers and even smart devices such as televisions or other home appliances that utilize the Internet. Whatever the application, now you have a better knowledge of Ethernet cables to move forward with.

Easy Ways to Organize the Mess of Cables Behind Your Computer

It’s no secret that there’s a mess of cables behind your television and your computer station at home. Between your power strip surge protector, the USB cables, and four different types of HDMI cables, it’s hard to know where one cable ends and the others begin! Not to mention it can make a room feel sloppy and disorganized.

Are you ready to learn how to tame that mess of bulk Cat6 cables without wasting an entire weekend? Here are a few things you can do.

Save Those Bread Tags
The plastic tags found on bread bags are so much more than a simple means of keeping your bread from going stale. If you need to keep track of your cables, look no further than these little gadgets! Simply take a marker and use them as labels. The small holes in the plastic tags make for easy placement right on your cables so you always know which plug not to pull.

Got Paper Towels?
If your cables are already pretty organized and you’re just looking for some storage, step back into the kitchen. You know those old paper towel rolls you’ve been throwing away? Turns out you can use them to store bulk Cat6 cables and any number of other cables lurking about in odd drawers here and there. All you need to do is coil your cable and thread it through a paper towel holder. Better yet, you can use that same market from earlier and label your rolls to keep track of each cable as it’s stored.

When in Doubt, use products designed for the task
If you’re not the crafty type or keeping old cardboard tubes just isn’t your thing, there are plenty of products designed to make managing and organizing your cables simple. Spiral cable wraps are great under the desk or behind the entertainment center. They are able to contain cables and can be cut to the necessary length. Depending on the area you are organizing you may find hook and loop straps or nylon clamps useful for securing the spiral wrapped cables. And, for those runs in open space, you might give a thought to cable raceways.

Are Power Lightning Cables All They’re Cracked Up to Be?

When Apple announced its new power lightning cables and charging ports way back in 2012, it seemed like the whole world was in an uproar. Of course, some people still swear by micro USB cables, but the truth is that Apple has won many people over with its innovative technology.

But why do people love the power lightning cables so much? Here’s a quick look at a few things that make these cables go above and beyond your standard USB 3.0 data cables.

Reversible
One of the biggest innovations of the lightning port continues to be its reversible cable. Like it or not, micro USB just can’t stand up to something like that. Not only does it make for a more user-friendly experience, it creates a lot less wear and tear on both cables and on charging ports. Not to mention that if you put it in the wrong way, nothing is going to get stuck or damaged in the process.

Bi-Directional Transfers
Micro USB 2.0 is unidirectional it can’t charge and transfer files at the same time. This makes it an entirely one-directional cable. While that’s not the worst thing in the world, it certainly doesn’t offer the same convenience that a lightning cable does. It not only works to power your phone, it can power other devices as well without the need for a bulky adapter.

More Power
Despite what you may think, lightning cables are literally more powerful than their micro USB counterparts. While a typical micro USB 2.0 cable is limited to around nine watts of power, a power lightning cable can provide 12 or more watts. This means not only will a phone charge faster using a lightning cable, larger devices such as tablets will also have a reliable source of power when necessary.

Whether you’re a fan of the micro USB standard or not, there’s no denying that lightning cables have some serious advantages over their predecessors. There are more than 101 million iPhone users in the U.S. alone, so it’s certainly safe to say that the lightning cable is holding its own against competitors like the micro USB cable.