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).