[Q] My CAT 5 Patch Cables have 24 AWG written on the side of the jacket. What does this refer to?
[A] Communications cabling can be purchased in a variety of configurations and cable sizes. CAT 5 Cable is comprised of 8 individual wires twisted in pairs and protected underneath a PVC sheath.
The measurement of a wire diameter is specified as the "gauge" of the wire. From a measurement standpoint, the lower the number, the larger the wire is going to be. The acronym "AWG" stands for American Wire Gauge.
Inside a CAT 5 Patch Cable, each of the 8 wires is a 24 gauge diameter wire. This is a relatively small wire by comparison to most electrical wiring used in this country. Network Communications rely on very low voltage signals, and for this reason a small diameter wire can be used.
There are other types of cabling on the market that utilize different wire sizes, but the 24 AWG standard will be found in almost all of your data cabling, except for CAT 6 Cable, which will commonly use a 23 gauge wire instead. There is not a great deal of difference between 23 and 24 gauge wire, but there is enough to require that you have the correct RJ45 plugs to accommodate the larger wire. This is required in order for the final assembly to meet performance standards.
From a certification standpoint. EIA/TIA has established that it is acceptable to use wire gauge ranging from 22-24 gauge in diameter as long as ANSI/TIA-568-B.2-1 performance specifications are met.
All CAT 5E Patch and Crossover Cables are contructed of top quality 24 gauge solid core material for maximum signal strength and network performance.
5 Cable Company sells CAT 6, CAT 5E, and CAT 5 Patch and Crossover cables in 9 colors, custom fit to any length up to 328 feet.
RELATED FAQ QUESTION: What is the difference between patch and crossover cable?
Keywords: CAT 5, CAT 5 Cable, CAT 5 Patch cable, CAT 6 Cable, Network COmmunications