Question about Cat 7 cable

I'm about to wire up my house, and have decided to run Ethernet cable pretty much everywhere, using it for both data and audio.

Was originally going to use cat 5, but have instead settled on Cat 7 (which in the UK only appears to be available from Canford). It will cost quite a lot more, but it's not often I have all my floorboards up, and I'd like to future-proof as much as I can!

My plan was to run the cat 7 to deep single- and double-gang metal boxes, to which I'd attach Canford connector plates with holes that will take either XLR, BNC, phono or BNC sockets. This way I have flexibility over what to feed to different locations.

One concern is that Cat 7 uses solid core rather than stranded conductors - will this create problems in connecting to the various sockets? I've seen reference to needing to connect using a punchdown block, and I'm not sure how this would work in the setup I'm envisaging.

This is a bit of a leap into the dark for me, representing quite a big investment plus a real headache if I put it all in, replaster my walls and lay the floors, only to find it doesn't work, so I'd be very keen for any thoughts.

Many thanks,


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You'll get other comments, but if you're litteral about "future proofing" you'll pull CAT-something, fiber, and maybe COAX, and plan for an an appropriate number of 802.something APs and put a CATx pull to each of those locations. Like anything else, it comes down to cost.

Never heard of CAT7. What's do for me ?

Stranded is for patch cords. installed UTP wiring is solid.

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Al Dykes

Yes, while there is no North American standard (TIA) for Cat7, there is the ISO Class F, which from a performance standpoint would be Cat7, when TIA gets to it. Manufactures that have Class F compliant product in Europe so some marketing here using Cat7/Class F.

Don't use Cat5, it's not longer a recognized standard. It should be Cat5e or Cat6, depending on how much money you want to spend.

As for using UTP cable for audio, I'm not too sure. I've thought about trying it at some point, but have not made it around to putting something together. I'm a little curious why you're connecting XLR's anyway? Setting pro-audio equipment as well? If so, I'd go with real audio cable instead of the Category cable for audio. That then eliminates the solid/stranded issue when soldering to the XLR/BNC connectors.

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jtodd5 dot 1

Is there even a CAT 7 spec? I've never heard of it.

Normally, you run solid wire to the jacks and use stranded for patch cords.

Reply to
James Knott

cat 7, as a industry-wide standard, does not exist. You have one particular manufacturer's attempt to jump the gun and grab some marketshare. Go with a cat5 or 5e cable, which will be far less expensive and likely perfectly fine for your needs. As for solid wire, that's what you put into the walls. Stranded wire is for patch cords and other wiring that moves about a lot. If you really want to future proof, just install conduit from a central patch point to each location you may want something in the future. Easy enough to pull in whatever cable you need when you need it. No locking yourself into whatever today's standard is. Do be careful about fire stopping and smoke plugs to follow local building code for these conduits.


Reply to
Dale Farmer

I would just add a comment that if the category 7 specification draft goes through changes like category 6 specification did, then whatever supposed Cat 7 cable you're buying now is not going to pass certification as Cat 7 final (ie. you're wasting your time and money).

If you really want to future proof, use 50/125 multimode fiber.

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Category 7 is in ISO/IEC 11801.

Regards Thomas

"Dale Farmer" schrieb im Newsbeitrag news:

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Thomas Beneken

That'd be pushing it too far: there is literally no consumer-grade equipment that uses fiber, let alone 50 micron. Besides, what are you going to do with phones? Anyways, I would not argue with the fact that there will be fiber optics in residential houses in the very near future (some people are already taking advantage of it), but it will be used exclusively for broadband access, i.e. for the outside connections.

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Hi Chris,

As a homeowner I completely understand your concern about future-proofing your installation. There are, however, too many uncertainties today to make an economically sound justification for a CAT7 install, especially in residential environment.

It has been about 8 years now that the first components that later became CAT6 have been introduced to the market, and most people (myself included) are still struggling to wrap their minds around the concept of having two systems - a cheap one (CAT5E) and expensive one (CAT6) - that support exactly the same set of applications. Only CAT6 is a "better balanced" system. It can mean a lot to an RF engineer, but in a casual user it normally generates a question like: "What's In It For Me"? The famous WII-FM.

Anyways, after 8 years of trumpeting about future proofing with CAT6 we now have a system that cannot fully support the only application to date that would NOT work on a cheapy CAT5E: 10Gig Ethernet. It only works for

60 meters or so on a standard CAT6, and everybody's already making CAT6+ that would support 10 Gig on the full 100 meter channel.

So, with that said, it is, obviously your call to decide whether or not to bet your investments on a technology that does not have any installed base (let alone residential), no equipment can take advantage of it, it is terribly expensive because of shielding that's involved and bulky for the same reason. But, hey, it will be the coolest cabling system on the block. For the next 10 years, guaranteed.

Considering size of an average family dwelling, I would suggest that installing a standard CAT6 (which became downgraded in its marketing importance and discounted almost to the level of CAT5E these days) is as future proof as it gets in the residential environment.

Good luck! Post here when your project is complete. I'm pretty sure plenty people would like to learn about your experience here.

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Thank you all for your thoughts.

After much consideration, I've decided to go with Cat 6 - the technical challenges of cat 7 (especially in its termination - RJ55 anyone?) at too much for a keen amateur like myself.

So, Cat 6 for data, phones and (probably balanced) audio, CT125 for RF, and SDV75 for video.

Many thanks to you all


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If you really want to future-proof, you should run flex or conduit, and thus leave yourself the option of putting fiberoptic cable at a later date. That is if you really want the future. But it's likely that the legacy copper will still be around and fully useable for decades to come.

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Watson A.Name - "Watt Sun, th

I strongly suggest that you plan the location point(s) for WiFI APs to cover the entire house and pull CAT5 to those points. You don't have to buy APs until you need them. They will get their power over the ethernet cable (aka POE). These can be closets or attic locations that you would not otherwise think to pull cable to.

A good "g" signal gives you lots of speed and IMO will be useful in the future as more gadgets come out. Right now it lets you put a printer anywhere you have 120VAC.

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