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does cat5, cat5e and cat6 use all 4 pair for transmit and recieve?

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February 13, 2014 3:25:33 PM

does cat5, cat5e and cat6 use all 4 pair for transmit and recieve? For example, orange & green for cat5 - is it the same for cat5e and 6? Thanks

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February 13, 2014 3:37:03 PM

It's not the cabling that uses the wires, it's the networking standard being used, such as 10BaseT, 100BaseT, gigabit Ethernet, etc. The physical networking going on determines how many pairs of wires are used, the cabling just supplies the wiring along with other characteristics.

Here's some info from this page:

Gigabit and Gigabit+ LAN Notes: While 100M LANs allowed a 2-pair (4 conductor) wiring version (100base-TX) gigabit LANs require 4-pairs (all 8 conductors) which is functionally similar to 100base-T4 wiring. Even if gigabit LANs are still in the future - use 100base-T4/1000base-T (4-pair) wiring. If you still have 100base-TX (or even 10base-T) wiring in a gigabit LAN it will still function but auto-negotiation will limit speeds on those segments to 100Mbit/s.

http://www.zytrax.com/tech/layer_1/cables/tech_lan.htm

Here's another page for you, that details which wires the different standards use:

http://pinouts.ru/NetworkCables/ethernet_10_100_1000_pi...

So, to answer your question, 100 Mbps uses four wires, while gigabit networking uses all 8 wires. So it depends on what network you are running.
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February 14, 2014 6:54:06 AM

mbreslin1954 said:
It's not the cabling that uses the wires, it's the networking standard being used, such as 10BaseT, 100BaseT, gigabit Ethernet, etc. The physical networking going on determines how many pairs of wires are used, the cabling just supplies the wiring along with other characteristics.

Here's some info from this page:

Gigabit and Gigabit+ LAN Notes: While 100M LANs allowed a 2-pair (4 conductor) wiring version (100base-TX) gigabit LANs require 4-pairs (all 8 conductors) which is functionally similar to 100base-T4 wiring. Even if gigabit LANs are still in the future - use 100base-T4/1000base-T (4-pair) wiring. If you still have 100base-TX (or even 10base-T) wiring in a gigabit LAN it will still function but auto-negotiation will limit speeds on those segments to 100Mbit/s.

http://www.zytrax.com/tech/layer_1/cables/tech_lan.htm

Here's another page for you, that details which wires the different standards use:

http://pinouts.ru/NetworkCables/ethernet_10_100_1000_pi...

So, to answer your question, 100 Mbps uses four wires, while gigabit networking uses all 8 wires. So it depends on what network you are running.


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February 14, 2014 7:10:19 AM

Ok, thank you. That's what I was looking for. Of course I always terminate all 4 pair regardless. Do understand that orange is transmit and green is receive, just trying to narrow it down further & that explained it. Have been working with satellite (SMATV) systems the past couple years and refocusing on the networking again. Appreciated!
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February 14, 2014 8:11:14 AM

Spongebrain1 said:
Ok, thank you. That's what I was looking for. Of course I always terminate all 4 pair regardless. Do understand that orange is transmit and green is receive, just trying to narrow it down further & that explained it. Have been working with satellite (SMATV) systems the past couple years and refocusing on the networking again. Appreciated!


Be very careful about assuming any particular pair are transmit and receive. It used to be you needed to make sure you cross connected the transmit and receive pairs now days almost all equipment supports the MDI/MDIX stuff so you never really know which device is transmitting on which pair.

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February 14, 2014 9:18:45 AM

bill001g said:
Spongebrain1 said:
Ok, thank you. That's what I was looking for. Of course I always terminate all 4 pair regardless. Do understand that orange is transmit and green is receive, just trying to narrow it down further & that explained it. Have been working with satellite (SMATV) systems the past couple years and refocusing on the networking again. Appreciated!


Be very careful about assuming any particular pair are transmit and receive. It used to be you needed to make sure you cross connected the transmit and receive pairs now days almost all equipment supports the MDI/MDIX stuff so you never really know which device is transmitting on which pair.



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February 14, 2014 9:19:20 AM

Good to know - thanks!
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