I have a cable with 3 pairs, and no writing, how can I tell what kind of cable it is?

Posted on 2006-05-26
Last Modified: 2013-11-09
I have a cable with 3 pairs of wires (Orange, Green and Brown I think), and no writing, how can I tell what kind of cable it is? It's pretty thin, between the thickness of my telephone cable and the ethernet cables that came with my router.
Question by:davidgareau
    LVL 7

    Accepted Solution


    Author Comment

    How does this cable compare to Cat 5 and Cat 5e cable?
    Can I use this to connect (hard-wire) from my Wireless-G Router (Which has 4 ports for other computers in the back) in one room to a switch or access point in another room 130-150 feet away, because the wireless connection is not very stable as there are many walls in the way.
    LVL 2

    Assisted Solution

    Use a gigabit cable for your network connection.  I don't think that this cable would help you there.
    LVL 32

    Assisted Solution

    CAT3 cable is good for voice, actually quite good for that.  It's also suitable for ethernet @ 10 M b/s (i.e. 10Base-T).  It is NOT suitable for anything faster.  Use CAT5 or better.  If you are installing NEW cable, install CAT5e or CAT6.
    LVL 7

    Assisted Solution

    Ethernet uses only pair 3 (green, on pins 1 and 2), and pair 2 (orange, on pins 3 and 6).

    CAT 5 Cable Specifications:

    Frequency       Max. Attenuation per 1000 ft/ 304 m       Resistance per 1000 ft/ 304 m       Capacitance       Impedance

    4 MHz       13 dB       28,6 ohms       14 pF/ft       100 ohms
    10 MHz       20 dB       28,6 ohms       14 pF/ft       100 ohms
    20 MHz       28 dB       28,6 ohms       14 pF/ft       100 ohms
    100 MHz 67 dB       28,6 ohms       14 pF/ft       100 ohms

    Read the complete and detailed Description of Cat 5 / Cat 5e / Cat 3   Cables

    In General Etherbet application only two pairs are used. Though there are four Pairs available in Cat 5 cable.
    Remaining two pairs are reserved for Cisco voip phones etc and not used.

    But the bandwidth Cat 5 can support is heigher and less attenuation is there.

    Finally I can say :

    Cat 3 = 10   Mbps  upto 100 Mtrs.  and are suitable for Telephone and voice application.

    Cat 5 = 100 Mbps upto  100 Mtrs.  and are suitable for LAN

    Cat 6 = 1000 Mbps upto 100 Mtrs. and are suitable for High Speed Data Transfer upto 1000 Mega Bits / Second  and called Gigabit and is required for modern gigabit ethernet cards.

    Author Comment

    Thanks, oh well, I guess, the free cable I got from my brother (Cat3) isn't gonna do...
    Ya get what ya pay for...

    LVL 32

    Expert Comment

    Isn't gonna to for WHAT?  What's your intended application?  CAT3 is good for analog/voice telephone and 10MB/s ethernet.

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