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CAT5e FTP extra wire?

Posted on 2008-09-29
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Last Modified: 2013-11-09
Ive jsut cracked open a foil shielded CAT5 cable (FTP) to find an extra wire inside. Does anyone know where this is meant to be connected... or if it is supposed to be connected at all? Many thanks!
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Question by:firefoxchris
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by:Ara-
Ara- earned 150 total points
ID: 22598660
I think you are talking about the ground. It should be in touch with / grounding the shield on the RJ-45 connector.
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by:pseudocyber
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Ground.
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by:firefoxchris
ID: 22598735
Ok, so it should do in with one of the other wires in the connector? If so, could you please tell me which one. I dont seem to be able to find a decent enough diagram! Cheers.
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by:Ara-
Ara- earned 150 total points
ID: 22598781
There are special RJ-45 connectors for FTP / shielded. They have some metal on the outside. This metal is also a bit on the inside. It should be in contact with this metal. In that way it would transfer the ground to the NIC / switch etc.
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by:firefoxchris
ID: 22598814
Ok, cool. However how would you go about putting this into a patch panel?
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by:Ara-
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ID: 22598876
I would guess the patch panel is not shielded / grounded so the ground-wire doesn't really matter then.
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by:pseudocyber
pseudocyber earned 205 total points
ID: 22599182
You can just not worry about it.  If you don't have the right patch panels, then you're losing the benefits of the shielding.  Just twist the ground around the cable, or cut it - either way is the same.  It's not going to hurt anything.
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by:aleghart
aleghart earned 45 total points
ID: 22601492
It would be better to not use the STP/FTP cable at all.  If you are not grounding the foil at both ends, and soldering the ground wire to the metal shield you are creating an antenna for receiving all the stray RF that you are trying to protect against.

Just use UTP.

Ungrounded STP is _not_ the same as plain UTP.

It is UTP with an interfence antenna.
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Darr247 earned 100 total points
ID: 22601867
Shielded cables should be grounded only at one end, to act as a 'drain' for inducted signals (not to mention the possible difference in potential that could occur between separately derived grounds 100m apart).
If you hook up the ground on both ends the shield instead becomes a large antenna... unless it's continuously grounded to the next cable which then has the other end 'lifted' from ground.
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by:pseudocyber
pseudocyber earned 205 total points
ID: 22604491
If you have it in you can:

Connect it per the manufacturer's specifications

- or -

Ignore it.

If you don't have it in and are considering it:

If you're going to buy it, it is more expensive and you have to judge whether or not you need it.  If you get it, plan on connecting it per the manufacturer's specifications.

- or -

Just get UTP (I have seen many installations of Cat5 & 6 - I have never seen STP installed in a business.
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