Computer technology, since its invention in the early 20th century, has been steadily moving forward. It evolves, adapts, and, should the need be, shrinks. Before, a computer unit used to need a lot of space, a room’s worth of space. Over the years, we’ve done away with that while still maintaining the functions it does smoothly. Nowadays, we do not require four to six cables to transmit various data types and make our workplace look cluttered. We have a single type of cable that can achieve this while being placed out of sight: riser cable.
Technically, when one needs to put away wires out of view, there are two types of cables they can buy: CMR and CMP. The ones that go inside the walls are called riser cables (CMR), and the ones that go inside the plenum space (that space of a building that facilitates air circulation). Riser cables go in the area between floors that do not have plenum spaces. These cables are called so because they rise up from the floor. Riser cables are essential in places that transfer audio, video, and data signals.
The industry term for riser cables is ‘CMR,’ which stands for communications riser. CMR has a fire redundant rating so that these riser cables can be put into walls. Commonly, the materials used to make these cable jackets are flame-resistant PVC and insulation surrounding the wires made of Polyolefin. Since these materials are heat resistant, they help to prevent the spread of flames in case of a fire and do not hinder performance at high temperatures.
Riser cables are not only used in commercial settings. They can be a staple of households as well. They can be installed in walls and floors/ceilings of a house and can run floor to floor, used to connect computers to switches, routers to computers, and the like.
The construction of the cables is very crucial because one needs them to run for a long time and over a long distance, and most of these cables have a solid conductor. If you need to put these cables in walls and run them over a long distance, then you need them to have solid conductors as they provide a good signal strength.
There are different ways to connect this type of cable. They can connect to RJ45s and keystone jacks. The best connector for your specific situation can be determined by the cable, location, and type of installation.
Riser cables are available in various categories of copper ethernet cables, starting from Cat5e ethernet cable to Cat8. Each category has its own specific capabilities and capacity and is used for certain speeds and applications.
Riser cables don’t just come in different categories but also in different structures. You can get them in shielded or unshielded versions. You need the unshielded version for everyday use in homes and places with no EMI (electromagnetic interference). You should go for the shielded version for places with high EMI, like near towers, heavy machinery, and doctors’ offices.
The unshielded structure type usually seen in riser cables is UTP, which stands for Unshielded Twisted Pair. There are shielded riser cables which are commonly known as F/UTP or FTP, meaning Foil Twisted Pair. The shielded version has an overall layer of aluminum over the copper wire. This is the essential layer that protects you against EMI. If you need a shielded cable, ensure that your entire channel comprises shielded connectivity, including RJ45s and keystone jacks.
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