Cat6, Cat5 / Cat5e and Twisted pair cables
Cat6 cables allow for the highest possible transmission security for machine vision. They consist of four pairs of conductors and are not only suitable for 1000BASE-T and 1000BASE-TX (Gigabit Ethernet) but also for 10GBASE-T (10 Gigabit Ethernet).
Compared to previous cable categories like Cat5, Cat6 cables have a bigger diameter. Therefore parasitics are further reduced.
STEMMER IMAGING recommends using at least Cat6 cables for standard machine vision applications.
Cat5 / Cat5e cable
Twisted pair cable with operating frequency of up to 100MHz. Cat5 and Cat5e cables consist mostly of four pairs of conductors. Some cables of this category contain up to 100 pairs of conductors though.
With the establishment of the 1000BASE-T (Gigabit Ethernet) standard the Cat5 cable was developed further into Cat5e (Cat5 enhanced). This progress was necessary to fulfil all requirements of the new Gigabit Ethernet standard like signal transmission via all of the eight (instead of only four as before) conductors of a cable.
For machine vision STEMMER IMAGING recommends cables of category Cat6 or higher.
Twisted pair cable
Cable consisting of several conductors which are twisted in pairs to reduce interference. When manufacturing twisted pair cables, plastic insulated copper conductors are twisted by twos in order to keep the influence of outside magnetic alternating fields and electrostatics to a minimum. Several of these conductor pairs are gathered into one cable. The conductor pairs which reside inside a cable have differing numbers of twists per metre to decrease interferences between the conductor pairs.
For better protection against outside influences by electromagnetic fields the cables can additionally be provided with an electrically conducting shield (made from e.g. copper or aluminium foil). Accordingly, the cables have different denominations:
- Unshielded Twisted Pair (UTP):
Twisted pair cable without shield
- Foiled Twisted Pair (FTP):
Twisted pair cable with shield made from aluminium foil
- Shielded Twisted Pair (STP):
Twisted pair cable with shield made from copper braid
The performance of the cables is defined by category. The lowest class is Cat1. For machine vision STEMMER IMAGING recommends categories starting from Cat6.