Cat6A Unshielded Direct Burial - 10G In the Dirt

Cat6A Unshielded Direct Burial - 10G In the Dirt

Written by Don Schultz, trueCABLE Technical Manager, Fluke Networks Copper/Fiber CCTT, BICSI INST1, INSTC, INSTF Certified

Although Cat6 Ethernet cable is extremely versatile and can achieve 10 Gb/s (10G) up to limited distances (depending on alien crosstalk conditions -- see When Aliens Attack! Avoiding Ethernet Alien Crosstalk), sometimes the reliable and trusty Cat6 will not cut it. Making matters worse, finding a quality outdoor/direct burial grade of Cat6A for your 10G needs outside has been of particular issue.

trueCABLE has now introduced Cat6A Unshielded Direct Burial Ethernet cable! If you are looking to go outside or even in the dirt and achieve 10Gb/s up to 328 feet, now or in the future, you just found the cable you need.

If the process of direct burial intimidates you, then you are not alone. We make this process more accessible in Into the Great Outdoors: Running Ethernet Cable Outside.

cat6a unshielded direct burial, up close

Cable Characteristics:

  • ANSI/TIA 568-2.D compliant and Permanent Link tested to Cat6A performance
  • Unshielded
  • CMX rated LLDPE outdoor jacket for rain, snow, UV sunlight, and ice resistance
  • Water blocking tape for direct burial applications
  • Ability to be used above or below ground
  • 23AWG solid pure copper conductors
  • Supports PoE, PoE+, and PoE++ (IEEE 802.3af/at/bt) up to 60W and 300V DC
  • Easy to deal with 6.80mm cable jacket outer diameter (OD)
  • 1.01mm insulated conductors
  • Bend radius is 1.50” (best visualized as bend diameter, which means if you turn the cable into a circle it cannot be tighter than 3.00” across)
  • Terminate with unshielded Cat6A keystones, patch panels, and our Cat6/6A Unshielded Passthrough RJ45 Plug or our Cat6/6A Unshielded Standard RJ45 Plug (load bar stagger plug)***.
information sign*** trueCABLE’s testing shows Cat6A cable, running at 10G, benefits greatly from use of stagger load bar style RJ45 plugs as opposed to the passthrough style. Both work, but the load bar staggered plug has the performance edge measured in “headroom”. See more in Load Bar Staggered RJ45 Connectors: Do They Increase Ethernet Cable Performance?
   
It should be noted that the least desirable way of terminating Cat6A Ethernet cable destined for use at the full 10G speed is using RJ45 plugs at both ends of your solid copper run--even staggered ones. For this speed, you should use a Permanent Link or Modular Plug Terminated Link strategy. Please see Choosing the Right Termination - Keystone Jack vs RJ45 Connector vs Field Termination Plug.
  

Performance and Compatibility Test Proof

As is normal for trueCABLE, we test our Ethernet cable and accessories together as a system. This is an example Fluke DSX-8000 test result of our Cat6A Unshielded Direct Burial Cable (in black) using a Cat6/6A Standard RJ45 Connectors | Unshielded at one end (this is a load bar stagger plug) and a toolless unshielded Cat6A keystone jack at the other end. This is known as a MPTL or “Modular Plug Terminated Link” which is commonly used for PoE device connections. The test limit is identical to a Permanent Link test. If the term “PoE” is unfamiliar to you it means Power over Ethernet. Please take a look at The Power of PoE.

Cat6a unshielded direct burial spec sheet
As you can see, we really do test our cable!
 

Behind the Scenes - Cat6A Unshielded Direct Burial Ethernet Dissected

Break out the hacksaw and scalpel. We are going to take a look at the guts of this cable.

Raw cable, ready to strip

Raw cable, ready to strip

Cable stripped, showing PE tape and rip cord assembly

Cable stripped, showing PE tape and rip cord assembly

PE tape removed and rip cord cut off exposing waterproof linen tape

PE tape removed and rip cord cut off exposing waterproof linen tape

Waterproof tape and PE tape peeled back

Waterproof tape and PE tape peeled back

 Tapes removed, exposing interior spline and conductor pairs

Tapes removed, exposing interior spline and conductor pairs


So, that is the anatomy of our Cat6A Unshielded Direct Burial Ethernet. There is a bit more to it than Cat6A U/UTP Riser, for example, but all the extra stuff inside and tough exterior LLDPE CMX jacket give it the ability to perform at 10G right in the dirt!

HAPPY NETWORKING!

trueCABLE presents the information on our website, including the “Cable Academy” blog and live chat support, as a service to our customers and other visitors to our website subject to our website terms and conditions. While the information on this website is about data networking and electrical issues, it is not professional advice and any reliance on such material is at your own risk.