cat6 FREE cabling and networking Helpdesk
 Question by Richard Bedrossian posted 18 Apr 2006
I have a HP Officejet 7310 printer that I am trying to install on my network. It calls for a cat5 cable...I have a cat6 cable that I thought would be backwards compatible but it isn't? I tried the cable on another network device(a laptop) and it worked fine. I also tried a different cable (much shorter cat5 cable)on the printer and it worked as well. two questions. 1. is cat6 universily backwards compatible or are there exceptions?
2. could my issue be that the cable is too long(50')?
 Answer by Joseph Golan posted 19 Apr 2006
Dear Richard,

First, Yes all category 6 components are back wards compatible to all categories.

Second, while this cable is longer then what the standards allow, it doesn't mean it's too long but may be too long for that situation. The total patch cord length in the standards is 10 meters ( 33 ft.) for both ends. The reason behind this is that there is a 90 meter (295 ft.) length limit for the Link and 100 meter (328 ft.) limit for the channel. If in your case that the Link was close to 90 meters then I would suspect that the excessive length on the cord was the problem (don't forget the cordage that is on the other side of the Link in the Telecommunications Room) The use of a 50' cord at the workstation end seems above the normal of 7-10 feet.

Joseph Golan, RCDD

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